<
>

Redskins' injuries provide chance for others

RICHMOND, Va. -- With several Washington Redskins sidelined for Thursday, here’s a look at who will be impacted:

Wide receiver. Pierre Garcon (hamstring) won’t play, and DeSean Jackson (ankle) might not play. The Redskins already know what Santana Moss can do, but he'll get moved up as will Aldrick Robinson. The latter has done what he has always done -- impressed the coaches with his speed and the possibilities and left them wanting more consistency from his hands. Also, rookie Ryan Grant will benefit. It would be nice to see him work against starting-caliber corners. Grant has done very well against backups and younger corners.

Strong safety. Phillip Thomas (hamstring) will not play. It’s a tough one for Thomas, who missed all of last season after a Lisfranc injury early in the first preseason game. Thomas needs to play. But his absence means players such as Akeem Davis will get a better opportunity once starter Brandon Meriweather exits. Davis probably knows the defense as well as anyone, but he has to transfer that knowledge onto the field. Is he a smart player or just a future coach? We’ll start to find out.

Free safety. Starter Ryan Clark (hamstring) is out. Nobody had a more up-and-down season last year than Bacarri Rambo. He was given the starting job from day one of training camp and opened the season that way. But he struggled to tackle, especially in the open field. Rule No. 1 at free safety: Get the man down any way, any how. It’s difficult to gauge the safeties in camp because there’s no live tackling; even when physical it’s inconsistent. So Rambo has a chance to prove he’s better. If he stays the same then keep an eye on Trenton Robinson, who also will get more chances to prove he's more than just a special teamer. And keep an eye on Rambo with special teams. That ranked as one of the bigger disappointments last year, that a sixth-round safety wasn't more competitive on special teams. Robinson can help in this area.

Defensive end. Jason Hatcher (knee) won’t play but could return to practice next week. Jarvis Jenkins will start at right end, and he’s having a solid camp. Jenkins needs to develop as a pass rusher and showed more in that area during practices against his teammates. His main job always will be to help set up linebackers to stop the run. He has started before so this opportunity is nothing new.