- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 22, 2000


First an injury limited his opportunity. Then his opportunity slipped away.

So went the story of rookie safety Quincy Sanders, the Washington Redskins' fifth-round draft pick. Sanders failed to capitalize on limited reps after suffering a hamstring injury in minicamp, and yesterday he became the second Redskins draftee to be released.

"I think the hamstring set me back a little," Sanders said. "Other guys got a chance to get looked at in situations; I was on the sideline and didn't get a chance to get looked at."

Said coach Norv Turner: "Most guys have an equal chance from the beginning. You get so many reps; the guys that end up making the most of their reps get a few more. The guys that don't get a few less."

Sanders, who received a $91,000 signing bonus, has good size (6-foot-1, 204 pounds) but questionable mobility. His waiver follows that of seventh-round wide receiver Ethan Howell, who was let go July 23 after also being limited by a hamstring injury.

Sanders, 23, said he would take a few days off to visit his grandfather in Chicago, then start trying to impress other NFL teams.

"I'm pretty sure a lot of teams are interested a lot of teams were interested during the draft," Sanders said. "Hopefully, they have some spots and I can make myself a home."

B. Johnson misses practice

Starting quarterback Brad Johnson missed practice with an inflamed toe. He is considered day-to-day but is expected to play the first quarter of Friday's preseason finale against Pittsburgh as scheduled.

The skin between Johnson's fourth and fifth toes is cracked and affected by cellulitis. Doctors recommended that he take antibiotics and stay off his feet. He was not at Redskin Park yesterday.

Wilkinson says he's doubtful

Starting defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson expressed some doubt that he will play against Carolina in the Sept. 3 opener. Wilkinson is out with a sprained knee he suffered Aug. 11 against New England.

"My goal is to start that game, [but] I'm working against time right now," Wilkinson said. "I've done every treatment I can possibly do. It's coming back. Hopefully, by the end of the week I'm running around a little bit in agility drills to see how tight it is."

Trainer Bubba Tyer reiterated that Wilkinson is being evaluated week-to-week.

European vocation?

Shortly after being placed on injured reserve for a second straight season, offensive tackle Derek G. Smith was speculating that his spring might be spent in NFL Europe.

"I think they're going to want me playing somewhere," said Smith, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee after the preseason opener at Tampa Bay.

Smith, who missed his rookie year with a torn left ACL, welcomed the idea of playing overseas.

"I'd definitely like to," he said. "I just want to play. It was frustrating to get a little taste of playing for two weeks, then get re-injured."

Player personnel director Vinny Cerrato declined comment. Said Turner: "Those are decisions made in January and February. The most important thing right now is to get Derek healthy."

Extra points

Kicker Brett Conway believes he is "right on schedule" to be kicking without discomfort in the opener. However, team sources said either Clay Rush or Peter Elezovic, both released yesterday, could be re-signed Friday if Conway is limited. Punter Rodney Williams also could do kickoffs for Conway… .

Defensive end Nolan Harrison (knee), cornerback Tyronne Drakeford (hamstring) and rookie cornerback Lloyd Harrison (ankle) all returned to practice after extended time out. Drakeford and Lloyd Harrison are likely to play Friday night; Nolan Harrison is a bit more unlikely… .

Starting linebacker Shawn Barber (swollen knee) missed practice. He is day-to-day… . Starting right guard Keith Sims appears to be recovered from his mild knee sprain. Yesterday he did individual drills but sat out team drills… .

Fullback Mike Sellers (shoulder), offensive tackle Andy Heck (knee), tight end James Jenkins (back), running back Chad Dukes (knee) and cornerback Tim Denton (toe) were at practice but did not participate… . Wide receiver Derrius Thompson, who last week underwent surgery to reattach a thumb ligament, now has a small hard cast.

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