Redskins uncertain on Bowen's return

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins still remain uncertain about whether or not defensive end Stephen Bowen will return for the season opener. With a little more than two weeks before that game, Bowen is on the physically unable to perform list.

Bowen continues to work his way back after having microfracture surgery on his right knee in early December. Bowen still says he’ll be ready for the opener at Houston, but he’s running out of time to make sure those words hold true.

The coaching staff isn’t quite as certain.

“That’s hard to say,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “Nothing would surprise me with him.”

The decision, Gruden said, will be up to Bowen and trainer Larry Hess. But if Bowen wants to have a realistic shot at being ready for the opener, Gruden said he would like him to practice as soon as possible after the fourth preseason game to see if he’s ready.

“Watching him out there today, he looked better,” Gruden said. “He looks better than what I’ve seen him, but how he feels after the workout, with the soreness, does it swell up, how he’s doing with the more workload he gets, how he can handle contact -- that’s to be determined. ... We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Bowen had his contract reduced last week, taking his cap hit from $7.02 million to $4.69 million this season. He gets a roster bonus of $46,875 for every game he’s active (up to $750,000).