- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 4, 2011

Running back Ryan Torain and receiver Malcolm Kelly, two of the Washington Redskins’ most injury-prone players, missed practice time Thursday because of injuries.

Torain’s fractured left hand is believed to be the more serious of the two. He is expected to miss a week to 10 days after having four screws inserted into his third metacarpal. The Redskins’ first-string running back was injured in a collision during Wednesday morning’s practice.

“He’s a little sore right now,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “It shouldn’t take too long.”

Kelly sat out team drills during the afternoon practice because of a sore right foot.

“It’s been sore the last few days,” Kelly said. “So once we got through individual [drills], they kind of just told me to chill out.”

Both players have been dogged by injuries throughout their careers.

Torain fractured his elbow on another player’s helmet during his first NFL training camp in 2008 with Denver. That cost him seven games. Two games into his return, he suffered a season-ending ACL tear.

Torain rehabilitated and returned to the Broncos’ training camp after Shanahan was fired as Denver’s coach in 2009, but a PCL injury in the same knee resulted in his release. Last season with the Redskins, he missed four games with a hamstring injury.

Rookie Roy Helu Jr. and veteran Tim Hightower will play with the first string in Torain’s absence.

Kelly, a second-round pick in 2008, has been a bust to this point because of repeated injuries, and his chances of making the final roster depend on his health.

“I don’t know if it’s a red flag,” Shanahan said. “We’ll see how long he’s out. Obviously if you keep on getting hurt it’s not going to help your chances of making the football team.”

A hamstring injury marred Kelly’s first and third seasons with the Redskins. He has played in only 21 out of 48 possible games.

Shanahan also explained that first-string tight end Chris Cooley has sparingly participated in team drills because of fluid in his knee.

“We don’t want to overdo it,” he said. “It’s hard to keep him out because he wants to go.”

Finally, all hands on deck

Thursday afternoon was as bizarre an NFL practice as you’ll ever see: Almost a dozen veterans stretching and watching on a separate field from their teammates, prohibited by league rules from participating.

Then at 4:57 p.m., about 45 minutes into the session, a cheer went up from the players.

The word traveled from general manager Bruce Allen to Shanahan to the sequestered players: The NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement was ratified; the new NFL league year had begun, and after five days of just watching, they could practice.

“They were like, ‘Come on, Steve! It’s time to go!’” said free agent defensive end Stephen Bowen. “I was like, ‘All right.’ I started snapping up, did a little stretch and got out there.”

The expected ratification of the CBA was the final chapter in the NFL labor story line. It allowed the Redskins to practice as a team for the first time since training camp began July 28. Newly signed free agents were allowed to attend meetings and watch practice, but they could not work out at the facility or take part in practice.

“It sure is nice to get everybody together, get everybody in camp, actually be able to practice together,” Shanahan said.

“[Practice] was a little bit different … but it worked out well.”

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