Tashard Choice took a big step Wednesday toward making his Redskins debut by being a full participant in practice.
Claimed off waivers last week from Dallas, the running back had been nursing a hamstring injury but hopes to play Sunday at Miami.
He had a good practice today so that was a good sign, coach Mike Shanahan said. Im hoping he gets a good feel for our system this week and helps us on game day.
The Redskins running offense is equal parts broke (28th in yards per game) and non-existent (64 carries during four-game losing streak) and Choice could be a spark.
Im rolling today; excited to be out there, he said before practice. It was difficult to watch the game last week and I felt like I could have played but getting the extra week of work, its going to be fun to go out there and help the guys try and get the win Sunday.
Choice said he is there in terms of learning the Redskins system.
It doesnt take that long, he said. Football is football, Im studying every day, understanding everything, taking mental reps.
Said Shanahan: Last week he had a chance to go through almost every game situation. He should be ready to go. Hes a pretty sharp kid.
Anderson Could Help Quickly
Kentwan Balmer was the highest profile player added Tuesday during a flurry of roster moves. But it could be receiver Kevin Anderson who makes the quickest impact.
The six-year veterans best year was 38 catches in 2009 for a Houston team that had Kyle Shanahan as its offensive coordinator.
There are about three words that are different from what I know from Houston and probably 4-5 new routes, Anderson said. I should be fine.
Said Mike Shanahan: That really helps. We had looked at him, too, during the off-season, but we felt good about the depth on our football team. We were happy he was out there.
Anderson was added because Santana Moss (finger) and Niles Paul (toe) have been ruled out for this week.
Besides Balmer and Anderson, the other new players in the locker room were offensive tackle Tyler Polumbus and cornerback Domonique Johnson to the 53-man roster and tight end Fendi Onobun to the practice squad.
Polumbus came into the league with Denver (and Shanahan) three years ago and has 15 career starts for the Broncos and Seattle. Right tackle Jammal Brown has a bad groin so depth was needed at the spot.
We liked what see on film and hopefully he comes in and helps us, Shanahan said.
Polumbus was cut by Seattle last month.
Johnson (6-1, 191) has been with Tampa Bay, the Giants and most recently Minnesota. The Redskins placed Phillip Buchanon on injured reserve and shifted Brandyn Thompson back to the practice squad.
We liked what we saw on special teams and we liked what we saw on defense, Shanahan said. He can run, he has some length and well get a chance to evaluate him.
Said Johnson: I wish I could I say I picked up the scheme today but its going to take getting on the field, getting the reps and staying in my playbook.
Onobun (6-6, 249) has an interesting background that started by playing four years of basketball at Arizona before walking on to the football team at the University of Houston. He has spent NFL time with St. Louis and most recently Seattle.
Im just still trying to learn on the job, he said.
No Big Al, Part 2
The Redskins obviously werent interested in claiming defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth off waivers, but for kicks, Shanahan was asked about his interest in a two-time All-Pro defensive tackle.
Whos the player?, Shanahan asked.
After hearing it was Big Al, Shanahan laughed and said: I was going, I usually get most of those. A two-time All-Pro that has been cut, I usually remember that. Now I know why I forgot.
Haynesworth was claimed by Tampa Bay, which was one of his main suitors before he signed with the Redskins.
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