- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Don’t look for cornerback Shawn Springs on the field when the Washington Redskins open the season Monday night against Minnesota. Asked if he was going to be recovered from Aug.15 abdominal surgery in time to face the Vikings and old running mate Fred Smoot, Springs smiled wistfully and shook his head.

“They said it was going to be three-to-six weeks, and it’s three weeks today,” Springs said. “It’s getting better, but …”

With Springs out, former Viking Kenny Wright will continue to start opposite Carlos Rogers, as he did in the final three preseason games. Mike Rumph and Ade Jimoh are Washington’s other corners.

While Springs stood on the sideline in sweats and running back Clinton Portis arrived at Redskin Park after practice began for weight room work and treatment on the left shoulder he partially dislocated Aug.13 at Cincinnati, starting defensive linemen Phillip Daniels and Cornelius Griffin were back. Daniels had been sidelined since spraining his back Aug.15. Griffin had been out since spraining his right knee Aug.19 against the New York Jets.

“I feel good,” Daniels said. “It was tough being out so long, but they wanted to make sure I was ready to go for the opener. If they had really needed me, I could have come back last week.”

Griffin wasn’t quite as far along.

“It was my first day so I wanted to be careful about what I did, but I felt good,” Griffin said. “I did what I had to do. Come Thursday, I’ll do more and I’ll be good to go [Monday].”

Defensive end Renaldo Wynn, who sprained his right ankle Aug.26 at New England, also watched practice. He hopes to return to drills tomorrow.

“If I can get some work done on Thursday, that will be my test,” Wynn said. “[But] I plan on being out there Monday night.”

Coach Joe Gibbs said Portis “feels he’s making real progress” but remains day-to-day.

Wade signed

The Redskins signed veteran offensive tackle Todd Wade and cut guard Ike Ndukwe. Wade, Miami’s second-round selection in the 2000 draft, started all but one game at right tackle in his four seasons with the Dolphins before signing with Houston. Wade started 22 games for the Texans the past two seasons before tearing the MCL in his right knee Nov.13.

The 6-foot-8, 317-pound Mississippi product was cut by Houston on July14 and worked out for the Redskins last month after backup tackle Jim Molinaro had knee surgery. Wade, 29, waited until yesterday to sign in hopes of finding a more lucrative contract and a better chance to start. He’ll be a backup in Washington unless starters Jon Jansen or Chris Samuels get hurt.

“Time ran out, and it was time to go to a team,” Wade said.

Said Gibbs: “Todd’s a talented guy. The rest of the guys backing up, we really like ‘em, but we didn’t have an experienced starter there, so you’re always looking. There was nobody putting a tackle out there [in Saturday’s final cuts].”

Ndukwe tossed his cleats in the trash in the locker room after hearing the news, but he could return to the practice squad, where he spent most of 2005, if he clears waivers. In that event, Washington likely would cut rookie free agent tackle Chris Pino.

Montgomery relieved

Fifth-round defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery endured a couple of sleepless nights before the Redskins cut to 53 players.

“I didn’t get a lot of sleep Thursday or Friday night,” Montgomery said. “We had to come in to lift and have meetings on Saturday morning, and that’s when [special teams coach] Danny Smith told us [rookies Montgomery, defensive tackle Kedric Golston, linebacker Rocky McIntosh and safety Reed Doughty] that we had made the team. It was a big sigh of relief.”

Montgomery was kept in favor of veteran tackle Cedric Killings.

“I called Ced and told him to hang in there and that I had been there,” said starting tackle Joe Salave’a. “The good news is that he’s healthy. [Tennessee] cut me [in 2002] when my ankle was messed up and I was coming back from surgery on my right rotator cuff.”

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