Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and defensive end Stephen Bowen spent the offseason rehabbing, and the last 2 1/2 months of preseason/regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform(PUP) list. Today the Redskins announced that both players will officially be returning to practice with the team. This starts a 21 day practice window where the Redskins will evaluate each player and decide if they will activate them, or shut them down for the year. The Redskins do not have to make any roster moves yet, but will have to cut someone to make room for the players if they are activated.
Hankerson is returning from a torn ACL and LCL that he suffered in Week 11 last year vs the Eagles. He will be a full year removed if he returns next month. This is the second injury in Hankerson's short career that has placed him on IR and affected the following season. He was a 3rd round pick in 2011 who hasn't lived up to most fan's expectations. Hankerson is in the last year of his rookie contract, and this could be his first and last chance to make a good impression on Head Coach Jay Gruden.
Stephen Bowen is also returning from a major knee surgery from an injury that happened last year against the Eagles in Week 11. He needed microfracture surgery on his knee, and was a candidate to be released this year to save cap money now and in the future. The team instead decided to restructure his contract, saving about $2.3 million in cap space this year. Bowen can earn almost $2 million of that back with playing time and performance bonuses, but he will miss over half the season by the time he is activated.
The other official announcements were reported yesterday. WR Marvin McNutt has been released from the practice squad. He has been replaced by WR Rashad Ross who was with the team during training camp and most of the preseason. Ross was picked up by the Chicago Bears for their practice squad and then signed to the roster. He was used exclusively for kickoff returns and posted a 20+ yard per return average.
And that Robert Griffin III guy is supposed to begin doing individual drills at practice today. No big deal.