Notebook: DeSean Jackson iffy before Week 1

Injury updates from Redskins Park include positive signs for Jordan Reed and Junior Galette while DeSean Jackson's return is taking longer than expected.

ASHBURN -- Mostly positive injury updates headlined Tuesday's news at Redskins Park. Players on both sides of the ball, including tight end Jordan Reed and pass rusher Junior Galette, are expected to go from spectators to participants in Saturday's preseason game in Baltimore.

DeSean Jackson isn't expected to join them.

“Pretty slim," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of the wide receiver facing the Ravens.

Jackson remains sidelined with a Grade 2 right shoulder separation suffered Aug. 6 in Richmond. That means we're beyond the original 1-2 week timeline, but that doesn't mean there is cause for alarm at this point. Jackson participated in individual drills Tuesday, marking his first practice work since suffering the injury.

"He’s got full range of motion it looks like out there doing individual drills," Gruden said. "It’s another thing if we just don’t want to get it hit again on game day. I think doing the non-contact stuff he looks pretty good. But with shoulder pads on, we’re not going to do that until we feel like he’s 100 percent. He’s not quite there yet. But that 1-2 weeks is obviously to go full-go possibly but then we’ll make a decision. But it’s a little bit longer than we thought.”

The seven-year veteran said it "felt good to be out there" yet admitted the limitations are "frustrations" and that he's still dealing with "slight pain."

“It's not necessarily what I can’t do, it’s just when I do it feeling the pain,” Jackson said.

While starters typically play into the second half of the third preseason game, they don't always suit up at all for the finale. That scenario would mean Jackson wouldn't return to the field until possibly Week 1 against Miami.

“I don't really have a choice. I would just rather be at 100 percent and be physically able to perform at the highest level I need too.," Jackson said.

As for facing the Dolphins at FedEx Field on Sept. 13, the home run threat says he'll answer the call.

"I think I'll be ready to go. You don't have to worry about me at all. I'll be the same person I always am, making plays. Being the guy who brings energy to this team. Coach Gruden, he understands that, and that’s why he’s able to let me get my rest and do the things I need to do to get right. I think we’re all on the same page.”

* After sitting out the last two weeks with a hamstring strain, Reed practiced fully Tuesday. He's expected to make his preseason debut Tuesday.

"Jordan did everything today, he looked good today," Gruden said. "That’s exciting, great progress by him."

Reed is the expected starting tight end following season-ending injuries suffered by Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen. Gruden is hopeful that newly acquired Derek Carrier, now second on the TE depth chart, can make his debut Saturday.

* Galette said he is "pretty sure" his first game as a Redskin will come Saturday, though likely with limited reps. The outside linebacker, who was released earlier this summer by New Orleans following off the field and locker room concerns, missed the first two playoff games. He is also recovering from torn left pectoral muscle.

* Of course, the topic of the quarterbacks came up. If all are available, Gruden said Kirk Cousins would replace Robert Griffin III "probably in the third quarter" with Colt McCoy playing in the fourth. As for what he hopes to see from Griffin (concussion) should he be cleared for action, Gruden said:

“You know, first of all, it’s not about him. It’s about that unit, the first team unit. We’ve got to have better protection out of all of them. As soon as we start to make it about one guy, that’s not what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make this about the first unit. Against Cleveland they did OK. We got a field goal and missed a big play. Obviously against Detroit we ran into our fair share of problems. So we’d like to get something positive going with the first unit, period. With Robert in general, same thing, just get the ball out of his hands, move the ball and make good, sound decisions. Everything else, let the players around him help him.”

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