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Campbell Expects To Play In Canton

By Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, August 1, 2008

Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell expects to play "a little bit" in Sunday's Hall of Fame preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts in Canton, Ohio.

Many Redskins veterans will sit out the Hall of Fame game, which kicks off the NFL's preseason schedule, but several members of the first-team offense and defense are scheduled to be on the field for two series or 12 to 15 plays, whichever comes first.

"We're pretty much expecting that," Campbell said after the morning session yesterday at Redskins Park. "You have to think about it and be smart. It's a long preseason and it's a long regular season.

"We've got some guys injured and we want to protect ourselves. That's the main thing that you want to get out of this. You want to get healthy and stay healthy. So a lot of guys won't play a lot, but we've also got this extra game."

Because of the Hall of Fame game, the Redskins will play five preseason games instead of four. Former Redskins stars Darrell Green and Art Monk are among those being enshrined in tomorrow's ceremony.

Many of the Colts' top players -- including quarterback Peyton Manning, defensive end Dwight Freeney and safety Bob Sanders -- are not expected to travel to Canton. Although several Redskins veterans said they would prefer to be off as well, the offense could use the work as Coach Jim Zorn continues to install his West Coast scheme, Campbell said.

"I feel like we're doing good in practice," Campbell said. "I feel like we're moving the ball and a lot of guys are learning what's going on. We're just playing the game right now. You can tell guys are just playing and not thinking. That's the point that you want to get to in any kind of offense or defense."

Backups in the Backfield

Running back Clinton Portis is among the veterans who will not play. Portis has not been much of a presence in practice this week, sitting out some drills, with Rock Cartwright and Marcus Mason (Georgetown Prep) getting significant work.

Zorn said Portis is healthy, and could practice fully. "He can take the reps," Zorn said. Zorn also said that Portis, who has some minor tightening in his hip flexors, probably would get the bulk of his preseason work in the fourth game.

With Portis and primary backup Ladell Betts, who has a minor thigh injury, sitting out the preseason opener, Cartwright and Mason will play the majority of the game. In preparation for the workload Cartwright and Mason will have, Zorn wanted them to get the majority of the snaps in practice.

"I look at it as I have five games to do my best and that's how I'm going into it," Mason said. "I'm not nervous. Last year, I was a little . . . a little star-struck. But now I'm ready to play."

With Cartwright being heavily involved in the offense, his special teams duties will be reduced, opening the door for Byron Westbrook, a promising cornerback who spent last year on the practice squad.

No Logos for Rookies

Zorn reiterated that rookies would not have Redskins logos on their helmets until they make the team after the fifth preseason game. Under NFL rules, all players will wear helmets with logos during preseason games. But when the next practice begins, those logos will be peeled off the rookies' headgear. "I want these guys to have a sense they have earned something," Zorn said. . . .

The team signed linebacker Alfred Fincher and waived running back Eric Shelton, who has a neck injury.

Staff writer Zach Berman contributed to this report.

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