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Washington Hopes to Play In Season Opener

Linebacker Marcus Washington, wearing a tightly wrapped elbow brace, participated in Monday's practice at Redskins Park.

He remains hopeful that he will be cleared to play in Sunday's regular-season opener against Miami.

"[The elbow injury] feels a lot better," Washington said after practice. "I'm trying to be smart about it right now. Really, it just felt good to be running around in the heat, getting in a little bit of action.

"It feels like I've been out of action a little bit, so it feels good to get my feet under me a little bit."

Washington suffered a dislocated elbow injury during the Redskins' second preseason game on Aug. 18.

"We will progress day by day with that," assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said. "If anyone can do it, it's Marcus because he is one of our toughest football players."

Washington has been able to participate in practice on a limited basis, always wearing the protective brace.

"I have pretty good movement and pretty good motion" wearing the brace, Washington said. "It kind of adds a little cushion to it. The main thing is to not hyperextend it too much."

Washington said he will be fitted for a custom-made elbow brace later this week. He joked that the new brace will be "a little prettier" than the one he is currently wearing.

The Redskins will release an official injury report on Wednesday, and that's when Washington's official status will be known.

Another linebacker, Khary Campbell, was the only Redskins player to sit out Monday's practice. Campbell has been slowed by a hamstring injury.

-- QB BACKUP: NO ANNOUNCEMENT YET

Head coach Joe Gibbs declined to announce his backup quarterback situation on Monday. Gibbs said he wants to wait until later in the week when he has talked with Todd Collins and Mark Brunell.

"I already know what I'm going to do," Gibbs said. "I just haven't had a chance to talk with them. There's no rush on it. We have two veteran guys there. I'll sit down and talk to them and by the end of the week, we'll have it set."

Collins, a 13-year vet, was solid in preseason play, completing 23-of-33 passes for 218 yards and one touchdown. He has not played extensively in an NFL regular-season game since 1997.

Brunell, a 14-year vet, was inconsistent at times, but he put together a strong game in the Redskins' preseason finale against Jacksonville. Overall, he completed 14-of-29 preseason passes for 149 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

Last year, the Redskins ended the regular season with Brunell as Jason Campbell's primary backup and Collins as the third-string quarterback.

-- GAME PLAN FOR PORTIS

Running back Clinton Portis took "regular practice" work on Monday, according to Joe Gibbs. It's a sign that Portis is close to fully recovered from his lingering bout with knee tendonitis.

Asked what the plan is for Portis in terms of Sunday's season opener against Miami, Gibbs replied: "He'll start off and he and Ladell [Betts] will take the load."

Gibbs reiterated that he had hoped to get Portis some carries during preseason.

"It was a situation we had to work with and I think we did the right thing," Gibbs said. "I think the medical team wanted to get it calmed down, and preseason was the time to do it. I didn't particularly like that we had to do that, but it's what we had to do."

Without Portis and with Betts getting limited carries, the Redskins struggled to run the ball in preseason, averaging just 3.2 yards per carry.

"We were certainly hoping to rush the ball better in preseason," Gibbs said. "We have to do a better job of that. It'll be a tough week to get that done, because Miami is very tough and very physical against the run."

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