Thompson: 'I was trying not to be nervous'

Thompson: 'I was trying not to be nervous'
September 3, 2013, 9:30 am
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NFL analyst Cris Collinsworth speaks on RG3

Chris Thompson felt good about his chances of surviving cutdown day after returning a punt 69 yards for a touchdown against the Buccaneers.

But the rookie didn’t know for sure until he arrived at the Redskins’ facility Saturday afternoon. And even after an assistant coach congratulated him on the way in, he still needed to see it for himself.

“Once I went down [to the locker room] and looked at the depth chart and saw my name my name on there, it was just…” Thompson said. “I was trying not to be nervous, but I was the whole day. I kind of took my nervousness out on [video game] Call of Duty. I played Call of Duty from about 8 o’clock in the morning to 12. That took my mind off everything.”

The question now is whether Thompson has clinched the punt return job Week 1 against the Eagles. It would seem that he has, but neither he nor Coach Mike Shanahan would confirm it when asked on Monday.

“We have a couple of more days” of practice, Thompson said. “On Monday, we’ll find out.”

Shanahan added: “Chris is definitely a top candidate, as well as Santana [Moss] and Josh Morgan. Those are our three candidates going into the game.”

If the responsibility does, indeed, fall to Thompson, the speedy, 5 foot 7, 192-pounder said his confidence is much higher after scoring in Tampa. He has not been a full-time punt returner since high school.

“I’m staring to feel more and more comfortable every single day,” said Thompson, who switched his jersey number to 25 from 35 over the weekend. “That punt return helped me out a whole lot with my confidence back there. I’m just going to continue to keep getting better at it and keep working and I’ll get more and more comfortable. Hopefully, it will be one of those things that becomes second nature.”

One more thing Thompson will probably have to adjust to: watching from the sideline until his number gets called. With veteran tailbacks Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr. and Evan Royster ahead of him on the depth chart, carries figure to be scare for the 22-year-old. At least early on.

“Over the course of this long season, you never what happens,” Thompson said. “Guys go down every single year. I hope everybody stays healthy, but it’s football. I’m just going to prepare every single day and if Coach calls my name, I want to be ready.”

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