After Week Off, Redskins’ Donte Stallworth Finds Payoff With Touchdown Catch
LANDOVER, Md. – Donte Stallworth watched part of the Washington Redskins’ game against Miami at home on his TV. He was at the grocery store for the rest of it.
Stallworth’s girlfriend was having her family and friends over for dinner that night, and the receiver who began his season with the team was released on Nov. 8. Outside of a responsibility to watch and support his former teammates, as well as a pull to the league he had played in for the better part of the previous decade, there was no requirement for Stallworth to know what was going on.
To think he’d be catching a touchdown pass with 14 seconds remaining in a game only a week later – and for the Redskins, no less – seemed unfathomable at the time. But there was Stallworth, reeling in the four-yard pass from Rex Grossman in the back left corner of the end zone against Dallas on Sunday that led to a 24-24 tie.
“I just tried to come in and do whatever I could,” Stallworth said. “We tried to get back into the swing of things as far as learning – not necessarily re-learning the plays, but when you’re away for a week, it may not seem like a lot, but the terminology can become somewhat foreign. I just tried to spend extra time watching film and really just staying in tune with the playbook.”
Stallworth finished the game with four catches for 51 yards – more than he had in his first four games with the Redskins. His longest gain, for 20 yards, was the first play of that final drive, and he had an 18-yard catch over the middle in overtime. The Redskins lost, however, 27-24.
“I’m very hard on myself, so I felt I should have gotten more yards so we didn’t need to kick a field goal,” Stallworth said of that catch. “I’m always hard on myself, and regardless of what I did or didn’t do, I didn’t do enough and we lost the game. It doesn’t matter.”
The grab came over Dallas cornerback Alan Ball, who showed on a two-yard loss two plays prior that he wasn’t going to be able to cover Stallworth if the receiver ran out for a jump ball. The last time Stallworth officially caught a touchdown pass was in 2008, when he was with Cleveland, but he did haul in a 41-yard touchdown pass from Kellen Clemens in the closing moments of the final preseason game against Tampa Bay on Sept. 1.
With the Redskins looking for help in the passing game until Santana Moss returns from a broken left hand – perhaps as soon as next weekend at Seattle – Stallworth believes he can be an asset.
“You just go out and you just try to take it one game at a time,” Stallworth said. “One thing I was taught is that you can’t do anything about tomorrow. There’s only today. Today is the only day that you have, so right now, obviously, everybody’s going to be really upset for the next day or so.”