The war of attrition that is life in the NFL is already well under way for the Washington Redskins. They entered training camp Monday morning knowing three key defensive players -- linebacker LaVar Arrington, defensive lineman Brendan Noble and cornerback Carlos Rogers -- would not be ready to practice and, as expected this time of year, the injury list is growing.
Coach Joe Gibbs always errs on the side of caution and has devised a camp schedule designed to maximize recovery time. The Redskins do not hold two-a-day sessions on consecutive days or morning practices after an evening practice and the team will have single practice sessions this afternoon and Friday morning, participate in a two-hour scrimmage against the Ravens in Baltimore on Saturday and have Sunday off. Still, minor injuries are already mounting.
Running back Clinton Portis (swollen knee) was the latest high profile player to rest a nagging ailment Wednesday night, and several others are playing through the pain and discomfort that comes with putting the pads back on for physical practices under the scalding summer sun. It is unlikely Arrington, Noble or Rogers, the team's greatest injury concerns at this point, will take part in any drills until next week at the earliest and a set timetable on a pre-season return for any of them is unlikely to come until next week at the earliest.
Arrington, who missed almost all of 2004 because of knee problems, is the injured player Gibbs gets asked about most frequently, but there are no firm answers.
"[The trainers] will probably give us a better idea [of a return date]," Gibbs said, "but I think mostly what it is now is just getting into good shape, and there's more to it than just running. You have to get back to hitting, shoving and pushing and putting real pressure on his leg. So they've got whole series of things they're trying to take him through, and at some point when he's getting closer we'll probably say, 'Hey, give us some kind of a guess there on when he's going to be back.' "
Gibbs has maintained that Arrington, Noble and Rogers should be ready for the start of the regular season.
Redskins Go Under the Lights
Gibbs likes to alter the schedule during camp and practice at night, under the lights, once a week. Last year the team bussed to an Ashburn high school for those practices, but this year they have brought moveable lights to Redskins Park for the Wednesday night practices, which run from 7-9.
"It's a little change for us, and the guys seem to like being under the lights. It's a change of pace and seems to help and I thought we had good work."
They are scheduled to do the same next Wednesday. Those practices are closed to the public.
Quote of the Day
" 'Thank you.' We got a house and some furniture and stuff like that."
-- Cornerback Carlos Rogers on what his parents said to him after signing his first NFL contract and heading to Washington.