Rogers, McIntosh Are Set to Play

The Washington Post's Jason Reid previews wide receiver Devin Thomas's professional debut and talks to the rookie about his conditioning. Video by Jason Reid/The Washington PostPhotos: The Washington Post, AP, GettyEditor: Jonathan Forsythe/
By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 15, 2008

Cornerback Carlos Rogers and linebacker Rocky McIntosh are ready to return to the lineup after having reconstructive knee surgery last season and will make their preseason debuts tomorrow night as the Washington Redskins face the New York Jets at Giants Stadium, Coach Jim Zorn said yesterday.

"Carlos is champing at the bit," Zorn said after the morning session at Redskins Park. "We are going to try to use him a little bit in the game but very little. We're going to use him early in the game, so watch quickly. We are going to play McIntosh, just very little, four or five plays, just to kind of let him get in there and smack it around a little bit. He's ready."

Rogers tore his right anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in a 52-7 loss to the New England Patriots on Oct. 28. McIntosh tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee in a 22-10 victory over the New York Giants on Dec. 16.

In his offseason rehab, McIntosh, who had a history of right knee problems at the University of Miami, fared well, Redskins coaches said, and he was considered to be further along than Rogers. "On Carlos, I thought it was going to be September" when he returned, Zorn said. "But everything has been great. When we put him in these [team] drills, what we do is really watch his knee.

"How does his knee respond? There's been very little swelling, very little that we've had to do except just continue the maintenance program, the strengthening. If our trainers and doctors feel like he can go, and he's done what he's done in practice, because he does things full speed, he should be able to be just fine in the game."

Rogers and McIntosh have been working with the first-team defense for some time and continued to participate in 11-on-11 drills yesterday. In the first half of last season, Rogers, Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot shared the starting cornerback spots and the trio has split time in training camp. McIntosh -- who finished second on the team in tackles last season with 105, including 70 unassisted -- has appeared to settle back in at weak-side linebacker.

Rookie WR Thomas Expected to Debut

With starting wide receiver Antwaan Randle El (hamstring, wrist) a game-time decision, rookie wideout Devin Thomas is expected to make his debut and play a lot against the Jets.

Thomas -- the Redskins' top pick -- and fellow rookie wideout Malcolm Kelly drew the wrath of Zorn for their poor performance in conditioning tests. Thomas sat out much of camp because of a strained hamstring and Kelly is sidelined while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.

"This is a whole other level," Thomas said. "You feel like you did what you could do [to prepare physically], but in the back of your mind you say, 'Dang, I wish I would have spent some more time [on conditioning] before I went into camp.' You think you'll make it, but the [conditioning] test is a tough test. It's a difficult situation. But just to go out there and play football, I'm in shape for that.

"I've always been in shape for that. But the test is just a little standard that he [Zorn] uses to make sure everybody really has been working hard in the offseason. Unfortunately, for me and Malcolm, it was hard. Getting ready, we were doing some other things as rookies. But we'll be ready for it next year."

Randle El was excused from afternoon practice for personal reasons, Zorn said.

Landry Will Stay Home Tomorrow

Safety LaRon Landry (hamstring) will not accompany the team. "We're going to leave LaRon at home to continue to get treatment," Zorn said. "We are just trying to continue to get him ready. He's starting to come around, just not quite as fast as we hoped."

Landry, who missed the first two preseason games, said his hamstring tightens when he runs full speed. "It's the same thing every time I open it up," he said. "Nothing you can do about it. It's just the healing process." . . .

Quarterback Jason Campbell will open the game with the first-team offense. Backup Todd Collins will follow and play most of the first half. In a change, Derek Devine will start the third quarter and Colt Brennan will enter in the fourth and finish the game.

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