Team to Sit Host of Players For the Hall of Fame Game
Saturday, August 2, 2008
The Redskins have ruled out a host of players for tomorrow's preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts, including several veterans who are being rested. Coach Jim Zorn will rely on primarily unproven talent to get through the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, unable to use about a dozen ailing players.
Zorn said starting tailback Clinton Portis, Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels, starting middle linebacker London Fletcher and newly acquired Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor will not play, while the starters who do take part will do so for only a series or two on offense. The defense will rest most of its starters entirely.
The Redskins are being cautious with cornerback Carlos Rogers and linebacker Rocky McIntosh, both of whom are coming back from season-ending knee surgery, and neither will play, Zorn said.
Rookie wide receivers Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, both second-rounds picks dealing with hamstring injuries, will not play. Thomas is out probably another week or so, while Kelly continued to experience soreness in his limited practice reps this week.
Tailback Ladell Betts (thigh bruise), wide receiver Anthony Mix (hamstring) and safety LaRon Landry (hamstring) missed practice again yesterday and will not play, while defensive end Chris Wilson (calf strain) was back at practice but may sit out as well.
The Redskins also have a group of players recovering from recent surgery -- defensive lineman Anthony Montgomery, linebacker H.B. Blades and linebacker Rian Wallace -- who are at least another week or so from being able to practice again. Defensive end Erasmus James, who underwent offseason knee surgery, may be back by the end of the month.
No PUP List for Rogers
The Redskins had debated internally whether Rogers would need to open the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list, but giving him that designation is no longer an option.
When Rogers, who underwent major reconstructive knee surgery in November, was cleared for full participation in 11-on-11 drills this week, it made him ineligible to open the season on the PUP list and means he will count against the 53-man roster limit to open the season even if he is still not able to play in regular season games.
Zorn said in general his policy in such cases is to "err on the side of caution," but in this instance the team felt Rogers was ready to take part in drills and is making such strong strides that it would benefit him and the club to allow his practice workload to increase.
Zorn said the Redskins mulled placing rookie safety Kareem Moore on the PUP list -- which would have limited him to working individually with trainers and not taking part in practice -- after his surgically repaired knee swelled up recently, but he is pleased they opted against it. Moore will rejoin full practices this week and is showing signs of recovery.
Washington's rookies will be touring the Hall of Fame this weekend before the game, but only a contingent of team officials, and no other players or coaches, will be attending the induction of former Redskins Art Monk and Darrell Green. The team will be in meetings tonight during the ceremonies and is staying in Cleveland, about one hour from Canton. . . .
Veteran linebacker Alfred Fincher, who was signed late this week, could participate in a limited special teams role tomorrow, Zorn said. Backup quarterback Todd Collins is scheduled to replace Campbell after the first or second series and play the rest of the first half, with rookie Colt Brennan starting the second half. . . .
Zorn excused offensive lineman Jason Fabini from the afternoon practice so he could attend to a family matter. Fabini, who left Redskins Park yesterday, will meet the team in Canton for the game.
Staff writers Zach Berman and Mark Viera contributed to this report.