By Howard Bryant
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 11, 2006
Washington Redskins wide receiver Brandon Lloyd apologized to his teammates days after two disciplinary meetings last week with Coach Joe Gibbs. Lloyd did not start Sunday against Philadelphia and was hardly a part of the offense for most of the game.
It wasn't clear whether Lloyd apologized before the game or at the end of the practice week, but in the days following his meeting with Gibbs, Lloyd maintained that he would play, clearly underestimating how upset Gibbs had been. Gibbs benched Lloyd for the final minutes of Sunday's 24-14 loss to Atlanta after Lloyd drew a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after throwing his helmet following a Jason Campbell interception. Gibbs met with Lloyd twice last week and, although he said Lloyd would play against Philadelphia, he did not indicate whether Lloyd would start.
For the game, Lloyd appeared to be in Gibbs's doghouse, replaced by Antwaan Randle El in two-wide-receiver sets, and by James Thrash in many three-receiver sets. When he did play in three-receiver sets, it was on running plays. Gibbs declined to comment on the move.
Lloyd did not make an impact until the Redskins' final possession, with 8 minutes 55 seconds remaining in the game and the Redskins trailing 21-16, when Randle El hit him with a 40-yard pass down the left sideline. It was his only catch of the day. On the season, through 13 games, Lloyd has just 21 catches.
It was the first time Lloyd did not start this season, and the first time since Sept. 18, 2005, that Lloyd did not start a game, a string of 26 consecutive starts for San Francisco and Washington.
The Redskins' ninth loss guaranteed Lloyd the fourth consecutive NFL season in which he will play for a losing team. He has not played on a team with a .500 or better record in his NFL career.
"We just want to make this respectable," Lloyd said. "We have a lot of pride here and a lot of respect for each other. It's just tough not being able to pull it off."