- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 27, 2008

Stephon Heyer practiced Friday, but the right tackle didn’t prove to Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn that his sprained left shoulder is healed enough to withstand 60 minutes of banging.

As a result, Zorn said Jon Jansen likely will return to the starting role he lost to Heyer in the preseason for Sunday’s game at the 3-0 Dallas Cowboys, though the coach reserved the right to change his mind before kickoff.

“Jansen’s the guy right now,” Zorn said. “Stephon’s feeling better, [but] he’d have to really improve [by game time].”

Jansen, whose 2007 season ended with a broken leg and dislocated ankle in Week 1, is excited about his likely return to the lineup.

“I feel really good,” Jansen said. “I’m healthy, comfortable and fresh.”

Heyer, who injured the shoulder in Sunday’s 24-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, said he feels he could play, but Zorn wasn’t even sure he would be active if he didn’t start.

Zorn also said Marcus Washington would be a game-time decision because of a sore hamstring, but the strongside linebacker said he was good to go. So are cornerback Fred Smoot (hip) and fullback Mike Sellers (thigh). Defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery was excused from practice for personal reasons but will play.

Taylor making progress

Jason Taylor walked out of Redskin Park without crutches Friday, four days after having emergency surgery on his left calf.

When Taylor left Wednesday, he was on crutches. On Thursday, he had one crutch. So it’s possible the defensive end could be back for next week’s game at Philadelphia.

Moss returns?

As special teams coach Danny Smith had hinted leading up to the game against the Cardinals, receiver Santana Moss did go back to return the first punt. Dirk Johnson’s kick went into the end zone, so Moss didn’t get to return his first punt since 2005.

“You have to get some rust off, but I practice it enough, [and] I know how to run it once I catch the ball,” said Moss, who led the AFC with a 16.5-yard average for the New York Jets in 2002. “Hopefully when I get one clean, I’ll do what I do. It’s a different kind of thrill being out there. It’s something that if you break one, it can excite the fans.”

Look for Moss and Antwaan Randle El, who’s averaging 4.5 yards a return, to split the role again at Dallas.

“Hopefully we’ll get Santana some work this week,” Smith said.

Said Randle El: “I’m not worried about it. I think it’s going to be a feel thing on Danny’s part for when he uses Santana, but I know I’m still the main guy.”

Randle El the QB

Randle El’s 11-yard pass to tight end Chris Cooley in the third quarter against Arizona put the Redskins in the red zone en route to their second touchdown. The completion improved the former Indiana University quarterback’s career passing numbers to 18-for-22 for 246 yards and three touchdowns. That’s not even counting his 43-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward that helped Pittsburgh beat Seattle in Super Bowl XL.

“I don’t miss it or crave it as much as I used to because I’m getting better at receiver, but I still like showing that I can do it,” Randle El said.

Randle El is 4-for-6 for 118 yards and a touchdown with the Redskins.

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