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News & Notes: Darrel Young Likely Out, Roy Helu Improving

By ZAC BOYER

zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – Though he originally targeted Saturday for his preseason debut, Washington Redskins fullback Darrel Young may instead have to wait four more days.

Young

Young, who strained his left hamstring three weeks ago, is not likely to play against Indianapolis in the Redskins’ third preseason game, head coach Mike Shanahan said.

“Larry [Hess, the head athletic trainer] told me after practice that he thought he might be in the 85, 90 percentile, so it’s not completely healed, but it’s getting better,” Shanahan said.

Young was limited at practice both Monday and Tuesday and only participated in positional drills. Though Shanahan would prefer not to play the Redskins’ starters against Tampa Bay on Aug. 29, it’s possible he’d make an exception for Young.

“We’ll just see how he’s feeling,” Shanahan said. “If he is full speed, maybe give him a few reps in there, maybe a couple series [to] get him back into football shape. It all depends on how he’s feeling.”

Young has repeatedly expressed worry that his injury would cost him a spot on the roster. The Redskins’ starting fullback last season, he ran five times for 21 yards and a touchdown and caught 11 passes for 106 yards.

The Redskins have used tight end Chris Cooley at the position in the first two preseason games and also have Dorson Boyce on their training camp roster.

“You can’t make the team in the cold tub,” Young said Tuesday.

* Roy Helu was optimistic regarding the tendonitis he has been experiencing in both of his Achilles tendons over the past week.

“I’ve had tight Achilles for some time, and then eventually, just going into camp and running every day, my left one just ended up hurting and then my right one is just more tight than anything,” Helu said. “The left one’s getting better. Everything’s becoming more – not as tight. I’m not sure what the word is, but it’s got more bounce in it.”

Helu has merely been icing and resting the tendons in hope he’ll be able to return to the field. He was permitted by the athletic training staff to go through warmups before practice Tuesday, but did nothing else and is uncertain to play against the Colts.

* When Brandon Meriweather injured his left knee injury against Chicago, the Redskins turned to Tanard Jackson to fill in at strong safety. Primarily a free safety, Jackson has been working his way back from a groin injury that cost him much of the first week of training camp.

Jackson, though, isn’t the only one who can benefit from Meriweather’s injury. Reed Doughty and DeJon Gomes, each of whom filled in as starters last season, are also fighting for a roster spot, and seventh-round draft pick Jordan Bernstine is also in the mix.

“To be honest with you, it’s an opportunity for a number of people to take advantage of the opportunity,” Shanahan said. “Any time you have guys go down, guys get the opportunity to show us what they can do in game situations. That’s part of the evaluation to get into the top 53.”

The extent of Meriweather’s injury is uncertain. He merely repeated that he’ll be fine when asked Monday and deferred all discussion on the knee to Shanahan.

* Right guard Chris Chester (sprained left ankle) participated in a full practice Tuesday and will make his preseason debut on Saturday, Shanahan said. Running back Tim Hightower was away from the team to attend the funeral of his grandfather.

* The NFL announced that Jacksonville will play one of its home games in London each of the next four seasons, picking up the agreement that St. Louis backed out of last week because of stadium lease restrictions. A potential opponent for the Jaguars next season has not been announced, but it won’t be the Redskins; the NFL’s pre-arranged scheduling formula has NFC East teams playing AFC West teams in 2013.

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