- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Marcus Mason is Maryland’s all-time high school rusher and scorer, holds the single-season rushing record at Youngstown State and has scored 31 touchdowns the last two seasons.

Mason’s 5-foot-9 size, though, meant more in April’s NFL Draft. Still, the Potomac native and Georgetown Prep product signed with the Washington Redskins the next day and has been impressing coaches since. In Saturday’s scrimmage against the Baltimore Ravens, Mason led all runners with 34 yards on 12 carries.

Marcus has been able to pick things up pretty well since he’s been here,” running backs coach Earnest Byner said. “He showed some promise early. He has some strength. He’s a good pass-catcher. He’s got good feet, good vision, good feel for the holes. Marcus needs some developing, but he has a chance. He’s really taken to coaching. He listens well, and he’s hungry. We think he can play in the league.”

Mason believes so, too, even though he is behind veterans Clinton Portis, Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright and Derrick Blaylock.

“There are a lot of established backs here,” Mason said. “I’ve got to make my name on special teams. With [the injured Portis] not in there, it helps me get more reps. I’m hoping there’s a shot for me but, worse comes to worse, maybe the practice squad.”

Whitticker goes down

Guard Will Whitticker suffered a high right ankle sprain late in practice and will be sidelined indefinitely.

“They say it’s my ankle, but it hurts all the way up to my knee,” said Whitticker, who was filling in for injured Randy Thomas at right guard. “To tell you the truth, my knee hurts worse than my ankle. We’ll see.”

Bramlet cut

NFL Europa star Casey Bramlet was cut, as was expected after he threw just two passes against Baltimore.

The move leaves veteran Todd Collins and draft pick Jordan Palmer competing for the No. 3 job behind starter Jason Campbell and backup Mark Brunell.

Heyer a starter

Coach Joe Gibbs said rookie free agent Stephon Heyer is expected to start at left tackle in place of the injured Chris Samuels in Saturday’s preseason opener at Tennessee.

Safety LaRon Landry also worked with the starters yesterday.

Injury update

Portis (knee), Chris Samuels (knee), receiver Brandon Lloyd (shins), offensive lineman Jason Fabini (groin) and tight end Tyler Ecker (groin) remained sidelined. Cornerback Jerametrius Butler (hamstring), receiver Mike Espy (receiver) and fullback Pete Schmitt (shoulder) were limited. Receiver Carl Berman (hamstring) returned to full-time duty.

Betts hurt his neck in a collision with linebacker Marcus Washington, and fullback Mike Sellers tweaked a knee. Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said he believes neither injury is serious.

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