DeAngelo Hall watched the Washington Redskins' final training camp practice from the sideline Monday, resting the injured toe on his left foot.
Normally, the 12th-year cornerback wouldn't mind sitting out a session in the stifling heat of August, with the regular season still almost a month away. This time was different, because he is coming off two tears to his Achilles tendon and already missed preseason time because of a groin injury.
“It's probably the first training camp I've actually came in and wanted to work,” Hall said with a smile. “The other times, you're kind of going through the motions. You don't really want to be out here. But when you've got a new defense, new guys, you've got to try to learn those guys, learn the defense, while coming back from an injury. So trying to make sure my body responds the way I want it to.”
Hall and his teammates will be back at Redskins Park Tuesday, after packing up and heading out of Richmond following 2 1/2 weeks of training camp. Washington's second exhibition game is at home against the Detroit Lions Thursday.
“We got a lot accomplished. We got a lot of young guys some quality repetitions. Learned a lot of football. Learned about our guys,” coach Jay Gruden said. “You want to get, obviously, better fundamentally, and get your scheme taught and find out your best players. And then obviously you want to come together as a football team, and I think we did that.”
He is entering his second season as an NFL head coach, coming off a 4-12 rookie year. The Redskins finished last in the NFC East for the sixth time in seven years.
As for looking at possible lineup decisions, Gruden said: “I think everybody is in the mix to be a starter. Until the preseason is over with, and we play Miami (to open the regular season), we don't know exactly who our starters are going to be anywhere. We have a depth chart ... that means pretty much nothing.”
Gruden said X-rays on Hall's toe came back negative for structural damage and said the player's status is day to day. Both Gruden and Hall said it's possible the cornerback will play against Detroit.
But Gruden ruled out receivers DeSean Jackson (shoulder) and Jamison Crowder (hamstring) for Thursday.
Gruden's biggest disappointment with the way things went at camp were the health issues that cropped up, particularly in the secondary (Hall, Bashaud Breeland and David Amerson all got hurt) and at tight end (Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen are both out for the season, while Jordan Reed has missed time with a hamstring problem).
“There's a lot of circumstances you can't control, like the injuries. That's the only thing: I just wish we didn't have as many of the nagging little hamstrings, the little ankles and the calves and the obliques,” Gruden said. “We've got one that I've never even heard of -- (linebacker) Will Compton, I don't even know what that injury is. That's the one thing you hate to have happen, but every team goes through it. It's a physical day out here and you're going to have those.”
At a news conference before Monday's practice, Redskins President Bruce Allen said he attributed the drop in attendance at training camp to two factors: the novelty wearing off in the team's third year in Richmond, and last season's losing record.
“How far away are we from winning?” Allen said, repeating a reporter's question. “Depends how we do today on the practice field. We have a lot of work to do and we have three more preseason games to properly evaluate all the players.”