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News & Notes: Rookie Debut for Rogers

Top draft pick Carlos Rogers is expected to see action in his first NFL regular-season game--and depending on the defensive package that Gregg Williams opens in, Rogers could end up starting on Sunday against the Bears.

After practice on Friday, Rogers said he had not been told whether he would start on Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Rogers started the Redskins' last three preseason games.

Veteran cornerback Walt Harris is expected to be the starter opposite Shawn Springs. Harris was sidelined part of the preseason with a calf injury, but he is now at full speed.

Coaches have been pleased with Rogers' progress this preseason.

"He got a late start with the ankle injury," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "I've been pleased that his ankle hasn't been a bother. He's had very good work and he got to play a lot in the preseason. We have a lot of packages over there and I think it'll depend on what Gregg Williams and the guys think is the best place to play him and how much."

Added Williams: "He's done well. We thought that he would be a good complement to what we already had here. I've had a chance to coach a lot of first- and second-round corners and he compares favorably to all of those guys. Hopefully he can make some difference-making plays.

"The thing that impresses me about Carlos is that he has a safety's mentality when he tackles you, but he has a corner's hips, feet and speed. He has rare change of direction, like Sean Taylor does. As Carlos gets more acclimated to the game, I think you'll see more and more plays out of him."


Defensive tackle Brandon Noble underwent an MRI on his knee on Thursday evening and his status has been downgraded to questionable for this Sunday's season opener against the Chicago Bears.

"He had a little twinge there in his knee," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "I don't think it's anything real bad."

Noble told reporters in the locker room after Thursday's practice that he hopes to play on Sunday.

Noble had arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason. During recovery, he developed an infection that forced him to miss the team's OTA sessions in May and June and the June 17-19 mini-camp.

Safety Ryan Clark (knee) and linebacker Chris Clemons (hamstring) have been ruled out for Sunday's game. Clark and Clemons sat out practice all week.

Wide receiver Taylor Jacobs remains questionable due to a lingering toe injury. He has practice this week, though, and Gibbs said he would be a game-time decision.

"Taylor has had good work this week," Gibbs said.

Right tackle Jon Jansen remains probable with a fracture in the base of his thumb. He has practiced Thursday and Friday with a cast and is expected to play in Sunday's game.


In the Redskins' 13-10 win over the Chicago Bears last October at Soldier Field, three players jumped out with memorable performances: Clinton Portis, Cornelius Griffin and Sean Taylor.

Portis logged a season-high 171 rushing yards on 36 carries. Griffin had 10 tackles, including two sacks late in the fourth quarter. Taylor had a sack and an interception that helped clinch the victory.

In preparing for this Sunday's season opener against the Bears at FedExField, all three players have put last year's game behind them--even though the familiarity of the opponent will almost certainly be an advantage for both sides.

"That was last season," Griffin said. "This is a much better team we're facing. They have improved themselves on offense, they have a new wide receiver [Muhsin Muhammad] and a new running back [Cedric Benson] who looks pretty good. We have to work hard to get ready for them."

Portis carried the Redskins' struggling offense that day. While he wouldn't mind having another standout performance on Sunday, he said he wants to create new memories this year.

"When you erase last year from your memory, you have to erase the good and the bad," he said. "So last year is forgotten about. This is a new year for us. We want to have new things to talk about at the end of the season.

"We don't want to pick out spots like, 'Oh well, last year, we beat the Bears.' We want to say that we beat everybody. This is the start for us."

According to assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams, Taylor had a "breakthrough" game against the Bears last year.

"I thought he made several productive plays in that game that kind of gave him more confidence-although he's never really lacked confidence," Williams said. "Hopefully he can continue to produce for us in that way."

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