Demetric Evans‘ tenure as Washington’s starting left defensive end lasted less than seven hours - the time between the loss of Phillip Daniels to a season-ending torn ACL on the first day of training camp and the trade for six-time Pro Bowl pick Jason Taylor.
However, Evans benefited from those developments. Before they occurred, right end Andre Carter and linebacker Marcus Washington were the outside rushers on third downs, with Daniels moving inside. However, since Carter, Taylor and Washington are all considered too small to play tackle, Evans now takes the role Daniels can no longer fill.
“I’m excited about it,” said the 28-year-old, who’s entering his fifth year with Redskins. “I went into the offseason planning to compete to play inside on third downs, [focusing] less on the conditioning and running than I usually do. I worked a lot more on getting stronger so I could push the pocket and get upfield.”
Evans has played this role before, particularly in 2005 when he had a career-high three sacks and added one in the playoffs.
“That was my best year,” Evans said. “Of course, I want to start, but every year I’ve been here I’ve played at least 45 percent of the snaps. This year won’t be any different.”
Washington, second on the team with five sacks last season despite missing four games with an ailing hamstring, approves the change in plans.
“I’ll probably be playing more of a linebacker position on third down, but I’ll be there if they need me to rush,” Washington said. “I just want to play, and I know that having Jason will help us out a bunch. Demetric will do fine.”
Rogers continues to rise
Cornerback Carlos Rogers cleared another hurdle Wednesday morning when he practiced for a second straight day. The 2005 first-round draft pick returned to the field for two-a-days Tuesday for the first time since his reconstructive knee surgery in November.
“I expected to have some pain when I woke up this morning because Rocky [McIntosh] did on his first day back [after knee surgery], but I had no pain, no swelling,” Rogers said. “I feel good.”
Rogers’ resiliency impressed coach Jim Zorn. The first-year coach noted that Rogers had bounced up immediately after going down while covering Rock Cartwright on a deep ball Tuesday afternoon and how he had “very sudden” explosion on a pattern Wednesday morning.
Elsewhere on the injury front, running back Ladell Betts rested his bruised thigh, which has tightened up his quadriceps, and rookie receiver Malcolm Kelly tested his ailing hamstring in some team drills as Zorn predicted Tuesday. Guard Jason Fabini returned from the stomach virus that laid him low Tuesday. Guard Randy Thomas and safety Vernon Fox both went down during the morning practice but returned.
Zorn said free safety LaRon Landry (hamstring) is close to returning but neither he nor Betts will play in Sunday’s preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts. Receivers Devin Thomas and Anthony Mix both remained sidelined with pulled hamstrings, and defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery and linebacker Rian Wallace (broken hands) and linebacker H.B. Blades (knee surgery) are out long term. Defensive ends Chris Wilson (calf) and Erasmus James (knee surgery) and running back Eric Shelton (neck) also still are not practicing.
The Redskins will arrive in Canton at 3 p.m. on Saturday, just three hours before Art Monk and Darrell Green get inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.