Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/2/12

It's been quite a hectic week if you're a Redskins fan.

Chris Cooley was cut. "Wait, they cut COOLEY?", was my reaction when I read the news.

The blogosphere instantly became abuzz with questions, comments, concerns, etc.

Cooley, you see, was more than a Pro Bowl tight end for the Washington Redskins from 2004 until last week.

He was a fan favorite, much like wide receiver Art Monk was during the Redskins' glory days of the 80's & early 90's.

Cooley was a hard worker, a "fan's player".

And he dazzled us on the field (and off, with his 'revealing' blog). Perhaps what stings most is, Cooley was a Joe Gibbs original.

He was a throwback to older, better times. By simply cutting him, Shanahan broke many hearts. Cooley was the lone holdover from the "Gibbs II" era, and will be sorely missed.

Then it was Tim Hightower's turn. Now "former" running back for the Redskins, he was considered by most, to be the starting tailback in Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints. Alas, Hightower became a victim of "The Sandman", the grim reaper just inside the doors at Redskins Park, informing Hightower, among others, "Coach needs to see you."

Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game. "Injury prone", is among the worst labels an NFL player, especially running backs, can get slapped with.

Hightower injured his knee mid-season in 2011, and was done for the year. Rehab, exercise, practice, all the efforts Hightower put forth so he could come back this year, healthy & stronger than ever, were for naught as Shanahan dismissed him from the team.

So, who's going to start at running back, among the crowd of backs Shanny has collected on the roster? Time will tell.

Finally comes the long-shot. At 5'7", 165 pounds, wide receiver/kick returner Brandon Banks isn't one of the NFL's most physically imposing players. He's survived cut days at the end of the past two preseasons, the first two of his career by the way, just barely.

Returning punts for TD's in each of those two preseasons certainly helped his cause, and was likely what won over Shanahan. But, as is said quite a lot in this league, "What have you done for me lately?" Uh-oh.

"He's gotta make the team as a wide receiver this year," was Mike Shanahan's sentiment at the onset of training camp. So with that, Brandon Banks set to honing his receiving skills. He was started at wideout against Buffalo, he was targeted the most of any pass catcher, but only caught two passes.

Then, as if in step, as if he just willed it to happen, Banks took another kick to the house. Three preseasons, a kick return TD in each. Banks made the final 53 again this year.

It goes to show, you never know 100 percent what's going to happen next in the NFL. And that's what keeps us tuned in.



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