Raymer lost in Redskins' scrimmage


FROSTBURG -- The Washington Redskins' biggest setback yesterday wasn't on the scoreboard.

Their 17-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a rookie scrimmage was overshadowed by the loss of second-round draft pick Cory Raymer for three months and possibly for the season when he fractured his left ankle on the first series.

The Redskins didn't even bother to X-ray the ankle before deciding it was broken and will need surgery in Washington today. He'll have pins or a plate inserted in the ankle to stabilize it.

"You could feel it," trainer Bubba Tyer said in explaining how he knew it was broken. The injury happened when guard Vernice Smith blocked a Steeler into Raymer and both fell on Raymer's leg.

Tyer wouldn't estimate how long Raymer will be out, but it usually takes six weeks for a break to heal and another six weeks for rehabilitation.

When the Redskins put together their final 53-man roster next month, they'll have to decide whether to carry him injured until he heals or to put him on injured reserve, which means he would be out for the season.

Tyer said the injury was worse than the broken ankle that tight end Don Warren suffered against the Steelers in a 1991 scrimmage. He missed the first six games of the season that year.

Raymer's injury was the latest setback in what is becoming a star-crossed camp for the Redskins. Once Raymer went down, they only had one of their top five draft picks on the field for the scrimmage.

Top pick Michael Westbrook, a wide receiver, is holding out. Third-round pick Darryl Pounds, a cornerback, is out with a back injury and the Redskins aren't sure if he can play this year.

Tight end Jamie Asher, their first fifth-round pick, will be out at least another week with a pulled hamstring.

On top of that, defensive lineman Bobby Wilson is sidelined indefinitely with a back injury and running back Reggie Brooks hasn't practiced yet because of a pulled hamstring.

Despite all the setbacks, coach Norv Turner was trying not to get discouraged.

"You hate to lose a guy you drafted in the second round, but, unfortunately, that's part of the game. You can't do anything about it and if we get discouraged about it and worry about it then we're not doing a service to the rest of the players," Turner said.

Except for the Raymer injury, there were a lot of positives in the scrimmage, notably Heath Shuler's third-down, 8-yard touchdown pass to Olanda Truitt and Frank Wycheck's 36-yard grab of Gus Frerotte's pass.

Truitt was Shuler's third read on the play and the second-year quarterback said he probably wouldn't have made that play last year when he was learning the system.

Truitt, a wide receiver, and Wycheck, a tight end, are fighting for roster spots. Truitt got a lot of playing time because Westbrook is holding out and three other receivers (Leslie Shepherd, Patrick Newman and Reggie Jones) are out with minor injuries.

Larry Jones, their fourth-round pick, was the Redskins' most productive runner. He gained 53 yards in 11 carries, but he also fumbled once and was stopped twice by Pittsburgh from the 1-yard line.

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