Thompson doing extra work to get comfortable as punt returner

Chris Thompson

Chris Thompson could open the season as the Redskins punt returner. (Nick Wass/Associated Press)

Rookie running back Chris Thompson said he’s putting in extra work by fielding punts after the Washington Redskins’ practices to become more comfortable at the task.

“It’s all about just getting reps and the more reps you get, the more comfortable you feel,” Thompson said Thursday at Redskin Park. “And that’s how it’s working out for me right now.”

Thompson said he is settling in after initially being less than totally confident as a punt returner.

“Once it was clear that I would be doing this, those doubts kind of went away after that,” he said. “Beforehand, I was still thinking about it a lot because it was kind of new to me. … Now I feel real comfortable back there.”

Thompson has not been a regular punt returner since high school but is being given a chance to fill the role by the Redskins after their punt returner, Richard Crawford, suffered a season-ending knee injury during the preseason. Thompson scored a touchdown on a punt return in the preseason finale at Tampa and made the Redskins’ 53-man roster last weekend.

He appears poised to take over the team’s punt-returning duties, although Coach Mike Shanahan said earlier this week that wide receivers Santana Moss and Josh Morgan also remain candidates. Shanahan reiterated Thursday that no decision had been made.

“We’ve got three guys catching it every day,” Shanahan said. “Chris is getting probably double the opportunities because he hasn’t done it for a while. So we’ll see how he does this week and get a gut feel before the Monday night game, then make a decision.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

What’s ahead:

● Ravens at Broncos kicks off the season at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. Stop by and chat while the game is on.

More about the Redskins and NFL:

Meriweather practices, hopes to play Week 1

Fletcher stands alone as NFL’s consecutive games active leader

NFL satisfied with current condition of FedEx Field

D.C. Sports Bog: RGIII’s newest ad includes exploding field | More Bog

The Early Lead: Eagles’ Cooper, Williams fight at practice (video) | More NFL

Also on The Insider

Brandon Meriweather participates in Redskins' practice on limited basis