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Taylor Slated to Return Against Rams

By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 11, 2008

Having recovered well from emergency surgery less than three weeks ago, defensive end Jason Taylor could start in the Washington Redskins' game tomorrow against the St. Louis Rams at FedEx Field.

Taylor, who underwent a procedure Sept. 22 after seriously injuring his left calf, practiced yesterday for the second time this week. Coach Jim Zorn was encouraged that Taylor "moved well" in limited reps and "looks like he's up to speed," saying he expected the 12-year veteran to participate against the Rams.

Informed of Zorn's comments, Taylor said he would prefer to return to the lineup after being sidelined in Washington's previous two games against Dallas and Philadelphia.

"That's good to hear," Taylor said of Zorn's assessment of his performance during practice. When Taylor awoke Thursday after practicing Wednesday, his leg "felt like [he] used it. It's sore, which it should be. It's only been two and a half weeks."

After starting in 133 consecutive regular season games, Taylor, 34, was sidelined because of surgery to relieve acute compartment syndrome, a buildup of pressure in his leg caused by internal bleeding. The injury occurred Sept. 21 when Taylor was kicked during the game against Arizona.

Despite being eager to have Taylor active against the Rams, Zorn was noncommittal about whether Taylor would start at left end. Versatile lineman Demetric Evans has started the past two games opposite right end Andre Carter.

"I don't know about the not-starting part," Taylor said, jokingly. "It doesn't matter to me. The last thing I want to do is mess this team up. The way they've been playing, they've been playing so well."

Tweaks for Brooks

Rookie punter Durant Brooks, who struggled again last week against Philadelphia, performed well in practice and "we're trying to do a few little different things to get him ready for that single kick," Zorn said. "He does really well as he's warming up. You get him warmed up, he starts getting that rhythm and he goes. But for punters, as well as kickers, it's one time, rest. One time, rest. And that's a big difference. That's really what he's been working on this week, trying to get that rhythm going, if there's even a rhythm to that." . . .

Tackle Stephon Heyer (shoulder) will be inactive against the Rams, Zorn said. "He's probably the furthest guy away" among Washington's injured players, Zorn said.

Guard Randy Thomas (knee) and offensive lineman Pete Kendall (knees) are probable. . . . Rookie wide receiver Malcolm Kelly had his surgically repaired knee drained, according to Zorn. . . .

Strong-side linebacker Marcus Washington, hampered by recurring hamstring problems the past two seasons, will be a game-time decision, Zorn said. Washington has missed two games, including last week's victory over Philadelphia. . . . Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (shoulder) will be reevaluated today but is expected to play. . . . Cornerback Shawn Springs, who sat out last week because of a calf injury, will be active. . . . Safety Reed Doughty (back) has been ruled out, Zorn said.

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