News & Notes: Trent Williams Partially Returns, Tim Hightower Ready
ASHBURN – For Trent Williams, each day offers steady progress.
The Washington Redskins’ left tackle participated in team drills at practice on Tuesday – at least, for half the time.
“I just felt it getting a little sore,” Williams said, referring to the bone bruise he sustained in his left foot Thursday in the Redskins’ preseason opener at Buffalo. “I just stopped. The game ain’t ‘til Saturday.”
Williams did not even attend practice Saturday and returned to partake in individual drills on Monday. By going through team drills and working with the top offensive line, he’s continuing on his goal of playing in the Redskins’ next preseason game Saturday at Chicago.
“I thought he worked very hard and tried to work through it,” head coach Mike Shanahan said. “He was a bit sore from the continued practice, and hopefully there’s no setback tomorrow.”
Williams wasn’t the only offensive lineman to return to team drills. Right guard Maurice Hurt, already replacing projected starter Kory Lichtensteiger, was back after experiencing tendonitis in his left knee.
Though right guard Chris Chester said earlier Tuesday he was planning on being in team drills as well, he did not participate. Instead, he was replaced by Adam Gettis yet again after spraining his left ankle in practice early last week.
“Chris tried to make it through and you could see he just quite couldn’t do it,” Shanahan said. “It was a good sign he tried, but we didn’t want to overdo it or we’d really set him back.”
* Tim Hightower hates timetables. Hates them. After undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee in November, he announced that he didn’t want to adhere to the project six-month rehabilitation program because, among other reasons, he wanted to heal in his own way.
Hightower, who had never before sustained a major injury, is still being held out of team drills by the Redskins nearly 10 months later. It’s more of a precautionary move than a necessary one; Shanahan originally said he’d target working Hightower back into the running back rotation for the third preseason game, which is Aug. 25 against Indianapolis.
“I mean, I feel great,” Hightower said Tuesday. “I’m out there doing what I can in practice, and right now, I trust Coach Shanahan. He’s been in this business for a long time, so all I know is I’m gonna prepare myself every day as if I’m getting ready for a game.
“I trust that Coach Shanahan, when they’re ready to go and they trust that I’m ready to go, I’ll get out there and go. It’s my job just to be ready. I can’t. I wish I could tell you when, and I hope that’s tomorrow, so we’ll see.”
Shanahan said it’s possible Hightower could return to team drills as soon as the end of the week, which would give him four days of practice leading up to the game against the Colts, the first at home.
* Pierre Garçon caught a deep pass from Robert Griffin III in team drills near the end of practice and was forced out of bounds within the 5-yard line by safety Madieu Williams. It was a hard hit, but Shanahan credited each player for keeping their composure through what would have likely been a heated moment between players on opposing teams.
“I was kind of pleased with [Garçon] to be honest with you,” Shanahan said. “He kept his poise. Sometimes we ask guys to come off and sometimes guys will get a little extra hit in there and he wasn’t really expecting it, but he kept his poise, I thought. He threw the ball in the stands and a fan got a souvenir and he kept his cool. There was no penalty, so it wasn’t all that bad.”
* A day after going 9-for-9 in kicking drills, Neil Rackers maintained he can’t allow himself to think about his successes as he proceeds through his ongoing battle with Graham Gano to be the Redskins’ kicker.
Making the success more dramatic was that Gano, the Redskins’ kicker the last two years, went a surprising 5-for-9.
“For Graham and I both, we just have to control what we do, and as far as the competition, you just do your job and let them make a decision,” Rackers said. “You can’t say, ‘Oh, that person missed,’ or ‘This person made it.’ You can’t worry about what the other person does. You do your job, and at the end of camp, you’ll see what they like.”
* Former Washington Wizards forward Etan Thomas and several D.C. United players, including midfielders Danny Cruz and Nick DeLeon, defenders Brandon McDonald and Perry Kitchen and goalie Bill Hamid, were in attendance. They met with several players, including Griffin, Rackers and running back Roy Helu after practice ended.
* The Redskins officially ended their training camp schedule, hosting their last public practice on Tuesday. The team will hold training camp in Richmond beginning next July.