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MRI: No Damage In Campbell's Knee

By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 20, 2007

Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell suffered nothing more serious than a bruise during Saturday night's preseason game, tests reaffirmed yesterday. Campbell underwent a late-morning MRI exam that showed no serious damage, team officials said.

Campbell and Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs said it will be determined later in the week whether Campbell will play Saturday's preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens.

"Nine times out of 10 when you see that, it's usually something worse," Campbell said as he left Redskins Park early in the evening. "It's usually something torn. . . . It's a day-to-day thing. We'll just see where it's at by the weekend."

Linebacker Marcus Washington, who suffered a dislocated right elbow late in the first half of Saturday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedEx Field, will miss the Ravens game and perhaps more. He said he hopes to return in about two weeks.

"I've already made some strides since [Saturday] night," said Washington, who left the team's training facility with his right arm in a sling. "If I keep going like that, I'll be all right."

The team's players and coaches spent the afternoon in meetings and watching the tapes of Saturday's game, in which the Redskins starters exited with a lead but the Steelers got three fourth-quarter field goals to win, 12-10. Mostly, the Redskins were relieved they emerged with their young starting quarterback still intact.

"It was scary, but fortunately it seems like he's going to be okay," said tailback Clinton Portis, who sat out a second straight preseason game because of a bothersome knee. "I always feel safer on the sideline."

Campbell was hit on the outside of his left leg by Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel, who stumbled and dove at the quarterback after slipping past Redskins rookie left tackle Stephon Heyer. Campbell said his knee wasn't as swollen yesterday as he expected it to be, and he walked toward his car in the parking lot without a severe limp. He said he hadn't tested the knee by trying to run.

"I'm sure he's going to be sore for a while," Gibbs said. "We'll go on a day-to-day basis. But I think we came out of that about as good as we could have expected."

Said Campbell: "I know my heart jumped when it first happened."

The low hit by Keisel drew a 15-yard penalty. Such hits on quarterbacks are prohibited by the NFL, and Keisel also could be fined. An NFL spokesman said yesterday the play hadn't been reviewed yet. Campbell said the hit "didn't look good on film," but he remained willing to believe that it wasn't an intentional attempt to hurt him because Keisel apologized to him as Campbell left the field after the injury.

Campbell said it was too soon to know whether he would play next weekend. Gibbs said he considers it important for a young quarterback to get preseason playing time, but acknowledged that he'll evaluate Campbell differently this week than he would during the regular season.

Todd Collins replaced Campbell and threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Lloyd in a 10-for-13 passing performance. Mark Brunell finished the game.

"It was pretty good," Collins said of the offense's performance while he was on the field. "It wasn't perfect."

Collins and Brunell are competing for the No. 2 quarterback job behind Campbell, and Gibbs wouldn't say who would start against the Ravens if Campbell doesn't play.

The timetable for Washington's return to the lineup wasn't clear. He said he had been told by doctors that some players have come back from similar injuries in a week. The pace of his rehabilitation, he said, will be determined by how much discomfort he experiences. He said he might have to wear a brace on his elbow even when he returns to play, and he indicated he wasn't worried yet about missing the Sept. 9 regular season opener against the Miami Dolphins.

"I'd hate to have to miss any regular season games," Washington said. "It feels good to know I won't be down too long."

Lemar Marshall seems like the logical candidate to replace Washington, but Gibbs said the team's defensive coaches were still deliberating about whether to use Marshall, Khary Campbell, H.B. Blades or Dallas Sartz.

Redskins Notes: Wide receiver Mike Espy underwent surgery for a torn patellar tendon. He's facing four to six months of rehabilitation and will miss the entire season. . . . Guard Todd Wade is scheduled to participate when the Redskins resume practicing tomorrow after being out because of a shoulder injury.

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