- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 9, 2006

The injury to offensive tackle Jim Molinaro’s left knee — which will require surgery today to repair a torn lateral meniscus — left Washington Redskins assistant head coach-offense Joe Bugel scrambling to find depth at tackle during yesterday’s two practices.

By the end of the day, Bugel said Tyson Walter had assumed Molinaro’s spot at second-team left tackle, joining left guard Ikechuku Ndukwe, center Mike Pucillo, right guard Jasper Harvey and right tackle Chris Pino.

“The second group was where we were worried and when Molinaro went down, everybody was playing left tackle,” Bugel said. “But then we watched Tyson and he’s played center, left guard and left tackle and is a really smart kid.”

Bugel said the Redskins aren’t searching the streets for available tackles.

“There’s really nobody out there and you don’t want to pick up somebody for the sake of it,” he said.

Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer wouldn’t put a timetable on Molinaro’s return.

None of the current second unit was with the Redskins last year in training camp. Pino and Harvey were teammates last year at San Diego State and signed with the Redskins as undrafted free agents, Walter missed all of last season with an injury, Pucillo was a backup with Cleveland and Ndukwe was a midseason addition to the Redskins.

Farris facing fight

As a rookie in San Francisco five years ago, Jimmy Farris said he started the preseason 11th out of 11 on the receiver depth chart before injuries and his performance catapulted him into the August starting lineup. He ended up on the practice squad, but Farris told this story yesterday to point out that just because he’s a long shot to make the Redskins’ roster, it’s not an impossible task.

“It’s a great group of guys to work with and I can take things from watching them,” he said. “The minus is, when you look at things on paper, it’s pretty bleak. But there are a lot of practices and games to play.”

The team’s unofficial — but often reliable — depth chart lists Farris as the seventh receiver.

“One thing I’ve learned through several training camps is a lot changes once the preseason games start,” Farris said. “There are guys that might look good or not so good now but the games change everything. That’s when I’ll evaluate my performance.”

Farris was with the Redskins last year in training camp but was cut even though he had six catches and two touchdowns. He was re-signed in late November and played in four regular season and two playoff games, forcing a fumble in the Seattle game.

Even when the team added Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle El, and holdover David Patten was not released or traded, Farris opted to stay with the Redskins.

“I went with what I knew and what felt best,” he said. “I enjoyed playing here last year and I didn’t want to be a new face in a locker room again. It was a no-brainer to come back here.”

Returner auditions

Special teams coach Danny Smith said several players will get chances to return kickoffs and punts in the first few preseason games.

“Our philosophy is using a lot of guys,” he said, “and we’ve got a lot of guys to choose from.”

On punt returns, Antwaan Randle El, James Thrash, Ataveus Cash, Mike Espy and maybe even Santana Moss will be used; Ladell Betts (if healthy), Rock Cartwright, Nehemiah Broughton, Farris and Thrash are kickoff return candidates.

McIntosh contract details

Specifics of rookie linebacker Rocky McIntosh’s contract — signed on July 30 — were obtained yesterday.

McIntosh inked a four-year, $3.4 million contract that includes a $1.8 million signing bonus.

Roster move

The Redskins signed safety Ben Emanuel and released safety Dennard Wilson between practices yesterday. Wilson was recently sidelined with a knee injury.

Emanuel was a fifth-round pick by Carolina last year and served stints on the practice squads with the Panthers and San Francisco before playing in 11 games (eight starts) for the 49ers, recording 43 tackles and one interception. Emanuel’s NFL debut came for the 49ers in their 52-17 loss to the Redskins.

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