Campbell recovering from bruised knee, to start for Skins

Updated: August 29, 2007, 11:05 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Anxious to make up for the playing time that he missed last week, as he recovered from a bruised left knee, Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell will start in Thursday's preseason finale at Jacksonville, getting in one last tune-up before the start of the season.

Jason Campbell

Campbell

The third-year veteran, who is entering his first full season as the Washington starter, missed last Saturday's third preseason game as he rehabilitated the knee injury. Campbell had been scheduled to see his most extensive action of the preseason in that contest, as is typically the case in the third exhibition game. It is not yet certain how long he will play Thursday night.

Washington also hopes to get starting tailback Clinton Portis, who has missed much of camp and has yet to play a preseason snap, on the field for the game against the Jaguars. Portis has suffered this summer from tendinitis in his knees.

"You want to go into the season in synch with your [offense]," Campbell said after practice on Tuesday. "We still have some work to do. I still have work to do. As long as my knee is fine, and it is, I think I need to play."

Campbell sustained the injury in the Aug. 18 preseason game against Pittsburgh when Steelers' defensive end Brett Keisel rolled into his left knee on a pass to tight end Chris Cooley early in the second quarter. Keisel was flagged for a personal foul on the play and subsequently fined $12,500 by the NFL for the illegal hit. He is appealing the sanction.

Although Campbell termed the play "a scary moment," an MRI exam the following day revealed no structural damage. Fortunately, the former Auburn standout did not experience much swelling in the joint. He missed some practice time, but has recovered quickly.

"Probably, I lost a little conditioning, that's all," Campbell said. "Other than that, it's fine. It's not something I'll be thinking about during the game."

Coach Joe Gibbs said earlier this week that he would keep Campbell out of the preseason finale unless he was 100 percent. Campbell seems, however, to have answered any doubts about his readiness to play, or to be ready for the start of the regular season on Sept. 9, when the Redskins host the Miami Dolphins.

Because of the knee injury, Campbell has played only seven full series, and part of one other one, in the preseason. Unofficially, he has logged 48 snaps, and completed 12 of 22 passes for 179 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Campbell has been sacked three times, and has yet to lead the Redskins' offense to a score.

A first-round pick in the 2005 draft, Campbell didn't take a single snap as a rookie, but then replaced Mark Brunell has the starter at mid-season last year. In seven starts, he completed 110 of 207 passes for 1,297 yards, with 10 touchdown passes and six interceptions, and a passer rating of 76.5.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.