Rookie H-back Manuel White broke his left fibula in Thursday's exhibition finale against Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium, which could end his season. White, Washington's fourth-round pick, was struggling to adapt to his new role after playing fullback in college, and, given the long-term nature of the recovery he faces, he could end up on injured reserve.
"I don't know if he'll be out for the season," said director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer, "but he'll be out for a while."
White, who will undergo surgery soon, Tyer said, played sparingly, brought in late in the first half, and broke his leg soon afterward. The Redskins, who finished 1-3 in the preseason after their 26-20 overtime loss to the Ravens, had dabbled with the idea of using him as a short-yardage back as well this season.
The Redskins also played without receiver Taylor Jacobs, who missed the entire preseason schedule with a toe injury, and starting strong safety Matt Bowen, who severely bruised his chest in last week's preseason game and hopes to return to practice Monday. Running back Ladell Betts has a swollen ankle from that game and sat out Thursday as a precaution, although the injury is not severe. Rookie linebacker Robert McCune missed practice this week with a groin strain and did not play, either.
With Bowen out, Ryan Clark started at strong safety after missing two games with a knee injury. Veteran cornerback Walt Harris was back in the lineup as well after missing two games with a quadriceps injury, but rookie Carlos Rogers, who missed the first preseason game, remained the starter alongside Shawn Springs. Harris replaced Springs after the initial drive, as the Redskins took out almost all of their defensive starters after that first series.
Jacobs's injury has been the most troubling of the preseason. The 24 year-old entered camp penciled in as the third receiver, expected to see heavy action, but now could struggle to make the active roster for the Sept. 11 opener against Chicago. James Thrash has moved into Taylor's role, and despite his injury, the Redskins did not show interest in the two prominent receivers to hit the free-agent market this week; Peter Warrick, a former first-round pick, signed with Seattle, while Peerless Price, a former second-round pick, is to meet with several teams.
Taylor Seeks Postponement
The lawyer for safety Sean Taylor has held preliminary discussions with the Florida State Attorney's Office and will seek a postponement of his client's Sept. 12 trial date this week, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
The lawyer, Ed Carhart, is expected to file a motion for the postponement Friday, and a hearing on that motion could take place Sept. 12. Prosecutor Mike Grieco will be out of the country shortly after the 12th, and it will be up to Judge Mary Barzee to decide when to hear the motion for postponement, and then set a new trial date.
Carhart has not completed the deposition process, sources said, and has an interview scheduled for Sept.9, and Grieco is amenable to a new date, suggesting holding the hearing on the 12th. Taylor was arrested for felony assault with a firearm in June in Miami and could face a three-year minimum mandatory sentence if convicted on that charge. Both sides have been agreeable to having the trial postponed until after the season.
Snyder Lends Plane to Royal
Tight end Robert Royal, a New Orleans native, used Redskins owner Daniel Snyder's private jet to transfer family members out of their hurricane-ravaged home town, but did not travel to the area with them and played Thursday. All of his relatives are fine. Snyder has offered the plane to any player or coach who needs it to help friends and family affected by Hurricane Katrina, but Royal is the only one who has done so. Safety Ryan Clark is a Louisiana native, as is quarterback Patrick Ramsey. Ramsey attended Tulane University; the school's team has been transferred out of the area. . . . Receiver Darnerien McCants, who was released by the Redskins on Monday, is expected to sign with Philadelphia Friday. . . . Penalties continue to haunt the Redskins, with 15 for 118 yards Thursday. . . . The Redskins must cut down to a 53-man roster by Saturday afternoon.