Camp Opens, Bad Luck in 3's

The Redskins suffer a bit of bad luck on camp's first day as they lose three players to injury.

The Washington Redskins lost a second defensive end for the season today as it was announced that Alex Buzbee ruptured his right Achilles' tendon during the afternoon practice.

Phillip Daniels went out in the morning practice with an injured ACL.

Unlike Daniels, who was a projected starter, Buzbee was a long shot to make the team. Still, the departure of two DE's from the lineup in one day leaves the Redskins thin at the position. With Erasmus James unable to practice while he is recovering from knee problems of his own, the Redskins will have to do some shopping in a hurry.

One possibility would be to bring back Tommy Davis, a 2007 practice squad member, who was cut last week. They may work on a trade to fill the position, but in the meantime they need to get two warm bodies in there.

Cornerback Fred Smoot also suffered an injury in the afternoon, although his didn't appear to be as serious. He sprained his left ankle and, according to Jim Zorn, the hope is that he will miss less than a week.

Earlier today, Jason Reid at the Post reported that Daniels is indeed out for the season.

John Clayton at ESPN reported that it was an ACL injury to his left knee.

Clayton also said that the phone lines between Ashburn and Miami have started to hum to try to work out a trade for the Dolphins' Jason Taylor. Vinny Cerrato, speaking to reporters at Redskins Park, denied that such talks were taking place.

"We haven't talked to anyone yet on anything," said Cerrato

I generally don't comment much on pending trades because the wisdom of any deal depends on the details. Trading for Jason Taylor and giving up a conditional fifth-round pick and having him work his contract to a cap-friendly deal that would contain a big roster bonus to be paid on opening day of 2009 would be OK. Giving up a second-rounder and having to work around his $8.1 million salary this year, making him a very expensive one-year rental, would be dumb.

In either case, however, it would be highly discouraging for the Redskins to have to make a trade for Taylor or any other defensive end for that matter. Throughout the offseason, Cerrato has insisted that the Redskins did not need to expend a high draft pick on a defensive end nor did they need to pursue one in free agency. The team's personnel guru insisted that the Redskins were fine at the position.

My definition of "fine" would describe a situation where you should be able to anticipate that your 35-year-old starter may get injured and that you still should be "fine" after that happens without having to make a trade.

Of course, as of now, any criticism is premature. That can wait until if and when a deal is made what the details of that hypothetical trade turn out to be.

Back to Daniels, it's quite possible that he has played his last down for the Redskins. A defensive end who is closer to 40 than to 30 and who is coming off of a serious knee injury and carrying a cap number just south of $3 million isn't likely to be in the team's plans.

Daniels' fragility has been overstated. He has missed just 19 of a possible 190 regular season games in his 12-year career. In 2004, his first year with the Redskins, he played in just five games but since then he has appeared in 16, 16, and 15 games.

He was a reliable in the locker room as he was on the field. No matter what had happened, win or lose, he would be there to answer as many questions as we wanted to ask.

I hope all Redskins fans join me in wishing him well.

Rich Tandler blogs about the Skins at

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