“You know, we’re not even going to try to have [Leonard Hankerson] go full speed until we get back in July. He’s doing drill work with us. You can see he’s not full speed, but the hip is healed, so he has to get back in football shape. I’d rather wait and err on the side of precaution. Just keep on running him, getting him in shape, so we don’t send him back. So once we get to late July, he’s ready to go full speed.”
That is what Mike Shanahan had to say last Thursday about the status of wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, who suffered an injured hip in Week 10 last year. The news that he would not participate in team drills during the Redskins minicamp, which starts today in Ashburn, was not entirely surprising. It was hoped that he could get in some work with the full offense this spring but the decision was to be cautious with his repaired hip and hold him out of team drills until training camp.
Free agent acquisition Josh Morgan, who is recovering from a broken leg he sustained last year, also has been held out of the team drills in OTA’s for the most part. He may or may not participate much this week.
All in all, while having two of the team’s top three receivers missing the heart of most of the offseason program is not ideal, it is not a huge setback. It would be a big plus if they could be working to develop chemistry with Robert Griffin III. But as long as Morgan and Hankerson are healthy for training camp all should be well by the time
What has been somewhat disturbing is that with two of the top three receivers out, nobody has really stepped into the void. Santana Moss has played well but that is to be expected of the veteran.
But the receivers who are fighting for roster spots have yet to be heard from, at least not consistently. There have been flashes from Anthony Armstrong, Terrence Austin, Brandon Banks, and Aldrick Robinson. But nothing with any consistency, nothing to make you think that this guy is really stepping it up to grab that roster spot.
This is a great time for players like that to make a name for themselves. Two years ago Armstrong took advantage of a weak group of wide receivers (Joey Galloway and Roydell Williams started games that season) and was the star of OTA’s and minicamp. Every time you looked up he was breaking open and catching the pass.
At least so far, we haven’t seen that this year, from Armstrong or from anyone else. Again, some flashes here and there but nothing consistent.
There are three more days for Armstrong, Banks, Austin, Robinson, or one of the other receivers like rookie free agent Lance Lewis to come up big. Otherwise, the Redskins could be checking out the waiver wire for depth at wide receiver.