Bad news on the first day of training camp: defensive end Phillip Daniels suffered a season-ending knee ligament injury during Sunday morning's practice.
Daniels was visibly distraught after suffering the injury. The 13-year veteran could not put any weight on the leg as he was helped into the athletic trainer's room at Redskins Park.
The injury happened during 7-on-7 drills midway through Sunday's practice. His leg got tangled up with another lineman and he landed awkwardly.
"He was in a two-on-two pass rush and he tried to avoid someone who was in front of him," head coach Jim Zorn said.
The news of Daniels's injury was devastating to several members of the team. Some players were emotional discussing Daniels after practice.
Said Zorn: "The hard past is he was so ready. He did everything that he could possibly do to not only have a great training camp, but also an excellent football season. Now has has a new challenge before him."
Zorn said he hoped Daniels would maintain a presence on the team this season, perhaps as a player-coach.
"Phillip deeply cares about the players on this team. It is a hard thing for him to deal with. He knows that he was a key leader on the team. He is going to be around and he is going to try to do what he can to continue to be a part of this."
Added Clinton Portis: "It's tough. Phillip was one of our best defenders and a leader on this team. As a team, guys need to focus and come together so we can find a way to win. We need Phillip around us to keep motivating us. Then we can go out and win for Phillip."
Daniels was projected as the starting left defensive end. His backup is Demetric Evans.
The Redskins also have defensive end Erasmus James in camp.
James, a former first-round pick acquired in a trade this offseason, is sidelined early in camp as he continues to recover from knee ligament injuries.
James is expected to be available in mid-August, sometime before the end of training camp, according to head coach Jim Zorn.