Redskins’ Kelly on IR; good news on McNabb, Portis
The Washington Redskins placed Malcolm Kelly on injured reserve
Tuesday, robbing the team of a big target receiver because of an
ailing hamstring that wasn’t to heal anytime soon.
There was better news regarding Donovan McNabb and Clinton
Portis. Portis practiced for the first time since spraining his
right ankle last week against the New York Jets. McNabb was still
sidelined but was no longer wearing a compression stocking over his
sprained left ankle, and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was
optimistic that the quarterback would practice next week.
”I expect him to,” Shanahan said.
Kelly first pulled his left hamstring working out with McNabb in
Arizona the week before training camp begin. Kelly took part in the
first practice of camp, but he felt the hamstring tighten up the
next day and pulled it again a few days later. He tried to return
Monday with the hopes of playing in at least one preseason game,
but he pulled the muscle yet again and is now done for the
”I like the kid,” coach Mike Shanahan said. ”But you’ve got
to be on the field.”
Kelly was a second-round draft pick out of Oklahoma in 2008, but
he caught only three passes in his rookie season because of knee
and ankle injuries. He returned to play in all 16 games last year,
catching 25 passes for 347 yards.
At 6-foot-4, Kelly was supposed to be the tall receiver to
counter 5-foot-10 Santana Moss and 5-foot-11 Joey Galloway. It now
seems probable that the Redskins will open the season with only one
receiver taller than 6 feet – 6-foot-2 Devin Thomas.
Mike Shanahan said if Kelly had been more forthright about the
injury at the start of camp, the team would have put the wideout on
the physically unable to perform list, which would have allowed
Kelly to return during the season.
”I’m disappointed we didn’t put him on the PUP list,” Shanahan
said. ”But when a guy comes in and practices the first day and he
says he’s fine to go, you can’t put him on the PUP list. That’s
another conversation I had with him.”
The sprained ankles of Portis and McNabb had temporarily
sidelined the Redskins’ starting backfield, but Portis was able to
return Tuesday after missing only two days of practice.
”I was surprised he came back as quick as he did,” Shanahan
said. ”He looked pretty good.”
McNabb’s sprain is more severe, having kept him idle for a week
and a half since he was injured in the second preseason game
against Baltimore. He watched practice Tuesday wearing a baseball
cup with a wrap on his ankle. While teammates are certain McNabb
will play in the season opener against the Dallas on Sept. 12, the
coach continues to remain cautious – at least publicly.
”How do you know?” Shanahan said. ”That’s what happens when
these guys have got these ankle sprains, you’re hoping a guy can
go, but you don’t know if there’s going to be a setback or not. I’m
keeping my fingers crossed and hoping, he’s doing everything he can
in rehab to get himself ready. When he’s ready to go, I’ll let you
Even if healthy, neither McNabb nor Portis would have played in
this week’s game, Thursday against Arizona, because Shanahan
prefers to rest his starters in the final preseason game.