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News & Notes: 'Evaluation Time' Arrives For Redskins

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The aftermath of the Redskins' 31-7 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday included the usual assortment of comments from a team realizing that a playoff berth is unlikely.

Time to look to the future.

Who's going to be here next year?

Who's not?

"These last four games are still an interview for a lot of us," cornerback Carlos Rogers, who sat out the game with a hamstring injury. "I'm pretty sure coaches are going to look at it as, which guys lay down when you don't have anything to play for. My main thing is to get healthy and then my mindset is to win."

Added fellow cornerback Phillip Buchanon: "You can't quit on the season because these last four games are critical. This is evaluation time as far as for coaches to look at [the personnel] and for you to at least go out with a bang."

Against the Giants on Sunday, the Redskins' offense struggled to get in rhythm and had a season-high six turnovers. The defense yielded 197 rushing yards, struggled with tackling, and generated very little pressure on quarterback Eli Manning.

Head coach Mike Shanahan drew a positive out of how the defense responded after a poor first half. He said he was proud of how the offensive line fared in the face of adversity.

"What you're always trying to do is put your best players out on the field," he said. "You see people that are playing hard. Like I mentioned about the second half, with the way our defense stepped up. Offensively, the same thing. A guy is out there to show us what he can do."

Even before the Giants game, Shanahan and the coaching staff were starting to increased playing time for younger players.

Rookie running back Keiland Williams has started three of the last four games and first-year running back James Davis has led the offense in yards and carries the last two games.

Cornerback Kevin Barnes played most of the Giants game after Buchanon was benched. Barnes finished with three tackles and one pass defended.

Of course, first-year wide receivers Anthony Armstrong, rookie kick returner Brandon Banks and second-year offensive lineman Kory Lichtensteiger have seen significant action since early in the season.

"A lot of these young guys are stepping up," Shanahan said. "You look forward to these guys taking advantage of their opportunities and hopefully they keep on doing it. A lot of these guys will give themselves a chance to do something special in the future."


-- LANDRY READY TO RETURN?

Safety LaRon Landry is expected to test his injured Achilles in practice this week, Mike Shanahan said.

Landry is no longer in a protective walking boot.

"I had a talk with LaRon and he is going to give it a shot this week," Shanahan said. "He is out of his boot and hopefully he can help us this week."

Landry has missed the last three games due to the Achilles injury. He was in the middle of a Pro Bowl-caliber season at the time of his injury and with him out of the lineup the defense has really struggled against the run.

Running back Ryan Torain is expected to be full-go in practice this week as he returns from a hamstring injury.

Carlos Rogers's status for practice is uncertain, however. He is slowed by a hamstring injury as well.


-- WILLIAMS STILL SORE

Left tackle Trent Williams is rehabbing a shoulder injury on Monday and his status for practice this week is uncertain.

Williams said he suffered the injury after he fell down last week at his home. He was listed as questionable for the Giants game.

Williams and Stephon Heyer rotated at left tackle in the first half of the Giants game. Williams was too sore to continue in the second half, though.

Asked about Williams' availability this week, Shanahan replied: "He's sore and he's in rehab. Your guess is as good as mine until we go to practice on Wednesday and Thursday and see how he is. I think he'll be able to go. I don't think it's a big setback."


-- SHANAHAN ON THOMAS

Giants wide receiver Devin Thomas, the Redskins' 2008 second-round draft pick released by the club earlier this season, had an impact in the Giants game, recording two special teams tackles and getting a hand on a punt by Hunter Smith.

After the game, Shanahan said he was "very proud" of how Thomas has handled himself since his release.

"I got a chance to talk to Devin after the game – he was nice enough to wait for me," Shanahan said. "I was one of the last ones to leave. I had a great conversation with Devin and I told him I was really rooting for him because I really like him as a person.

"You can tell he is a guy that is growing up and I think he is heading in the right direction."

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