Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather is expected to miss at least the first two games of the 2012 season with an injured knee.
Meriweather was likely to start at strong safety in New Orleans in Sunday's regular-season opener against the Saints. He was injured in Monday's practice. Reed Doughty, who has played the fill-in role well before, or DeJon Gomes would get the spot starts.
"Monday in practice he came down awkwardly on his knee and he has a sprained MCL injury," coach Mike Shanahan said. "He will be out from 2-4 weeks. He feels a little more optimistic than that, but the doctors felt that it would take a little bit of time."
The Saints use multiple-receiver base formations that most teams counter with a regular nickel package. The Redskins could opt for more single-safety defenses and cover-1 coverage -- one deep safety -- with two extra cornerbacks on the field.
"We have four safeties left and five corners so we will come up with the best combination to try to slow down the Saints," Shanahan said.