Some notes, quotes and observations from Monday at Redskins Park:
DE Jarvis Jenkins has accepted the fact his rookie season is lost to a torn right ACL, and he’s determined to move forward.
“There definitely was a grieving process, but after the first 24 hours I just had to face it,” he said. “There’s nothing I can do about it now. I can’t feel sorry for myself. I’ve just got to go back to work.”
That means doing strengthening exercises in preparation for ligament reconstruction surgery on Wednesday or Thursday.
“He already is working on leg strength,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “That gives you an idea of the mindset of the guy we’re dealing with.”
His absence will hurt the Redskins’ defense, but Jenkins is determined to minimize the damage it does to his development. He’ll attend team meetings all season to make sure he’s comfortable with the scheme when he resumes football activities sometime next year.
Jenkins has never had a knee injury before, so he consulted with former Clemson teammate Da’Quan Bowers and former Redskins teammate Robert Henson about what to expect from the rehabilitation process.
“It’s going to be tough sometimes, but I’ve just got to block that out,” he said. “I can handle pain, so that’s the main part I’m not worried about.”
Those of you who watched the ESPN telecast of Thursday’s preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens might remember this statement from analyst, a Super Bowl champion coach, John Gruden:
“I’ve seen enough. I’m going on record tonight: That’s the starting quarterback of the Washington Redskins. I like the way he moves around. The guy really looks sharp to me. I’m going on record. I’m going with Beck.”
You can imagine the Redskins’ two quarterbacks reacted differently to that one.
John Beck: “It means a lot because I know he’s someone I respect as a coach. It’s nice to know that there’s people that would believe because for years I was behind the scenes just doing my work so that there would be a day that someone would believe the way I felt.”
Rex Grossman, meanwhile, handled it with aplomb: “I’m glad I’m not playing for John Gruden,” he said to laughter from the media.
Beck and Grossman both have kept things cordial and positive during this competition. It’ll be interesting to see how the loser reacts, but both have maintained a team-first approach all along. I’d be fairly shocked if the loser publicly lashes out.
Mike Shanahan allowed for the possibility that he’ll announce the starting quarterback before Sunday, Sept. 11—the day the Redskins play the New York Giants.
“I want to take the whole time or at least close to it to evaluate every day,” he said. “It’s very close right now. I think everybody has been pretty impressed with both guys against some pretty good defenses. We’ve got a few more practices and a game to look at it. Then we’ll make a decision if we’ll say something before the game or go all the way to the game.”
At least one player wants a clear cut decision ahead of time.
“It’ll be a lot better once it gets down to one,” WR Jabar Gaffney said. “Then we can concentrate on that and that will be over with. Right now it’s good competition. It’s been making both of them play at a better rate.”
And if Shanahan appoints the starter by the first practice of Giants Week on Wednesday, Sept. 7, it’ll be difficult keeping that a secret up until game time.
SS LaRon Landry (hamstring) did not practice Monday, but he remains optimistic that he’ll be able to play against the Giants in Week 1. Just don’t mention the possibility of him remaining on the physically-unable-to-perform list through the start of the regular season.
“Don’t even ask me that,” he said. “Definitely no. Not going to happen. Why should I? I think I’ll be ready. I’m making a lot of positive strides, and I think I’ll be ready for Sept. 11.”
Landry would have to miss the first six games of the regular season if he does not come off the PUP list by the first game. Shanahan, however, said he expects to bring Landry off the list in time because a hamstring injury doesn’t take six weeks to heal.
Landry is eager to start practicing, but it will be a while before the injury is completely behind him. “Mentally you’re kind of nervous that it’s going to tweak again,” he said. “That’s what all the rehab is for, just to start thinking positive about the injury and that your able to sustain anything you’re capable of doing.”
The Redskins must reduce their roster to 80 players by 4 p.m. Tuesday. They have to cut eight players and officially put DE Jarvis Jenkins on injured reserve.
The evaluations have been condensed because of the lost offseason, but Shanahan feels prepared for the first cut. “Going from 90 to 80 is not hard,” he said.
RB Ryan Torain (broken left hand) practiced and is expected to play Thursday against Tampa Bay. He has missed all three preseason games. Shanahan has a good idea of what Torain can do because he started eight games last season, “but you’ve got to stay healthy too,” Shanahan said. “You have setbacks, you’ve still got to come back and play well.”
I’d be surprised if RB Tim Hightower plays on Thursday. There’s nothing left for him to show. No point risking injury to him, and they also have to give Torain reps to make up for some lost time.
WR Malcolm Kelly (sore right foot) is not a candidate for injured reserve. “He doesn’t have that type of injury,” Shanahan said. “I hope he’s back in the next few days.”
There isn’t much to say here that hasn’t already been said. The clock is ticking.
KR/PR Brandon Banks (left knee) practiced Monday and will play Thursday if he knee doesn’t react badly in the meantime. TE Chris Cooley (left knee) did not practice.