- The Washington Times - Friday, December 4, 2009

When Washington last played New Orleans 15 months ago, rookie safety Chris Horton put on a show, intercepting two passes and recovering a fumble to earn NFC defensive player of the week honors in his first start, a 29-24 Redskins victory.

Horton won’t be making any plays when the unbeaten Saints visit again Sunday. He can’t even walk.

Horton has been getting around on a scooter since having surgery Nov. 9 to repair the ligament he tore in his left big toe the previous day against Atlanta.

“It’s easier than crutching along,” said Horton, who’s supposed to get off the scooter and into a walking boot next week. “I learned how to do a lot of things left-handed when I broke my right wrist my sophomore year of college. Every time I hop out of bed, I’m hopping from room to room. I’m either on crutches or I’m swerving around the house [on the scooter]. I’m looking forward to that boot.”

Horton, who grew up in New Orleans, said not facing the Saints will be difficult.

“This is one of those weeks that I might be even a little more fired-up than usual,” he said. “To come out and play the way I did in my first start, it was unbelievable. Not too many guys do that.”

Horton knew immediately that he was badly hurt late in the first half against the Falcons.

“I felt a pop — and whenever you feel something pop, it can’t be good,” he said. “I didn’t realize how big an impact your big toe has. When you can’t use your big toe, it’s hard to do anything. I’ll be in the boot for a month, and then I’ll slowly start jogging. By [March], hopefully I’ll be able to start moving around pretty fast. I’m hoping to be back for some minicamps [in the spring].”

A seventh-round pick out of UCLA, Horton started 10 games in place of the injured Reed Doughty and was the lowest-drafted player to make Pro Football Weekly’s 2008 all-rookie team. Horton began this season as the starter, but he and Doughty were splitting time until his injury.

“I didn’t have the picks like I did last year, but I thought I was playing just as well as I did last year,” said Horton, who had 37 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in eight games. He had 76 tackles, three interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 14 games as a rookie.

Haynesworth, Rogers in

Secondary coach Jerry Gray said Thursday that defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth will return Sunday after missing the past two games with a sprained left ankle.

Regardless of whether cornerback DeAngelo Hall (sprained knee) is able to play, Gray said Carlos Rogers has returned to the starting lineup. Fred Smoot will return to reserve duty if Hall plays.

Reserve corner Justin Tryon, who suffered a hip pointer last week, will play Sunday, Gray said. Fullback Mike Sellers, who sprained an ankle last week, hardly practiced but is expected to play.

Gray terse on Memphis

Gray publicly discussed losing out to University of Memphis alum Larry Porter for the Tigers’ coaching job.

“They picked the guy they wanted to pick, and good luck to ‘em,” Gray said.

Jarmon upbeat

Rookie defensive end Jeremy Jarmon is optimistic about making a full recovery from the torn left ACL he suffered covering a kickoff Sunday.

“It’s a setback for me, but I’m going to recover,” he said. ” I’m going to come back stronger. I know that. I know it’s going to be a long recovery process, but I’m up for it.”

Jarmon finished his rookie year with eight tackles, two quarterback hurries and a pass defensed in limited action in 11 games, including one start.

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