Injuries keeping Redskins’ Malcolm Kelly from competing for job

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Malcolm Kelly feels more than a little bit snakebitten. The injury bug has bitten the Washington Redskins wide receiver hard and shows no signs of letting up.

“It’s more than frustrating. More than frustrating,” Kelly said Tuesday. “That’s the biggest thing because it’s not like you can go out there and compete. You don’t have a chance from the beginning because your body is just not letting you do something.”

Kelly’s injury-riddled history since the Redskins drafted him in the second round in 2008 has been well-documented. Kelly’s word for it: crazy.

After signing a four-year deal worth a reported $3.36 million, $1.65 guaranteed, Kelly played in just five games in 2008 with a knee injury. Kelly did appear in all 16 games in 2009, but then missed the 2010 season on injured reserve.

“It’s crazy,” Kelly said. “At first, when I first messed up my knee my first year, I knew that I had knee problems growing up, so that really wasn’t such a big deal. But then to come back in with a hamstring last year, I thought, ‘Well, you know, everybody has hamstring injuries.’ I thought, OK, whatever.”

“But then to go on IR for a hamstring was a whole other story. Then to come back this year and to have a foot injury,” Kelly paused, shaking his head, “it’s just frustrating.”

It also doesn’t leave coach Mike Shanahan much to go on as he looks to pare down the roster. The Redskins have to be at 75 players by Aug. 30.

“He’s still pretty sore,” Shanahan said. “He’s going to get an MRI and another X-ray within the next few days. Since the report was negative, they’re going to give him another X-ray just in case.”

Of Kelly’s chances to make the team, Shanahan didn’t mince words.

“It’s hard to make the club when you’re not practicing,” Shanahan said.

But Kelly says he stays positive by refusing to focus on the things he can’t control. He is committed to his rehab routine, which consists of riding a stationary bike, strengthening exercises, and the use of a bone stimulator that straps around the foot and stimulates the blood flow.

“It’s just a situation where I have to really monitor it,” Kelly said. “If I go out there too early, I’ll set myself back. I’m just doing what the doctors tell me and not trying to rush it.

“That was part of the problem last year — I tried to rush it and it set me back more. I have to make sure I don’t do that this year.”

Kelly will not travel with the team Friday, when the Redskins face the Indianapolis Colts in their second preseason game, but hasn’t ruled out playing in either of the final two preseason games, Aug. 25 against the Baltimore Ravens and Sept. 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Fully aware that his injuries will likely cost him a spot on the Redskins final roster, Kelly is taking the future one rehab step at a time.

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