A week after coming off the bench, Washington Redskins rookie Jarvis Jenkins will start at left defensive end against the Indianapolis Colts Friday night.
Last week’s starter, Adam Carriker, is in street clothes.
Jenkins, drafted 41st overall out of Clemson, had a solid first preseason outing in the Redskins’ 16-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. He initially spelled Carriker, and on the next series, relieved right defensive end Stephen Bowen. He started the next series at left end, and also saw action in the team’s “fast nickel” package, in which he and Bowen serve as the only down linemen.
“He’s a powerful guy and he just needs more time on the grass,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said of Jenkins. “The more time both of those guys get, I think [he’ll] get better.”
Another change to the Redskins’ starting defensive lineup comes at middle linebacker, where Keyaron Fox will fill in for London Fletcher, who sat out all of this week’s practices with a hamstring and groin injuries.
Fox spent the last three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2008 and 2009 he played under current Washington linebackers coach Lou Spanos, who held the same position in Pittsburgh, so he is very familiar with what is expected of him. Fox quickly leap-frogged Horatio Blades as Fletcher’s backup at inside linebacker. The eighth-year pro also is a strong special teams contributor.
The other official lineup changes Washington announced are at quarterback, where John Beck will start instead of Rex Grossman – as Shanahan announced earlier this week – and at right cornerback, where Kevin Barnes gets the nod for Josh Wilson, who missed this week’s practice with groin and hamstring injuries.
Kicker Graham Gano’s availability was in question after he left Wednesday’s practice when his wife into labor. But the new father made the trip to Indianapolis and is expected to split kicking duties with Clint Stitser, whom Washington brought in to compete for the job.
Gano last week made all three of his field goal attempts while Shayne Graham was 0-for-2 and was released the next day. Stitser, who was working in real estate while waiting for a call from a team, kicked in five games for the Cincinnati Bengals last season.