I have been getting a few questions lately about the status of wide receiver Malcolm Kelly. He has been sidelined with a foot injury since early in camp. He has been riding the stationary bike at practice and has not played in either of the two preseason games.
At this point, I have to wonder if he will ever return to the Redskins.
It's not that the foot injury is all that serious. In time, it should heal with rest. However, if and when Kelly is healthy enough to return to practice the Redskins will have a decision to make.
They could let him practice, play in any preseason games that may remain, and give him one last shot at making the roster. He was having a solid camp before the injury.
However, the Redskins would be taking a risk by letting Kelly back on the field. If Kelly gets hurt again--a distinct possibility given his history--the Redskins could be liable for his entire salary for the 2011 season.
Given that Kelly is working on the final year of his rookie contract, that is not a whole lot of money by NFL standards, about $555,000. But there is no point in risking it if you don't think that the player will make the team even if he stays healthy. That would be unfortunate for Kelly, who has some talent.
The rational course for the Redskins might be to release Kelly as soon as the doctors clear him to practice. That way the team eliminates its exposure to liability for Kelly's salary and he can move on and perhaps attempt to catch on with another team.
It may seem to be rather cruel to tell a player that you have good news and bad news for him--he's cleared to practice but he needs to clear out his locker. But that may be the only rational business decision to make and a change of scenery might be best for Kelly himself.