By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 9, 2006
Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss returned to practice yesterday, although not in a full capacity, while quarterback Mark Brunell rested, although he is scheduled to start Sunday in Philadelphia. Moss missed last week's game and is nursing a hamstring injury, and said he will have to progress daily this week in order to play.
Moss is Washington's best deep threat and top all-around receiver, and no one surpassed 70 yards receiving in his absence against the Cowboys. No other wide receiver on the team has even 200 receiving yards this season, and Moss wants badly to return, but is taking a cautious approach. Wet conditions have prompted an even more conservative attitude during practice.
"I'm going out there and running around a little bit, but it's not like I'm going to go out and run like crazy," Moss said. "I want to progress throughout the week. I don't want the first day to set me back, especially with that weather. I'm not going to be stupid at all."
Moss was in helmet and full pads for the first time since injuring his hamstring in Week 7. He shagged balls at the start of practice and did most of his work away from the team, Coach Joe Gibbs said. Brunell wore a hat and threw on the side, not participating in drills. At 36, Brunell rests when warranted and is coming off a strong showing against the Cowboys.
Tackle Jon Jansen (calf) was in pads but did not participate fully, although he is expected to play. Tight end Christian Fauria had a walking boot on his left ankle and did not practice. Tight end Chris Cooley (shoulder) took part in most of practice, Gibbs said.Props All Around for Vincent
Safety Troy Vincent was named NFC special teams player of the week for his game-saving turned game-winning blocked field goal Sunday. Vincent, playing in just his second game with the team since being signed as a free agent after being released by Buffalo, has made an immediate impact, starting in most defensive packages.
Vincent, a 15-year veteran, has strong bonds with many Eagles from his time there, and this will be an emotional game for him. Philadelphia Coach Andy Reid said letting Vincent go was one of the most difficult decisions of his career, and Eagles defensive back Brian Dawkins said Vincent was a "big brother" to him and speaks to him almost daily.
"He's helped me out in so many different aspects of football and coverage, and also dealing with family and children and everything," Dawkins said during a conference call with media members. "I know we've been a blessing to each other and he's definitely been a blessing to me."
Vincent's home is in the Philadelphia area, and his return is a hot ticket. He has taken care of his mother, aunts and immediate family, but said his voice mail is blunt when it comes to other requests. He's advising people to check Ticketmaster or other avenues, because his allotment of tickets is gone.McIntosh Mourns His Friend
Redskins rookie linebacker Rocky McIntosh came to practice yesterday mourning the death of University of Miami defensive lineman Bryan Pata, a friend and former college teammate. McIntosh said he was awakened by a phone call last night telling him the news, and is trying to come to grips with the killing of the 22-year-old.
Pata is the fourth Miami player to die in the last decade, and the Redskins have five Miami players on the roster right now. One of them, cornerback Mike Rumph, who is from Palm Beach, Fla., said players at the school are often the targets of others around the campus. "A lot of people don't wish you well when you go home," Rumph said of Miami players. "You're going home to all of those elements. It's tough."