CARLISLE, PA., AUG. 6 -- Fred Stokes continued to nurse a sore shoulder today and Markus Koch and Darryl Grant continued to sit home because of contract disputes.
So the Washington Redskins, already thin in the defensive line, will start Saturday's preseason opener with sixth-round draft pick Kent Wells at right tackle and either veteran free agent Alonzo Mitz or Plan B signee Pat Swoopes at right end.
In fact, when line coach Torgy Torgeson began counting bodies today, it was easier to count all the people he didn't have. His depth chart lists 11 players, including Stokes, Grant and Koch as well as Plan B signee Jumpy Geathers, who may not be back from knee surgery until October.
Thomas Rayam, a 10th-round pick from Alabama, has missed several days with a sprained ankle, and Plan B signee Milford Hodge is playing despite a broken hand.
So at the moment, Torgeson counts only five completely healthy players. The good news is the left side of the line -- end Charles Mann and tackle Tracy Rocker -- is ready to go. The rest of the news is that the Saturday night game against the Atlanta Falcons in Chapel Hill, N.C., may be interesting.
"Well, the young guys are going to get a lot of work," Torgeson said. "I don't know who'll start at right end. We'll see how it works out this week. Mann will just play enough to stay sharp. It's not an ideal situation, but maybe we'll have a full group back in a few days."
Stokes, the starter at right end, injured his shoulder last Wednesday and said he felt the shoulder pop out of place for an instant. It remained sore today, but he's hopeful there's no serious damage.
More Walking Wounded
Rookie quarterback Cary Conklin took a few snaps, but didn't test an injured right knee that remained extremely sore and may require arthroscopic surgery if it doesn't improve in a few days.
"We're going to keep him off it until we get a feeling about whether or not it's getting any better," Coach Joe Gibbs said. "He can feel a click in there, but the doctors said that may be because of the swelling."
Meanwhile, quarterback Jeff Rutledge took no work and said his right shoulder felt worse than it had on Sunday. "Sometimes the second day after an injury is worse than the first and that's what I'm hoping this is," Rutledge said.
The Redskins say they'll let the swelling and soreness subside then examine him again to see if there's any serious damage. . . .
Cornerback Darrell Green and his wife, Jewell, celebrated the birth of their third child, a 6-pound 8-ounce girl, Joy, on Saturday night. Green, who missed Saturday's scrimmage at Buffalo, returned to practice today. . . . Joe Jacoby put on pads and did some blocking drills against a heavy bag today. Gibbs estimates it'll be another "week to 10 days" before Jacoby returns to practice. . . . Reggie Branch will undergo surgery on his fractured right ankle on Tuesday at Arlington Memorial Hospital.