For the second time in six days, tackle Jon Jansen has suffered a broken thumb, this time breaking his right thumb during the Redskins' 9-7 win over the Chicago Bears yesterday at FedEx Field. Jansen was playing with a cast on his left thumb after breaking it in last Monday's practice. When he gets back on the field for practice this week, he will have the same protection on his other hand.
For Jansen, though, those injuries are a welcome relief from 2004, when he ruptured his Achilles' tendon early in the preseason opener and had to watch Washington slump to a 6-10 record. Jansen helped anchor an offensive line that was much more stout yesterday than it had been for most of 2004, and was pleased to get a victory in his return from the first major injury of his professional or collegiate career.
"It sure feels great to have a win," Jansen said, "and it was a hard one. They're a good defensive front, so we're happy with a win in this one."
Jansen said the cast did not present any major problems, although getting in his stance with both thumbs inoperative could prove trickier. Besides Jansen, quarterback Patrick Ramsey strained his neck, but said he was fine and could have played in the second half. Wide receiver Santana Moss felt tightness in his calf and missed a few plays, but returned shortly thereafter. Place kicker John Hall strained his right quadriceps, and his status for next week remained undetermined.
Wide receiver Taylor Jacobs (toe) was inactive after returning to practice last week from a lengthy absence. Defensive lineman Brandon Noble missed the game with a knee injury he suffered in Thursday's practice. Safety Ryan Clark (knee) and linebacker Chris Clemons (hamstring) were out, but should return to practice this week. Safety Matt Bowen, who missed much of training camp with knee and chest injuries, was active and played in a reserve role late, nearly intercepting a pass.
Arrington Splits Time
Although he didn't start, linebacker LaVar Arrington was featured in many of the defensive packages. However, he did not play nearly as much as he had before suffering knee injuries last season. Arrington started and finished only two full games last season and missed 12 entirely. Arrington, the second overall pick in the 2000 draft, split time with Warrick Holdman at weak-side linebacker yesterday, and was featured on many third-down plays. His run blitz early in the second quarter resulted in stuffing running back Thomas Jones for a two-yard loss, the only tackle he was credited with yesterday.
"I didn't get that many plays," Arrington said, "but I tried to make the most of what I got. Made a couple good plays, a couple bad plays. It's getting there."
Taylor's Expanded Role
The Redskins showed a new wrinkle on offense, putting a defensive playmaker into their goal-line formation.
Twice, safety Sean Taylor lined up as a receiver near the end zone. Washington dressed only four wide receivers yesterday; the fourth, Antonio Brown, is primarily a return specialist and dropped many passes in the preseason. "He's huge with a big wingspan," Coach Joe Gibbs said of Taylor. "It may be something we continue to work with, because he's certainly an unusual guy." . . . Cornerback Carlos Rogers, the ninth overall pick, was featured in many packages as an extra defensive back, but veteran Walt Harris started. . . . Redskins wives and military volunteers collected more than $63,000 in donations for the team's hurricane relief fund.