- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 16, 2011

Chris Cooley caught the ball on a short play in the first quarter in the open field. Unfortunately for him and the Redskins, it was his first and only catch of the day.

Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha crushed Cooley for a loss of a yard. What’s worse is that the collision ended the tight end’s day — and likely will keep him out for a while.

Cooley suffered a broken left index finger and will require surgery, coach Mike Shanahan said. There is no timetable for his return to game action.

“I’m frustrated that I can’t keep playing and that I can’t stay out there for us,” said Cooley, who was instructed not to talk about his injury. “It just wasn’t an option.”

When Cooley went out, the Redskins were down 7-0 and didn’t manage any significant progress on offense until late, when John Beck engineered a scoring drive. And while fellow tight end Fred Davis was the team’s leading receiver with six catches for 95 yards, Cooley lamented how the offense stagnated without him.

“I know our game plan changed quite a bit when I went out of the game,” Cooley said. “We had a two-tight-end package that we practiced a lot and we felt very confident in. And that’s not to say anything bad about Logan [Paulsen] — he just didn’t practice this week, as far as the tight end spot goes.”

This is just the latest injury setback for Cooley, who missed the preseason after offseason knee surgery, suffered a concussion in 2008 and broke an ankle in 2009.

“Do I feel snake-bitten? No, I do not,” Cooley said. “The NFL is a league of injuries. I’ve been a little bit unfortunate, I guess in the last couple seasons. But no, I don’t feel snake-bitten.”

Atogwe gets turnover

When the Redskins went out and got Oshiomogho Atogwe, they expected turnovers — and plenty of them. In six seasons with the Rams, the safety had 22 interceptions.

But through four games, Atogwe had yet to pick off a pass. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett explained that a hamstring injury suffered in the preseason was hampering Atogwe’s game.

“So far this week, I think he’s finally breaking through that and he’s looking a lot better to me,” Haslett said last week.

Despite a toe problem, Atogwe finally broke through Sunday by intercepting Eagles quarterback Michael Vick at the Washington 1 in the third quarter.

“I worked just as hard all week as I did in the past, and I was just blessed and fortunate to be in a position to make the play,” Atogwe said.

Like so many other times against Philadelphia, the Redskins were unable to make that turnover into points.

No work for Hightower

A few weeks ago, Tim Hightower was the center of attention as he rushed for 96 yards at FedEx Field in the Redskins’ win over the Arizona Cardinals. Sunday, he was wearing a uniform and pads but was set to play only on an emergency basis.

Hightower, who was listed on the team’s injury report as questionable with a shoulder injury, did not see any action against the Eagles.

“I’ve got to get healthy, man,” he said.

Falling behind early, the Redskins abandoned the running game, as they only ran 14 times all game. Ryan Torain got the bulk of the carries — 10 for 22 yards, while Roy Helu had the only other two by a running back.

Hightower, though, said not playing Sunday was precautionary and that he’s feeling better.

“It was just a matter of resting up,” he said. “I’ll be good to go for the rest of the season.”

• Stephen Whyno can be reached at swhyno@washingtontimes.com.

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