McIntosh Expected to Be Ready for Next Season

By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Washington Redskins second-year linebacker Rocky McIntosh underwent reconstructive surgery on his left knee last week and is expected to be ready for start of the 2008 season, Coach Joe Gibbs said yesterday at Redskins Park.

McIntosh, in his first full season as a starter at weak-side linebacker, had surgery Friday to repair damage he suffered Dec. 16. McIntosh finished the season with 105 tackles, including 70 solo, and three sacks.

Bubba Tyer, director of sports medicine, "feels like Rocky [will] be back and be ready for the start of the season," Gibbs said.

With Washington's season finished after a 35-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in an NFC first-round playoff game, several key players are expected to have "some type of surgery," Gibbs said. Versatile rookie lineman Lorenzo Alexander (right ankle) and rookie linebacker H.B. Blades (left knee) will have arthroscopic surgery. "I appreciate H.B. going all year [with] that thing swelling up and everything," Gibbs said. "He did not come off the field."

Safety Vernon Fox (left knee), defensive lineman Cornelius Griffin (right knee) and tight end Todd Yoder (right knee) also plan to have arthroscopic procedures.

Alexander Awaits Decision

After a season in which Alexander played on offense, defense and special teams, the Redskins plan to discuss whether he should focus on one. "They said they're going to discuss it," Alexander said. "I told them I'd like to know as soon as possible. They're going to discuss it and get back to me."

Potential Free Agents

In addition to quarterback Todd Collins, the Redskins have 14 potential free agents: long snapper Ethan Albright, defensive lineman Ryan Boschetti, quarterback Mark Brunell, wide receiver Reche Caldwell, return specialist Rock Cartwright, offensive lineman Rick DeMulling, offensive lineman Jason Fabini, linebacker Randall Godfrey, cornerback David Macklin, wide receiver Keenan McCardell, safety Pierson Prioleau, offensive lineman Mike Pucillo, tight end Brian Kozlowski and safety Omar Stoutmire.

"We spent most of our time [Sunday] talking with our players and visiting with the group," Gibbs said. "From a contractual thing and everything, starting to get started on all of that, so that was a big process."

Suisham Likely Will Return

The Redskins have exclusive rights on place kicker Shaun Suisham. If Washington makes a qualifying offer, as expected, Suisham must re-sign with the team or sit out the season.

In his first full season in the league, Suisham converted 82.9 percent (29 of 35) of his field goal attempts and 29 of 30 extra points. Suisham missed a 30-yard field goal that would have given the Redskins a four-point lead with fewer than 12 minutes remaining against Seattle. The Seahawks then scored 22 unanswered points.

"Obviously, it's upsetting," Suisham said. "I don't like to miss a kick ever, especially in a playoff game. I'm trying to look at the big picture and look back on the season, on my personal season and overall."

Staff writer Paul Tenorio contributed to this report.

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