by Grant PaulsenBy Grant Paulsen

Malcolm Kelly’s injury-riddled run with the Washington Redskins is over.

The Redskins released Kelly as part of the team’s first batch of cuts to get down to the NFL’s mandated 80-man roster by the close of business on Tuesday.

Kelly, who missed 27 games and played in 21 during his three seasons in Washington, hadn’t practiced since Aug. 4. He’s been nursing a sore foot that has kept him out of all three of the Redskins’ preseason games, a year after he missed the entire preseason with a hamstring before being placed on Injured Reserve.

“The writing has been on the wall,” Kelly said shortly before being informed of his release. “This was going to happen. I’ll be okay.”

A big receiver (6-foot-4) with terrific hands and solid speed, Kelly has an ideal wide receiver’s frame, which NFL offensive coordinators salivate over. But he couldn’t stay healthy and he couldn’t get on the field.

He played in five games without making a single start as a rookie in 2008. He played in 16 games, starting 10, in his sophomore season, and he posted his first 100-yard performance in Washington’s final game of the season. But he hasn’t been back on the field for a single play since.

Kelly’s totals with the Redskins aren’t pretty. He played in 21 games, made 28 catches, compiled 365 receiving yards and never scored a touchdown.

Because the former Oklahoma standout was injured when Washington released him, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said he’ll receive an injury settlement. Still just 24 years-old, Kelly would like to attempt to latch on with another team. But he knows that isn’t going to happen if he’s not able to practice, which he hasn’t done in nearly a month at Redskins Park.

For now, Kelly’s plan will be the same as it was for the better part of his three-plus years with the Redskins. He’ll try to get healthy enough to knock his detractors.


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