Rogers Wants to Test Knee With Bigger Role This Week

The Washington Post's Jason Reid chats with backup rookie quarterback Colt Brennan about his preseason success. 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
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cornerback Carlos Rogers's reconstructed right knee held up well last week in the Washington Redskins' 13-10 victory over the New York Jets, and Rogers is eager for an increased workload this week against the Carolina Panthers.

"It's going to be a big test," Rogers said yesterday at Redskins Park. "I really didn't get hit on it [against the Jets], so I really don't know the reaction of it after me getting pounded on."

Last Saturday at Giants Stadium, Rogers, who tore his right anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in a 52-7 loss to the New England Patriots on Oct. 28, played in a game for the first time since being injured. Rogers joined Washington's first-team defense for a portion of the Jets' two first-quarter possessions. Rogers expects to play most of the first half against Carolina, he said.

Four plays into New York's opening possession, Rogers replaced weak-side linebacker Rocky McIntosh, who also was making his preseason debut after having reconstructive knee surgery last season, when Washington went into its nickel package. With Rogers in coverage on New York's second possession, wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery teamed with new Jets quarterback Brett Favre for a 19-yard gain.

"Going through practice, I don't think about [the knee]; out there, I wasn't thinking about it," Rogers said. "I felt that my quickness and speed is still back. I just need to get in on some tackles, I guess."

Rogers was credited with an assisted tackle on the play in which Cotchery beat him, but he needs more contact to be completely confident in his knee. "Once this whole half [is completed], playing in Carolina, it'll be a bigger test for me," he said.

Bugel's Back

Offensive line coach Joe Bugel rejoined the team for yesterday's practice after spending last week with his daughter Holly, who has a rare form of cancer, and his family. Bugel will not be speaking to reporters, however, as he gets back to work this week and continues to deal with his family obligations. "He's a family member to us," said tackle Jon Jansen, the longest-tenured player on the roster. "It's hard to see a member of your family go through what he's had to go through. I can't even understand it. But we love to have him back, and anything he needs, we're here for him."

Injury Updates

Guard Randy Thomas and tailback Ladell Betts were back on the field after suffering mild knee sprains Saturday; Thomas took full work while Betts did not participate in team drills. Rookie wide receiver Malcolm Kelly (knee surgery) took part in individual drills for the first time in three weeks and ran some routes gingerly, but is not yet ready to go full speed. Kelly just began running Sunday and will not rule himself out of this weekend's game. "The way I feel today, it could be a possibility," Kelly said. Starting safety LaRon Landry (hamstring), wide receiver Anthony Mix (ribs), center Justin Geisinger (knee) and tackle Todd Wade (ankle) did not practice, working with the trainers on a side field. Wide receiver Antwaan Randle El (hamstring) and linebacker H.B. Blades (knee) did practice. Tight end Jason Goode (turf toe) is out at least a week. . . . The Redskins released linebacker Rian Wallace, agreeing to an injury settlement, and signed linebacker David Holloway (Maryland) to take his place.

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