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News & Notes: Thomas Making Progress

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Devin Thomas had looked forward to celebrating the moment.

His first NFL touchdown. And his first NFL touchdown dance.

So when Thomas caught a 68-yard touchdown pass from Jason Campbell last Sunday, it was time to shine the spotlight on the rookie wide receiver out of Michigan State.

Hold on.

Yellow flag.

Thomas's touchdown was nullified due to a penalty on Stephon Heyer.

Thomas finished the game--a 24-17 Redskins win over the Arizona Cardinals--with one catch for seven yards.

He admitted it "hurt" to lose the touchdown, but he knew he had to move on to the next play.

"Really, the situation we were in, we would have been up by two touchdowns, and that's what I was most excited about," he said. "Then I was happy we won the game, so it didn't matter. There will be plenty more opportunities."


Thomas has been getting increased snaps in games as he becomes more experienced in the Redskins offense.

He was limited in preseason due to a hamstring injury, but he has been healthy enough to play in every regular season game so far.

He has just two catches on the season, but it's a "growing process" for the Redskins' second-round draft pick.

"Coach [Zorn] gave me a lot more opportunities [in the Cardinals game] and a lot more packages," Thomas said.

Thomas is adept at running deep routes. Zorn has said he needs to work more on shorter routes, the staple of the West Coast offense.

"I'm still progressing," Thomas said. "When you're in practice, guys kind of give you a certain look on defense. But when you're out there in the game, it's full speed and the look is different and it throws you off. I just have to keep on working hard to get it."

And when he's finally up to speed, keep an eye out for his touchdown dances.

"I have a lot of them stored up," he said, smiling. "Some I've been waiting to do for a long time, for when I score an NFL touchdown."

-- AT STRONG SAFETY

Jim Zorn said Thursday that Reed Doughty "is our starter" at strong safety, but rookie Chris Horton continues to push for playing time and could supplant him in the lineup.

"Both of those guys have been working hard, but as far as who will get the first snap, we are just waiting to see what happens," Zorn said. "Both of them will be in there and depending on what personnel group we use, we could play multiple safeties in the game. They could both be starters at the beginning of the game.

"Reed is our starter, but Chris is going to play a lot and we will see what happens as we go along."

Doughty was part of coverage that yielded a 62-yard touchdown pass in last Sunday's game against the Cardinals. He was replaced by Horton on most passing downs after that play.

-- HEYER LIMITED IN PRACTICE

Stephon Heyer participated in individual drills during Thursday's practice but he remains questionable for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Heyer suffered a shoulder injury in last week's game against Arizona.

"I think Stephon is coming along," Jim Zorn said. "He is not 100 percent. I hope he can do enough [Friday] so that we can find out even more. I know that he got his range of motion back, but it's very sore from the game."

If Heyer is unable to play Sunday, then Jon Jansen would start in his place.

-- KELLY HAS SETBACK

Malcolm Kelly continues to struggle with his ankle injury.

He sat out Thursday's practice and Jim Zorn did not sound optimistic he would be available for this Sunday's game at Dallas.

"Malcolm still has the slows because of his ankle," Zorn said. "We just have to wait until he gets better. He is getting mass treatment, but it's just taking a while for him to get back."

Kelly suffered his ankle injury in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints.

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