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Beck is back: Redskins QB makes return to practice field

John Beck has some catching up to do if he wants to win the Washington Redskins' starting quarterback job. On Sunday, Beck got back to work.

The fifth-year quarterback returned to the practice field after missing several days -- including the Redskins' preseason opener Friday against the Pittsburgh Steelers -- with a strained groin.

Coach Mike Shanahan has refused to name his starting quarterback, preferring to let Beck and veteran Rex Grossman battle it out on the field. Grossman completed 19 of 26 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers in Washington's 16-7 victory.

"The other night, when Rex went out there and did that, he went out and played how coaches want us to play -- at a high level -- and (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) knows he can play well," Beck told *The* *Washington Post.*

But on Sunday, it was Beck who received the majority of the first-team snaps during 11-on-11 action, and he said he "felt good."

"For me, it was good to get back in that full 11 on 11, having linemen in my face, defensive hands in front of you," Beck told ThePost. "Seven-on-seven drills (last week) were good for my timing and for not having a lot of strain on it, but it was a controlled environment because there was no rush. Now, having that rush and those guys in front of you, it makes a difference."

Beck hopes to play Friday when the Redskins face the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"We haven't made a plan, yet," Mike Shanahan said. "We'll watch them and see how they do in practice this week and then make a plan Wednesday. Hopefully there's no setback."

Shanahan also said Sunday that tight end Chris Cooley's status for the Sept. 11 season opener is in jeopardy.

Cooley is recovering from offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He saw a specialist last week and has had fluid drained from the knee twice.

"He's getting some rehab on it, he's working extremely hard, but other than that, I don't know," Shanahan said. "He can get some mental reps by looking at the film. We've got a lot of meeting time. He'll probably be working in the weight room the majority of the time, but there's no sense in putting added pressure on that knee."

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