Washington joins Bengal workouts
GEORGETOWN, Ky. -- Cincinnati Bengals rookie wide receiver Kelley Washington practiced for the first time Monday, a day after he signed a three-year, $1.45 million contract to end a weeklong holdout.
The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Washington, a third-round draft pick from Tennessee, is expected to compete with Peter Warrick for a starting spot.
Washington adds size to a group of small receivers who have had trouble with bigger cornerbacks, said offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski.
''The one issue we're dealing with right now is being able to beat bump-and-run,'' Bratkowski said. ''We need someone else, and Kelley showed us a little bit in the spring because of his strength, he has the ability to do that.''
Washington is four inches taller and 23 pounds heavier than Warrick. He's also bigger than the 6-1, 192-pound Chad Johnson, the team's top receiver.
If Washington wins a starting spot, Warrick would play in the slot when the Bengals use three receivers.
Washington didn't see much action in two practices Monday, but Bratkowski said he expected him to play in the Bengals' preseason opener Sunday at the New York Jets.
''It was tough listening on the radio and on the Internet about how the team was doing,'' Washington said. ''So I'm just glad to be back out here working with the team.''
The receiver missed most of last season at Tennessee after a concussion forced him to have two vertebrae fused. He had 70 catches for the Volunteers in 2001.