- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finally, we can stop hearing about John Beck and watch him play a game.

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan announced Tuesday morning that Beck will start Friday night’s preseason road game against the Indianapolis Colts.

“I think you saw that coming,” Shanahan told reporters.

Now the Redskins‘ starting quarterback competition really gets interesting.

Beck sat out Washington’s preseason-opening win over Pittsburgh on Friday because of a groin strain he suffered in practice Aug. 6. Meanwhile, Rex Grossman completed 19 of 26 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown, demonstrating quality timing and rhythm.

Beck did not participate in team drills during practice last week for fear a sudden movement might exacerbate the injury. He resumed full participation in practice Sunday.

“I’m just excited for it,” Beck said before Shanahan publicized his decision.

“There’s nothing like reps out on the field. You can watch all the tape you want, study all you want. But getting a game rep, like here in practice, that’s the real learning area. That’s when you really make big strides.”

Asked what he wants to accomplish in his first start of any kind since his rookie season in 2007, Beck listed one criterion for evaluating his play above all others.

“Putting the ball in the end zone,” he said. “That’s what the offense is designed to do, and that’s what we’re supposed to do  manage the offense, find a way to get points on the board. If you’re in a bad play or something breaks down, don’t let a bad play become a terrible one.”

Hall, Horton get chippy

The Redskins saved their most lively skirmish for the final day of training camp. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall and safety Chris Horton mixed it up. Usually fights in camp feature players on opposite sides of the ball, but this was defense-on-defense crime.

It happened after a short throw underneath during 7-on-7 drills. Neither Hall nor Horton was near where the ball ended up, but they exchanged words after the play was over. Horton proceeded to run at Hall, and they ended up tangled on the ground. No punches were thrown. Players came over to separate them. And when Hall and Horton unlocked and stood up, they went after each other again.

“We can’t give up plays like we did last year,” Hall said. “We can’t be 31st in the league on defense and think we’re going to win ballgames. You’ve got to correct it out on the field. If that involves somebody getting smacked around a little bit, then that’s what we’ve got to do. But we’re going to get it fixed.”

Horton wasn’t amused. “It’s camp, [stuff] happens,” he said. “It’s over. Moving on.”

Shanahan spoke to both players after the incident, and they had to run sprints after practice.

“As I told them, all families have some [disagreements],” Shanahan said. “Sometimes it’s physical, sometimes it’s verbal. But we’re still a family.”

RB Davis remains absent

Running back James Davis was placed on the reserve/left squad list after missing practice for the second day. Shanahan would not confirm that he left the team because of a gripe about playing time and practice reps.

“He could get fined $20,000 for missing a day,” Shanahan cracked. “I think he’s made, maybe $1,500. So you add that up, that’s not good.”

Shanahan does not expect Davis to return to the team.

The Redskins filled Davis’ roster spot by signing tight end Tony Curtis, who last played a regular-season game for Dallas in 2008.

Extra points

• Return specialist Brandon Banks will not play against the Colts because his surgically repaired left knee swelled up after running pass routes in practice, Shanahan said. Terrence Austin is expected to handle kickoff returns.

• Running back Ryan Torain visited a specialist about his broken left hand and has been cleared to take handoffs during positional drills, a team official said. The Redskins will try to limit contact to his hand.

• Linebacker London Fletcher (groin/hamstring) and cornerback Josh Wilson (groin/hamstring) did not practice.

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