Rogers on the mend

Rich TandlerSenior Analyst IJuly 31, 2008

According to JLC and other sources, Carlos Rogers' injured knee is mending well ahead of schedule and he could be ready for the start of the regular season.

The concept of Rogers lining up in September seemed farfetched last October when he tore both the ACL and MCL in his right knee in the Washington Redskins' loss to the Patriots. A return in October of this year seemed to be the best-case scenario as the timetable for the recovery from such an injury generally is a year.

However, individuals heal at different rates. It late July, just a few days past nine months since the injury and Rogers is cutting and showing explosiveness that has the coaches impressed.

If Rogers is ready to contribute at least as a nickel back, if not a starter, by the start of the regular season, gives the team some roster flexibility. If he's not quite there when the final cuts are made, the team probably will be forced to carry six cornerbacks. That would force them to go short in another position or perhaps the concept of carrying six wide receivers would go up in smoke.

But if he's ready to go, the Skins can go with five cornerbacks. They have eight now—Rogers, Shawn Springs, Fred Smoot, Leigh Torrence, Justin Tryon, Byron Westbrook, Cedrick Holt, and Matteral Richardson. Torrence filled in at nickel back behind starters Springs and Smoot last year after Rogers went down. Tryon was taken in the fourth round of the draft and he has raw speed, playmaking ability, and supreme confidence. He's likely to make it as the fifth corner. I'm not sure whether or not Holt is practice-squad eligible but Richardson and/or Westbrook could wind up on the PS.

It's important to caution here that Rogers being at or near 100% on September 4 is not a done deal. He has yet to participate in any contact and that is where you get the true picture of where he stands in his recovery.