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Wide Receiver Patten Out a Few More Days

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Washington Redskins wide receiver David Patten will remain in the hospital until tomorrow because of viral meningitis, and it is unclear precisely when he can return to practice, director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said. Patten, who signed with the team as a free agent in 2005 but missed much of last season because of injury, will be given time to rest and recover after suffering from vomiting and severe headaches.

Patten was admitted to Virginia Hospital Center on Monday, Tyer said, and has been isolated from teammates since reporting to training camp Sunday feeling ill. Viral meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain or spinal cord, and is contagious in the same manner as a cold or virus would be, Tyer said, and is far less severe than bacterial meningitis. Still, it takes a toll.

"We'll just have to evaluate it and see how he feels," Tyer said, estimating it would take at least a few more days after his release from the hospital for Patten to join training camp. The Redskins host the Baltimore Ravens in a scrimmage Saturday and have Sunday off; that means Patten likely will miss at least the first week of camp. Patten, 31, caught 22 passes in nine games last season.

Taylor Shows Humor

Safety Sean Taylor, who has had his share of ups and downs in his two seasons with the Redskins, was relaxed and joking after the first of two practices yesterday. Although he declined to comment on any impending fine or suspension stemming from his offseason plea bargain agreement after facing felony gun charges in Florida, offering up a playful "N.C." for "no comment" at one point, he addressed other issues with good humor.

Taylor has refused to speak to the media for long parts of his career and his initial interaction with the press turned frosty after former linebacker LaVar Arrington smacked him in the face with a shaving cream pie on camera early in his first training camp in 2004. Yesterday, Taylor mentioned the incident when asked for his feelings about Arrington's departure.

"We'll miss him," Taylor said. "We'll see him in competition. I wish him all the best. At least I don't have to worry about the shaving cream."

Taylor, an intense figure who has been sporting long sleeves even in this heat, thanked the organization for its support through his legal problems, and believes his reputation, after several fines and one team-sanctioned suspension, is misleading. "I'm a good person," he said. "I'm a good-mannered guy. I like to joke around a little bit. When it's time for business, I handle business. I love playing football. I love my family."

No Predictions from Gibbs

Coach Joe Gibbs, who has gone to lengths to avoid any semblance of a prediction for the upcoming season, agreed with quarterback Mark Brunell's assessment Monday that "anything short of going all the way would be a disappointment," but cautioned it was not a prediction. "I don't think anybody here feels like we make predictions," Gibbs said yesterday. "We've got a lot to prove. We couldn't win our division last year. . . . I'm always cautious on that. You ask almost any player and they're optimistic, and that's good. But we also know a lot of things can happen to a football team." . . . It continues to look like newcomer Brandon Lloyd will be the regular wideout opposite Pro Bowler Santana Moss, with fellow newcomer Antwaan Randle El being positioned around the field. Gibbs said he expected Randle El to be a weapon passing, running and returning punts and "he'll be the guy that probably will play a lot of slot stuff, inside receiver, where I think Brandon is more the classic outside receiver."

Staff writer Adam Kilgore contributed to this report.

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