The Washington Redskins announced 13 cuts yesterday and must make one more roster move today to reach the NFL's limit. The Redskins must be down to 76 players by 4 p.m. today.
Washington announced that veteran linebacker Kevin Mitchell was released, a move Coach Joe Gibbs said was made now to allow him time to catch on with another club.
The rest of those cut were less-experienced players: wide receivers Jonathan Brewer, Scott Cloman, Cliff Russell and John Standeford, defensive linemen Nic Clemons, Norman Heuer and Greg White, linebackers Devin Lemons and Billy Strother, offensive lineman Dwayne Morgan, defensive back Michael Hall and punter Kevin Stemke.
The Redskins said they did not plan to release defensive back Ryan Clark, a third-year player from LSU. The Washington Post reported erroneously in yesterday's editions that Clark would be among those cut by the team this week.
Vinny Cerrato, the team's vice president of football operations, said yesterday, "We don't plan to release Ryan today."
Team officials maintain they will make the final cut official before this afternoon's deadline. The Redskins had 11 roster exemptions for players who participated in NFL Europe and must be down to a 53-man roster by Sept. 5.
"It's the worst thing of what we do," Gibbs said of the cuts. "You've got guys who have given it their all and worked extremely hard and you know how much they put into this and you watch them, you had a chance to study them, and the fact is it's part of what you have to do."
Bumps and Bruises
Linebacker Mike Barrow (knee strain) again missed practice yesterday and has been off the field for team drills for more than three weeks. Linebacker LaVar Arrington (knee) made it through a practice and said he felt fine afterward.
"I'm a little bit further along conditioning-wise than I thought it would be," said Arrington, who has missed the Redskins' last two preseason games. "I feel good." When asked if he would play Friday, when the Redskins face Atlanta at FedEx Field, Arrington said, "I'll do whatever they want."
Barrow's return for Friday remains in doubt, Director of Sports Medicine Bubba Tyer said.
Tackle Chris Samuels, who suffered a right ankle sprain in St. Louis on Friday night, was still in a walking cast yesterday but said he expects to get out of it today. Samuels said it is doubtful he will play against Atlanta and is shooting for a return before the opening game on Sept. 12. "It's coming along," he said. "Eventually I'll go back out there."
Defensive end Phillip Daniels, who has been out most of training camp with an abdominal strain, returned to practice and hopes to play Friday. "They don't want me to do everything on the first day [back]," Daniels said. "But I didn't hurt it and it felt good."
Guard Randy Thomas (neck) returned to practice, while tight end Fred Baxter remained out with a sprained knee. Defensive lineman Renaldo Wynn missed practice with a sprained toe but will return today, Tyer said. Offensive lineman Marcus Spriggs missed practice with a sprained ankle, one that Tyer said is worse than Samuels's. Linebacker Clifton Smith has a badly bruised elbow. Nose tackle Brandon Noble, who is recovering from major knee surgery, was rested yesterday but will practice today.
Gearing Up Practices
Gibbs said he worked the team hard yesterday and will do the same again this morning as he begins to get his players into a regular season practice routine. The Redskins will practice before a team welcome luncheon today in Tysons Corner. "We're trying to have a regular practice work week," Gibbs said.
Staff writer Nunyo Demasio contributed to this report.