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News & Notes: Kelly Among Redskins' Inactives

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Wide receiver Malcolm Kelly was among the Redskins' inactive players for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Kelly has been slowed by an ankle injury suffered in Week 2.

With wide receiver James Thrash able to play despite an ankle injury of his own, the Redskins entered the Cardinals game with four available wide receivers.

It's the second time in three games that Kelly has been deactivated. He played in the Saints game and caught one pass for six yards.

"Malcolm is still trying to get up to speed," head coach Jim Zorn said last Friday.

Kelly entered the game listed as questionable.

Thrash and rookie wide receiver Devin Thomas saw action in three and four wide receiver sets.

Thrash was able to practice--on a limited basis--last Friday. He entered the game listed as questionable.

Regarding Thomas's increased role, Zorn said: "Devin is in the mix and he is starting to be included in more [offensive packages]. He is playing faster, understanding splits better and improving weekly."

Entering the game, Thomas had one catch for eight yards. Coaches say he has been effective on deep routes but needs to work on shorter routes in Zorn's version of the West Coast offense.

On defense, the Redskins opted to go into the game with four defensive ends and four cornerbacks. Defensive ends Erasmus James and Rob Jackson and cornerback J.T. Tryon were among the team's inactives.

The Redskins' complete list of inactives was as follows: Kelly, Tryon, safety Justin Hamilton, offensive linemen Jason Fabini and Chad Rinehart, James and Jackson.

For Arizona, the complete list of inactives was as follows: running back J.J. Arrington, safety Oliver Celestin, offensive lineman Brandon Keith, wide receiver Early Doucet, tight end Jerame Tuman, linebacker Ali Highsmith and defensive tackle Gabe Watson.

-- DOUGHTY BACK

As expected, Reed Doughty was back in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

Doughty missed last week's game against the Saints due to an illness. Chris Horton started in his place and was impressive, recording two interceptions and a fumble recovery in the Redskins' 29-24 win.

Coaches like Horton's potential, but agree that he needs more seasoning before challenging Doughty for a starting job.

"We're playing both Reed Doughty and Chris Horton, but Reed starts because he has more experience. Chris Horton did a great job last week, however, there were some thing's in the game that [media and fans] probably won't realize that needs to be tuned up.

"He still needs a little more seasoning, but if he continues to play great and eliminate his mistakes, he will be a great football player."

Asked about Doughty's strengths, Blache pointed to his preparation and character.

"Reed Doughty has great character, anticipation, knowledge and professionalism, and he has been a great football player for us the last 10 ball games he's played in," Blache said. "He has a great feel for the game and he has a lot of character. At the end of the day, character will win more games for you than talent will."

-- GAME FACE ON

During the week, most Redskins players are courteous and professional. That changes on game days.

Just ask defensive end Jason Taylor, the epitome of professionalism off the field.

"Up until kickoff, I'm a relaxed guy," he said. "When you know what you're doing and you're confident in what you're doing and you prepare yourself, you can be relaxed and then kick butt when the game starts.

"We can't walk around the street sacking people in the grocery store and being jerks. You've got to be personable, but on Sundays we can turn it on and get it done."

Jim Zorn, a former NFL quarterback, said he notices a change in players once they get to the team hotel the night before a game.

"It really deals with how you prepare," Zorn said. "Players don't turn it on an hour before game time, but they prepare themselves. That is when there is a relaxed feel, but also a heightened sense of awareness that we are about to go into battle."

-- BROOKS' DAY

Durant Brooks' first punt of the game was a short 35-yarder late in the first half.

Not a good start after a shaky performance in Week 2.

Brooks was better in the second quarter, though.

Late in the first half, Brooks had a 56-yard punt to help pin Arizona in deep in their own territory. After a holding penalty, the Cardinals started the drive at their own 4-yard line with 1:12 in the first half.

For the game, Brooks had four punts for a 42-yard average, with two downed inside the 20-yard line.

"I haven't had any reservations about thinking that he is gong to get better and better," Jim Zorn said last week. "He has been working hard, and he has a great head on his shoulders.

"This is a performance-based game. We're trying to grow with him. This is not a tryout for him. He is our punter."

-- HEYER RETURNS AFTER INJURY

Stephon Heyer suffered a sprained left shoulder in the first half of Sunday's game against Arizona.

He was replaced by veteran Jon Jansen for the rest of the first half.

Heyer was on the field for several minutes being tended to by athletic trainers. He was later taken into the locker room for X-rays, which were negative.

Heyer returned to the game in the second half.

He had an eventful game. He was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that nullified Jason Campbell's 68-yard touchdown pass to Devin Thomas.

-- CAMPBELL'S STREAK

Jason Campbell completed his first eight passes of the Cardinals game and his last eight last Sunday against New Orleans. That streak of 16 consective completions is the second-longest in Redskins history.

It passes the 15 consecutive completions by Brad Johnson in 1999.

Mark Brunell's 22 straight completions against Houston on Sept. 24, 2006, is the franchise record. Brunell set a single-game mark for pass completions that day.

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