Eric Kettani’s football career has been anything but typical: Graduate from Naval Academy, make New England Patriots practice squad, leave Patriots after request for leave from Navy is denied, return to Patriots’ practice squad after being granted an early release from active duty after all, get released by the Patriots, get signed by the Patriots again, then get released again and signed by the Washington Redskins.
Now signed to a futures contract with the Redskins, Kettani can participate in offseason practices. After one such practice on Monday, he engaged in another atypical NFL activity — his head coach participated in his promotion ceremony.
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan joined running backs coach Bobby Turner, Kettani’s friend and classmate Lt. Matthew Harmon, and Kettani’s father, Mounir, as participants in now-Lt. Kettani’s pinning ceremony at the team’s facility in Ashburn, Va.
“I’ve had guys in the military, but not a lieutenant. I better salute to him now,” Shanahan said after the ceremony, according to a Redskins news release.
“It’s a great honor for me for four years of service. I’m excited to be lieutenant,” Kettani said at the event.
This will mark Kettani’s second year with the Redskins; he’s spent much of the offseason tackling Navy Reserve duties so he can concentrate fully on making the regular roster this time around, according to the release. Some of Shanahan’s comments after the ceremony hinted that such a move was being considered, at least.
“We had him out wide at the end of practice today and with our first team offense,” Shanahan said in the release. “He’s very smart. He’s a heck of a football player. Not only does he have blocking skills, but he has running skills. It’s sure nice to have that type of player on your football team.”
Watch a portion of the pinning ceremony below.