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Brunell Out 4-5 Months After Surgery

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The Washington Redskins expect backup quarterback Mark Brunell to miss four to five months while he recovers from yesterday's surgery to repair a damaged labrum in his throwing shoulder. Brunell's left shoulder should be healed enough to resume practice during training camp, but he will miss the offseason workout program and his status for June's minicamp is in question.

Brunell, 36, started the first nine games in 2006, then lost his job to second-year player Jason Campbell, whom Coach Joe Gibbs has pronounced is Washington's No. 1 quarterback for 2007. Brunell's base salary escalates to $5.2 million next season and both sides realize a restructuring is likely given his backup status. Gibbs is a strong believer in the 14-year veteran and, after a lengthy meeting with Brunell at the end of the season, said he hopes to keep him in Washington next season.

Last week, linebacker Marcus Washington had surgery on his left elbow, but the former Pro Bowler also was hampered by a hip injury for much of 2006. He will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left hip this month, the team announced, but a long recovery period is not anticipated and he should be back for spring workouts.

Also last week, rookie linebacker Rocky McIntosh had surgery on his right knee and safety Vernon Fox had a pectoral muscle repaired. Those players are not expected to miss much time this spring, either. Tackle Chris Samuels will have surgery on his left knee following his Pro Bowl appearance next month in Hawaii, and defensive end Renaldo Wynn is expected to have surgery on his right elbow within the week.

Snapper on Board

Expert long snapper Ethan Albright re-signed with the Redskins for one year. Albright, 35, has been in Washington since 2001, and has spent 11 seasons in the NFL, becoming one of the most respected players in the league at his craft. He has played 10 straight seasons (160 consecutive regular season games) without a bad snap. He was one of few prominent potential free agents on the team; starting guard Derrick Dockery and the Redskins are not close on a new deal at this point, according to sources with knowledge of the situation, and the team may not want to bring back former starting linebacker Warrick Holdman and part-time starting cornerback Kenny Wright.

Albright traditionally signs one-year deals for the veteran minimum, and did so again for 2007, according to a league source. Given his service time, Albright makes about $800,000 annually and does not receive a significant signing bonus. Albright said yesterday that he was excited to get a new deal completed so early in the offseason.

"I'm thrilled to be back, without a doubt," he said. "Washington is a fun team to play for. A few years ago going to the playoffs was a lot of fun, and I hope we'll turn it around and get back to that."

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