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New from the post: Skins sign kicker, plus who isn't making the trip to carolina


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Redskins Sign Kicker After Hall Pulls Muscle

By Mark Maske

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, August 8, 2003; 3:25 PM

The Washington Redskins signed place kicker Matt Simonton today. He will replace injured kicker John Hall in Saturday night's exhibition opener at Carolina.

Hall suffered a slight groin pull during conditioning drills Thursday and was not scheduled to accompany the Redskins on their flight to Charlotte this afternoon. Simonton, 26, was scheduled to meet the team in Charlotte. Simonton, from the University of Southern Illinois, was in training camp with the St. Louis Rams last year but has not kicked in a regular season NFL game.

Redskins officials said Hall's injury was not serious and he could kick if this was a regular season game, but they wanted to be cautious in the preseason. The club signed Hall to a five-year, $7.13 million contract in March as a free agent, hoping the veteran from the New York Jets would provide some stability to a kicking position that has been a revolving door for the team for a decade. The Redskins went through three kickers last season, beginning when Brett Conway suffered a torn quadriceps muscle in the preseason and could not last through the first regular season game.

The Redskins expect Hall to resume kicking next week. Club officials are so certain that he will be their kicker this season that they did not have another kicker on their roster until today.

The team released fullback Thad Buttone to clear a roster spot, but likely will re-sign him next week as long as Hall is fully healthy.

Middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and defensive ends Bruce Smith and Regan Upshaw also were among the group of Redskins players who didn't make the trip and won't play in the game. All three are coming off knee surgeries, and the Redskins don't want to push them too hard in the preseason. Kevin Mitchell likely will start at middle linebacker, and Peppi Zellner could start at the defensive end spot opposite Renaldo Wynn.

The other injured Redskins players who did not make the trip were tailback Ladell Betts, wide receiver Darnerien McCants, offensive linemen Tre Johnson and Rod Jones, wide receiver Patrick Wood****, defensive back Lloyd Harrison and defensive lineman Nic Clemons.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

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things don't look to good for McCants or Tre Johnson at this point. Both players are locked in competition at spots where there is good depth.

before all is said and done I think Betts will get the chance to play so his injury to me is only a temporary setback.

Lloyd Harrison is probably done as a Skin. I imagine he will be released when he is healthy or by injury settlement.

Zellner as the starter at DE? I would have thought Holsey might have gotten the chance to start given his experience and size at 6'2 and 285.....nice size for a DE.

what had me yesterday was the comments about Zellner getting time at DT. The guy is 6'5 but only goes about 266. DTs haven't been that size since the mid 1980's :)

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Bulldog, I would disagree that there is good depth at our OG position. I'm mainly going by SS's assertion that he only has 10 linemen or so who can fill in. That's not too large of a number so I would think that if the team thinks that Tre (when he gets better) will be better than the backups currently are then I would think we keep Tre, considering that we think that Tre will get healthy soon.

YOu've got to consider that Tre is not just some rookie trying out. He's a guy who came in last year and made our line get a whole lot better if not for the entire second half of the season, definately for those last two games against Houston and Dallas. So Spurrier knows how well Tre can do. Its a question of are the new guys better than Tre and how long will it take for Tre to get healthy.

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