INDIANAPOLIS — Washington Redskins receiver Antwaan Randle El is an emotional player, and he let his emotions get the best of him yesterday at RCA Dome.
After returning a punt 87 yards for his first special teams touchdown with the Redskins and putting his team ahead late in the second quarter against the unbeaten Indianapolis Colts, Randle El celebrated by playfully bouncing off the padded goal post and falling to the ground. A penalty promptly was called for excessive celebrating.
“I was surprised,” Randle El said. “I guess I was fine hitting the pole, [but] hitting the ground they said was a penalty.”
Randle El’s exuberance set off a chain reaction during which Sean Taylor was called for jumping the snap on the following kickoff and Derrick Frost was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after angrily ripping off his helmet when the officials stopped him from punting the next kickoff attempt because they hadn’t given him the signal to proceed.
The three penalties for 25 yards forced Nick Novak to kick off from the 5-yard line. Special teams coach Danny Smith, a 12-year NFL veteran, said he had never seen anything like that.
The mistakes led to a Colts field goal and helped dampen the Redskins’ enthusiasm going into halftime. Already one of the NFL’s most penalized teams, the Redskins were tagged 10 times for 91 yards yesterday.
“Randle El was fired up about making a big play and does an emotional thing,” coach Joe Gibbs said. “The rule is you’re not allowed to go to the ground. … You can never take your helmet off, and Derrick got frustrated, and you can’t do that. That’s things we have talked about. We’re at the point now where we should tell them what they can do on a celebration instead of what they can’t do.”
Frost was unavailable for comment, having left the locker room before it was opened to the media.
After not being mentioned on the postgame injury report a week ago and being listed as probable all week with a sprained left ankle, middle linebacker Lemar Marshall wasn’t in uniform. Khary Campbell started in his place.
Marshall had started 36 consecutive games since replacing injured LaVar Arrington in Week 3 of 2004. It was the first start of Campbell’s five-year career.
“It was a game-time decision,” Marshall said. “I wanted to go, but they didn’t feel my ankle was good enough. It was really hard to stand there and watch.”
As expected, defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin missed his second straight game with an ailing hip. Rookie Anthony Montgomery again started in place of Griffin. However, defensive tackle Joe Salave’a, who had missed three previous games with calf injuries, returned to the lineup.
With Carlos Rogers out with a broken right thumb, Shawn Springs, who had missed two months with pelvic injuries before returning last week, also returned to the starting lineup opposite Kenny Wright, who had been starting in his usual spot. Springs felt lightheaded in the postgame locker room but said he was fine during the game.
Receiver David Patten, offensive linemen Jim Molinaro and Tyson Walter and defensive lineman Ryan Boschetti were Washington’s other inactives. Jason Campbell was the third quarterback.
Lloyd surfaces — briefly
Receiver Brandon Lloyd, who had caught just seven passes in Washington’s first six games, had three catches (for 27 yards) in the first quarter. However, he didn’t have another until the final minute, his 10-yarder setting up James Thrash’s 5-yard touchdown grab.
Chris Cooley’s diving 13-yard catch in the end zone in the second quarter gave the tight end touchdowns in consecutive weeks after he failed to score in the first five games. Cooley added a 2-point conversion after Thrash’s score.
Colts linebacker Cato June put on a show for his fans watching in the District. June, a graduate of Anacostia High School, had a team-high 15 tackles, including 10 solos.
June said it was special to have that kind of game against the Redskins.
“Everybody is watching at home,” June said. “Everyone is interested to see what you’re going to do, and you want to play good against your hometown team.”
Colts’ Reagor in crash
Indianapolis defensive tackle Montae Reagor was hospitalized with a head wound after his SUV collided with another vehicle and flipped onto its roof while he was en route to the game, police said.
Reagor was declared inactive, and the team said he was at Methodist Hospital with two team doctors.
Reagor was driving eastbound near the Colts’ practice facility on the west side of Indianapolis when a car turned into his path, striking the driver’s side of Reagor’s SUV, police said. The impact pushed the SUV into the curb and caused it to flip, leaving Reagor with a head wound and his female companion with minor bumps and bruises. The driver of the other vehicle, Wuya McCarthy, was cited for failure to yield right of way.
Defensive tackle Anthony “Booger” McFarland was productive in his Colts debut.
The 6-foot, 300-pounder, who was traded to the Colts from Tampa Bay last week, started in place of Reagor.
McFarland is hoping to add some beef to the Colts’ line to help stop the run.
“I just tried to create some havoc in there,” he said. “That’s the main thing for us guys inside because we have two great ends.”
McFarland said he thought he responded well in his first game. The Colts limited Redskins back Clinton Portis to 43 yards on 12 carries.
Colts receiver Marvin Harrison keeps moving up the career receiving charts. Harrison had 73 yards on seven catches to surpass former Redskins wideout Irving Fryar (12,785) for eighth most in NFL history. Harrison now has 12,846 receiving yards.
Harrison’s two touchdown catches gave him 113 career touchdown receptions, tying Lenny Moore’s club record. It was Harrison’s 25th multiple touchdown game.
The Redskins reported only two injuries, but they were to their two biggest weapons. Portis bruised a lower leg, and Pro Bowl receiver Santana Moss strained a hamstring. The injuries weren’t believed be serious.
cMark Ambrogi and the Associated Press contributed to this article.