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Redskins receiver Donte Stallworth (19) is tackled by Colts cornerback Jerraud Powers after his lone catch Aug. 19.
Michael Conroy/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Date published: 8/28/2011
ASHBURN--Most 10-year NFL veterans, unless in the real twilight of their careers, don't typically arrive at training camp having to fight for a spot on a roster.
Donte Stallworth isn't like them. The 6-foot, 220-pound receiver signed a one-year deal with the Washington Redskins on July 29, at the time thinking he could take advantage of what appeared to be a lack of depth at the position.
It hasn't been as easy as he thought.
"I won't say it looked like it was wide open, but there were some opportunities coming in here," Stallworth, who turns 31 in November, said yesterday at Redskins Park. "Yeah, I wanted to jump in and try to do some things here."
Stallworth, with Baltimore last season, said he heard from the Redskins right away and didn't want to wait any longer after the five-month lockout ended. Thus far, he's spent a significant portion of the preseason working as a second-team receiver.
He caught three passes for 32 yards against Pittsburgh in the opener on Aug. 12, but had just one grab for 23 yards against Indianapolis on Aug. 19. Against the Ravens Thursday, Stallworth didn't catch a pass and was targeted only once--an attempted 40-yard toss early in the third quarter from John Beck, who overthrew the ball and had it intercepted by Lardarius Webb.
Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney are the clear starters, but Anthony Armstrong and Terrence Austin have also played well in the preseason. With rookie Leonard Hankerson, a third-round pick, also favored to make the team, it seems as if Stallworth and five others are vying for one spot.
"I really try not to worry about that stuff. I try to just go out and play, you know?" Stallworth said. "I'm trying to practice hard every day, be on top of my assignments and go out and show the coaches I know what I'm doing and make plays."
TORAIN BACK AT PRACTICE
Ryan Torain, who broke a bone in his left hand in practice Aug. 3, fully returned to practice yesterday. Coach Mike Shanahan said Torain will play in Thursday's final game of the preseason against Tampa Bay, but right now, Tim Hightower appears to be the Redskins' top running back.
"I'm not going to say he's our starter, but if you bet in Vegas, you'd probably bet in that direction," Shanahan said.