- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 28, 2001

Rash of injuries still keeping starters from playing together

The Washington Redskins won't finish the preseason with either starting lineup intact. Injured cornerback Champ Bailey and offensive tackle Chris Samuels won't play against the New England Patriots on Thursday.

Bailey suffered a bruised foot against Cleveland on Friday, while Samuels will miss his second game with a sprained back. Samuels' absence prevents the starting offense from ever playing together during the preseason. Bailey is sidelined along with defensive end Bruce Smith, who has missed the entire preseason with a sprained shoulder.

Bailey and Samuels both expect to return for the regular-season opener against San Diego on Sept. 9, while Smith's status is uncertain.

Coach Marty Schottenheimer said he would be conservative in using either player in the preseason finale but didn't definitively rule them out. However, both players conceded a preseason game wasn't worth risking further injury.

"It's still paining me. I don't know when I'll practice," Samuels said. "It's eating me up to sit on the sideline. Guys are ragging on me, so I have to get back out there."

Said Bailey: "You have to be careful. I hate missing anything. I've missed two practices in the NFL. I hate watching and standing around because I feel like I'm missing something."

Bankston cut

Defensive end Michael Bankston was released, leaving four cuts to be made today to reach the 67-player limit, which includes two NFL Europe exemptions. The Redskins must cut another 14 players by Sunday.

Bankston was outplayed by former New York Jet Dorian Boose for a backup role. Bankston also plays defensive tackle, but Schottenheimer felt he wouldn't make the team there either.

Bailey's all wet

The next time you're stuck in bridge traffic, think of Bailey driving atop the Potomac River in a 1967 770 Amphicar. Yes, right in the middle of the river.

Bailey drove the classic car underneath the 14th Street bridge bordering Virginia and the District as part of a photo essay in the current ESPN the Magazine. Naturally, the convertible was aqua blue.

"I made sure I knew where the life jacket was," Bailey said.

Powered by a propeller, Bailey drove about 15 minutes after the car was launched from a dock near Ronald Reagan National Airport. Water traffic was nearly jammed too when the photo was taken earlier this summer.

"Everybody was taking pictures. It was so different," he said. "I don't know if they even knew who I was."

Still, Bailey will stick to the roadways, saying the car's speed 10 mph was too slow with no traffic. Then again, maybe it would be good for a vacation cottage on the water.

"If you have a house on the river, that's the way to go," he said.

Michigan Blue line

Schottenheimer continued to say there's "too many possibilities" for the starting right guard, but David Brandt could be the first rookie guard to open the season since Brad Badger in 1997. Brandt, a free agent out of Michigan, gets his first start against New England after an impressive training camp.

"I'm capable of competing at this level," Brandt said. "I have a good base behind me. I'm just trying to get back to fundamentals. I work on my hands one day, my feet the next, whatever the coach wants me to."

Overshadowed by an offensive line that also included first-round guard Steve Hutchinson and tackle Jeff Backus, Brandt has been helped by right tackle Jon Jansen. The two started 1998 together at Michigan before Jansen graduated. Now Brandt is staying with Jansen.

"It's his first time, so I'll just make sure he doesn't wet the bed," Jansen said jokingly. "I'll hit his guy first and knock him down and make David look good."

Extra points

Derrick Fletcher will play both right tackle and guard with the second string against New England. Mookie Moore will move to left guard, while Ben Coleman will play right guard on the backup line… . Quarterback Jeff George will play the first half against New England… . Schottenheimer still plans to meet with former Kansas City returner Tamarick Vanover.


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