Jarvis Jenkins is back, just about anyway. The defensive ends rehabfollowing last Septembers right ACL surgery is in the past. Hismuch-anticipated deployment in the Redskins 3-4 defense for the first timeduring a regular season game is in the future. Getting his 6-foot-4, 309 lb body into game shape, staying energized andfootball-smart on consecutive plays. Those are the issues at hand for thesecond-year player during the ongoing spring practices. Worrying about living up to outside expectations or trying to make up forlost time on every single snap with chaotic effort are not.Im not going to be a one-man show, Im not going to be out trying to provethat Im the player everybody expects me to be, the Redskins 2011 second-roundpick said. Im not going to try and make plays that are not there for me tomake. Im going to try and make plays through the discipline of our defense.Disciplined is also a way to describe how Jenkins approached hispost-surgery work and fought through initial pangs of anxiety following hisfirst real injury.I was so anxious about being out 6-8 months, Im not going to be able toplay football, Jenkins said. I got out of that (mindset) quick because if youget depressed on yourself it will be even longer process to get back. So, Ijust blocked that out, did my rehab and got back.The work continues for Jenkins, who participated in individual and teamdrills on Thursday during the one OTA session media members could monitor thispast week. The Redskins training staff monitors and helps maintain strength inthe surgically repaired knee while the coaches put Jenkins and the otherplayers through the paces on the practice field. As he walked and talked with reporters after Thursdays practice, sweatpoured off the 24-year-olds head like Patrick Ewing in the fourth quarter ofan NBA playoff game.Weve been working the heck out of Jarvis to see if hes in footballshape, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said. Hes got a little brace on hisknee, but hes been taking all the reps and doing extremely well so hopefullytheres no setback. Projected as a defensive end starter opposite Stephen Bowen, Jenkins statedconfidence wearing the knee brace. As for the mental and instinctive aspects,the former Clemson star admits, "when youre out of football for eightmonths, not really on the field playing, its going to take a little timegetting back into it."Overall, Jenkins declared, Im back to my old explosive self. With his pass-rushing skills joining aunit that alreadyboasts several quality options, the defensive line may be the deepest position on the roster. I think hes looking pretty good. Hes getting comfortable again, Adam Carrikersaid of his fellow defensive end. We got a lot of guys that can play. Thereare guys who wont be here during the season who could be here and on mostteams. I was looking around the room today; weve got 10 guys that can play.At this point, thats all Jenkins wants, to play in the regular season.Considering he has yet to play single snap when the games truly count, he wontquibble with those who refer to this upcoming campaign as another rookieseason.I played in three preseason games, but you know, thats not enough,Jenkins said. I didnt get the gristle of the actual NFL season. Preseason,theyre just seeing how guys react, bringing in other guys to see how they playin a game situations. When youre in season, thats when it really counts and Ihavent really experienced that yet."At this recovery pace, it sounds like he will soon enough.
At least 51 Redskins will be making the trip to London on Thursday night, including some who are pretty banged up. And there is hope that the other two will be able to make it across the pond.
“We're taking everybody, which is a good thing,” said coach Jay Gruden. “If something happens on Friday or Saturday, we can make adjustments if needed.”
He later clarified the statuses of tight end Jordan Reed and cornerback Josh Norman. Both of them are in the NFL’s concussion protocol, at least partially.
“I’m not too sure about this — Thursday they are going to the independent doctor and if they’re cleared they’ll go on the trip,” said Gruden. “If not, if we’re still having some pain and setbacks, at that point we’ll make that decision to probably leave them back.”
In other words, stay tuned on those two key players.
Two players were out of practice on Wednesday. Reserve linebacker Terrance Garvin was out with a hip injury, and starting running back Matt Jones missed with a knee problem.
The injury was as much a surprise to Gruden as it was to reporters when they saw that Jones was not participating in practice.
“He just came in, I guess, today, had some soreness laterally,” said Gruden. “Had some pain cutting, has to problem running straight ahead so we kept him out today.”
Limited in practice were wide receivers Jamison Crowder (groin) and DeSean Jackson (hamstring/shoulder); guard Brandon Scherff (shoulder), offensive tackle Trent Williams (knee), Reed, Norman, offensive lineman Spencer Long (chest), cornerback Bashaud Breeland (ankle) and tight end Vernon Davis (groin).
With six offensive starters limited and Jones out, Gruden had to alter practice somewhat.
“We had to do kind of a slower tempo on the offensive side of the ball because of the amount of injuries we had,” said Gruden.
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Both Josh Norman and Jordan Reed, two important players who are in the concussion protocol, were on the field for the early part of Redskins practice today,
But starting running back Matt Jones was not with the running back during individual drills. He out of uniform, doing some rehab work off to the side. The team did not announce an injury to him during or after the game.
The presence of Reed, who has missed the last two games after suffering a concussion on October 9, at practice was expected. Coach Jay Gruden announced on Monday that Reed would participate today for the first time in a week.
Norman left the Redskins game against the Lions last Sunday in the third quarter and was diagnosed with a concussion. It was a mild surprise to see him on the field so soon.
Reed and Norman practicing today is a positive sign but far from a guarantee that either will play against the Bengals on Sunday in London. Both must be cleared by an independent neurologist prior to playing and that usually doesn’t happen quickly. It’s possible that they may need to be cleared by tonight in order to go to London since there are no NFL-approved independent neurologists in England.
We will find out more about Reed and Norman and get information on Jones’ injury when Gruden addresses the media after practice.
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