- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Redskins opened their three day veteran minicamp on Tuesday with a pair of key defensive players missing.

Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo was out with an illness. That allowed rookie Trent Murphy to work with the defensive starters. More concerning, defensive end Jason Hatcher, a key free agent acquisition this offseason signed away from the Dallas Cowboys, watched from the sidelines with swelling in his knee.

That’s a concern because Hatcher, who turns 32 next month, is an older player in the first year of a four-year deal. He will not participate on Wednesday, either, according to coach Jay Gruden. But the Redskins weren’t getting carried away. They need Hatcher to be ready for training camp in Richmond at the end of next month. Pushing things during a minicamp isn’t worth it.

“I don’t know when [Hatcher] tweaked it,” Gruden said. “He just said he had a little bit of pain, a little bit of swelling so we’re just gonna make sure we do the proper procedure as far as get him checked out and MRI’d, x-rayed, all that good stuff.”

Late Tuesday afternoon, Hatcher tweeted: “My knee is ok. It’s minor I’ll be ready to kill quarterbacks when the season starts. Just a Lil bump in the road. God is good!! #HTTR”

Orakpo had a cold and possibly strep throat, but Gruden hopes his top returning linebacker will participate in practice on Wednesday at Redskins Park.

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