RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC) – Redskins running back Chris Thompson sat out practice on Saturday with an ankle injury and could miss next Monday’s preseason game against the Cleveland Browns.
Thompson, 23, is in a fight to earn a roster spot against 2014 draft pick Lache Seastrunk, reserve Evan Royster and college free agent Silas Redd. Alfred Morris and Roy Helu have the top two spots at that position locked up.
But durability has always been an issue for the 5-foot-8, 193-pound Thompson. That was the case in college at Florida State and during his rookie year with the Redskins, cut short by a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
“It’s very minor but we’re going to monitor him, so I don’t have any idea,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said. “If the swelling goes down quickly, [Thompson] might be ready for Cleveland. We’ll see.”
That throws a wrinkle into the fight for the final spots at running back. Seastrunk (12 carries, 63 yards) and Redd (nine carries, 45 yards) had big games on Thursday in a 23-6 preseason win over the New England Patriots. Thompson managed just five yards on four carries.
Helu had a big game on Thursday (five carries, 14 yards, two receptions, 23 yards). But he worked with Thompson on the sidelines during practice thanks to a mild knee sprain. Gruden listed Helu as day-to-day.
In other injury news: Wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who missed the Patriots game with an ankle injury, and Pierre Garcon, who sat out with a hamstring strain, were limited at practice on Saturday. Jackson took part in individual work with the other receivers, but not in the team portion of practice. Garcon took some repetitions during the team periods.
Tight end Jordan Reed missed Saturday’s practice with an illness, according to Gruden. Fellow tight end Mike Caussin, a West Springfield High graduate, is a long shot to make the roster. A swollen knee won’t help his cause. Gruden hopes he is available to return for the Cleveland game, too, on Aug. 18.
Defensive end Stephen Bowen (micro-fracture surgery) and wide receiver Leonard Hankerson (knee surgery) are both increasing their off-field activity, but neither is ready yet to practice for the first time during training camp.
“I really don’t. That’s something Larry [Hess] will have to talk to you about, but they are working their tail off and you can see progress,” Gruden said. “Every day I see Leonard out there working hard, running routes, with Larry on the side doing everything he can in his power to get ready. Whether it’s going to be for the season opener, whether it’s later, we don’t know yet.”
Added Gruden: “Same with Bowen. I talked to him today, he said he felt as good as he’s ever felt in a long time, so that’s progress that he’s making. He’s got to get out there, do the drills and the key is after he does the drills, what happens. Is there is soreness? Does it swell back up?”
Safeties Phillip Thomas and Ryan Clark, both dealing with hamstring injuries, missed Saturday’s practice. Thomas hopes to return for the Cleveland game. The team sees no need to rush Clark back.
“Anybody who’s pulled a hamstring, you never know, but Ryan has the treatment that he needs,” Gruden said. “He’s getting all the work done that he has to get done and he’ll be ready, I think, sooner than later. But you just never know with those things. Then when you come back, you’ve just got to make sure you take it slow and make sure it’s totally healed before you go full speed. We’re going to be very safe with him.”
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