Redskins Notes: Aug. 20

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim

1. Here’s an update on Brian Orakpo, who said he originally thought he tore his pectoral muscle again. Yes, that would have been bad.

2. Linebacker London Fletcher practiced, though it was a light workout, and coach Mike Shanahan said he should play vs. Indianapolis on Saturday barring a setback. Fletcher sat out the Chicago game Saturday and did not practice last Thursday because of an illness.

3. Running back Roy Helu has two sore Achilles, Shanahan said, and he did not practice. For a guy who needs to prove he’s durable, Helu is not off to a strong start this summer. But the coaches put him as the No. 2 back behind Evan Royster because, in part, of the concern over his durability. Helu is stronger as a 10-15 touches a game back (and his pass protection skills need improving).

4. Running back Tim Hightower practiced, but his surgically-repaired left knee was sore and his status for Saturday is uncertain. Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger (right knee) participated in drill work Monday. Lichtensteiger is holding out hope that he’ll be able to play in the Aug. 29 preseason finale.

5. Don’t look for the other starters to join Lichtensteiger if he does happen to play in that game. With a game four days earlier, the starters will take that game off, Shanahan said.

6. A year ago when many thought Brandon Banks was on the bubble, Shanahan answered a question about him and made reference to getting him ready for the season. A clear sign of their intention to keep him. But Shanahan would not go overboard in his assessment of Banks’ chances after his 91-yard punt return Saturday. I don’t think the Redskins had forgotten about his ability to make plays, though a reminder always helps.  But more than just one return will factor into their decision.

“When a guy has game-breaking potential and ability, which he has shown, it is tough not to keep a guy like that,” Shanahan said. “But we have a lot of competition and that is what you want to have. Who else can return punts? Who else can play wide receiver? That is what you have to evaluate and sometimes you let good football players go.”

7. And here’s Shanahan’s take on Aldrick Robinson and Dezmon Briscoe after Saturday’s game: “They helped themselves. I took a look at the one play Aldrick made and it was a big-time play. The ball was deflected, he caught it on the shoulder pad, made some guys miss and you could see the speed and explosion and that is what you’re looking for. Anthony Armstrong played a couple plays but not much. A guy like Briscoe, I thought, did a good job catching the ball, using his hands and taking advantage of his opportunities.”

Said it after the game, but it’s hard to imagine the Redskins keeping a speedy guy like Robinson around all last season (after a rough camp), seeing him start to develop into what they hoped they had and then cutting him. They’re not that deep at receiver.

8. Shanahan on running back Alfred Morris’ night: “He did a good job. When he did have a couple holes in there he got the extra yardage. He missed the Will linebacker and the free safety on one play. He looked at the Will and didn’t have the experience to pick up the free safety, but that’s part of the learning curve for some of these guys, especially these rookies. But I was pleased with his effort and the way he ran the football.”

9. RG3 Report. 

10. Offensive game review.

10. Defensive game review.

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