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Old 08-18-2004, 02:02 PM   #1
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Tendinitis Sidelines Barrow

Washington Post Email Newsletter

The Redskins are taking every precaution with linebacker Mike Barrow as he seeks to return from a spell of tendinitis in his left knee. The veteran, who led the New York Giants in tackles last season before being signed as a free agent, has not played in either preseason game thus far and has not practiced in over a week.

Barrow, 34, said he is eager to get back on the field and would do so if medically possible. A visit with a knee specialist confirmed the tendinitis. There is no time frame for a return.

The middle linebacker won't play Saturday in Miami and team officials are working closely with Barrow to get a feel for how he is coming along and to make sure they do not aggravate the injury. Barrow said his knee first flared up during a passing camp at the end of July -- a few days before the start of full training camp -- then hurt the knee again during practice on Aug. 7. He has not returned to drills since.

In the beginning of training camp, I thought I could go and I just pushed through it and I made it worse. . . . If I was smart about it and understood the nature of the injury, I wouldn't have pushed it, but I pushed it and I made it worse to where now I can't go. So it's not one of these things where they're just sitting me out because it's the preseason; I won't allow them to do that and I won't do that. It's just one of those things where I can't go."

Gregg Williams, assistant head coach-defense, said he is not overly concerned about Barrow's absence from the practices because of his intelligence, experience and knowledge of this particular defense. Barrow is on the sidelines for every practice, working with the linebackers and coaches. The objective is to get Barrow on the field for two of the three remaining preseason games, although it is uncertain how many snaps he would play in any game given the nature of the injury.

"He's a real professional on how he trains off the field ... and in the meetings. So the fact that he's not getting bumps and bruises and the wear and tear of training camp, that doesn't worry me at all," Williams said. "Right now he's better than some of our coaches; trust me, he knows me and he knows what I want and why I want it and he's communicating. You can hear him out on the field. He's communicating and making the calls from the sidelines, and the other guys are communicating and mimicking him when they're out there."

Barrow played four season for Williams with Houston and has missed only two games over the past eight seasons. He was signed as an unrestricted free agent in April. Barrow excelled against Washington last season -- with 25 total tackles in two games -- and wants to ensure his knee is healthy enough to play when the regular season begins Sept. 12.

"It's taking a little time," Barrow said, "but we're doing everything we can. So I'm just praying and giving it to God, and he knows when it's time, and we'll take it from there."

Injuries Mount


The growing list of hurting players is becoming problematic. Coach Joe Gibbs said none of the injuries seem to be serious, but some have lingered for weeks. Balancing the need to learn a new system and playbook and the desire to keep players fresh is a daily challenge.

"We'll just have to see how these guys bounce back the next few days. . . . It's probably the number one thing a football coach has a fear of. How much to do you work? How hard do you work? Do you back off and not develop some of the things you want to develop? You run a risk there, it's one of the hardest things we do. We try to balance how hard do you go? When do you go? How much hard work? And if we're going to try to develop certain things, you have to go hard with them, yet you know when you do that you have a chance for somebody to get nicked somewhere."

The players who missed both Tuesday training camp sessions are running back Clinton Portis (bruised thigh), linebacker Mike Barrow (tendinitis in knee), tight end Fred Baxter (knee), cornerback Rashad Bauman (hamstring), cornerback Rufus Brown (quadriceps contusion), linebacker Chris Clemmons (hamstring), linebacker Devin Lemons (turf toe), receiver Cliff Russell (hamstring), running back Chad Morton (sore ankle), and defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (hip flexor).

Bubba Tyer, the team's director of sports medicine, said Portis will likely practice today. Barrow and Baxter are out for Saturday's game, while Brown, Bauman, Clemmons, Morton, Lemons and Russell are questionable. Griffin is expected to play.

Several players, including three-fifths of the starting offensive line, missed Tuesday's afternoon session. Tyer said all of them could return to practice today. They are linebacker LaVar Arrington (sore knee), tackle Chris Samuels (mild concussion), tackle Kenyatta Jones (ankle), guard Randy Thomas (knee), receiver Rod Gardner (finger and shoulder injuries), receiver Taylor Jacobs (abdominal strain) and receiver Darnerien McCants (sprained knee and ankle).

Defensive lineman Brandon Noble, who is recovering from major knee surgery, was held out of the second session and has been limited to one practice a day as a precaution; receiver Laveranues Coles (toe), Thomas and Jones are also on a program of no more than one practice a day, Tyer said.

