Rookie cornerback Carlos Rogers -- the team's top draft pick -- has a stress fracture in his right foot, a more serious injury than previously known, and could miss the start of training camp, which begins July 31.
When Rogers missed Coach Joe Gibbs's final two minicamps, the team apparently believed he was suffering from a minor ankle sprain. But Rogers -- the ninth overall pick, from Auburn, in April's draft -- has been in a walking boot over the past two weeks.
The NFL Network first revealed the severity of Rogers's injury during a broadcast yesterday. According to the network, doctors discovered the stress fracture -- which may have been a pre-existing injury -- after examining Rogers's foot. The 5-foot-11, 199-pound cornerback is expected to have his foot reexamined this week.
The Redskins did not provide an update of Rogers's injury yesterday, and his agent, Todd France, could not be reached to comment.
Rogers originally suffered the injury last month at Auburn University, where he was working out on his own. During minicamp (June 17 to June 19), Rogers -- who last year won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top collegiate cornerback -- said that the injury occurred when he stepped onto an uneven surface. Rogers participated in Washington's final organized team activity on June 16, and aggravated the injury the next day, the first of minicamp. Rogers sat out the following practice.
At the time, Gregg Williams, assistant head coach-defense, praised Rogers for his toughness: "He showed the vets a lot the last two days by practicing under physical duress. Today we made him not practice."
Rogers is behind Walt Harris, a nickel back last season who is projected as the starting cornerback opposite Shawn Springs. But the Redskins envision Rogers eventually replacing former starter Fred Smoot, who departed via free agency to Minnesota. Last Thursday, the Redskins signed cornerback Artrell Hawkins -- a Panthers reserve last season -- to provide depth.
-- Nunyo Demasio