Because he had to play extensively in the preseason to make the roster and because an injury on the defensive line thrust him into the starting lineup in Week 3, Washington Redskins rookie Kedric Golston could feel his legs getting heavy against Indianapolis in late October.
Fortunately for him, he got through the game, and the bye week followed.
"Toward the middle of the season before the bye week, I could feel things weighing down on me, but since then, I've felt pretty good," Golston said yesterday at Redskin Park.
Golston is one of five rookies on the Redskins' active roster. The season, including training camp, is in its 21st week, much longer than the college football season the rookies were accustomed to.
Golston (11 starts) has played the most of the group, which includes linebacker Rocky McIntosh, defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery, safety Reed Doughty and receiver Mike Espy. All but Espy have spent the entire season on the 53-man roster.
"If I would have hit that [rookie] wall, it would have been a couple games ago," Doughty said. "But that's when I started playing, so I had to refocus and had something to really practice well for."
Said Espy: "I hit a wall pretty early, like the ninth week. After that, I got rejuvenated. Moving to the [active] roster was probably part of what did it. It gave me a new look at things."
Doughty said his season actually started soon after he finished playing for Northern Colorado last November.
"I never had a time to heal after last season, and that's what every rookie talks about," he said. "The second I got done with the season, I started training for the [scouting] combine. And then as soon as I got drafted, I came right here for rookie camp and offseason workouts."
The rookies have combined to play in 42 games. Golston leads the group with 39 tackles.
Jansen feeling better
Right tackle Jon Jansen, who missed the New Orleans game Sunday, did not practice yesterday and remains questionable with a calf injury.
"I hope I can play. That's how I'm preparing," he said. "My goal last week was to rest it and get the swelling out so I could play [Sunday at St. Louis]. The swelling's down, so I'm hoping I can get out there. I had damaged it enough that I couldn't play, and it was a decision that the trainers and I made because it wouldn't have been smart to go."
Center Casey Rabach (hand), left tackle Chris Samuels (knee), receiver James Thrash (birth of child) and linebackers Marcus Washington (knee) and Lemar Marshall (knee) also missed practice. Rabach, Samuels and Marshall are probable; Washington is questionable. Washington said he bruised his knee late in the New Orleans game but is optimistic he can play.
Safety Adam Archuleta played his first five NFL seasons with St. Louis before signing with the Redskins in March. But his homecoming won't be a big deal because he hasn't played a defensive snap in the last six games.
"I think Adam has been around and understands things, and he'll handle it really well," coach Joe Gibbs said. "I would think he would want to play hard going back home."
Said cornerback Shawn Springs: "When you leave a team, you obviously want to go back and show your worth. I know Adam wants to play against his ex-teammates. He feels he knows the guys and wants to shine."
Archuleta said last week he would not be doing any interviews about his days with the Rams, which included a Super Bowl start after the 2001 season.
The Redskins signed offensive lineman Sam Wilder to their practice squad after Nick Steitz was signed to San Francisco's active roster. Wilder was on Carolina's practice squad earlier this season. ...
Former Redskins running back Stephen Davis (hand) is probable for Sunday's game. In his first year with St. Louis, Davis has 33 rushes for 160 yards and 11 receptions for 80 yards.