CARLISLE, Pa. -- Reggie Brooks is beginning at the end.
With the Washington Redskins set to close training camp tomorrow, Brooks finally is getting a chance to work on the field.
Hampered by a hamstring injury he suffered in June in a made-for-TV event -- the first NFL "Run to Daylight" challenge -- Brooks, a running back, has spent the camp rehabilitating.
He came back for one practice two weeks ago and aggravated the hamstring, so the Redskins have been hesitant to approve his return. He got the OK yesterday, and had no trouble running.
"I was striding out, high-stepping, cutting, and I didn't feel a thing," he said. "I'm moving a lot better than the other guys because they've been out here and their legs are dead. I've got fresh legs."
Coach Norv Turner, however, said he'll hold Brooks out of the Thursday night game against the New England Patriots before playing him in the final exhibition game next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Turner is eager to have Brooks at full strength because he's supposed to play an Emmitt Smith role as tailback in Turner's offense.
Two other ailing starters, center John Gesek (back) and defensive lineman Tim Johnson (hamstring), practiced, but they're not at full strength and won't play Thursday.
Defensive lineman Leonard Marshall, recovering from a broken forearm suffered last year, will play for the first time as a Redskin. He returned to practice last week.
The Redskins also waived six players to cut their roster to 74. Only one player waived yesterday, offensive lineman Guy Earle, who was on the practice squad last year, had been with the Redskins in the past. Defensive end Chuck Smith returned to the Atlanta Falcons yesterday after serving a three-week suspension for fighting.
One of his first moves was to apologize to center Roman Fortin for using his helmet as a weapon against him during one of the fights.
Coach June Jones suspended Smith to send a message to the team that he wasn't going to tolerate behavior that former coach Jerry Glanville allowed.
Smith seems to have gotten the message. "I asked myself a lot of questions [such as], 'Chuck, just where are you supposed to be?' I sort of [evaluated] my whole existence that way. I've seen now that you can blow everything you've worked for with one mistake. I'm man enough to say I was wrong," he said.
The Cincinnati Bengals aren't getting many dividends on the $800,000 signing bonus they paid free-agent safety Louis Oliver.
Oliver, recovering from a broken foot suffered last November, may miss the first six weeks of the season. He underwent surgery in April and the Bengals thought he'd be ready by July, but he still isn't recovered.
Coach David Shula, who said Oliver may be placed on the physically unable to perform list and miss the first six weeks, said the Bengals knew it was a risk signing Oliver, but their doctors told them it was likely he'd recover in time to play this year.
Cecil takes even bigger cut
Chuck Cecil, the Arizona Cardinals safety who took a pay cut from $1.2 million to $350,000 in the off-season, took another one yesterday. He's now unemployed after being waived.
Cecil was fined almost $50,000 by the league last year for flagrant hits, and the fines may have affected his hard-hitting style of play.
Jets' Moore breaks wrist
New York Jets wide receiver Rob Moore broke a wrist in an exhibition game Saturday night and will wear a cast for four to eight weeks.
The Jets hope he can play in the season opener Sept. 4.
Moore and Art Monk, who left the Redskins after declining to take a pay cut, are the only established wide receivers on the team. The only veteran backup is Rob Carpenter.
Bahr earns Patriots job
Matt Bahr played his first regular-season NFL game in 1979 against the Patriots for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who that year would win their fourth Super Bowl.
A decade and a half later, Bahr seems destined to open this season for the Patriots. At 38, he's the only place-kicker in Patriots camp after Scott Sisson was waived yesterday.
Bahr has a tie with Patriots coach Bill Parcells. He kicked the field goal that gave the Parcells-coached New York Giants a 15-13 victory in the 1990 NFC title game. Bahr was signed by the Patriots for the final three games last year when Sisson was inconsistent.
Giants fine Hampton
The Giants' Rodney Hampton missed practice to attend to a family emergency, but New York coach Dan Reeves said that the running back's absence was "unexcused" and that he would be fined $4,000.
Hampton said he will be at work today.
Around the league
Reggie Barrett, the Seattle Seahawks' primary backup at wide receiver, is out for the season with damaged knee ligaments. . . . Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pro Bowl linebacker Hardy Nickerson and tight end Tyji Armstrong have the chickenpox. . . . Giants cornerback Phillippi Sparks has torn cartilage in his right knee. He's expected to return for the season opener. . . . The Minnesota Vikings cut defensive end Al Noga and starting cornerback David Pool. Noga played last season with the Redskins. . . . Philadelphia Eagles backup tight end Joey Mickey is out two weeks with a sprained right knee and ankle.