It’s a question that’s difficult to answer, because the hypothetical always is: Had Gerald Hayes not been hurt to start the season, would rookie linebacker Darryl Washington not have played as much this season? The second-round pick shined in the preseason and started from the outset with Hayes sidelined, but his impact was minimal and after Hayes returned, Washington’s role has grown on special teams and been lessened on defense.
“I think probably he wouldn’t have gotten as much, but you don’t ever know,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “I know we would have worked to get Darryl reps, because he showed pretty early he’s got a chance to be really good.”
Whisenhunt said he is still happy with how Washington is progressing, although obviously there are times when mistakes are made. “But his future is really bright.”
Washington said he isn’t surprised at the playing time shift
“You knew Gerald was out and you wanted to make the bets of your opportunity,” Washington said. “With Gerald back, it’s time to continue to learn. … I just need to be prepared in case on of those guys go down. My time will come to play. You develop every day. You just have to keep learning.”
– In the bigger picture, Whisenhunt most definitely has a strong feeling on how to disseminate playing time the rest of the way — and it is not about preparing for 2011.
“We are trying to win games so that’s what we are going to do,” Whisenhunt said. “If the young players, or a rookie player, is expected to play, he’ll play. But we’re going in with the guys we feel give us the best chance to win. I’m not trying to play young guys to get a look at them. I’m more interested in getting this turned and getting a win.”
– On the injury front, four players are listed as questionable: DE Calais Campbell (ankle), CB Greg Toler (foot), LB Clark Haggans (groin) and NT Dan Williams (knee). I think the status of Toler and Campbell will come down to how they look at Saturday’s walkthrough and even pre-game warmups. But I think Toler should be ready and Campbell does seem to be walking better (he jogged off the practice field pretty well when he came over to say hi to Kurt Warner, who was here as part of Sunday’s broadcast crew). I expect Haggans too and probably Williams. Everyone else on the injury list is probable.
Tags: Calais Campbell, Clark Haggans, Dan Williams, Daryl Washington, Gerald Hayes, Greg Toler, Ken Whisenhunt, Kurt Warner
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