Hankerson and Bowen both returned to practice for the first time this year -- both opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list. The Redskins now have 21 days to decide if they want to activate them or place them on injured reserve. Bowen wore a brace on his surgically repaired right knee, but otherwise showed no physical effects from his microfracture surgery in the offseason.
"They both look good," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. "Stamina will be an issue. We'll see how they do getting more reps throughout the week. But it's a good first week, very impressed with both of them.
"Hankerson gives you a little bit of a different feel out there. He's a bigger guy, did a nice job for his first time with knowing what to do. And of course Bowen is a big, physical presence inside. So two good players to have back on your roster at this point."
Hankerson said missing so much time while recovering from a torn ACL made him appreciate the game more.
"Of course," he said. "It puts back in how much you love this game, how much you miss being out with your teammates. It was a long process."
The question will be what happens when both players are ready to be activated. It means two players would have to be cut. Clearly, at receiver, the choices would be between Santana Moss and Aldrick Robinson. The coaches value Moss' professionalism and leadership and view him as a strong insurance policy. Robinson impressed Gruden during camp, but has just one catch and was inactive this past game for the first time this year. He's a speed receiver who doesn't always get separation on underneath routes. The Redskins liked having Robinson initially because that way, if something happened to DeSean Jackson, they could still have a fast wideout and deep threat in the lineup.
As for Bowen, Clifton Geathers was one of the last players to make the roster this summer. Frank Kearse was as well, but he has played well as a reserve. Still, a lot can happen even in a couple of weeks that could make the decisions rather clear.