Redskins Cut Scott Turner
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) _ Being the fastest player downfield on punts wasn’t enough to keep Scott Turner on the Washington Redskins. The special teams standout for three seasons was one of six players cut Sunday as the roster was trimmed to 53.
In another mild surprise, the Redskins also waived defensive tackle Ryan Kuehl, who started five games last season. The team then addressed its dire situation at defensive end by signing second-year player Ndukwe Kalu, who was cut last week by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Meanwhile, Jeff Hostetler was in Vail, Colo., to get a second opinion to determine whether surgery is necessary on a knee ligament injured in Friday night’s loss at Buffalo. An MRI taken by the Redskins revealed a possible tear of the anterior cruciate ligament. The team hopes to learn Monday of the veteran quarterback’s status for the season.
In making the cuts, the Redskins placed some stock in a group of rookies and first-year players. Turner’s departure means two cornerbacks with no regular season experience made the team: Tim Denton, cut twice in successive camps by the Atlanta Falcons after playing college ball at Sam Houston, and Buddy Crutchfield, a rookie free agent from North Carolina Central.
A seventh-round draft pick in 1995 and one of the fastest players on the team, Turner never produced as a cornerback, but excelled as the wideout covering punts. When he missed five games early last season with a sprained ankle, the special teams suffered through one of its worst stretches in several years. Denton now becomes one of four players vying for Turner’s coverage spot.
``(Replacing him) will be a challenge for us,″ general manager Charley Casserly said. ``He certainly played well in that capacity. Do we have any better than him? I don’t know.″
Turner was the first cornerback off the bench in the nickel package his first two seasons, but lost that job last year when Darryl Pounds switched from cornerback and safety.
``I’m not bitter. I’m not worried at all,″ Turner said. ``I played special teams very well, but I also believe I can play corner. Some teams need DBs right now, so I hope I can get in somewhere.″
Instead of Kuehl, the Redskins chose to keep 6-foot-7 former Canadian rugby player Doug Brown, who spent last season on the Buffalo Bills practice squad. Kuehl was also the backup long snapper, a role that now falls to tight end Jamie Asher.
Also released was rookie Kevin Pesak, leaving Larry Bowie as the team’s only fullback. Other cuts were third-year linebacker Kevin Jefferson, first-year tackle Ozell Powell and rookie defensive tackle Rahmann Streater. Pesak, Powell and Streater are candidates for the practice squad.