Kory Lichtensteiger has not played in an NFL game regular season or exhibition since suffering a serious knee injury early last season.
But if all goes well this week in practice, the Redskins left guard hopes to make his return Sunday in New Orleans on a surgically repaired right knee that he says, feels as good as it can.
100-percent, Lichtensteiger said, asked how confident he is that hell suit up against the Saints. Weve had a few days now with a pretty good tempo in practice where the coaching staff can see if somebody can go of or they cant, if I trust my knee or I dont. Im taking these practices a little more seriously now than, say, if I had done all of training camp.
Lichtensteiger tore his ACL, MCL and against the Eagles on Oct. 16, 2011 and spent the entire offseason working toward being ready for training camp. On the second day of camp, though, the 27-year-old tweaked the same knee and, after some deliberation, opted to have it scoped, ending his hopes of playing in the preseason.
Lichtensteiger reported Monday that hes seen significant progress in recent days. He practiced fully for the first time on Friday and emerged from Saturday and Mondays sessions with minimal discomfort.
If Lichtensteiger is able to start Sunday, hell be backed up by Maurice Hurt. If not, Hurt will get the nod as he did all preseason.
Felt great first two days of camp, Lichtensteiger said. But it feels okay now. It feels like I can play on it. I feel like Im going to play at the same level I played before, which is all you can really ask for. Two knee surgeries in a year, its not going to feel great. It feels as good as it can.
An explosive talent with a long-record of off-field issues, Browns receiver Josh Gordon announced Thursday that he will head for rehab.
Gordon missed the entire 2015 season due to a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, but when he has played, he has produced. In 14 starts during the 2013 season Gordon caught 87 balls for more than 1,600 yards and nine touchdowns.
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A teammate of Robert Griffin III's at Baylor, some in Cleveland hoped that reuniting the QB and WR would bring back their college fireworks. That plan faded first when Griffin got injured Week 1, and while Gordon is still suspended, some hope remained that the two could connect later in the season. For now, it seems that plan will not work.
Without the decision to enter a rehab facility, Gordon would have missed the Redskins game this Sunday due to suspension.
Here are the highlights of Jay Gruden’s Thursday news conference:
—Don’t look for John Sullivan to start at center on Sunday. “I think the first go around will be as a backup—which is very important as we found out last week.” Between this and the word around Redskins Park that Trent Williams is going to play left tackle it looks like Arie Kouandjio will make his first NFL start at left guard against the Browns.
—Gruden said on Monday that Bashaud Breeland (ankle) and Shawn Lauvao (ankle) are “week to week” with their injuries. When asked if he could assign a number to how much time each is expected to miss, Gruden said he couldn’t. “It just depends on how quickly they recover.”
—Gruden has been impressed with Trent Murphy ever since he came to the team as a second-round pick in 2014. Now others are becoming impressed with him as he leads the team in sacks with 3. The coach cited Murphy’s work ethic in the weight room and on the field as reasons for his emergence.
—Jamison Crowder is tied for the team lead with 16 receptions and he has caught two touchdown passes. Gruden said that he hasn’t necessarily improved from last year. “He’s just getting more opportunities—ball in his hand. He’s playing a lot more.”
—DeSean Jackson (knee/ankle) was limited in practice on Thursday after being out on Wednesday. “He’ll do more tomorrow,” said Gruden. “And I think he should be ready to go, I would guess.”
—It looks like Gruden is trying to motivate Matt Jones a little bit. He said that he liked Jones’ running style on the final drive. But before that, not so much. “I think in the first three quarters there are some runs he didn’t cap off like we want him to, really to be quite honest.”
—Will we see Duke Ihenacho on Sunday? “Could be,” he said. “We’re going to dress four safeties most likely and they’re all probably get an opportunity.” Ihenacho played 13 snaps against the Giants, his first action on defense this year.