He's back. Deion Sanders returns to FedExField this Sunday night in--what else?--a prime time matchup between the Redskins and Baltimore Ravens.
Sanders, who played with the Redskins in 2000 and then retired to a broadcasting career, signed with the Baltimore Ravens in September. The seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback has renewed a 12-year NFL career that seems destined to land him in the Hall of Fame.
Sanders sat out last Monday's game between the Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs due to a hamstring injury. He is listed as questionable for Sunday night.
"I'm hoping to play," he said. "I'm practicing this week."
During a conference call with Washington, D.C., reporters on Thursday, Sanders said he enjoyed his one season as a Redskin--particularly watching Champ Bailey blossom and playing for then-defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes and assistant coach-turned-head coach Terry Robiskie.
Sanders hopes history treats that team kindly.
"I just hate the way it ended," he said. "People tend to neglect what Bruce Smith, myself and Mark Carrier came in for. The media has never written that we took the 30th-ranked defense to fourth. That's what we were brought in for.
"The facts were that the offense, which was ranked second the year before, slipped back to the teens. That was primarily the problem. And we were without a consistent kicker. But in the history of the game, I don't think there's ever been a team that has come that far, from 30th to fourth."
Sanders one-year run in Washington came to an end a year later when the Redskins hired Marty Schottenheimer as head coach. Sanders said Thursday that he did not want to go through a rebuilding process with a new coach.
As a Raven, Sanders is playing nickel back behind starters Chris McAllister and Gary Baxter. He said that the position requires different physical preparation than a starter and as a result it may have contributed to his hamstring injury.
Does he expect to play again next year?
"I'm taking it one day at a time," he said.