With Malcolm Kelly sidelined Sunday morning because of a sore hamstring, Devin Thomas made a move in the wide receiver race at Redskins Park.
Thomas had his second strong practice in as many days. His nifty catch on a go route, against tight coverage, was the highlight of 11-on-11 drills. Thomas, who may be battling Kelly for a spot on the opening 53-man roster, demonstrated improved concentration overall.
Coach Mike Shanahan noticed.
"Nice catch he had, especially on that big go route," Shanahan said. "He's had a couple good days."
Thomas and Kelly began camp near the bottom of the wideout depth chart. They have a lot of work to do if they hope to earn a first-team job, and Thomas has shown some encouraging signs recently. "Every time they come on the field, they're being evaluated," Shanahan said. "He's had a couple good days in a row. He's made big plays. That's what we're trying to see."
Joey Galloway and Roydell Williams opened camp listed at the co-starters at the X receiver, or split end, position. Santana Moss, still the Redskins' top wideout after all these years, is the starter at the Z position, of flanker.
But Galloway is 38 and has a total of 20 catches the last two seasons. Roydell Williams has been out of football the past two seasons. The Redskins wideout corp hasn't impressed.
"He's got to compete everyday and he's got to win a position," Shanahan said of Thomas. "He's got to be better than the guys that are in front of him consistently. That's how you win a position.
"The last couple days, he's done just that. He went out there, he's made some plays. It's a combination of everything. Just not the passing game but the running game, too. Just going out there, everything."