- Associated Press - Sunday, August 22, 2010

LANDOVER, Md. | Nothing livens up a preseason game like a fake punt, especially if it works.

And nothing livens up a preseason locker room like a few defiant comments from Albert Haynesworth.

Baltimore Ravens third-year safety Haruki Nakamura took a direct snap on fourth-and-6 and juked his way 51 yards — all the way to the 1 — in the second quarter to set up the only touchdown scored by either first-team offense in Saturday night’s 23-3 win over the Washington Redskins.

“I think the last time I touched the ball was on an interception in college,” Nakamura said. “But the last time I was running the ball like that it was probably in high school.”

The bit of trickery added entertainment value to a typical August game that lacked polish and gave both coaches plenty to work on before the regular season starts in three weeks. In addition, the Redskins had to deal with several injuries and more disgruntled talk from Haynesworth.

Haynesworth accused the Redskins of underplaying the medical condition that caused him to miss practice over the previous few days, speculating that coach Mike Shanahan did it to make the team “look good” and make Haynesworth “look bad” for skipping the offseason conditioning program. Shanahan had said Haynesworth missed the practices because of a headache, but Haynesworth said “they left out a whole lot of stuff” but wouldn’t specify what.

Haynesworth also said he won’t take part in next year’s conditioning program, either, and that he shouldn’t have been playing with the backups in the second half Saturday night.

The Redskins said Shanahan will address Haynesworth’s comments on Monday.

As for the injuries, the Redskins had two starters leave the game with knee problems: Fullback Mike Sellers hurt his left knee while blocking on a running play, and free safety Kareem Moore sprained his right knee trying to catch up to Nakamura on the fake punt play.

Moore’s injury appears to be the most severe, and he’ll have an MRI on Sunday. Sellers also said his knee was sore, but that he would be “all right.”

Meanwhile, Donovan McNabb emerged from the locker room after halftime with a large wrap around his lower left leg and ankle. By then, he was already finished for the night.

McNabb said he was “just a little sore” and that he expected to play next week against the New York Jets.

“I definitely hope so,” he said. “As it feels right now, I definitely feel like I’ll be out there for the next practice. We’ll definitely see how it kind of recovers.”

Left tackle Trent Williams, the No. 4 overall draft pick, left with a bruised elbow but said he was fine.

McNabb had an erratic night for the Redskins (1-1), completing 11 of 26 passes for 206 yards and a bad-decision interception thrown deep into double coverage. He frequently threw behind receivers and was often pressured and hit by a blitzing Ravens defense.

“I think it really helped us out in so many ways,” McNabb said. “From seeing our defense for so long and then coming out to play against a top tier defense that presents a lot of problems with some of their blitz schemes, I thought we handled it pretty well.”

Larry Johnson got the start at running back and showed nothing to indicate he has any chance of overtaking Clinton Portis for the job. Johnson gained only 4 yards on eight carries, missed a blitz pickup that resulted in an intentional grounding call on McNabb, bobbled a pass at least a half-dozen times before dropping it, and lost the ball after tripping over his own man on a running play — it wasn’t called a fumble because he was ruled down by contact.

Shanahan will find other untidy moments when he reviews the film. Linebacker Brian Orakpo lined up offsides, linebacker London Fletcher was whistled for delay of game when he kicked the ball before it was snapped, and linebacker Andre Carter dropped an interception that went through both hands — all on the same drive.

And here’s another miscue that had fans a bit puzzled: The home team band played the celebratory fight song “Hail to the Redskins” after the Ravens‘ first touchdown, a 1-yard run by Willis McGahee that followed the fake punt.

The Ravens‘ first-team defense was solid for the most part, except when it allowed three big third-down conversions on the game’s opening drive. Cornerback Fabian Washington, playing his first game since tearing a ligament in his left knee last season, ended the drive by breaking up a pass at the goal line, forcing the Redskins to settle for a field goal.

Joe Flacco went 9 for 16 passes for 72 yards for the Ravens (2-0). Ray Rice ran for 17 yards, but dropped the ball on two of his three carries — one of the fumbles was technically credited to Flacco, and the Ravens recovered both. Two other promising drives were stopped by mistakes: a false start on left tackle Michael Oher, and a fumble by Donte’ Stallworth.

“We’re pleased with where we’re at, but we’ve got a long way to go,” Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. “You don’t want to see the ball on the ground. You don’t want to see anyone flinch.”

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide