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Leonard Hankerson Makes First Catch A Week After Miscommunication Issues

By ZAC BOYER | zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

A week after a communication breakdown led to an interception on receiver Leonard Hankerson’s first NFL snap, the rookie from Miami made his first reception when he hauled in a pass from quarterback John Beck in the Washington Redskins’ 23-0 loss to Buffalo in Toronto.

Hankerson’s catch, a 23-yard gain, came over the middle late in the first quarter. He converted on third-and-8 with the reception, and in the excitement of the moment, stood up and spun the ball on the Rogers Centre turf.

“I mean, at the moment, it was what, the first quarter?” Hankerson said after the game. “It felt good, because it was a big catch, a third-down catch.”

Beck again went to Hankerson two plays later but overthrew him deep on another fly route. He targeted him twice more, including a potential touchdown grab in the end zone that was broken up by Buffalo cornerback Leodis McKelvin.

Head coach Mike Shanahan said a week ago that Hankerson got his first opportunity because he had been making “some unbelievable plays in practice.” He was active again after missing the first five games with receiver Santana Moss out because of a broken left hand.

“It’s not exactly what I wanted, but hey, I’ve just got to do what I’ve got to do,” Hankerson said. “Whenever my number’s called, I’ve got to make a play, keep studying the playbook, stuff like that. Keep working hard in practice, getting better each and every day. A performance like that makes it better.”

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