(Photos from Day 1 of Redskins training camp can be found here.)
It’s painful still to go over the details, but last summer’s training camp couldn’t have gone worse for receiver Malcolm Kelly.
Shortly before camp opened, Kelly and some teammates were working out with Donovan McNabb in Arizona. That’s where Kelly first injured his hamstring.
He reported to training camp anyway, aggravating the injury on the first day. He practiced just twice more before the Redskins placed him on season-ending injured reserve.
“That was last year. It’s a totally different thing,” Kelly said following Friday morning’s practice, the first of this year’s training camp. “I really can’t compare the two because I really shouldn’t have come out here anyway on the first day. This year, completely healthy and little bit better shape.”
Circumstances, though, have changed. Kelly should have had a shot at winning a starting job a year ago. This year, he’s probably fighting for a roster spot. Redskins fans are well-versed in his struggles: In three years, Kelly has all of 28 catches and no touchdowns.
This camp, he has plenty of competition. He was one of nine receivers on the field for the first practice Friday morning. Santana Moss and Donte Stallworth will soon join the group, and more could be on the way.
Moss, Jabar Gaffney and Anthony Armstrong would seem like locks for the roster, which could leave several other receivers — Kelly, Terrence Austin, Brandon Banks, plus rookies Leonard Hankerson, DeJon Gomes, Niles Paul, Aldrick Robinson — battling for just a few spots.
“I think it’s good,” Kelly said. “I think it’s always good because any time you bring guys in, you have to compete. It’s all about competition. If you’re not a competitor, you’re going to lay down. Any time guys get in, it’s just survival of the fittest. Whoever wants is who’s going to be here. We have four weeks to see who that is.”