Redskins' Rookie Wideouts Could Get More Involved

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Washington Redskins envision rookie WR Malcolm Kelly, who has had knee problems all season, helping at some point in the final six games. Rookie WR Devin Thomas has displayed encouraging signs in practice, coaches and players said recently, and he might become more involved in upcoming game plans as well.

Kelly and Thomas could help the passing game become more productive, QB Jason Campbell said.

"Those guys definitely have talent, and we need them, so you just keep hoping they come along," Campbell said. "Those are guys we were counting on, but you just have to keep encouraging them. With Malcolm, just from what we saw [back in training camp], you know he could help us in the red zone.

"And Devin is a guy who could definitely help, especially with Santana [Moss] having that hamstring. But even if everyone is healthy, you still have to play within the offense. You don't take chances that aren't there just to have those stats. If the opportunities are there [to throw touchdowns], then you take 'em. If not, you wait."

On a key third-down play with less than seven minutes left in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 14-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Thomas was the primary option. Campbell and Thomas were unable to connect on the play, the Redskins failed on fourth down, and the Cowboys ran out the clock.

Despite Washington's poor finish, the fact Thomas was heavily involved down the stretch could be a good sign for him.

"It definitely is," Thomas said. "The fact that they're coming to me, I've got to show everybody I'm ready now. I've got to be perfect."

ยท WINNING UNDER PRESSURE: With consecutive losses, the Redskins are among many teams in a muddled NFC playoff mix. Among teams not leading divisions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the best record at 7-3. The Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons are 6-4. The Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints each have five victories.

It could take at least 10 victories to earn a wild-card berth, and even a 10-win team could miss the postseason.

"For some reason, when we face adversity, we play great ball, so hopefully that's the way it's going to work out," FB Mike Sellers said. "We always tend to make it harder on ourselves. We're sitting nice, and we do things that work against us. Once we get our back up against the wall, we tend to play better."

A four-game winning streak last season resulted in a wild-card berth. The Redskins face Seattle on Sunday at Qwest Field.

-- Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora

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