Redskins bring back Antonio Brown

November 24, 2005|By JOSEPH WHITE

ASHBURN, Va. - The Washington Redskins brought back receiver and kick returner Antonio Brown on Wednesday, filling a major hole following injuries to James Thrash, Ladell Betts and David Patten.

Brown began the season as the kick returner, but he was released after fumbling a kickoff in the season-opening win over Chicago. He also struggled as a receiver, dropping several passes in a preseason game against Baltimore.

But the Redskins had little choice but to re-sign him. Thrash (pulled hamstring) and Betts (sprained knee) have been the two main kickoff returners, and both are expected to miss Sunday's game against San Diego. Thrash has also been the primary punt returner.

The Redskins were also down to three healthy receivers - Santana Moss, Taylor Jacobs and Jimmy Farris - without Thrash and Patten, who is out for the season with a knee injury. In addition, H-back Mike Sellers is sidelined this week with a fractured rib.


"We're beat up," coach Joe Gibbs said. "It'll be interesting to see who's going to go for us this week."

Brown said he had no hard feelings over his quick release in September, but he was surprised when he got the call to come back.

"I got the call, went home and took a shower and got my book back," Brown said.

To make room on the roster, the Redskins released offensive lineman Lennie Friedman. The team also signed receiver Carl Kearney to the practice squad.

Wednesday's injury report officially ruled Sellers and Thrash out for the San Diego game. Betts is listed as questionable, but he's still not practicing. Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, who has missed three games with a strained hip, is also questionable.

Sore Sellers

Speaking of Sellers, he's sore.

He's sore because he has a hairline fracture in a rib. And he's sore at Oakland's Isaiah Ekejiuba, whose illegal block in the back caused the injury.

"What do you want to call it? Illegal? Cheap shot? It's all the same," Sellers said. "He wasn't man enough to hit me straight up, so he did it from behind."

Sellers returned to the game without the permission of the coaches and retaliated against Ekejiuba, drawing a costly fourth-quarter penalty.

"Emotions running high, I let my anger get the best of me," Sellers said. "I really didn't plan on getting a penalty. I just snapped. I'm not proud of it. I wanted to get out there and get him, but I didn't want to get a penalty."

After the game, Sellers had trouble breathing and was taken to a hospital for an overnight stay.

"It scared the heck out of me at one point," Sellers said. "I couldn't even breathe."

Happy birthday, Joe

Last year, Joe Gibbs' birthday fell on a national holiday. This year, it comes on a really busy shopping day.

Gibbs turns 65 on Friday, a time for reflection but not yet for retirement.

"At this point in my life, I want to see what I can give back," Gibbs said. "(My wife) Pat and I have sat down last night and talked a lot about the future and where we started out. She didn't marry for money, and I didn't marry for money. She was going to be stuck with me. We've been blessed.

"Now it comes a point in life where it's what can you give back. Obviously I want to devote a lot at this point in my life to my grandbabies and my kids, that's going to be the most important thing I leave on the earth. It's fun to be in life in this point. I'm just glad I've got the job I do."

That said, Gibbs said he "was not looking forward to turning any more numbers." Asked if he'll be claiming a senior citizens' discount, he told a story about his routine three years ago of going to a Bojangles to get a coffee and biscuit in the morning.

Gibbs said the waitress asked: "Do you want your senior discount?"

"No," Gibbs said he answered, "and I never want the senior discount."

Thanksgiving schedule

Thanksgiving, of course, is no holiday in the NFL. The Redskins will hold practices and meetings today, although Gibbs agreed to move up the schedule so that the players can get home in the afternoon in time for a late holiday dinner.

Or, more likely, an afternoon nap. The day starts at 5 a.m., when special teams players with injuries have to report for treatment.

Stat of the week

The Redskins have only 15 sacks. San Diego has sacks from 15 different players (33 total).

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