- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Unable to play in last week’s season-opening loss to the New York Giants, cornerback Shawn Springs still has a sleeve on his right leg but went through the Washington Redskins‘ full practice Monday. He sat out the game after being kicked in the shin during a workout.

“It was like hitting yourself on the shin with a 2-by-4,” he said. “After a while, the pain goes away, and everything is fine. It was a lot more swollen [last week], and I took time to heal up. It’s back to normal.”

The Redskins will need a healthy secondary Sunday against New Orleans. The Saints used three-receiver formations on 57 percent of their snaps last season, and Drew Brees threw for 343 yards in Sunday’s win over Tampa Bay.

Cornerback Fred Smoot (hip pointer) sat out practice but expects to play and be challenged.

“I should be good to go,” he said. “It’s one of those injuries where you have to let it heal itself. There isn’t too much they can do besides ice it and massage it. I should be all right this weekend, no problem.”

Also sitting out or limited to individual drills were receiver Malcolm Kelly (knee), safety Kareem Moore (hamstring) and linebackers Marcus Washington (hip) and Khary Campbell (quad).

Kelly, who missed all five preseason games following knee surgery, did agility work and intends to practice Wednesday.

“Take [Tuesday] off and then throw me in there and go full speed Wednesday,” he said. “There’s a complete difference. I had a chance to rest it and let it heal up.”

Said coach Jim Zorn: “I would like him to participate fully because he needs to work; veterans can get away with partial participation. If he’s 100 percent or even close to 100 percent, he’ll get practice reps, and that will be the determining factor.”

Biking with Bush

The Redskins return to practice Tuesday following two days off, the second of which was an interesting Sunday for coach Jim Zorn.

“Went bike riding and tried to work hard and got errands done,” he said.

But Zorn wasn’t on just another bike ride. His 90-minute workout at Fort Belvoir was with President Bush’s biking group.

“Mr. President read that I like to bike ride, so he invited me out, and he has a weekend group that’s serious, and they work hard, and it’s all about biking for them,” Zorn said. “They’re out there to get a great workout, and he heads it up. He doesn’t mess around.”

Said White House press secretary Dana Perino: “The president occasionally invites mountain bikers to join him for his vigorous rides. He enjoys a good, competitive ride, and everyone who’s had a chance to ride with him says they are amongst the toughest rides around.”

Zorn, an avid rider, said Bush didn’t give any play-calling suggestions, and the two didn’t discuss national security. This wasn’t the first time Zorn had been invited to ride with Bush.

“It meant a lot to me that he would ask, but he was trying to judge me and whether I was capable of being out there,” he said. “With him, it’s competitive, and you have to earn the right.”

And who finished first?

“The president always wins,” Zorn said.

No urgency … yet

The Redskins are already looking up at their three NFC East rivals after Dallas and Philadelphia steam-rolled to opening wins Sunday.

While they stress 15 games remain, there’s also the knowledge a big hole can’t be dug. The Redskins started 0-2 in 2006 on their way to a 5-11 season.

“We definitely need to get rolling really quick,” center Casey Rabach said. “It’s hard to make the playoffs as a wild-card team, no doubt. We’re definitely sitting in a poor position to say the least, and we’ve got some tough games coming up.”

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