Maybe it’s the humidity of the mid-Atlantic, because it makes no sense for veterans of two area NFL teams to have this many issues with hamstrings. Particularly when the players are wide receivers, who are trained to stretch and practice to avoid this kind of injury.
We talked earlier about Mark Clayton of the Ravens, who messed his hamstring up badly enough that there was bleeding involved. He might miss all of the preseason as a result. We now turn our attention to Washington, where the first and third best receivers on the team—Santana Moss and Devin Thomas—both sat this afternoon with hamstring soreness.
Granted, all three receivers were practicing on wet fields, so it could be a matter of the surface and not the toughness of Moss, Thomas and Clayton. But Washington needs to be extra careful about their approach to Moss and Thomas. Moss is the team’s best receiver, and possibly will be their best option at punt return this year.
Thomas has yet to make an impact on offense going into his second season, and the squad is likely planning for three-receiver sets featuring he and Malcolm Kelly to make life easier on running back Clinton Portis, who may or may not need the help; depending on what you think of his paperwork.
Training camps are tailor made to create injuries. The hot weather, the drills that stress muscles and tendons in a way that training and exercise rarely do, and the excitement of preparing for a season do not make for a good mix. But Baltimore and Washington have very different sets of expectations for very different reasons, and it’s no good for fans of either club to have those expectations dashed so early into camp with problems that may linger throughout the season.