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News & Notes: Brown, Kelly Ruled Out of Preseason Opener

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Right tackle Jammal Brown and wide receiver Malcolm Kelly are sidelined for this Friday's preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills.

Brown remains slowed by hip soreness. He underwent hip surgery last year when he was with the New Orleans Saints and spent the season on injured reserve.

During Tuesday's practice, Brown participated in some drills but gave way to backup Stephon Heyer during 11-on-11 work.

"He's getting closer," head coach Mike Shanahan said. "I would anticipate him being able to go after the game, either Sunday or Monday. He's getting treatment and he's feeling better."

Fourth-year lineman Stephon Heyer is expected to draw the start in place of Brown.

Kelly has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since the second day of training camp.

He continues to work with athletic trainers on the sidelines during practice.

"He's trying to get that hamstring strong," Shanahan said. "We wouldn't put him in that situation to play this quickly. Hopefully he'll be able to go next week as well."

Kelly's absence gives some other young wide receievers -- such as Terrence Austin and Anthony Armstrong -- an opportunity for playing time in the preseason opener.

Meantime, Shanahan reported that running back Clinton Portis has a mild groin injury and Richard Bartel tweaked his hamstring.

Their injuries are not believed to be serious.


-- HEYER OPPORTUNITY

With Brown sidelined, Stephon Heyer is expected to draw the starting assignment at right tackle.

Heyer, who started all 16 games for the Redskins last season, has served as the primary backup at right tackle during camp.

He has alternated between left and right tackle in his four-year career.

"Stephon's got some good playing experience," Mike Shanahan said. "He is picking up our offense fairly quickly. And when one guy goes down, he gets a chance to show us what he can do. He's done a good job."

Asked if Heyer has the athleticism required for the zone blocking scheme, Shanahan replied: "Yeah. He's a bigger guy. He's long-armed. He weighs a lot. He's tall, and very seldom do you get a guy that big with that type of athletic ability.

"And we'll get a chance to see him if he can zone block and do the things we ask him to do. It's a little quick to say if he can or he can't, but I like what I've seen."

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