Taylor Says Foot Injury Is 'Not That Big of a Deal'

The Washington Post's Jason Reid reports on Jason Taylor's foot injury and the progress of Erasmus James. Video by Jason Reid/The Washington PostPhotos: The Washington Post, AP, GettyEditor: Jonathan Forsythe/
By Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 14, 2008

Although Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor has been slowed in practice recently because of a recurring foot injury, he appeared to be in top form yesterday as the Washington Redskins' first-team offense and first-team defense competed in 11-on-11 drills.

On one play, Taylor tossed right tackle Jon Jansen to the ground three yards behind quarterback Jason Campbell, generating a chorus of "oohs" from the sidelines. "I was, obviously, very impressed with his intensity and his effort," defensive line coach John Palermo said.

Taylor, who participated in every phase of practice, played down his big moment against Jansen and his plantar fasciitis, which flared up this week. He said he played with the injury throughout the 2006 season, when he was the NFL's defensive player of the year, and in 2007, and said it is something he has learned to overcome.

"It's all right," Taylor said of his foot. "It's one of those things you've just got to manage and take care of. It's going to be sore. It's football, baby. You're going to be sore and beat up."

Taylor -- acquired on the first day of training camp from the Miami Dolphins for a second-round pick in 2009 and a sixth-round pick in 2010 -- was held out of the afternoon session Tuesday because of the plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue running across the bottom of the foot. Taylor, who started each of the Dolphins' games the last eight seasons, has had the injury on both feet.

"I tore the my right one [fascia]" in 2006, Taylor said. "I tore half of my left one last year. Being a football player for, going on 12 years now, you live with pain every day of your life. It's just another day. It's not that big of a deal."

Because of Taylor's experience dealing with the injury on both feet, the Redskins are not especially concerned, coaches said.

"He'll always find a way to get himself ready to play on Sundays," Palermo said. "He's got a little problem with his foot there, it's flared up a couple of times, but he's never tried to beg out or anything. He comes right back the next day."

Said Coach Jim Zorn, "This is something that has been normal for him."

After making his Redskins debut last weekend, Taylor expects to play another couple of series with the rest of Washington's first-team defense Saturday against the New York Jets at Giants Stadium. During 11 seasons with Dolphins, Taylor was a favorite target of Jets fans as the AFC East rivals played twice a season.

"I can't get away from the Jets," Taylor said. "I figured coming to the NFC [East], I'd get away from them a little bit, but I get to see 'em again and back in the Meadowlands. Yep, go back for more.

"And I did 'Dancing with the Stars,' so I'm sure I'll hear plenty of stuff from the Jets fans. It was always fun to play there [with the Dolphins]. It was always a hostile environment, and they always give you plenty of crap. But I enjoyed it."

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