- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 30, 2006

After missing the previous two days because of his lacerated elbow, quarterback Mark Brunell practiced yesterday and will start tomorrow for the Washington Redskins against his former team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“I feel good,” said Brunell, who was hurt in last week’s 31-15 victory at Houston. “The arm improved over the course of the week so I expect to be ready for Sunday.

Brunell will play with some protection on the elbow. A similar injury that became infected ruined his final season in Jacksonville.

“Mark looked very good and took all the practice,” coach Joe Gibbs said. “I think we’re all set. Mark doesn’t need that many reps.”

On the other hand, defensive tackle Joe Salave’a, who had gone through his first full practice in nearly two weeks on Thursday, was held out yesterday. Gibbs said the move was precautionary and that Salave’a hadn’t reinjured the strained right calf that kept him out of the lineup last week against the Texans.

“We think Joe can play,” Gibbs said. “I think it will be a game-time decision by the defensive coaches.”

Frost on rise

Punter Derrick Frost, who followed a so-so Washington debut with a shaky summer before sealing his job with a strong game against Baltimore in the preseason finale, is second in the NFL with a 49-yard gross average and seventh with a 40.1-yard net average.

“Derrick was outstanding,” Gibbs said after Frost averaged 56 yards [48 net] on his two punts in Houston’s enclosed stadium. “I just hope he keeps this up.”

So does Frost, who’s not that excited about his early success.

“It’s just three games into the season,” Frost said. “I’m trying to keep an even keel. I kind of like it when people doubt me anyway.”

Frost tinkered with his drop before the Ravens’ game, moving it inside and that seems to have made all the difference.

“It’s not a perfect science,” Frost said. “You think you’re changing things for the better and apparently I have. I’m definitely hitting the ball further than I’ve ever hit it. Something’s going right. I just want to be consistent.”

Frost, who broke in with Cleveland in 2004, said this is the best he has punted since he strained the LCL in his plant leg during the eighth game of that season. Frost averaged 41.2 yards (gross) in the first half of 2004, 38.9 in the second half and 40.4 in 14 games for Washington last year.

What a month

Cornerback Kenny Wright grew up rooting for Dallas and played for Minnesota, Houston and Jacksonville before signing with Washington in March. Naturally, the Redskins’ first four games were against the Vikings, Cowboys, Texans and Jaguars.

“When the schedule came out, I had to laugh,” Wright said. “It has been a lot of fun playing against my old teams. I still talk to a few of the guys in Jacksonville, especially [safety] Deon Grant. I’m looking forward to going against [receiver] Reggie Williams because we used to get after it in practice and then hang out afterwards.”

Although Wright started every game for the seventh-ranked pass defense in 2005, coach Jack Del Rio said that once the Jaguars signed free agent cornerback Brian Williams in March, Wright became expendable.

“I have no regrets or hard feelings,” Wright said. “They gave me a chance to play and start for a year. I’m happy to be here now.”

The Redskins signed Todd Yoder on Sept. 12, 10 days after he was cut by the Jaguars, with whom he had spent 2004-05.

“It will be a special game,” Yoder, who also played for Tampa Bay, said of his first chance to face a former team. “Maybe I can give this one little tip that might help us out on Sunday. Anything I can do to help the team win.”

All NFL, all the time

Fans attending tomorrow’s game will be offered the chance to watch the NFL’s Sunday Ticket DirectTV package via hand-held devices provided by Kangaroo TV. The service, which can be purchased on a per-game or season basis, debuted at last week’s game in Miami. Fans will be able to watch any game as the Redskins battle the Jaguars.



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