Jamison Crowder and Will Compton have yet to play in a Redskins preseason game, but both made encouraging returns to the practice field on Sunday.
It's still early in the week, but wide receiver Jamison Crowder and linebacker Will Compton took important steps in their returns from separate nagging injuries that have forced them to miss the Redskins' first two preseason games.
Check out these photos of the Redskins preparing for their Week 3 preseason matchup against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
Crowder has been hampered since the last week of training camp with a sore left hamstring while Compton has been dealing with intense pain from osteitis pubis, an inflammation of tendons in the groin and pelvis region.
Both took promising steps on the field for Sunday's practice and they each expect to be able to play in the team's third preseason matchup in Baltimore on Saturday.
"The big thing is we don't like to rush those guys back," head coach Jay Gruden said. "We want to make sure they're ready to roll. Jamison looks like he's good and same with Will."
Crowder had the privilege of participating in individual and team drills wearing a helmet and shoulder pads. He took multiple snaps, ran freely and caught a touchdown pass in the process.
For the first time in a few weeks, he had the opportunity – something usually taken for granted – to carry his equipment with him off the field.
"[I'm] just glad to be back out here," he said. "Just trying to stay healthy, just ready to have a good week."
Those have been hard to come by considering Crowder has missed his first two opportunities to make his NFL debut. Sunday presented him some challenges – namely getting back into the rhythms and pacing of the offense – but that initial rust, he says, will quickly wear away.
"I just want to make sure that I'm getting back into the swing of things. That felt somewhat rusty [but] thought I had a good first day back," Crowder said. "I was out, what, a week and a half? Two weeks? Not being able to come out, run routes, get back in the huddle, hear the calls and everything … I feel like the rhythm was off, but I feel like as practice went on I got back into it."
Tending to a sore hamstring has a more predictable schedule for recovery than the prognosis for Compton, who said that his groin injury made him feel paralyzed at times. At one point he could barely get out of bed.
"You just become immobile to where you can't move because everything's all flared up," said Compton, who was limited to individual and 7-on-7 drills Sunday. "Basically the recovery is just calming it down. I've been doing a whole lot of rest."
It's particularly frustrating for Compton because he's unsure about when the injury occurred (the pain can seem harmless one day and quickly escalate), though he has seen a couple of specialists and feels confident in his two weeks of rest.
"These guys are progressing along very good," said Gruden, referring to all of his injured players. "You can see their commitment to rehabbing. Coming in here with the trainers every day and the work that they're putting in because they're recovering pretty quick."