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Taylor: 'I'm Nowhere Near 100 Percent Yet'

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 11, 2008

Redskins defensive end Jason Taylor said yesterday he is not close to being healed as he nurses an ailing knee. After hurting his right knee during the preseason, Taylor played in the Redskins' season-opening loss to the New York Giants last week, but his impact was minimal.

"I'm nowhere near 100 percent yet," he said.

Taylor, 34, was asked when he thinks his explosiveness might come back. "I'm not there yet, but there's no excuse," he said. "I've got to find a way to make plays."

Taylor, who has started in 131 consecutive regular season games, said switching sides on the defensive line has not been a major factor and said of the transition, "I'm getting there."

He said the run defense suffered from poor tackling and guys "trying to do too much."

The Redskins hoped he would be a difference maker when they traded for him July 20, but it could be a while before his health is where he would like it to be. He said he is optimistic, though, and that the 10 days between the first two games would help.

As for the knee overall, Taylor said, "I'm not as concerned about it as some people."

Saints Without Colston

Shawn Springs said the New Orleans Saints still have ample options on offense even with wide receiver Marques Colston out. Colston is scheduled to miss four to six weeks after surgery on his left thumb, which he injured in the Saints' 24-20 season-opening victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Springs praised New Orleans Coach Sean Payton for using his players in ways best suited to their skills. Colston excelled making plays on intermediate routes in traffic, and Springs looks to tight end Jeremy Shockey to fill in.

"Now I think they might use Shockey more in that role [Colston] played," Springs said.

Springs said he is healthy again after missing last week with a bruised calf. He said it felt as if he had been "whacked across the leg with a 2-by-4" but is feeling good now.

On defense, the Saints will be without tackle Hollis Thomas, who was placed on injured reserve yesterday with a torn triceps, the Associated Press reported. . . .

Carlos Rogers, coming off major knee surgery, ended up playing 70 snaps last Thursday, but held up well. Springs was "praying" Rogers wouldn't suffer a setback in his absence and said he is eager to rejoin him on the field Sunday. . . .

Linebacker Marcus Washington said he probably will be limited in practice this week while dealing with hip problems, but expects to play.

He was used sparingly on third down against the Giants and said he is not part of the top nickel unit, whether healthy or not. Washington said he was not given a reason for the change, but figured it's "because of the other guys we have who can play in nickel." . . .

Cornerback Fred Smoot did little in practice and did not participate in team drills. . . .

Tight end Chris Cooley sat out practice with a sore quadriceps but said he will play Sunday. Cooley said he felt the discomfort yesterday morning and didn't want to risk aggravating anything.

"I felt like my best option was to rest it today," he said.

No. 2 on Forbes List

The Redskins are the second-most valuable franchise in the NFL, according to the latest rankings by Forbes. Owner Daniel Snyder's franchise is worth $1.53 billion, behind the Dallas Cowboys, who are valued at $1.61 billion.

Snyder purchased the team and its stadium for $800 million in 1999.

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