Westbrook sees no hope

Redskins receiver Michael Westbrook remains visibly disappointed with how few passes he's received. However, team sources say Westbrook is at least partly to blame.

Westbrook's surgically-repaired knee, and a penchant for running sloppy routes, has made him no longer a featured receiver, a source said.

They said Westbrook sometimes has trouble planting on certain routes.

Even Westbrook acknowledged that it takes time to get over such an injury.

''Both my knees are sore,'' Westbrook said. ''After games I'm sore and I know it's not normal to be that sore after the game. But come Sunday I'm fine.

''It's always in the back of your mind. If I make it through this year I'll be fine. After my first surgery [in 1997] it took me a year and then the next year I had [65 catches and nine touchdowns].''

On one route against Dallas, Westbrook was the primary receiver. But he veered off his path, ending up six yards from his intended spot.

It doesn't help his psyche that the offense revolves around three players: Stephen Davis, Stephen Alexander and Rod Gardner.

In five games, quarterbacks have thrown to Westbrook only 26 times--that's nine fewer than Gardner has received. Monday was the lowest point for Westbrook as quarterback Tony Banks threw his way three times.

''I was like, 'Whoa, they threw me the ball,' '' said Westbrook, who has caught 15 passes for 133 yards. ''That was a big surprise to me. I was shocked the ball was coming my way.''

Nor is he optimistic that the situation will change, even as Banks gets more used to him.

''I'm not getting my hopes up for anything,'' he said.

John Keim has covered the Redskins for The Journal Newspapers for eight years and is a correspondent for Pro Football Weekly.

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