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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Injury puts Rogers back in the game

Top cornerback DeAngelo Hall (knee) has been ruled out of the Washington Redskins' game on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, and the recently benched Carlos Rogers will start in his place at Lincoln Financial Field, Coach Jim Zorn said after practice Friday at Redskins Park.

"This is that thing that we were talking about last week. Here's another shot" for Rogers, Zorn said. "And he's had a good week of practice."

After struggling this season against double moves, Rogers was benched early in Washington's 27-17 victory over the Denver Broncos in Week 10. Denver wide receiver Brandon Marshall utilized a double move in beating Rogers for a 40-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Wideout DeSean Jackson used a double move while burning Rogers for a 57-yard touchdown in the second quarter of the Eagles' 27-17 win in Week 7. Zorn and secondary coach Jerry Gray were encouraged by how Rogers responded to being demoted in favor of Fred Smoot.

Smoot started in the 7-6 loss in Week 11 to the Dallas Cowboys, but with Hall slowed throughout the week in practice, Rogers worked with the first team. Rogers has started all but three games he has appeared in since the 2006 season, and he played down his return to the starting lineup.

"This ain't nothing new," Rogers said. "I'm not going into the game with an attitude to show you. I know I can play. Obviously, they know it, too. . . . I just got to take advantage of my opportunity. You never know what's going to happen once you get back. All I got to do is just put something good on the film right now." . . .

Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (ankle) is listed as doubtful for Sunday and will be a game-time decision.

Keep an eye on the ball

The Eagles are tied for third (with Pittsburgh) in the NFL in sacks and rank fourth in interceptions. That means that, obviously, pass protection and ball security will be two important keys Sunday. The Redskins' offense, the offensive line in particular, face another challenging situation.

"We definitely have to do our best to protect the football," quarterback Jason Campbell said. "But at the same time, we can't be afraid to make plays. We can't be afraid to have fun and play at a high level.

"With that being said, we understand that we are playing with a defense that moves around a lot and causes a lot of issues and problems. So everybody has to make sure that we are on the same page. If things get a little rough, we can't get frustrated. We have to continue to stay on course."

The Eagles are adept at stripping the ball, Campbell said.

"They do a good job of that," he said. "A lot of teams try to get to the running back, quarterback and the receiver and just try to make the tackle, but these guys try to get the ball out.

"One guy is making the tackle and the other one is trying to get the ball out. So we have to be very cautious of that and make sure we put two hands on the ball. When I'm in the pocket I have to make sure that there are no hands around me."

-- Jason Reid

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