- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 27, 2008

Anthony Montgomery broke a bone in his right hand during Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage, the latest in a rash of injuries to the defensive line.

Montgomery was one of three projected defensive starters (along with safety Reed Doughty and linebacker Marcus Washington) who participated in the scrimmage, which happened in front of an announced record crowd of more than 28,000 at Redskin Park. The 2006 fifth-round draft pick will have surgery Monday and is expected to be out for 10 days.

“We’re going to let the swelling, let him rest it, and then he’ll probably be bandaged up for a little while,” coach Jim Zorn said.

The 6-foot-6, 315-pound tackle, who last season started 15 games, joins several defensive linemen on the injury list. Defensive ends Phillip Daniels (torn ACL) and Alex Buzbee (ruptured Achilles tendon) were lost for the season on the first day of camp, which led to the acquisition of defensive end Jason Taylor from the Miami Dolphins.

Reserve ends Kris Wilson (strained calf) and J.T. Mapu (sprained MCL) got hurt during the week leading up to the scrimmage. The Redskins released Mapu, an undrafted free agent from Tennessee, on Saturday.

Linebacker Matt Sinclair hurt his right shoulder in a collision with running back Marcus Mason. Fellow linebacker Rian Wallace broke his right hand and will have surgery Monday. He will be out for 10 days. Wide receiver Anthony Mix, who left practice Friday with a hamstring injury, limped off the field after he aggravated the injury while making a catch. Guard Kerry Brown sprained his left shoulder and will be out one to two weeks.

The overall effort of the defense, which held the offense to one legitimate scoring drive, pleased Zorn. Quarterback Jason Campbell completed 15 of 22 passes for 122 yards. He threw the only touchdown pass (10 yards to tight end Todd Yoder during red zone work) and capped the 65-yard scoring drive with a 2-yard scamper.

“I’m really excited with how far Jason Campbell has come since we first started working with him,” Zorn said. “He made some great decisions during the first drive, and then there were several plays where he hesitated so he had to scramble a couple of times.”

Shelton learns versatility

Eric Shelton was a 2005 second-round draft pick as a powerful tailback from Louisville, but after the Carolina Panthers cut him and he failed to find work last season, he decided to make himself more marketable.

Shelton is in camp with the Redskins learning how to play fullback. He hopes having the ability to play either running back position and also on special teams will give him a better chance of landing an NFL job this season.

“[Running backs] coach [Stump] Mitchell was real honest with me. He said, ‘the more you can do, the better,’ so I made the fullback transition and still learning that, but I am also learning the halfback stuff and special teams,” Shelton said.

Last year wasn’t easy for Shelton. Because he’s classified as a veteran, he’s ineligible to play on a practice squad, so he had to win a spot on Carolina’s roster. After the Panthers released him, he traveled from city to city working out for teams but no one signed him.

“It wasn’t good because my wife was pregnant and we were having a baby in January,” Shelton said. “No income coming in wasn’t a good thing, but hey — it is part of the business. Fortunately, I was blessed to have a lot of money when I first got drafted.”

Shelton saw action at both positions during the scrimmage Saturday, and he led all rushers with 15 yards on four carries. Mitchell said he needs to catch the ball better and work on keeping his pad level low. But there is still some potential from a player who scored 20 touchdowns his final year at Louisville.

“It is an uphill battle for him,” Mitchell said. He understands that. There are 31 other teams, and he’s going to get some playing time during the preseason. I think he’s got half the battle won because he’s not fighting [the move]. He’s willing to do whatever it takes in order to have a legitimate opportunity to make the team.”



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