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News & Notes: Graham Gano, Ryan Torain, Miami Fallout, Josh Wilson And More

By ZAC BOYER | zboyer@freelancestar.com

ASHBURN – There was more labor talk around Redskins Park on Wednesday afternoon, but it was more of the nine-month variety.

Graham Gano left Washington Redskins practice not even a half-hour after it began when he received word his wife had gone into labor with their first child.

That puts the kicking situation for Friday’s preseason game at Indianapolis into doubt. The Redskins cut Shayne Graham over the weekend after an abysmal performance in the preseason opener against Pittsburgh, a 16-7 Washington victory in which he missed 29- and 49-yard field goals.

Punter Sav Rocca took the final kick of the practice session and made it from about 40 yards. Typically the holder, Rocca had quarterback John Beck hold the snap.

If Gano does not make it to Indianapolis, coach Mike Shanahan said the Redskins will likely look for another kicker.

“Substitute kicker,” he said. “We’ll probably pick somebody up later on today, if that’s the case.”

Shanahan has maintained he’d like to have a veteran kicker in camp to push Gano, who was 24-for-35 last season. Graham, third all-time in made field goal percentage, was supposed to be that guy, but he struggled throughout practice and the lousy performance against Pittsburgh facilitated the decision to release him.

UPDATE (5:22 p.m.): The Redskins have signed Clint Stitser, according to several media reports. Stitser, a second-year pro out of Fresno State, made seven of his eight attempts last season for Cincinnati.

Also…

  • None of the four former University of Miami players on the Redskins’ roster had any interest in addressing the Yahoo! Sports report that at least 72 players from 2002-2010 received impermissible benefits, including linebacker Rocky McIntosh and former safety Sean Taylor. That was to be expected, of course, but the questions have to be asked. It’s a fairly incriminating, fairly thorough report, so if you have some time, certainly check it out. Between this and the scandals at Ohio State, USC, Auburn and Oregon, you have to wonder just where college athletics is headed. Although, at least one injustice will be righted during the next NCAA rule changes.
  • Running back Ryan Torain returned to practice Wednesday, though he did very little. Torain had four screws inserted into the third metacarpal of either the ring or middle finger on his left hand and missed just shy of two weeks. I’m preparing a story for Thursday on where exactly Torain fits in the rotation at running back, but that question won’t be answered for at least another week as he won’t play against Indianapolis on Friday. For all the hype about the return, however, Torain did very little other than catch passes and take part in individual drills Wednesday afternoon.
  • Speaking of injuries, neither cornerback Josh Wilson nor linebacker London Fletcher will play against the Colts because of groin injuries – at least, according to Shanahan, there’s a 95 percent chance they won’t play. The same holds true for Oshiomogho Atogwe, who has been out of action for 10 days with a hamstring injury. One positive injury note for the Redskins’ secondary, however, is that LaRon Landry is expected to be cleared over the weekend and will likely return to practice on or around Monday. “He’s been getting in excellent shape even though he hasn’t been working with the football team,” Shanahan said. “He’s been back there going through all the drills mentally both with the seven-on-seven and with the team, so he’s been getting work mentally. We’ve been working the heck out of him with his conditioning.”
  • The Redskins set up four large speakers on the edge of their practice field to simulate crowd noise Wednesday, though the system looked rather archaic and played only the same eight-second loop in the moments leading up to a snap. Great idea, poor execution. Plus, who gets that riled up for a preseason game in Indianapolis anyway?
  • On the topic of preparation for the Colts, Matt Gutierrez played the part of Curtis Painter during practice. Gutierrez, signed last week, quarterbacked the scout team, but didn’t have to do much because Peyton Manning, who had neck surgery during the offseason, still isn’t available to play.
  • I won’t be heading to Indianapolis this weekend, but we’ll still have coverage here and in the Free Lance-Star. A more likely destination is Nationals Park, given that I now live a few blocks from the place.

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