- The Washington Times - Monday, September 26, 2005

Andy Groom’s tenure as the Washington Redskins’ punter lasted all of two games. Groom was waived yesterday by the club, which replaced him with former Cleveland punter Derrick Frost.

Groom’s averages of 39.0 gross yards and 34.8 net are similar to those Frost posted last year with the Browns (40.0 and 35.4). However, the Redskins still opted for the slightly more experienced Frost, who was cut by Philadelphia and Baltimore in 2003 before catching on with Cleveland. Frost also can kick off and hold.

“We felt like we needed to make a move there,” coach Joe Gibbs said. “We felt like we were kind of backed up there. We were fortunate to get out of [the first two games] with some rolls. We tried to do a little pressure stuff last week [in practice]. We need a better ball for us there. Derrick kind of fit the bill for us.”

The worst moment of Frost’s lone NFL season was a 7-yard shank out of his end zone that set up the Ravens’ go-ahead touchdown against the Browns with 13:12 left on Nov. 7 at M&T; Bank Stadium.

“As a young guy, when something like that happens, it’s kind of a black eye,” said Frost, who was beaten out this summer in Cleveland by veteran Kyle Richardson. “This is a crucial year for me to show people that I can still get it done.”

Meanwhile, undrafted rookie Nick Novak remains Washington’s No. 1 kicker. Veteran John Hall still hasn’t kicked since pulling a quadriceps in the Redskins’ season-opening victory Sept. 11. Hall hopes he can return Sunday against Seattle.

“I feel really good and have been lifting weights on it, so I think it’s possible,” said Hall, who has been hurt five times since the start of last season. “Today I kicked a few imaginary balls, tomorrow I’ll kick a few Nerf balls and hopefully Wednesday, I’ll be able to kick real ones with the team.”

Gibbs said emphatically he doesn’t want use Hall in a game until he’s fully healthy.

“It’s been a tough situation,” Gibbs said. “He’s got to be 100 percent. I don’t think he can go out there anything less than that.”

Injury update

Cornerback Walt Harris was held out of practice after straining his left calf during the previous workout Thursday. It’s the third leg injury for Harris since the start of training camp.

“The temptation is there [to get frustrated], but it’s real mild,” said Harris, who will try to take some work tomorrow.

Strong safety Pierson Prioleau, who left the Dallas game after injuring a hamstring on the Cowboys’ opening drive, continued to be a spectator during practice. Gibbs doesn’t expect Prioleau to play Sunday, meaning Matt Bowen likely will start for the first time since tearing an ACL on Oct. 10 against Baltimore.

Offensive tackle Jon Jansen was held out of a third straight practice because of the two broken thumbs with which he played in Dallas. Middle linebacker Lemar Marshall, who refused to come out of the Cowboys game after straining a groin in the fourth quarter, also missed a third straight practice. Both are expected to work tomorrow.

Tight end Robert Royal (leg) and safety Sean Taylor (shoulder) both returned after sitting out Thursday and Friday.

Rare territory

This is just the fifth week in the last six seasons that Washington has been alone atop the NFC East. The last time was after Week 4 of 2003.

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