- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 9, 2006

He has a history of leg injuries. He is 35 years old. He is expected to lead his team to the NFL playoffs (and beyond). And Mark Brunell couldn’t make it through two weeks of non-contact training camp practices before taking yesterday afternoon off with a sore arm (Brunell’s reason) or a bruised calf (Joe Gibbs’ reason).

Cause for concern? Depends on how you look at it.

If Brunell was 25, he could have still gotten kicked in the calf or come up with a sore arm after 10 days of camp. Things happen in football, even when the quarterback is not allowed to be tackled. If it were a hamstring or elbow or calf muscle — problems Brunell has on his medical dossier — then fans should be worried.

Here’s why you should be concerned: This could happen in the second quarter of the Minnesota game. Then what? Collins or Campbell? Neither has played a whole lot. Yesterday’s events illustrated how important a serviceable No. 2 quarterback is — they’re going to play. There’s only one Brett Favre and just about every other quarterback gets a nick or ding during a 16-game season.

• If you believed everything you heard on TV and radio yesterday, the shoving match (not really a fight) between Jon Jansen and Kedric Golston was a knock-down, drag-out, facemask-grabbing, helmet-throwing, groin-kicking brouhaha. The thing was shorter than it took you to read this paragraph. Jansen was having a bad practice (he rebounded in the afternoon) and wanted to get some aggression off his chest; Golston was standing up for fellow rookie Reed Doughty. No big deal.

• Joe Bugel was correct yesterday when he said there wasn’t a lot of tackles on the open market. A Google of available tackles revealed names: A) I’d never heard of, or B) Stink. For now, Bugel has to hope his starting tackles remain healthy and that his group of young pups running on the second team can hold their own in the preseason. But if Campbell or Collins are on their back in Cincinnati with regularity, expect Bugel’s thinking to change. If Molinaro takes awhile to return — he’s having surgery today — he might not make the team.

• Cornerback Carlos Rogers returned to practice yesterday after missing because of back spasms. I have a feeling that Rogers, because he’s not very big and because he plays solid in run defense and gives up his body in run containment, is going to be consistently banged up. Combine that with Shawn Springs being north of 30 and Kenny Wright better be ready to play a lot.

• The Redskins’ lone practice is tonight at 7 (closed to Redskin Nation).

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