Washington Redskins right tackle Jammal Brown was encouraged by his first practice of the season and said he still believes he can play this year.
Brown went through his first practice of the year Monday after preseason surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left hip. He has spent all of the preseason and regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but was cleared last week to resume practicing so coaches can evaluate him.
With Washington on a bye last week, Brown’s first practice was Monday. He reported no setbacks afterwards.
“I feel a lot looser, could move a lot more,” said Brown, who missed the 2009 season after surgery to repair a torn labrum in the same hip, and has been limited off and on since. “I’ll know better after a week or so, how it feels. But I feel good. It was a great day for me.”
Said coach Mike Shanahan: “We’ve been working him out for a while, so I think he’s not in football shape but he’s been working out extremely hard. He looked good today. It looks like his flexibility is much improved. He looks like he’s pain-free, so hopefully in the next couple weeks he’ll be ready to go in and he’ll be in football shape.”
The Redskins have 14 days to evaluate Brown before they must decide whether to activate him or place him on Injured Reserve.
Brown said he doesn’t have a target date for his return to action, but hopes to be back quickly.
“As soon as possible … The Redskins are trying to be cautious, but I hope they’re not too cautious,” said Brown, who will have to unseat Tyler Polumbus for the starting right tackle job. “I want to get out there as soon as possible. Help my team.”
But Brown did acknowledge that his hip doesn’t yet feel completely back to full strength.
“It’s a little bit of discomfort because of the surgery feeling, that type of soreness. But in due time, that should go away,” he said. “Breathing, I feel good. It’s more of the hip conditioning. It gets a little tiring some times, and I can’t get my kick step back as far, but that’s something I’ll work on. … I’m lucky to be in this situation with this injury that coaches didn’t stop believing in me.”