- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 1, 2012

Washington Redskins receiver Aldrick Robinson will get more playing time beginning with this Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, coach Mike Shanahan said this week. Robinson injects some speed into an offense that is without No. 1 ‘X’ receiver Pierre Garcon and athletic tight end Fred Davis because of injuries.

“Every time I step on the field, I want to give that speed and give the defense a vertical threat,” Robinson said. “We’ve got a lot of fast receivers, but I definitely want to bring speed to the table.”

Robinson, a sixth-round pick in 2011, played 70 percent of the Redskins’ snaps through two games. He fell out of favor, though, and has played only 16 percent in his five games since. He missed the Week 4 game against Tampa Bay because of a concussion he suffered during a collision during pre-game warm-ups.

Robinson has eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown this season. Only two of those receptions and 22 yards came after Washington’s Week 2 loss to St. Louis. He cited his performance in that game as the reason for his demotion.

“It was mostly the blocking, getting involved in the run game,” he said. “Of course, the chance I had with the deep ball. I didn’t come down with that. A lot of things factored into that game, but it’s all behind me now. I’m looking forward.”

Coach Mike Shanahan was impressed by the stutter-go route Robinson ran against Pittsburgh last Sunday. Shanahan believed Robinson would have caught the ball for a 29-yard touchdown if cornerback Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis hadn’t illegally grabbed Robinson’s left arm before the ball arrived.

Hall avoids suspension

The NFL fined — but did not suspend — cornerback DeAngelo Hall for his altercation with an official during the final minutes of Sunday’s loss to Pittsburgh, a source said Thursday evening. Hall did not physically contact the official, so a suspension always was unlikely.

This incident likely would earn Hall harsher disciplinary action for any future incidents. The league is expected to disclose the amount of the fine Friday. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was fined $20,000 for berating an official in Washington’s Week 3 loss to Cincinnati.

Drops are ‘mental’

Dropping 10 balls largely was to blame for the Redskins’ loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers, coach Mike Shanahan said. But in the days following, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has tried to get his receivers’ minds off the drops.

“Usually when you have that many drops it’s more of a mental thing than actually a technique or physical thing,” Kyle Shanahan said. “Sometimes when guys start dropping the ball, they start catching it differently and not being as aggressive with it. You just keep trying to remind them: ‘Don’t be worried about the drop; you attack that ball every time and have aggressive hands and an aggressive mindset and run through the ball and don’t worry about that drop. You’ve got to play aggressive.’ “

Robert Griffin III, still evolving as a leader, struggled to find the right words to communicate with receivers during the game.

“I sat there and I was trying to figure out what to say to these guys because these guys are some of the best at their profession in the world,” Griffin said. “They’re in the NFL for a reason. So if they drop a ball, they know, ‘Hey, I can’t drop that ball. I have to catch it.’ So what am I supposed to go say to them? ‘Go catch the ball?’”

Instead, Griffin listened.

“It’s tough in those situations, but throughout the game, repeatedly they came to me and told me they were going to continue to fight for me, even through the drops and all the bad plays we did have,” he said. “I have bad plays myself, so it’s good to hear them say that. I think they definitely know that I’ve got their back, and I know they’ve got mine.”

Injury report

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon (right foot) did not practice Wednesday and figures to be out until at least after the bye week. Safety Brandon Meriweather (left knee) was limited in practice but is a long shot to face the Panthers. Linebacker Perry Riley (hamstring) was also limited.

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