- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Return specialist/receiver Brandon Banks missed practice on Wednesday to have his ailing left knee evaluated by renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews and another doctor. The Washington Redskins are waiting to learn the prognosis for one of their most explosive playmakers.

“I can’t even guess right now,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “It is a little bit swollen after a few [pass] routes, so that’s not a good sign.”

Banks was ruled out of Friday’s preseason game at Indianapolis because his knee reacted badly after he participated in receiver drills during Monday’s practice.

The setback is a bit surprising considering Banks had a 58-yard kickoff return and a 19-yard punt return in last Friday’s victory over Pittsburgh.

But Banks’ knee has been an issue since he had surgery to repair a torn meniscus last Nov. 3. That was the Redskins‘ bye week, and he didn’t miss a game, but his speed did not appear to be at its peak after that.

That the injury has lingered into training camp is a worrisome situation for the Redskins because Banks is one of their biggest weapons.

Second-year receiver Terrence Austin is expected to return kickoffs Friday. Rookie receiver Aldrick Robinson said he expects to return some punts.

Banks is the second Redskins player to visit Dr. Andrews about his knee in the last week. Tight end Chris Cooley sought his expertise, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Cooley’s surgically-repaired knee continued to flare up after practicing, and the timetable for his return is uncertain.

Extra points

• The Redskins signed kicker Clint Stitser to fill in for Graham Gano against Indianapolis, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed. Gano left practice Wednesday about a half-hour in after getting a call that his wife, Brittany, was getting ready to deliver a baby. The Redskins have the roster space to keep Stitser around to compete with Gano for rest of the preseason. Stitser made 7 of 8 field goals in five games for Cincinnati last season. 

• The Redskins also claimed linebacker Thaddeus Gibson off waivers from San Francisco. Sirius NFL Radio first reported the news. Gibson was a fourth-round pick by Pittsburgh last year.

Shanahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett all but ruled out several players for Friday night’s preseason game at the Colts. Haslett said the only member of his starting secondary expected to play is cornerback DeAngelo Hall, with Josh Wilson (groin/hamstring), LaRon Landry (left Achilles tendon) and Oshiomogho Atogwe (hamstring) likely to be out.

• Kareem Moore (knee) and London Fletcher (groin/hamstring) also are probably going to miss the game, along with running back Ryan Torain (left hand). Torain participated in portions of practice Wednesday for the first time since Aug. 3.

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