Carlos Rogers‘ ever-present smile was wider than usual Thursday at Redskin Park after coach Jim Zorn told him he will make his 2008 debut more than a month ahead of schedule in Saturday night’s preseason game at the New York Jets.
Weak side linebacker Rocky McIntosh, who also was held out of the first two preseason games as he recovered from his own knee surgery in December, will play Saturday as well.
“I thought I was going to play in a preseason game, but I didn’t think it would be this soon,” Rogers said. “I thought I would play in the last preseason game and then the [regular-season] opener. I’m ahead of my own schedule.”
Rogers tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee Oct. 28 at the New England Patriots and had surgery in November. The Redskins had said he might start the season on the physically unable to perform list. However, Rogers began training camp July 20 doing individual drills and returned to full practice nine days later. He hasn’t missed any time since.
“I thought it was going to be September, but we put him in these drills and really watch[ed] how his knee [responded],” Zorn said. “There’s been very little that we’ve had to do other than continue the maintenance program, continue to strengthen it. He does things full-speed in practice, so he should be just fine in the game.”
That’s also the feeling on McIntosh, who tore his ACL on Dec. 16 against the New York Giants. Like Rogers, he has practiced for a couple of weeks. But unlike Rogers, McIntosh declined to talk until he plays.
“We are going to play McIntosh [but] very little,” Zorn said. “Four or five plays to get in there and smack it around a little bit but very little so watch fast.”
Zorn said having those two starters back will provide a boost to a defense that’s missing free safety LaRon Landry (hamstring), reserve end Erasmus James (knee) and backup linebacker H.B. Blades (knee).
“It gives us a lift, and it helps us use some packages that we’ve wanted to use,” Zorn said. “We can have the kind of rehearsal we want to be ready for the regular season.”
Although Blades won’t play, he returned to practice Thursday afternoon, 16 days after having a knee scoped. The Redskins initially expected him to miss at least four weeks.
“It had been feeling real well. It hasn’t swelled up on me at all. so I decided to come out here and see how it reacted,” Blades said. “Tomorrow morning will be the big key to see how it is. I’m a competitor. I’m still going to rest, but I want to do things.”
Defensive end Jason Taylor will start and play just a few snaps as he continues to deal with plantar fasciitis in his left foot that has bothered him since December.
Devine to start second half
Quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Todd Collins will split the first half against New York, with Campbell playing only a couple of series.
Derek Devine will start the second half, with rookie Colt Brennan finishing the game. That’s not a knock on Brennan, though his performance slid considerably against the Bills after a rousing premiere against the Colts. The former Hawaii star remains a heavy favorite to win the No. 3 job over Devine, who is in his second NFL camp.View Entire Story
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