Redskins QB McNabb to miss game vs. Jets with sprained ankle

ASHBURN, Va. -- A sprained ankle will keep Donovan McNabb on the sideline Friday night when the Washington Redskins play the New York Jets.

McNabb hasn't been able to practice since he was hurt during Saturday night's preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

"It's quite sore," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said, "and I don't think he could go if it was a regular-season game. He's got to rehab it."

McNabb limped badly in the locker room after the game and wore a walking boot Monday. On Tuesday, he watched practice with a wrap around his lower left leg and ankle.

Shanahan said he didn't believe McNabb had a "bad ankle sprain" and that the quarterback has been walking on the treadmill to rehabilitate the injury.

The sprain is a setback for a veteran quarterback who's trying to master a new offense for the first time since he was a rookie with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999. McNabb had his share of peaks and valleys in training-camp practices and during the first two preseason games. He struggled with timing and accuracy but did a good job handling pressure against the Ravens on Saturday.

In two games, McNabb has completed 16 of 34 passes for 264 yards and one touchdown with one interception for a 71.2 rating.

Rex Grossman is expected to start against the Jets in the game that is considered the dress rehearsal for the regular season. Backups John Beck and Richard Bartel could see playing time, too.

Fullback Mike Sellers also will miss the game after spraining his left knee against the Ravens.

Also still on the sideline is wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, who hurt his hamstring while working out with McNabb in Arizona the week before training camp began and has barely been able to practice since. Kelly was hoping for a breakout season in his third year in the league, but he's no longer a certainty to make the roster at one of the most competitive positions on the team.

"Let's not count anybody out," Shanahan said. "Let's take it day by day. I saw him run some routes out there today. He looked a lot better, almost full-speed straight ahead. Hopefully he'll be able to go next week."

There also will be a new running back with the first team Friday. After starting Clinton Portis in the first game and Larry Johnson in the second game, Shanahan said Willie Parker will receive the nod against the Jets. Portis has played well and remains the overwhelming favorite to start opening day, while Johnson had a poor game against the Ravens and will have some carries Friday as well. Both Parker and Johnson need to work on pass protection.

"I'm excited to show what I can do," Parker said. "I guess I'm the running back who has been on the out, supposedly. So I'm definitely ready."

Notes: Tuesday was Shanahan's 58th birthday, but it didn't sound as if he was planning much in the way of a celebration. "It's kind of tough during camp," he said. "But the players gave me a hard time." ... Shanahan also said he hasn't had time to watch HBO's "Hard Knocks," which this year is featuring Friday's opponent, the Jets. "I haven't watched TV since I've been in camp," the coach said. "That's not much of a life, is it?" ... TE/FB Dennis Morris sat out practice after hurting his knee during Monday's session. Shanahan said he hopes Morris will return Wednesday.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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