The Redskins have ruled running back Chris Thompson and linebacker Darryl Sharpton out for Monday’s game against Cleveland because of ankle sprains. Defensive end Jason Hatcher, who is still working his way back from arthroscopic knee surgery, also will not play.
On Friday Thompson missed his sixth straight day of practice. He suffered a low ankle sprain in last Thursday’s preseason opener against New England. The second-year running back hopes to earn a key role in Washington’s offense. The 2013 fifth-round pick entered camp competing with Roy Helu Jr., Evan Royster and rookies Lache Seastrunk and Silas Redd for third-down back duties. Coaches believe his speed and elusiveness would make him a valuable receiving threat out of the backfield.
But because of his inability to stay healthy, Thompson finds himself at a disadvantage as he misses valuable practice and game reps.
“Every rep that he doesn’t take, somebody is going to take it,” coach Jay Gruden said. “Unfortunately for him, his ankle, it’s a sprain. It’s a high ankle, low ankle, I don’t know where it is but it’s holding him out. It’s unfortunate for him because he was doing a great job, but it does open up a window for other guys that perform and we’ll see what they do with it.”
Thompson on Friday did some running under the supervision of strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright. But he appears to be several days away from fully recovering. He will aim to play in the third preseason game, next Saturday at Baltimore.
Sharpton, competing for a backup inside linebacker position and a role on special teams, missed time earlier this week with a high ankle sprain. He returned to practice on Tuesday, but returned to the sideline for Thursday and Friday’s practices.
Hatcher wasn’t expected to play on Monday. He opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list after having his left knee scoped on June 20. He practiced for the first time last Saturday, but has continued to only take part in individual drills. The plan is to increase his workload next week. Gruden has said the third or fourth preseason games are more realistic target dates for Hatcher’s return.
Starting strong safety Brandon Meriweather is questionable for Monday’s game because of a toe injury. He missed the last two practices, but has not been ruled out for Monday. Second-year pro Bacarri Rambo played strong safety in place of Meriweather when the first team defense was on the field Thursday and Friday.