- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Washington Redskins guard Rod Jones was placed on injured reserve yesterday with a ruptured biceps, further depleting the team's offensive line depth.
Jones tore his right biceps slightly above the elbow and will need at least three months of rehabilitation following surgery in coming days. Jones was hurt in the second series of the 40-10 victory over Tampa Bay on Saturday.
The Redskins signed Jones to a three-year, $4million deal with a $500,000 bonus April2, expecting him to play at right guard. However, a disappointing training camp moved Jones to left guard and then left tackle, where he subbed for the injured Chris Samuels for two games. Jones probably wouldn't have earned a starting job but would have been the first reserve on the left side.
"Any time you lose a guy who has played first-string left guard and left tackle, it's a loss,'' offensive line coach Kim Helton said. "Now you're into trying to shuffle the deck. We're past wishing and hoping of getting this guy or that guy, so the hand we have right now is who we're going to play."
Coincidentally, Washington found out it lost Jones the same day right guard Brenden Stai reported following an Aug.22 trade with Detroit. Alex Sulfsted will start at left tackle against New England on Thursday, while Samuels will rest another week with a sprained ankle before returning for the regular-season opener against Arizona on Sept.8. Guard Kipp Vickers and sixth-round pick Reggie Coleman also will play left tackle against New England.
"We're not going to change the offense just because Chris isn't there, so I better have a couple people that can go out there," Helton said.
Ross Tucker moved to left guard following Stai's arrival after spending the preseason at right guard. David Loverne and Vickers also are vying for the left guard spot.
"I feel very comfortable at left guard," Tucker said. "There's more opportunities to be physical. There's time to get in the shots I enjoy."
Helton won't name the starting left guard until next week and may platoon the position.
"I see more than one left guard," he said. "I'm not against putting in an equal player to rotate with a guy. I'm not going to swap Jon Jansen for another right tackle, but I'll swap left guards if they're equal in ability."
Tight end Walter Rasby will miss a month with a sprained medial collateral knee ligament. Losing the team's blocking end could force the Redskins to keep an extra tight end when they pare the roster to 53 players Sunday.
Receiver Justin Skaggs is out two weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn meniscus. Safety Andre Lott (concussion), linebacker Eddie Mason (shoulder) and kicker Brett Conway (groin) also are out against New England.
Defensive tackle Daryl Gardener (back), cornerback Darrell Green (neck) and fullback Bryan Johnson (thumb) returned to practice, though Gardener only performed individual drills. Gardener isn't expected back until the Arizona game, but Green and Johnson should return against New England.
Meanwhile, quarterback Danny Wuerffel will play the first half after missing the Tampa Bay game with the flu. Quarterback Shane Matthews may work a few series, with Patrick Ramsey getting most of the second half.
The Redskins remain unsettled over their No.2 receiver. Derrius Thompson will start for the second straight game despite failing to catch a pass against Tampa Bay and receiving a penalty on a first-and-goal. The Redskins later settled for a field goal. Receiver Jacquez Green will get extended time. Most of the starters will leave after the first quarter.
Washington also released cornerbacks Kenneth Grant and Ron Israel and offensive tackle Akil Smith. Defensive tackle Sean Powell is expected to be among three players released today to reach the mandatory 65-player limit, plus three NFL Europe exemptions.
"I talked to a lot of them," Spurrier said. "It's the same message: Have a wonderful attitude. Stay in shape. We may call you back."
Spurrier said receiver Reidel Anthony could be recalled after being released Sunday if the team loses a receiver to injury. However, Jacksonville is interested in signing Anthony.
"Hopefully, he won't go too far away," Spurrier said. "There's not a lot of difference with these guys and Reidel."

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