- The Washington Times - Friday, August 18, 2006

Clinton Portis wants a shorter preseason. So does the Giants’ Jeremy Shockey. And the handful of NFL players who have sustained season-ending injuries this month would probably agree.

After dislocating his left shoulder at Cincinnati last week, Portis — who is out for the rest of the preseason — called playing four meaningless games “ridiculous.” Shockey called the preseason a “debacle” and “dangerous” after he sustained a concussion in practice.

Key players on other teams — center LeCharles Bentley (Cleveland), linebacker Chad Greenway (Minnesota), running back Darren Sproles (San Diego), center Jeremy Newberry (San Francisco) and receiver Brian Finneran (Atlanta) — have all sustained season-ending injuries this month.

But the notion of a shorter preseason was met with resistance this week at Redskin Park.

“I don’t think the preseason is too long,” receiver Brandon Lloyd said. “The people who think it’s too long are guys who have never had to fight for a roster spot. Clinton? [Second-]round pick. Shockey? First-round pick. Everybody who’s complaining? First-round picks. Those guys have had positions since they got here.”

Lloyd was a fourth-round pick of San Francisco in 2003.

“I didn’t have a roster spot,” he said. “I needed four games to prove I could play in this league. Even though I’m established and have a spot, I’m still about players fighting hard to make the team. I want to see how the undrafted guy who comes out of nowhere uses these four games to make a roster and becomes an impact player.”

Middle linebacker Lemar Marshall and defensive tackle Joe Salave’a are the only two projected Redskins starters who have been released during a training camp earlier in their careers. Marshall was cut by Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and Denver before sticking with the Redskins. Salave’a was cut by Tennessee.

“When I was a rookie, training camp wasn’t too long — it was really short,” Marshall said. “But it’s necessary. It’s what we’ve always done. There’s no reason to think it’s going to change any time soon.”

Right tackle Jon Jansen tore his Achilles tendon in the 2004 preseason opener and broke his thumb in the 2005 preseason finale.

“I don’t play the game to come out and practice all the time,” he said. “Whether it’s a preseason or a regular-season game, I enjoy playing. That’s how I’ve always seen it. I got hurt in a preseason game, other guys got hurt — it could happen at any time of the year.”

The Redskins started practice July 31 and play host to the New York Jets in their second preseason game tomorrow night.

“It’s scary when I think we have only three weeks until [the Minnesota opener],” coach Joe Gibbs said. “Most coaches would like 14 months to get ready and about 22 preseason games. Then we would be ready to go.”

Lloyd sits out

Lloyd missed practice yesterday with a high hamstring injury and will be a game-time decision tomorrow night.

“I’ve caught them before and missed three weeks so I’ll take a day over three weeks any time,” he said. “We’re going to try it out [today] and see what I can do.”

Nine other players sat out practice: Portis, receiver Ataveus Cash (hamstring), receiver Richard Smith (ankle), cornerback Shawn Springs (abdominal surgery), safety Curry Burns (hamstring), cornerback Ade Jimoh (sternum), linebacker Kevin Simon (hamstring), offensive tackle Jim Molinaro (knee) and defensive end Phillip Daniels (back).

Defensive end Nic Clemons and offensive tackle Jon Alston returned to practice.

Coles returns

Overshadowed by quarterback Patrick Ramsey’s return to FedEx Field tomorrow night is receiver Laveranues Coles, who was traded to the Jets for Santana Moss in March 2005.

But Coles said he doesn’t view the game as a special occasion.

“Just another game,” he said. “Wherever I am, I’m gonna put my jersey on and play hard. It’s just like when you have a relationship with a woman. When you break up with her, you remember the good times. … I’ve always forgiven but not forgotten. They’ve moved on. I’ve moved on.”

Coles caught 172 passes in two seasons for the Redskins before differences with the coaching staff resulted in a trade back to the Jets. He had 73 catches and five touchdowns last year for New York.

More time for Campbell

Gibbs confirmed that quarterback Jason Campbell likely will play the second and third quarters tomorrow night, and Ladell Betts will get the first call at running back.

Following Betts, the Redskins are expected to give Rock Cartwright, Nehemiah Broughton, Jesse Lumsden and A.J. Harris long looks.

Betts (hamstring), Lumsden (hip flexor) and Harris (wasn’t with team) did not play at Cincinnati.

Going home

The Redskins will check out of the National Conference Center in Leesburg today. Players will be allowed to stay at home the remainder of the preseason. Two-a-day practices also have ended.

“It’s not the end of camp, but it might be the end of bed check,” Gibbs joked.

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