One thing that jumped out at me when I perused the weekly playing time report on CSN Washington was that cornerback Kevin Barnes did not play in the game at all, on defense or on special teams.
Barnes has been the Redskins’ nickel back all season. His playing time has fluctuated through the year. The Maryland product played a low of 12 snaps against the run-oriented 49ers and a high of 53 against the pass-happy Patriots. But against the Vikings he was active, presumably healthy (he did not appear on the injury report during the week) but he did not play.
Byron Westbrook played a combined 38 snaps on defense against the Giants and Vikings after getting a total of four the previous two games.
According to Jim Haslett, it was a coach's decision to play Westbrook, who is a restricted free agent after this season. "We actually started Westbrook at the nickel spot to see what he could do, evaluating for the future to see if he’s a possible candidate there," Haslett said on Thursday.
The website Pro Football Focus had Barnes with negative grades against the Patriots and Giants. Haslett did not indicate whether Barnes' lack of playing time against the Vikings was related to performance.