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

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."

The trade in which the Redskins acquired Taylor had been the biggest of the preseason until the Green Bay Packers traded Brett Favre to the Jets for a conditional draft pick. Favre can have the spotlight, Taylor said.

"I wish he would have did it earlier. It would have been an easier offseason for me," Taylor said. "Yeah, Brett's all the talk and all the hype right now, and that's fine. I can just go back to work and do what I do."

Taylor said it would be strange to see Favre in a different uniform, but his goal is still to get the quarterback.

"It'll be a lot different for both of us," he said. "I'm in the 'Skins now; he's in the Jets. Not that we played a lot against each other before, but it'll be different to see him out there.

"With all the hoopla and the media stuff going on around the game, at the end of the day, when they kick it off, it's still football. He's got to throw it before I get there."

Randle El Nurses Leg, Wrist

Wide receiver Antwaan Randle El (hamstring) sat out practice again and could be a game-time decision against the Jets, Zorn said. Randle El had his left wrist wrapped because someone stepped on it Saturday, Zorn said. "He's just trying to keep the swelling out," Zorn said. "That's a multitask ice pack." . . .

Cornerback Carlos Rogers has continued to progress in rehab from reconstructive knee surgery and could play this week, Zorn said. "I'd still like to wait, but I'm not ruling him out," he said. "I'll know more [today] because we're going to work on our list and just talk those things through. It may be just a pregame deal again where he gets ready and we shut him down." The team may opt to rest Rogers because of the patchy surface at the Meadowlands. . . .

Offensive line coach Joe Bugel remains with his family and his daughter, Holly, who is battling cancer. Owner Daniel Snyder arranged for Bugel to take his private plane to Phoenix after Saturday's victory over Buffalo. Bugel's daughter has a rare, aggressive form of bone cancer.

Quick Hits

Cornerback Shawn Springs, who sat out Tuesday because of a sore Achilles' tendon, fully participated in practice. . . . Free safety LaRon Landry (hamstring) sat out again and is not expected to play against the Jets. Landry also missed the team's first two preseason games because of his lingering injury. Rookie Kareem Moore worked with the first-team defense in place of Landry. . . .

Wide receivers Anthony Mix (ribs) and Malcolm Kelly (knee), linebacker H.B. Blades (knee) and offensive lineman Todd Wade (ankle) and Stephon Heyer (knee) have not returned to practice and are expected to miss Saturday's game.

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