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McNabb Says Ankle Injury Is 'Improving'


Donovan McNabb says his sprained ankle is "improving," but it's likely that he is not going to play the rest of preseason.

McNabb has already been ruled out for this Friday night's game against the New York Jets.

He is unlikely to play in the preseason finale against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 2.

The decision to possibly hold him out of the Arizona game is based more on head coach Mike Shanahan not wanting to play his starting quarterback in the preseason finale.

"The chances of Donovan playing in the Arizona game are very slim," Shanahan said. "I haven't done it in a long time, playing [a starting quarterback] in the fourth game, for obvious reasons if there is an injury. So, chances are we wouldn't go in that direction, but I can't say 100 percent at this time."

Has McNabb had enough preseason action to get a rapport down with the first-team offense?

Replied Shanahan: "Well, he is only missing a half. We would like him to have that half, but we know it's not possible. But he has had a lot of reps in the OTAs and he has been working. Injuries are going to happen all year round, so you deal with it. He has gotten a few snaps in his career, so I think he can handle it."

If McNabb does not play against Arizona, then he would finish preseason with 16-of-34 pass completions for 264 yards, one touchdown and one interception in two games. His QB rating is 71.2.

He was 11-of-26 for 206 yards and one interception in the Redskins' 23-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week. He was sacked once and pressured several times, which is how his sprained ankle happened.

McNabb does not view the injury as a setback in terms of his development in the Redskins' offense.

"Obviously you want to continue playing with the guys, with the ones, and continue to work that timing in game situations," he said. "Due to this injury, there is a minor setback. I think it's something for me now, instead of it being a physical thing you have to stay mentally involved and know what you're doing.

"With Rex in there now, I still prepare like I am starting by watching the film, having an edge on the Jets. So I continue to talk to Rex if I see something on the sidelines. But I don't see it as a setback in the progression here."

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