Supporting Player Wade Shines in a Starring Role

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 18, 2006

NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 17 -- Todd Wade, who had not played in a regular season game in over a year, was filling in for a veteran leader and testing his surgically repaired knee for the first time. By any measure, the results of the experiment were overwhelmingly positive, as Wade excelled at right tackle, filling in for Jon Jansen (torn calf) in Washington's 16-10 victory Sunday over the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome.

After tearing knee ligaments and dislocating his patella, Wade was placed on injured reserve by Houston last November and signed with the Redskins in September. Wade has not required any treatment since joining Washington, and he was a boost for the offensive line, which limited New Orleans to one sack and helped the running game grind out 161 yards. Jansen is expected back for Sunday's game at St. Louis, but Wade, who stands 6 feet 8, showed he can be an effective backup, something Washington badly needs at the tackle spot.

"Todd did a great job in there for us," Coach Joe Gibbs said.

Wade, 30, said he did not worry about re-injuring his knee, or being rusty from going so long between starts. After a long and difficult rehabilitation, he feels he was finally rewarded.

"I've been hungry all year. It's been killing me," Wade said. "I was just glad to get in there. It's been too long."

Rogers Gets One Back

Cornerback Carlos Rogers has epitomized the Redskins' takeaway follies this season, but Sunday he produced the only turnover of the game, holding on to an underthrown pass that stalled a late Saints drive. Rogers has dropped a half-dozen easy interceptions, part of the reason the Redskins have just 11 takeaways, worst in the NFL and threatening the all-time record of 15 set by St. Louis and Green Bay in 2004.

Rogers, who declined to comment, had his best game of the season -- although he was beaten for one deep pass that safety Sean Taylor broke up -- and made the defense's final play of the game in the end zone on a pass route.

"We needed him to play like that," Gibbs said of Rogers. The outing should boost Rogers's confidence. His turnover led to a field goal drive, the first time since Oct. 1 the Redskins scored a point off a turnover. They have just 16 points off turnovers for the season.

Lloyd Doesn't Start Again

Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd has not started since having two meetings with Gibbs regarding his conduct. He lost one deep pass in the lights Sunday and caught two passes for 30 yards. . . . For the second straight week a Redskins' drive stalled in the red zone on consecutive procedural penalties, this time two false starts. Gibbs remains concerned with the issue, but attributed this instance to the exceedingly loud crowd in the domed stadium. . . .

Rookie linebacker Rocky McIntosh played in the base defense in the second half for the second straight week, although Warrick Holdman started again. . . . Wide receiver Antwaan Randle El played ahead of Lloyd in many two-receiver sets for the second straight week. . . .

Safety Vernon Fox remained a starter, with Troy Vincent a backup. Safety Adam Archuleta, signed to a huge free agent contract, was not a part of the defense for a fourth straight week. . . . Bubba Tyer, director of sports medicine, said the team came out of the game with no significant injuries, only bumps and bruises.

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