Carlos Rogers knew he could not practice, or even sprint for that matter, but on the evening of his first full day of NFL training camp, he could not resist suiting up in his uniform.
Rogers, the ninth overall pick and the last of the Washington Redskins' draft picks to sign, is working back from an ankle injury, but enthusiastically watched last night's practice from the sideline in his jersey and pants.
"Putting on my uniform felt good," Rogers said. "I ain't supposed to come out in my pants, but I came out in my pants just to see how it feels. It's really good to be back with my team."
Rogers, a cornerback, originally sprained his ankle while working out with college teammates in Auburn and missed much of minicamp. A stress fracture was also found in his foot, and, although surgery was not necessary, Rogers was placed in a stabilizing boot.
"It was kind of scary when I first read the CAT scan and the MRI," Rogers said. "I was like, 'man, my career is going to be down for a minute. I hate that.' "
He remained in the boot until Sunday, and, upon reporting for camp, underwent an MRI that "looked excellent," according to Coach Joe Gibbs. Rogers fell behind in conditioning -- he was limited to upper-body work and lightly riding a stationary bike -- and said he hoped to be able to participate in drills next week and return to practice fully the week after that.
His lower leg was stiff after being in the boot, but that is fading, he said. "I'm glad I've got this preseason where I can get a little game time," Rogers said, "and then start the season off. I'll be back soon."
The Redskins are short on cornerbacks right now with Walt Harris and Artrell Hawkins also out with minor injuries. "We're definitely thin at corner," Gibbs said, "but we haven't talked about going out and getting anybody else."
Under the Shotgun
Gibbs's decision to put the shotgun formation back in Washington's playbook took many by surprise, including former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. Theismann, an ESPN broadcaster, was at Redskins Park yesterday and recalled when Gibbs discarded the shotgun. Theismann said he was sacked repeatedly during one stretch and played an entire game in the shotgun in a loss to Chicago.
During the following preseason, the Redskins faced a third-and-long situation, went into the shotgun and the snap sailed over Theismann's head. "I walk to sidelines and go, 'Coach, don't worry about it,' " Theismann said. "He said, 'I'm not worried about it. We're not running the shotgun anymore. No shotgun. Done. Over with. Out of here.' So it took 20 years for Joe Gibbs to say, 'You know what? The shotgun might be a part of our offense again.' "
Theismann believes Washington will improve upon its offensive ranking of 30th last season.
"The question this year will be: Has Joe adapted to calling plays at a comfort level where he feels like he can get it done?" Theismann said. "With the Washington Redskins, the question is, yeah [quarterback] Patrick Ramsey is the new starter, but how will Joe Gibbs adapt? And he wouldn't want the pressure any place else."
Portis Has Sore Knee
Running back Clinton Portis missed the evening practice because of a sore knee. Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said he could return to the field today. . . . Safety Sean Taylor, who began training camp working with the second- and third-team defenses, was back with the first team in many drills yesterday. . . . With defensive lineman Cornelius Griffin out with a shoulder strain, Ryan Boschetti and Cedric Killings have taken his spot. . . . The Redskins have released receiver Nathan Black and linebacker Brian Allen.