RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC) — Redskins coach Jay Gruden and his team are ready for training camp, which begins with a Thursday morning practice. But four players will not take part.
Defensive end Jason Hatcher, a top free agent signee this past offseason, had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on June 20. Signed to a four-year, $10.5 million contract, Hatcher was hopeful he’d be ready for the start of camp because Dr. James Andrews, his surgeon, found no major damage.
“It’s old stuff, man. I don’t know a particular play, but I don’t want to go into the season 80 percent,” Hatcher said last month. “I want to be 100 percent, so I can be the best Hatch for this football team, for this defense, so I can help our team get better.”
Instead, Hatcher will be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. He can be activated at any time, and Gruden expects Hatcher to participate in some portion of camp.
Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, fighting for a spot at a crowded position, also starts on the PUP list. He is not yet at full strength following surgery Nov. 21, 2013 to repair torn lateral collateral (LCL) and anterior cruciate (ACL) ligaments.
Hankerson began last year in a competition with former teammate Josh Morgan for the starting spot at the “Z” receiver position and quickly took control of that role. A third-round pick in 2011, Hankerson finished with 30 receptions for 375 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensive tackle Stephen Bowen had microfracture surgery on his right knee on Dec. 4, 2013. He tore the posterior cruciate ligament in that knee during the season, but played through the pain, appearing in 10 games. Gruden made no promises when Hankerson or Bowen would be ready. That remains in the hands of the training staff. Hatcher is likely to return before Hankerson or Bowen.
Offensive lineman Mo Hurt was placed on the PUP list because of subpar conditioning.
“[Hurt] came in a little bit out of shape,” Gruden said. “We’ll just go from there and make sure we monitor his condition moving forward.”
But cornerback/kick returner Richard Crawford (torn LCL and ACL) and cornerback Tracy Porter (torn labrum) have been cleared to participate, according to Gruden.