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Chamberlain likely to be idle again
When Byron Chamberlain signed a two-year, $1.3million contract with the Washington Redskins on Oct.6, the former Pro Bowl tight end figured his new employer was welcoming him with open arms.
Four weeks later, Chamberlain is trying to figure out why the Redskins are treating him like he doesn’t exist.
After hauling in three passes in a surprising debut and getting the starting nod a week later, Chamberlain was mysteriously made inactive for last Sunday’s game at Dallas. Although coach Steve Spurrier said yesterday he did not know whether Chamberlain would suit up Sunday against Seattle, all signs point to his spending another game in street clothes.
Asked if he expected to be active this week, Chamberlain replied, “I have no earthly idea. I can only control what I control. I don’t make those decisions, so I don’t sweat it and I don’t worry about it.”
Zeron Flemister, who was released following Chamberlain’s signing last month but returned after Robert Royal suffered a season-ending hip injury, once again is in line to start. Rookie Kevin Ware, who was signed off the practice squad last week and played in place of Chamberlain, remains on the active roster and figures to dress again Sunday.
That would seem to leave Chamberlain, a Pro Bowl player with Minnesota in 2001, on the outside. He said he’s become very comfortable with Washington’s offense and is close to being in ideal physical shape after serving a four-game suspension for using ephedra.
“I’ve still got a little work to do, but I’m at a place right now where I feel I’m ready to contribute and play,” Chamberlain said. “Mentally, I think I have a grasp of the offense where I don’t think I’ll be out there with my head swimming.”
That apparently isn’t enough to sway the Redskins coaching staff, which has soured on Chamberlain since his arrival.
“I didn’t know a lot about him before he got here,” Spurrier said. “But he was available. We thought he would help us, but he hasn’t done that much to help us so far. Maybe we haven’t used him much either, who knows?”
Canidate, Simon ready
Washington’s ever-changing running backs corps likely will be composed of Trung Canidate and newly signed John Simon.
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