Photo by Joe Glorioso for The Sports Capitol

Redskins training camp daily: Sneak attack



AT TSC HEADQUARTERS — The first preseason game is upon us Thursday when the Redskins travel to play the New England Patriots.

Washington completed its final practice in Richmond on Tuesday, but not all starters will be in uniform for the first game. Redskins coach Jay Gruden was non-committal on quarterback Alex Smith’s playing time and ruled out wide receiver Jamison Crowder (groin), safety D.J. Swearinger (hamstring) and running back Chris Thompson.

The Redskins are still going easy on Thompson as he recovers from his broken right leg. He’s been working into practices, but there’s no reason to push him in a meaningless exhibition game. For him anyway. There are plenty of other roster hopefuls who could make a major splash against the Patriots.     

“The big thing to get out of this game Thursday night against the Patriots is to get a good look at our core guys battling for roster spots, give them plenty of looks and try to get everybody out of here (healthy) and have a good week of practice against the Jets,” Gruden told reporters in Richmond.

Wide receiver Josh Doctson (bruised heel) actually returnd to practice Tuesday for 11-on-11 work after Jay Gruden doubted he would do more than individual drills. Doctson also seems unlikely to play Thursday regardless. Crowder and Swearinger had missed two days in a row of practice. The Redskins went without pads as is customary two days before a game.

Gruden mentioned that the third-string players sometimes get limited repetitions in practice and will get more time to show off in game action, especially in the second half. It’s unclear who will start at running back with second-round pick Derrius Guice listed as the fourth-string back on the depth chart released Monday.

Gruden joked that a depth chart is something the team has to put out by NFL rules and that the public relations staff put it together. Either way, it won’t affect how long Guice or any of the top running backs, including Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine, actually play.

But players like rookie Troy Apke, a safety drafted in the fourth round this spring, will get a chance to show they belong before Washington returns to Richmond for one final segment of training camp Saturday with four practices, three of them joint practices with the visiting New York Jets.      

“We have to see who rises to the occasion under the lights,” Gruden said. “Special teams is huge. I want to see some guys running around on special teams, making some plays on teams and then the battles. I want to see some of these young guys.”

Brian McNally is a senior staff writer and co-founder of The Sports Capitol. He is also an award-winning multi-media journalist, who has covered the Redskins, Capitals and Nationals for the Washington Examiner, Washington Times and 106.7 The Fan and major events like the Super Bowl, NCAA basketball tournament, Stanley Cup playoffs, NBA playoffs, NFL Combine and NFL Draft.

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