- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 2, 2006

Twenty-three of the 76 players who woke up today as members of the Washington Redskins won’t enjoy that status tonight.

Only linebacker Phillipe Gardent of France is sure that he’ll be back as the extra member of the practice squad tomorrow. And of course, the roster figures to be in flux once Joe Gibbs and Co. scan the waiver wire tonight.

Here’s a position-by-position review of the roster (number of players at each position likely to be on the final roster is in parentheses):

Quarterbacks (3) — Mark Brunell, Todd Collins and Jason Campbell began training camp 1-2-3 and finished preseason the same way. None played well, but Campbell failed to make a significant step toward claiming the starting job soon.

Running backs (6) — Clinton Portis will return to the starting job as soon as his partially dislocated left shoulder heals. Ladell Betts has competition for the job as top backup from T.J. Duckett, who was acquired on Aug. 23.

Mike Sellers is the No. 1 fullback. Rock Cartwright probably will survive because of his special teams play. Nehemiah Broughton should beat out fellow 2005 draft pick Manuel White to be Sellers’ backup because he’s a better blocker and special teams player. Rookie free agent A.J. Harris is a goner.

Receivers (5) — As expected, Santana Moss will be joined in the lineup by Brandon Lloyd. Antwaan Randle El will play a lot. Former starter David Patten has looked sharp in practice. James Thrash is reliable on underneath routes and on special teams.

Rookie free agent Mike Espy was the team’s top receiver in preseason but seems destined for the practice squad. Steven Harris, Jimmy Farris and Richard Smith all had their moments but will be cut.

Tight ends (2) — Chris Cooley is the starter. Christian Fauria is the backup. Rookie free agent Buck Ortega had a fine August but could be sent to the practice squad to accommodate a need elsewhere.

Offensive line (9) — Tackles Chris Samuels and Jon Jansen, guards Derrick Dockery and Randy Thomas and center Casey Rabach are the regulars again.

It’s a mess beyond that. Center Mike Pucillo and guard Ike Ndukwe played on the second unit all summer, and tackle Jim Molinaro is in his third year in the system. Rookies Kili Lefotu and Chris Pino won’t survive, leaving the final spot for either veterans Tyson Walter and Spencer Folau or rookie Jasper Harvey. Folau, 33, might be too old.

Harvey can learn on the practice squad, so give the nod to Walter unless a more attractive player is claimed off waivers.

Defensive line (10) — Ends Andre Carter, Phillip Daniels and Renaldo Wynn and tackles Cornelius Griffin and Joe Salave’a are locks. End Demetric Evans and tackle Cedric Killings are close. Ryan Boschetti and sixth-rounder Kedric Golston will claim the final two spots and holdover Nic Clemons likely will be kept until Daniels and Wynn show they’re healthy.

Fifth-rounder Anthony Montgomery will make the practice squad. Undrafted rookies Joe Sykes and Vaka Manupana won’t.

Linebackers (6) — Marcus Washington and Lemar Marshall were always going to start. Warrick Holdman didn’t do anything to lose his job to solid rookie Rocky McIntosh. Khary Campbell is a special teams leader. Jeff Posey, who played for assistants Gregg Williams, Jerry Gray and Danny Smith in Buffalo, will get the last spot instead of 2005 draft pick Robert McCune and rookie free agent Spencer Havner.

Cornerbacks (5) — With Shawn Springs likely out of the opener as he recovers from abdominal surgery, Kenny Wright will join Carlos Rogers in the lineup. August acquisition Mike Rumph and Ade Jimoh will be the extra corners. There’s no room for newcomer Julian Battle, December signee Christian Morton or rookie free agent John Eubanks.

Safeties (4) — Sean Taylor and Adam Archuleta are the starters and Pierson Prioleau is a valuable reserve. Vernon Fox, a special teams demon just signed on Tuesday off waivers from Detroit, might stick ahead of sixth-rounder Reed Doughty, who could gain seasoning on the practice squad. Curry Burns will be cut.

Specialists (3) — Snapper Ethan Albright is a fixture. Kicker John Hall stayed healthy for a change but missed one of his two preseason field goal tries longer than 38 yards and had the other blocked. The Redskins have to consider alternatives on the waiver wire. The same goes for inconsistent punter Derrick Frost, who had a solid preseason finale knowing that he could’ve been playing for his job.

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