Sanders May Come Back -- to Baltimore


The possible return of former Redskin Deion Sanders to the NFL had players talking Tuesday. Sanders, a star cornerback, spent his final season with Washington in 2000 before retiring on the eve of the 2001 season. "If Mike Tyson keep boxing, I know Prime Time can keep playing football," said cornerback Fred Smoot, who inherited No. 21 when Sanders retired. Receiver Rod Gardner also said he believes Sanders should return. The future Hall of Famer reportedly is mulling joining the Baltimore Ravens.

Other Notes


Rookie safety Sean Taylor remains in a back-up role but may see some action with the first team on Saturday, Williams said.

End Phillip Daniels, who was bothered by an abdominal injury at the start of the week, has put together strong practices this week, according to Williams, and should play between 10 and 14 snaps Saturday in Miami.

Tyer said that the new NFL rules on revealing the specifics of all player injuries do not require teams to say whether an injury is to the right or left arm, knee, groin, etc., except when it pertains to a quarterback.

-- Jason La Canfora
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Old 08-18-2004, 02:57 PM   #2
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this is what i was afraid of. at 34, injuries linger. there's no 'quick healer' at 34. of all our moves this offseason, letting Trotter go back to the Eagles was my least favorite...well, second to getting Brunell instead of a monster pass rusher...
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Old 08-18-2004, 03:05 PM   #3
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this isnt a tear or anything, and isnt serious. tendinitis is very common, and i have had it in my knee, under my kneecap. it is very painful, but if he treats it right and does not aggravate it, he should be back before the season opener.
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Old 08-18-2004, 03:14 PM   #4
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I feel much better with Barrow over Trotter.

Trotter would be once again learning a new system. Barrow on the other hand knows the system inside and out and is a better player to boot.

As long as he rests up he should be fine by 9/12.
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Old 08-18-2004, 03:36 PM   #5
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150 tackles last season, he doesnt seem to be slowin down does he.
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Old 08-18-2004, 04:11 PM   #6
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I think Barrow will be an upgrade from Trotter, though injuries are always a worry. But I think he'll be fine, from the reports, and he's going to be a leader on the D, especially against the run. Anyway, his attitude is way better than Trotter's, and he already knows Williams system. He's a good pickup if he can play.
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Old 08-18-2004, 04:24 PM   #7
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illdefined:

Barrow is a better LB than Trotter - make no mistake about that.

Do not be overly impressed with his huge # of tackles last year becdause he was playing behind an DL that was almost as awful as the SKins' DL. Who led the Skins in tackles last year? Their safeties. Barrow merely got to guys running free before the safeties had to make the stop.

For Trotter to stay here, he would have consumed more than $3M of cap room. He is noworth anywhere near that. But he was under coontract and there was no way he was going to take a voluntary pay cut from a multi year deal that would pay him over $5M in two years to one that pays him $1M for one year. He only took that deal with Philly because no one else even made him an offer above the vets' minimum. So, keeping Trotter was never a real option for the Skins.
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Old 08-18-2004, 04:28 PM   #8
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Everyone keeps saying injuries in regard to Barrow, but let's not forget that Trotter is playing on two bad wheels and is much more injury prone than Barrow.
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Old 08-18-2004, 04:34 PM   #9
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trotter actually led the team in tackles last year also...and 150 tackles means that he is a sure tackler, he is a safety valve, and he has also proven his skills over a longer period of time than trotter, and in more than one system.
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Old 08-18-2004, 04:36 PM   #10
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and also, in refrence to the giants D-line, they had our new DT griffen, and had michael strahan, who last time i checked has the record for most sacks in a season, and is still puttin up double digit sacks, no where near as bad a line as we had last year. (kenny holmes and keith hamilton were the other 2 starters i believe)
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Old 08-18-2004, 04:37 PM   #11
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yea Trotter has had problems with injureis everyyear, this is a new thing for barrow. He trains hard and keeps in better shape than a lot of the young guys.

Does anyone think Gibbs is working them to hard? everyone complained under marty about how hard he worked them. No one is complaining under gibbs but there are tons of little things. Do you think this is the coachs pushing them, or did our players just not come in good shape this year.
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Old 08-18-2004, 04:59 PM   #12
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i know Trotter was a fiscal casualty, and i hope you guys are right about Barrow, its his age that worries me. then again, i liked Jesse Armstead. can;t wait to see Washington..
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Old 08-18-2004, 05:06 PM   #13
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I really hope Mitchell or Peirce is ready to play some ILB. I have a bad feeling that injuries are gonna drag down Barrow this year.
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Old 08-18-2004, 06:11 PM   #14
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its the nagging ones on the older guys that really bother me. Randy Thomas too..remember what happened to Fiore?

and then how comforting is it to know that our best receiver by far will be playing the whole year hurt??
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Old 08-18-2004, 06:14 PM   #15
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Fiore had chronic knee problems and was cut on almost every offseason, you can't really compare him to Thomas who hasn't had any major injury problems.
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