By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 11, 2008
Anthony Mix suffered a broken rib during Saturday's 17-14 preseason win over Buffalo, making his the Redskins' only new injury concern. The reserve wide receiver will miss at least one week. Coach Jim Zorn expects several other players to return for Saturday's game against the Jets, with safety LaRon Landry (hamstring) and wide receiver Devin Thomas (hamstring) among them.
Rookie safety Chris Horton, who missed the game with a colon infection, will be reevaluated this week, as will return specialist-running back Rock Cartwright, who has a rib injury. Landry and Thomas are scheduled to return to full practice this week and could face the Jets. Thomas was Washington's first pick in April's draft (taken in the second round), but has not been on the field since the first week of camp.
"I'm anxious to have him learn what it is to play at this speed," Zorn said.
Others who are coming off recent surgery remain weeks away from playing, with rookie wide receiver Malcolm Kelly (knee) scheduled to begin light jogging this week after arthroscopic surgery last month, Zorn said. Linebacker H.B. Blades (knee) and end Erasmus James (knee) do not have firm timetables for their return, Zorn said, although both are expected to see action before the start of the regular season. Tackles Stephon Heyer (knee) and Todd Wade (high-ankle sprain) are slated to miss at least another week.
Cornerback Carlos Rogers and linebacker Rocky McIntosh, both coming off surgery that ended their 2007 seasons, are progressing in practice but will not play for at least two more weeks, Zorn said.Young Offensive Linemen Shine
The Redskins used a variety of young offensive linemen for three-quarters of Saturday's game, and the unit fared surprisingly well given its inexperience and lack of practice time together. With Wade and Heyer out, youngsters such as center Justin Geisinger and tackle Chad Rinehart raised their level of play.
"They were great," Zorn said after reviewing the game film.
The group clicked on a 12-yard screen pass for a touchdown to tailback Ladell Betts in the second quarter. Geisinger, 26, who could fill a huge void at backup center, got off the line to make a block 10 yards downfield on the play, and he held the line together making the calls and adjustments in pass protection while working in front of three quarterbacks. (Buffalo registered just one sack.)
"He communicated very well," Zorn said of Geisinger. "There were a couple of miscues. . . . But for the most part he did a great job."
Veteran quarterback Todd Collins said: "Geisinger is doing a good job. He's a smart kid. He lockers right next to me and he has some experience [with Tennessee and on Washington's practice squad] and he's a big body who gives a good snap, which I like. He can make all the calls and knows the offense."
Offensive line coach Joe Bugel said that in an emergency, guard Pete Kendall would replace starting center Casey Rabach, though Geisinger is fighting for a roster spot.Springs Provides Flexibility
Given a shortage of available safeties, cornerback Shawn Springs played well when shifted back to free safety Saturday, something the team could do in certain packages this season. Zorn said he would have liked Springs to hold on to a possible interception in the end zone, but likes the flexibility the veteran provides. . . . Zorn praised incumbent punter Derrick Frost yesterday, and said the team will continue alternating punters each game, with rookie Durant Brooks facing the Jets. . . . Young running back Marcus Mason shone again Saturday, aside from a fumbled kickoff, and is making Zorn consider carrying four running backs on the final 53-man roster. "He's in the mix, he really is," Zorn said.