Six practices, five starters injured.
If this rate of attrition continues, Joe Gibbs and staff may be forced to cancel the Washing ton Redskins’ training camp altogether. Star running back Clinton Portis sat out a second straight day on Wednesday, reporting continued symptoms of tendinitis in his right knee. He was joined by fellow starters Santana Moss, Randy Thomas, Marcus Washington and Chris Samuels, all of whom were either held out of practice completely or reduced to limited work. Granted, early August injuries are not necessarily harbingers of doom and gloom. In Portis’ case, in particular, the injury may be much ado about nothing.
The outspoken homerun threat has always made public his disdain for the preseason. Just days a go, Portis told reporters he’d prefer to make Ashburn a resort, rather than a practice facility. Factor in the nature of tendinitis – there’s no real cure other than rest – and there’s a chance “CP” may have simply found a hall pass to avoid class. Instead of getting hit by defenders Wednesday, Portis could be found on the sidelines riding a stationary bike for much of practice. Of course, that balky knee could also be a legitimate ailment worthy of much consternation. These injuries can be tricky to absolve, and everyone knows the importance of healthy le gs when it comes to a running back.
Moss falls into the same category. Hampered by groin and hamstring injuries throughout his career, the speedy receiver was held out of practice Wednesday after reporting g soreness in his leg. Trainer Bubba Tyer said the injury appeared to develop from Moss overcompensating for a lingering groin injury. As long as his wheels are ready to roll sooner rather than later, Moss’ early absences will be for gotten quickly. Similarly, right guard Thomas and strongside linebacker Washington are being brought along slowly by staff after offseason knee and hip surgeries, respectively. Washington reportedly tweaked his hip during a recent practice, leading to his recent sideline stay, while Thomas’ work has been limited and closely monitored throughout camp.
Samuels, the Pro Bowl left tackle responsible for protecting quarterback Jason Campbell’s blindside, suffered a sprained knee ligament on Monday. After initially fearing the worst – a torn ACL that could have ended his season before it truly began – Skins staffers are now publicly saying Samuels might miss less than a month. In each case, Redskins personnel are downplaying potential risks, instead proclaiming an effort to play it safe in the preseason with players that are undoubtedly crucial to regular season success.
As is the case with most preseason story lines, only time will tell how important these injuries are to a team looking to rebound from a 5-11 campaign.