- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 4, 2007

For the last month, Marcus Washington has worn a bulky brace and yards of athletic tape to protect the right elbow he dislocated Aug. 18 against Pittsburgh. He has also given himself a new nickname.

“I look like Hellboy,” Washington said, referring to the 2004 movie of the same name.

But Washington’s performance has remained effective in the Washington Redskins‘ first three games. Starting at strong-side linebacker and also playing defensive end on passing downs, Washington has 13 tackles and one sack.

“It’s felt pretty well once we got a decent brace,” Washington said before practice yesterday. “Sometimes, it bothers me a little bit, and I’ll nick it up, but that’s to be expected. The off week gave me a chance to heal it up.”

Washington hopes to be fitted for a smaller brace in the near future.

“I definitely want to be smart and protect it,” he said. “If I have to wear a bigger brace to keep from reinjuring it, you put up with it. Sometimes when you’re running, it feels pretty heavy — it tends to almost weigh me down. That’s the most frustrating part about it.

“But for the most part I’ve been able to wrap up and tackle pretty well and block guys out.”

Moss sits out

Receiver Santana Moss (groin) missed practice yesterday, doing only agility and footwork drills on a side field.

“I haven’t done much to say I’m better,” he said. “[Today] might be the day, the next day might be the day. I can’t say it’s a guessing game. You never know how it will feel.”

At this point, it seems unlikely Moss will play Sunday against Detroit.

“It will be up to him,” coach Joe Gibbs said. “He has a good feel for things. We’re not going to put somebody out there who’s not ready to roll.”

Running back Clinton Portis (knee), safety Sean Taylor (knee) and receiver Brandon Lloyd (shin) were limited. Cornerback Fred Smoot (hamstring) participated in the full workout.

Gibbs expects Portis to play Sunday.

Eight Detroit players did not practice or were limited, including starting defensive end Kalimba Edwards (ankle), rookie receiver Calvin Johnson (back) and former Redskins running back T.J. Duckett (ankle).

Crash course

Receiver Keenan McCardell, signed Monday, went through his second practice and hopes to play against Detroit.

“Memorizing everything was my duty on Monday and Tuesday,” he said. “I know the system, so that makes it easier. I would like to play. The only way to earn the right to play is to show the coaches that I’m ready.”

Said Gibbs: “He was taking [in] everything — the other team’s plays and everything thing we were doing. It’s realistic for him to play.”

Road to recovery

Besides Lloyd’s lack of production, one reason the Redskins have added receivers is because Mike Espy tore the patella tendon in his left knee against Pittsburgh in the preseason.

Espy had surgery soon thereafter and is rehabilitating at Redskin Park.

“There’s no rush because I can’t play this year,” said Espy, who was placed on injured reserve. “I got on the bike [yesterday] and didn’t have any problems, so I’m getting better. [The frustration] is still present. I could watch any other team play and not get mad, but it creeps up when the Redskins play.”

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