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News & Notes: Shanahan Says McNabb Is 'Ready to Go'


Quarterback Donovan McNabb participated in practice on Monday, putting aside any doubt about his availability for the Redskins' regular season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

"He's ready to go," head coach Mike Shanahan said.

McNabb had been sidelined since Aug. 21 when he suffered an ankle injury in the Redskins' preseason game vs. Baltimore.

The injury was not believed to be serious, but as McNabb missed practices over the next two weeks, uncertainty grew about his status for Week 1.

It appears the injury has improved enough that he should be in the starting lineup against the Cowboys this Sunday.

McNabb, of course, will be making his first regular season start as a Redskin. He joined the team last April 4 as part of a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Teammates were glad to see the 11-year veteran back in action on the practice field.

"I think it's real important," tight end Fred Davis said. "His caliber of player and the type of playmaker he is, we definitely need him out there. Having his experience will definitely give us an edge with the Cowboys."

Meantime, fullback Mike Sellers, slowed by a knee injury in recent weeks, also returned to practice on Monday.

Linebacker Perry Riley, sidelined the last week with a foot injury, worked with athletic trainers on the side at the beginning of practice.


Darrel Young, a first-year player who spent time on the Redskins' practice squad as a linebacker last year, earned a roster spot as a fullback this year.

He heard the news that he made the club from special teams coach Danny Smith.

"I walked through the door and coach said 'Congratulations,' and I said, 'Congratulations I'm here or congratulations I'm on the team.'"

Young continued: "He said, "Are you goung to be able to help us on special teams?' and I said, 'I feel confident I can do it.' And he said, 'All right, that's what I like to hear.' He told me, 'I feel like you have a good chance of being a good player for us.'"

Young had a solid preseason, catching two passes for 13 yards and recording two speical teams tackles in the Redskins' preseason finale in Arizona.

He is expected to back up Mike Sellers at fullback.

"I feel like I put myself in the best position I could in preseason," Young said.


Safety Kareem Moore's availability for the Redskins-Cowboys game on Sunday is uncertain.

Moore, sidelined since Aug. 21 with a knee injury, was expected to be out 4-6 weeks after undergoing a knee scope.

Moore held out hope that he would be available to return for Week 1.

After Monday's practice, Mike Shanahan declined to discuss Moore's status.

If Moore is unable to play on Sunday, then Reed Doughty or Chris Horton would likely start in his place alongside LaRon Landry.

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said that Moore "looks good."

"He's walking around on the treadmill," Haslett said. "From what I understand he heals a lot faster than most people."


The Redskins rounded out their practice squad on Monday with the signing of undrafted rookie linebacker Mike Balogun.

Balogum, 6-0 and 240 pounds, spent preseason with the San Francisco 49ers. He played in all four of the 49ers' preseason games and posted eight tackles, one interceptions and two special teams tackles.

Balogun played college football at the University of Oklahoma. He lost his eligibility however when the NCAA ruled that he had played semi-pro football.

Balogun grew up in Upper Marlboro, Md., and attended Suitland High School.


The Redskins are 37-37-4 all-time in regular season openers. In terms of winning percentage, the record is 19th best in NFL history and 10th best in the NFC.

The Redskins have lost their last two openers, both road contests against the New York Giants.

How important is Week 1? Last year, 10 of the 12 playoff teams were victorious on kickoff weekend.

As head coach, Mike Shanahan is 12-4 all-time in regular season openers, all with the Denver Broncos. His 12 wins are the most among active coaches.

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