Redskins Notebook

Kelly Pushing Hard to Get Ready to Play

Rookie safety Chris Horton, above, fell for a good-natured jest from guard Randy Thomas.
Rookie safety Chris Horton, above, fell for a good-natured jest from guard Randy Thomas. (By John Mcdonnell -- The Washington Post)
Buy Photo
By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 19, 2008

Rookie wide receiver Malcolm Kelly was the last player off the practice field yesterday, spending extra time running routes with wide receivers coach Stan Hixon and trying to get his injured ankle ready to play against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Coach Jim Zorn said Kelly probably would be questionable for Arizona but is pleased with how he is pushing to play. Wide receiver James Thrash (ankle) was limited in practice and also could be a game-time decision.

"He's not 100 percent yet, but it's promising," Zorn said.

Zorn said he hopes both players are able to do more today, the final practice of the week. The Redskins have just five wide receivers on the active roster, and Zorn wants to get Kelly on the field.

"We'll try to have him push through it, and he wants to go in a bad way," Zorn said. "He'll push himself to try to get in there."

Defense Faces a Challenge

Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache said he is well aware of the challenges the Cardinals present on offense. Overall, though, he doesn't expect to be able to trick quarterback Kurt Warner with exotic formations.

"He gets rid of the ball quickly," Blache said. "You're not going to fool him with coverage. He can read the safeties."

Blache said he believes his cornerbacks must by physical at the line of scrimmage and jam wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin before they can get into their routes. Disrupting the timing is imperative.

The defense also must play through injury, with the linebacking corps depleted.

"We're a little beat up there," Blache said.

Khary Campbell (thigh), H.B. Blades (knee), London Fletcher (rib) and Marcus Washington (hip, hamstring) all are nursing ailments. Campbell is getting closer to a return, however, and Fletcher expects to play.

Fletcher was at Redskins Park for meetings but was excused from practice to attend to a "serious family problem," Zorn said. Fletcher will report back to the team tomorrow morning and will play Sunday, Zorn said. The situation is unrelated to Fletcher's minor rib injury.

Blache also said he expects Washington, a starter, back on Sunday.

"I think Marcus will be ready to rock and roll on Sunday," Blache said.

Rookie safety Kareem Moore (knee) is set to make his NFL debut as well, Blache said, after a prolonged absence. Moore will play on special teams against the Cardinals and gradually work into the safety rotation.

That Was a Good One

Guard Randy Thomas had some fun with rookie safety Chris Horton this week. Thomas had Horton convinced over the weekend that the NFC defensive player of the week award came with a $100,000 check.

"He looked like he was trying to spend it already," Thomas said.

So when Horton won the award Tuesday, Thomas convinced him that rookies are exempt from the monetary award but could donate it to charity. With Horton completely confused, Thomas finally told him he was joking.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company