Head coach Jay Gruden on Monday confirmed that he's expecting wide receiver DeSean Jackson to make his Washington Redskins debut in the Aug. 18 preseason game against the Cleveland Browns.
Jackson – a three-time Pro Bowler signed by the Redskins this offseason – injured his ankle during a joint practice session with the New England Patriots Aug. 6, and did not play in the team's preseason opener the next night against the Patriots at FedExField.
Top photos from Washington Redskins Training Camp Monday, Aug. 11, 2014.
Jackson has been limited in practices this week, but on Monday took part in several team drills, including the two-minute drill session, in which he caught a touchdown in the back of the end zone from scrambling quarterback Robert Griffin III.
"He did some cutting today, scored a couple touchdowns … so he's in good shape," Gruden said.
Gruden said he hopes Jackson can fully participate in Tuesday's practice in Richmond – a morning session which is not open to the public – as well as practices at the team's headquarters in Loudoun County, Va., Thursday through Saturday leading up to the primetime game against Cleveland, which is being televised on ESPN's Monday Night Football.
Other injuries frustratingGruden knows what he has in Jackson – a dynamic playmaker with 32 career touchdowns in six seasons – but said some of his lesser-established dinged-up players are, unfortunately, beginning to run out of time before their preseason evaluation periods come to a close.
Gruden said it's obviously not the players' faults they are getting hurt, but the injuries are "frustrating."
"It's frustrating for us as coaches in the evaluating process, but it's also frustrating for the player, I'm sure," he said. "It's just part of the game and it's a very physical game and there's guys rolling their ankles, pulling hamstrings every day across the league. It's just unfortunate when it happens to a guy who is in a critical evaluation state, you know?"
Gruden didn't mention any specific members of the team, but said all injured players currently on the bubble must do their "due diligence" with the training staff "and make sure when they do come back, they come back 100 miles an hour, because time is ticking."
"We have to make those tough decisions," Gruden said. "So, yes, it is frustrating for the player and for the coaches."
Reed still sickJordan Reed is listed as the No. 1 tight end on the Redskins' depth chart, so it's probably a safe assumption to say he's not among those Gruden was referring to as being on the bubble while not practicing.
Nevertheless, Reed has missed the last three days of practice with what Gruden and his staff originally believed was a simple stomach bug.
"I don't know what it is," Gruden said Monday. "We're going to do some more checks on him, but we thought he was going to practice today and then on the way over here he threw up again."
Gruden said he hopes to see Reed back at practice tomorrow.
Running backs updateGruden said Monday there's two horses leading the competition at running back, but the coaching staff is waiting for at least one or two others to "step up."
Pro Bowler Alfred Morris has been a "slam dunk," Gruden said, while second-stringer Roy Helu Jr. has "had a good camp." The others have either been injured at times, or are rookies still trying to get acclimated to an NFL system.
"You have Silas [Redd] and you have Lache [Seastrunk] and obviously Evan (Royster has) done a nice job and Chris Thompson, we're waiting for him to get healthy," Gruden said.
The first-year head coach said the last three weeks of the preseason "are going to be crucial for these guys."
"Who handles the protection the best?" Gruden said. "Who knows how to run routes the best, can catch the ball the best? And obviously running the ball is going to be very important."
Standout plays, highlightsMonday's morning practice and afternoon walkthrough were the final two training camp sessions open to the public at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
The practice featured many exciting moments – most notably during the team's two-minute drills for the offense vs. the defense. Here's some of those highlights, and other thoughts and observations:
See ya Richmond
It's safe to say Year 2 of training camp in Richmond was another huge success.
In 15 days of practices open to the public this year, the Redskins drew 164,789 fans – an average of 10,986 fans per day.
To compare, the Redskins drew in 165,571 fans last year in their inaugural training camp season in Richmond, but did so with 17 days of open practices (an average of 10,348 per day).