LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — The Redskins have limited time to prepare for Saturday’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, which will serve as the dress rehearsal for the Sept. 7 season opener at Houston.
With practices scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, that doesn’t give injured players much time to heal. Defensive end Barry Cofield missed practice Wednesday with groin soreness, according to Washington coach Jay Gruden.
That is a concern because Cofield had hernia surgery in the offseason. But Gruden said the injury is of minimal concern, for now. Cofield could have participated, but the team chose to keep him out as a precaution.
Meanwhile, running back Chris Thompson participated in individual drills, but not the team portion of practice. His lingering ankle injury has put a roster spot in jeopardy as his competition at running back – Evan Royster, Silas Redd and Lache Seastrunk – continue to take advantage of the extra repetitions.
Gruden said Thompson looked “tentative” on the ankle. His chances of playing in Baltimore remain questionable despite the feeling that he has to play to have any chance of cracking the final 53-man roster.
That’s a Catch-22 if ever there was one. Push it too hard and have the ankle give way again and his chances vanish with the potential the injury lingers into the regular season.
“It’s tough to be honest with you. I was having such a good training camp and had an okay game that first game,” Thompson said. “The guy just fell on me. Unfortunate. It’s rough now just watching the game the other day and being out, leaving it up to the coaches now and basically going day-by-day to see how I feel for this game Saturday. I want to be out there so bad, but I just don’t know at this point.”
Cornerback Tracy Porter left Monday’s preseason game against the Cleveland Browns with a mild hamstring strain, but was also held out of practice. Gruden said he was “questionable to doubtful” for the Ravens game. Linebacker Darryl Sharpton remains out with a high ankle sprain and is “doubtful” for Saturday’s game.
Washington made a roster move by cutting punter Blake Clingan. He had been competing with Robert Malone for that job. Malone isn’t free and clear yet, however. Gruden says there is a chance the team brings in another punter from the outside to compete. The Redskins have punted just three times in two preseason games, making any evaluation of that position complicated.
“Unfortunately, it does,” Gruden said. “You don’t want to punt, but you’d like to punt and get some more looks in a game to evaluate your punters and the guys on the punt team. Unfortunately, we’ve only had three. But we have used the evaluation process throughout practice and in training camp, OTAs. It’s not just the games. The games are very important, but everything leading up to the games is important, too.”
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