- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Washington Redskins defensive tackle Brandon Noble is in uniform but won’t practice for a few more days as he recuperates from a staph infection suffered during arthroscopic surgery in April. Noble, who missed all of 2003 after tearing three knee ligaments that August, fought back to play in every game last year only to be laid low by the infection.

“During the first week of conditioning [in late March], my knee started swelling up on me, so I figured the smart thing to do would be to go in and get a little cleanup and be back for [organized team activities in May],” Noble said of the April26 surgery. “I was trying to do the right thing, and it really backfired on me.”

Noble was on an IV for six weeks until the end of June and said the medication remained in his system for another two or three weeks. Only at that point was he permitted to do anything physical.

“The last two offseasons have been difficult because I’ve been dealing with something extra,” said Noble, 31. “This one isn’t nearly as bad structurally, but this was more limiting because I wasn’t able to do anything because of the medication I was on. I lost a lot of weight, a lot of strength, a lot of conditioning.”

We got the heat

Center Casey Rabach was held out of the morning practice after becoming dehydrated and losing a lot of weight during Tuesday’s session. Receiver Taylor Jacobs was kept inside for that practice with flu-like symptoms and a fever.

Rabach practiced last night. Jacobs was back in uniform but didn’t practice.

Portis sidelined

Star running back Clinton Portis experienced swelling in his knee during the morning session and was held out of the evening practice. Coach Joe Gibbs said he didn’t consider the injury serious. The same was true for 20th-year offensive lineman Ray Brown, who twisted a knee during the evening session.

Top draft pick Carlos Rogers, meanwhile, was in uniform after signing his contract but was placed on the non-football injury list because he suffered his sprained ankle and bone bruise while training at Auburn the week before June’s minicamp.

“It was kinda scary when I first read the CAT-scan and the MRI,” Rogers said. “I was like, ‘Man. My career’s going to be down for a minute. My dream is coming true of becoming an NFL player, but now I’ve got to start off like this.’

“I wanted to get in camp to get back working on my foot with the trainers because I already had a setback. … I’m glad we’ve got preseason. I don’t think it will hurt me too bad. I feel real good after being in a boot for a while and being on crutches. It was a little stiff coming out, but it loosened up. I feel I’ll be back real soon, if not next weekend, the weekend after that.”

Coach Joe Gibbs said an MRI of Rogers’ right foot and ankle yesterday looked good.

Besides Rogers, starter Walt Harris remained sidelined with a pulled quadriceps and veteran backup Artrell Hawkins was also out with a strained hamstring, leaving the Redskins with just five cornerbacks: starter Shawn Springs and inexperienced Ade Jimoh, Garnell Wilds, Eric Joyce and Rufus Brown.

“I feel so bad for those guys because they all have a double load,” Harris said.

Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin missed a second straight practice with a shoulder strain, joining fellow starters Noble, LaVar Arrington (knee, physically unable to perform list) and Harris.

Allen, Black cut

The Redskins cut linebacker Brian Allen, who sprained a knee Tuesday, and receiver Nathan Black. Washington had signed Allen in April as a possible replacement for departed top tackler Antonio Pierce.

Allen, 27, played for St. Louis in 2001 and Carolina the last three years, mostly on special teams. Black also played for Carolina in 2002 before spending 2003 on injured reserve. He was cut by New Orleans in 2004 and played the past two springs in NFL Europe.

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