Shanahan relatively forgiving of Thompson’s punt-returning mistakes

Chris Thompson Chris Thompson, here returning a punt in the preseason, made his regular season debut Monday night as the Redskins’ punt returner. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Rookie Chris Thompson fielded two punts inside the 10-yard line Monday night in his first game as the Washington Redskins’ punt returner, violating the traditional guideline that a returner not catch a punt so close to his own goal line.

Thompson made one fair catch at his 5-yard line and returned another punt from the 6-yard line to the 11. That return produced an illegal-block penalty on the Redskins that had them beginning that drive at the 6-yard line.

Coach Mike Shanahan was relatively forgiving Tuesday.

“We don’t work very often on catching the ball on the 3-yard line,” Shanahan said. “But as a young guy, sometimes you line up on the 10 and you don’t realize you drift back there. I was pleased, though, he had the guts to go back there and at least catch it with a lot of people around him. So even though that’s a negative, it’s a positive that his concentration level is there. And we’re just gonna have to put him through more reps so he doesn’t catch the ball inside the 10-yard line.”

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 on Tuesday.

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo |@MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins practice at 1 p.m on Wednesday. Robert Griffin III, London Fletcher and Mike Shanahan speak with reporters afterward.

More on the Redskins:

Jenkins: Griffin should not have played in opener

Mailbag: The zone read, cap space and Griffin’s return

Ryan Kerrigan passes concussion tests

The Takeaway (video): Jones on the loss | Post Sports Live’s takeaways

D.C. Sports Bog: RGIII rusty the new catchphrase? | More Bog

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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