Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
News & Notes: Roy Helu Still Ailing; Darrel Young, Kory Lichtensteiger Back
ASHBURN – Roy Helu missed his fifth consecutive practice on Monday, and head coach Mike Shanahan said the Washington Redskins’ leading rusher from a year ago is now battling inflammation in both Achilles tendons.
Helu first sat out of practice a week ago after experiencing tendinitis in his left Achilles and did not play in Washington’s 33-31 preseason loss at Chicago on Saturday. How Helu aggravated the other Achilles is uncertain, Shanahan said.
The Redskins were originally planning for Helu to take the bulk of the carries against the Bears, and instead, sixth-round draft pick Alfred Morris assumed that role. Helu was then targeted for a return against Indianapolis on Saturday, the Redskins’ third preseason game, but that plan is now uncertain.
“It’s kind of hard to tell right now,” Shanahan said. “We’ve got a number of days left. Right now, both Achilles are a bit sore. That’s not good news, but he’s had a little recovery time, so I’m hoping it’s not as bad as it was last week.”
Helu said a week ago that he has experienced tendinitis before, but “nothing to this extreme.”
“I’m not concerned about it,” he said. “It’s just something I have to deal with and the training staff is doing a great job of helping me out with it.”
* London Fletcher was a full participant in practice, according to Shanahan. The linebacker sat out of practice on Thursday and did not play against Chicago with an unknown ailment that neither party has chosen to address.
Defensive end Kedric Golston also did not play against the Bears after sustaining an elbow injury, and safety DeJon Gomes, who injured his left ankle on a punt return with five minutes remaining in the second quarter, also practiced.
The most notable returns, though, were that of left guard Kory Lichtensteiger and fullback Darrel Young, who participated in practice for the first time in three weeks.
Lichtensteiger had arthroscopic surgery to clean out loose cartilage in his right knee after tearing the ACL, MCL and meniscus last season. Young strained a hamstring in practice three weeks ago and missed the first two preseason games.
The Redskins hoped Lichtensteiger could return for Saturday’s game against the Colts but were more optimistic for the season opener at New Orleans; Young’s preseason debut was originally expected to also come against Indianapolis.
Maurice Hurt has filled in for Lichtensteiger as the starting left guard, while tight end Chris Cooley served as the team’s top fullback with Dorson Boyce backing him up.
* Shanahan stopped and smiled when, in the course of talking about the Redskins’ four penalties for 46 yards, he mentioned the 17-yard holding penalty on Adam Gettis on the third play from scrimmage.
“We had a few penalties, a couple holding penalties that set us back,” Shanahan said. “The one real long penalty on holding, which doesn’t come across – you don’t normally have a 17-yard holding penalty, but …”
He stopped, then was jokingly pushed for his thoughts on the 17-yard mark-off on a 10-yard penalty.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Shanahan said. “You’re trying to get me in trouble, see? You troublemakers around here.”