- The Washington Times - Monday, September 2, 2002

Washington Redskins kicker Brett Conway survived final cuts yesterday, but not until he proved his health in a workout for club officials.
Conway, who has been bothered for several weeks by a hip flexor, kicked 17 balls 12 field goal attempts and five kickoffs in the morning at Redskin Park and felt well. The session followed about a dozen field goal attempts before Thursday's preseason game against the New England Patriots.
After yesterday's workout, Conway said he essentially is healthy and that it's now a matter of completely recovering his strength for Sunday's opener against the Arizona Cardinals.
"I was pleasantly surprised with [the distance of] my kickoffs, actually," Conway said. "Obviously the more I get into it, the stronger I'm going to get, so I can't really say I'm 100 percent leg-strength-wise. But it shouldn't take too long."
The sixth-year veteran out of Penn State, who has tweaked leg muscles in the preseason earlier in his career, didn't blame the club for subjecting him to the workout.
"If I were a GM, I'd make me do it, too," Conway said. "It's just to protect them and make sure I'm healthy. They wanted to take my word for it but needed a little proof."
The Redskins, meanwhile, complied with the league-mandated reduction to the final 53-man roster by waiving wide receiver Justin Skaggs, kicker James Tuthill, tackle Reggie Coleman, running back Robert Gillespie, defensive tackle Bernard Jackson and safety Ricot Joseph.
The club also reached an injury settlement with linebacker Shemar Finney and placed cornerback Kato Serwanga and tight end Robert Royal on injured reserve. Serwanga sprained his knee on the first day of training camp, while Royal suffered a high ankle sprain against New England. Neither will be able to play for Washington this season.
The departure of Gillespie, a likely candidate for the practice squad, left running back Kenny Watson as the top candidate to return kickoffs. Watson, an undrafted rookie last season, also spent this preseason as the top backup to Pro Bowl tailback Stephen Davis.
Each NFL team can keep up to five young players on its practice squad, but those players first must clear waivers. In addition, members of the practice squad can be claimed by other clubs at any time. Skaggs, Coleman and wide receiver Emmett Johnson appear to be other likely candidates for the practice squad.
Injuries to Royal and starting tight end Walter Rasby (knee) forced the Redskins to keep Zeron Flemister and Leonard Stephens. At linebacker, young Lemar Marshall likely got a boost when Antonio Pierce suffered a high ankle sprain against the Patriots.
The Redskins retained nine defensive linemen electing to protect promising young ends Greg Scott and Otis Leverette and nine offensive linemen. For now Alex Sulfsted and Kipp Vickers are the backup offensive tackles, but Washington will monitor other teams' cuts to see if it can acquire a reserve.
Another prospect protected on the roster was wide receiver Darnerien McCants, a tall and athletic player who remains a bit too raw to break the current five-man corps. Each game week teams get eight inactives, and the Redskins should be able to hold onto players like McCants, Scott and Leverette provided there aren't too many injuries.
Washington ultimately kept six of its 10 draft picks eight, if you count Royal and third-round wide receiver Cliff Russell on injured reserve.
Only Coleman and seventh-round long snapper Jeff Grau were cut. However, none of the picks is an immediate starter.


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