The Washington Redskins met the NFL’s 9:00 pm deadline to set their opening day roster by releasing several players once thought to be shoe-ins for this season, including veteran running back Tim Hightower and wide receiver Anthony Armstrong. The roster stands at 52, one less than maximum, leaving the possibility the team will add a player after released players clear waivers at noon Saturday.
Hightower aggravated his surgically repaired left knee in the first week of training camp and didn’t play until the third game of preseason against the Indianapolis Colts. He did not play last week against Tampa Bay in the final preseason game. Perhaps the writing wasn’t quite on the wall, but the warning signs for his dismissal were certainly there.
Armstrong– and fellow wideout Terrance Austin — perhaps fell victim to a numbers game, as the team decided to keep return specialist Brandon Banks over either player. Armstrong, one of the fastest players in camp and a valuable special teams player, was in a very competitive battle for the last wide receiver slots, which apparently went to Dezmond Briscoe — who was claimed off waiver the first week of camp from the Buccaneers – and Aldrick Robinson. A rumored trade that would have sent Armstrong to the Miami Dolphins for RB Steve Slaton never did materialize.
The Redskins can sign eight players to the practice squad starting Saturday at noon. Some of the candidates that were released Friday, such as QB Jonathan Crompton, RB Dorson Boyce, OL Tom Compton and LB Markus White could be added to the practice squad.
In other news, the NFL announced the indefinite suspension without pay of safety Tanard Jackson for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Jackson has missed 20 games in the last two seasons for violating league rules. He can apply for reinstatement next preseason.
Here’s the team release with the full cuts.
LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. –The Washington Redskins announced today that they have waived the following players:
WR Anthony Armstrong
WR Terrence Austin
DB Travon Bellamy
FB Dorson Boyce (Injured)
T Tom Compton
C Erik Cook
QB Jonathan Crompton
RB Tristan Davis (Injured)
NT Marlon Favorite
C Grant Garner
LB Donnell Holt
NT Delvin Johnson
LB Brian McNally (Waived with injury settlement)
TE Richard Quinn
T Willie Smith
CB Brandyn Thompson
LB Markus White
DE Doug Worthington
In addition, the Redskins released the following veterans:
RB Tim Hightower
CB David Jones
LB Bryan Kehl
DL Darrion Scott
The team also announced that it has placed exempt DE Kentwan Balmer on the Reserve/Left Squad list.
Safety Tanard Jackson has been suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. His suspension is effective immediately.
NFL teams can build a practice squad of eight players beginning at noon ET tomorrow.
Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Redskins coverage on Twitter @RedskinsDSP.