- The Washington Times - Friday, August 8, 2008

Casey Rabach grew up in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., which is about an hour up the Lake Michigan shoreline from the epicenter of the biggest NFL soap opera since Terrell Owens did crunches for the media in his driveway.

Mercifully, the Brett Favre Saga in Green Bay came to a conclusion late Wednesday night with his trade to the New York Jets, but Thursday it dominated nearly every conversation at Redskin Park.

“Oh man, obviously with what Brett Favre meant to Wisconsin - not just the Packers but the state as a whole - is huge and to see him moving on to a new team seems kind of surreal,” Rabach said. “Especially for the Packers fans up there - I still have family members that have season tickets - nobody can really kind of understand it, but it is amazing how the fans are kind of split 50-50 right now.”

Favre’s situation has dwarfed everything during the opening weeks of the NFL exhibition season. Now that he has joined the Jets, the Redskins will become part of the circus next week when they travel to Giants Stadium.

It will be the Jets’ first home preseason contest with Favre a member of the organization, and it could be his first time on the field in his new shade of green.

“It will be crazy for him going to New York,” said Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss, who spent four seasons with the Jets. “Now he’s in a media-happy city. It’s going to get real wild. It’s bananas in New York. Every little thing is bigger than you think it is.”

Opinions on the situation varied among Redskins players. Some, like Fred Smoot, were sympathetic to Favre.

“Brett and I have the same agent. [He] got a raw deal in Green Bay after everything he’s done for the city and state,” Smoot said. “It’s football. It goes on. I get to say hello to him when we leave practice today.”

Several players wanted to stay out of the debate, or didn’t care, having likely tired of the media saturation on the topic long ago. Long snapper Ethan Albright, who spent part of his rookie season in Green Bay, said the onus is now on Aaron Rodgers and the administration.

“That town was unbelievable. I am sure they are in mourning right now,” Albright said. “The stadium is right there in the neighborhood and they just live for it. … If they win, they’re geniuses and they did the right thing.”

Cartwright injured

Running back Rock Cartwright missed practice Thursday with torn cartilage in his rib cage. The injury occurred Sunday in the team’s preseason opener against Indianapolis, but he practiced through the pain until Thursday.

He had 13 carries for 58 yards against the Colts while splitting all of the snaps at tailback with Marcus Mason.

“I thought it was just a little shot, like a bruise or a contusion, but I had an X-ray and it showed the cartilage was torn and there is a little bone chip in there, too,” Cartwright said. “It is nothing too serious - nothing I wouldn’t be able to play with.”

Cartwright may not play Saturday against Buffalo. Coach Jim Zorn said Clinton Portis will see limited action - his first in an exhibition game since the 2006 opener. Cartwright’s injury means most of the carries likely will go to Ladell Betts, who sat out against the Colts, and Mason.

Schmitt ‘hung it up’

Pete Schmitt’s return to Redskin Park didn’t last very long. The fullback from Wisconsin-Whitewater, who signed with the Redskins as an undrafted free agent last summer but didn’t make the team, spent two days in camp before leaving on his own, Zorn said.

“[Schmitt] decided to leave. He hung it up,” Zorn said. “He stepped aside and said, ‘Maybe this is not for me.’”

To fill Schmitt’s place on the roster, the Redskins added former Virginia Tech safety Justin Hamilton. The 2006 seventh-round pick had 15 tackles as a rookie for the Cleveland Browns, but the team cut him Sept. 1, 2007, and he didn’t catch on with another team.

David Elfin contributed to this article.

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