If Tanard Jackson returns to practice Thursday as expected, then the competition at safety can finally begin in earnest.Jackson missed the three days of training camp with a calf muscle strain, then sat out the next three days because of a CBA-mandated acclimation period.It definitely didnt help, he said of the delay. But its a long camp; we still have a lot competition left. My opportunity will come.Jackson is expected to challenge Madieu Williams for the starting free safety job. Brandon Meriweather, meanwhile, is expected to start at strong safety, while DeJon Gomes and Reed Doughty appear to be battling for backup duty.Jackson said he can play both safety positions, but acknowledged hes more comfortable playing free.The native of Silver Spring began camp on the physically unable to perform list because of the ailing calf muscle. He said he was cleared by team doctors Sunday but couldnt join practice immediately because of a provision in the CBA that prohibits contact drills and pads during a players first three days in camp.Ive been patient these past three days, he said. I didnt know about the acclimation thing in the new CBA. I guess its a good thing because it protects us.Jackson joined the Redskins in April following his release by Tampa Bay, where he missed the majority of the 2010 season after being suspended by the NFL for a second violation of the leagues substance abuse policy. He was reinstated seven games into the 2011 season but had surgery on his shoulder in January. The Bucs cut him in April when he a failed physical exam.The hard-hitting 27-year-old didnt stay unemployed long. Secondary Coach Raheem Morris Jacksons head coach in Tampa Bay quickly reached out to the safety, who, in 2009, posted career highs in tackles (71) and interceptions (5) in 12 games.In 56 career games all with the Bucs Jackson has 239 tackles, 10 interceptions and a sack.As soon as I got released, I was on the phone with Raheem and Coach Jim Haslett, in less than 30 minutes, Jackson said.But if he wants to remain with his hometown team and reward Morris faith in him hes got to make up for lost time.And quickly.I dont have to overdo it, he said. But Im anxious to get out there. Im ready to go now.
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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