Some notes, quotes and observations from Friday at Redskins Park:
TE Chris Cooley said he is “concerned” that media were informed he had fluid drained from his surgically-repaired left knee earlier in the week. Coach Mike Shanahan told reporters on Thursday about the procedure.
Cooley wishes the news had not been publicized “because everyone thinks it’s drained, that’s a huge deal,” he said. “No, that’s not a big deal. Guys get things drained all the time.”
As for the knee itself: “It’s not changing the way I play,” Cooley said. “It’s not all of a sudden worse because that happened.
“I’m fine. It’s something that I’m managing and it’s something that I deal with every day. I’m able to practice every day. I’m a firm believer in practice making you better, so I get myself ready to practice and play every day.”
Cooley was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday, according to the team’s official injury report.
He missed the entire preseason because of the knee but has played in all four regular season games. Shanahan was asked whether Cooley’s knee has affected his play.
“There’s no question about it,” he said. “It takes time to get back into football shape. When you do have recurring problems with your knee, it’s never easy, but he’s very tough and he’s worked through it and he’s helped our football team win.”
Cooley, meanwhile, feels OK about his play to this point. TE Fred Davis leads the Redskins with 248 receiving yards, compared to Cooley’s 66, but Cooley also has contributed in as a blocker.
“Am I playing the way I’d like to play? Probably not,” Cooley said. “But in my opinion, I’m still playing extremely consistent in the role I’m being asked to play. I can’t be upset about that.
“Consistency-wise, this is the best I’ve played on a percentage level at any point in my career. I know I don’t have [more than] seven catches and I know I’m not adding to that part of the offense, but I played fullback—a position I haven’t played—two weeks ago and we rushed for 200 yards against St. Louis. So yeah, I’m happy with it.”
CB DeAngelo Hall (knee) was added to the injury report after Shanahan spoke to reporters. Shanahan provided no indication that Hall was injured.
Hall, WR Anthony Armstrong (hamstring), RB Tim Hightower (shoulder) and CB Phillip Buchanon (neck) are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
From Philadelphia, DE Trent Cole is out, as expected. LT Jason Peters (hamstring) is out, and backup LT King Dunlap, who started last week, is questionable with a back injury.
If Dunlap can’t go, starting RT Todd Herremans would move to the left side and Winston Justice would start on the right. Herremans hasn’t played left tackle since 2006, and Justice hasn’t played at all since offseason knee surgery.
Needless to say, that could be a huge advantage for OLBs Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan.
QB John Beck helped simulate Eagles QB Michael Vick on the scout team this week. The legend continues!
“Even though he doesn’t have the speed like Vick, he gives us a good look,” Shanahan said.
FS Kareem Moore (knee) is eligible to begin practicing with the Redskins on Tuesday. The Redskins then have until Nov. 8 to activate him from the physically-unable-to-perform list or else he’s ineligible to practice or play the rest of the year, according to the NFL.
“It’s sure nice to have a guy like that to hopefully be able to play,” Shanahan said. “He’s made some strides. You’d have to test him out for sure, but he’s looking pretty good.”
Moore’s recovery from offseason knee surgery is on schedule, Shanahan added, but Oshiomogho Atogwe’s presence eliminates any rush for Moore to return.
The story in Friday’s paper was an update on rookie WR Leonard Hankerson’s progress. The third-rounder hasn’t been active for a game, and he’s at the bottom of a seven-receiver depth chart.
In talking to Hank, it’s clear that he’s trying to stay positive in a situation he isn’t thrilled about. He’s surrounded by supportive coaches and teammates, which helps. Coaching assistant Richmond Flowers is helping him stay focused on the day-to-day journey.
It’s becoming clearer to me as the season progresses that the Redskins need an elite receiver to take the offense to new levels of productivity. That Hank can’t get on the field in light of that need isn’t particularly reassuring, but he’s also a rookie who had no offseason to fully grasp the complexity of the Redskins’ route combinations and, in general, life as a pro. We simply have to wait to see what he offers. He said he’s catching the ball better during practices, and we can only take him at his word at this point.
The Redskins’ media corps is leaning one way regarding predictions for Sunday’s game.