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James practices

Aug 12, 2008, 12:23 AM EDT

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Erasmus James proceeded to the next stage of his rehab as he took the practice field for the first time as a member of the Washington Redskins.

After three years of struggling with injuries and earning the label of a first-round bust—he was selected 18th overall in the 2005 draft—in Minnesota, he was traded to the Redskins for a sack of potatoes (actually, a conditional seventh-round draft pick). He has been working to get his knees back into good enough shape to join his new team in practice.

About a week ago, he thought he was ready. Figuring that it was better to bring him back a week too late than a week too soon, they moved him from the physically unable to perform list to the active roster yesterday.

James’ return leaves the Redskins with six defensive ends on the roster and each of them has a good shot at making the team; it’s likely that five of them will. Starters Andre Carter and the newly-acquired Jason Taylor obviously are in and it’s hard to imagine that a solid, experienced backup such as is Demetric Evans being let go. That leaves James, Chris Wilson, and Rob Jackson fighting for two jobs.

Wilson demonstrated some potential with four sacks in part-time duty last year while Jackson, a seventh-round draft pick, has been earning praise in practice and has played well in the preseason games. Assuming that they hang on to James, those two are in a battle for the last spot.

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