Leonard Hankerson

Leonard Hankerson looks good, but is a 'long shot' for Monday

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Redskins wide receiver Leonard Hankerson is getting close to returning to the lineup, but he remains a “long shot” to play Monday night in Dallas, Coach Jay Gruden said.

“We have not made that decision yet,” Gruden said, referring to Hankerson’s timeline. “We’ve got a logjam at wide receiver.”

Hankerson started the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list while he continued to rehabbed from major knee surgery. The 25-year-old returned to practice on Oct. 15, opening a three week window for the Redskins to decide whether to activate him, place him on season-ending injured reserve or release him.

Based on Gruden’s comments, the Redskins intend to eventually activate Hankerson and cut another player to make room for him on the 53-man roster. The only question is when.

The Redskins currently have six wide receivers on the roster—Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Santana Moss and Aldrick Robinson. Gruden has typically had five receivers dress on game day, leaving either Moss or Robinson as the odd man out. When Hankerson returns, someone will have to go.

“Everybody knows with Santana and Aldrick, we’ve kind of been flip flopping them, who’s active, who’s not active,” Gruden said. “Both of them are very good wideouts, and then you throw Leonard into the mix.”

He added: “At this time, we haven’t made a decision as far as getting him [active] for this week. [But] it’ll be a long shot this week.”

Gruden has said in the past that he wants to give Hankerson time to get comfortable in the offense. And, indeed, after sitting out the preseason and the first seven games, Hankerson needs some practice reps.

But he already has something no other receiver on the roster possesses: height. At 6-2, he’s two-inches taller than any other player at his position.


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(csnwashington.com)
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Leonard Hankerson set to return to practice

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Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Monday defensive lineman Stephen Bowen (knee) and wide receiver Leonard Hankerson (knee) will return to practice this week. Both players are on the PUP list and eligible to return Week 7 vs. Tennessee.




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(cbssports.com)
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Leonard Hankerson, on PUP list, is trying to remain patient

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Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson said that he felt like he could’ve opened the regular season on the active roster if the team had let him. The Redskins instead opted to place the fourth-year pass catcher on the regular season physically unable to perform list. And so, Hankerson says he will continue working, with the goal of returning to the field in Week 7.

Hankerson last November tore both the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee. He spent the offseason and all of training camp and the preseason rehabilitating, but didn’t practice with the team while on the PUP list.

Hankerson had hoped to come off the PUP list late in the preseason and prove himself capable of playing at a high level in time to earn a roster spot for the regular season. But he said on Wednesday that orthopedist James Andrews, who conducted the surgery on his knee, recommended the team wait longer to activate him.

Since Redskins brass placed him on the regular-season PUP list, Hankerson said he will just keep working to further strengthen his surgically repaired knee. Because he’s on the PUP list, Hankerson is not eligible to return to action, even in a practice capacity, until after Week 6.

“Obviously, I would like to be playing. I didn’t feel like I would be rushing myself back too soon,” said Hankerson, who last season started seven of the 10 games he played in, recording 30 catches for 375 yards and three touchdowns. “Ultimately, it was up to them – up to Dr. Andrews, up to the training staff and the coaches – on what they wanted to do. Dr. Andrews is the guru on this. He recommended it.”

Hankerson has been running full speed since the first week of August. Each day, while his teammates practice, he works with the strength and conditioning coaches to improve his speed, quickness and mobility.

But he said Andrews’s preference not to clear him at the start of the regular season centered around concerns that Hankerson’s LCL may not have strengthened to the point to give him the needed stability required to quickly change directions.

“Being that I’m at the position of receiver, with the LCL and no knee brace, he didn’t want me to risk anything,” Hankerson said.

Hankerson said he had mixed feelings about the decision, but says ultimately, he knows that it was made because Andrews and the team want the best for him.

“They could’ve just turned me out there or rushed me out there,” Hankerson said. “I just have to keep grinding. I’ve been working hard, so, another six weeks.”


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson Won't Play in Preseason

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NEWS UPDATE
Hankerson (knee) will not play this preseason and is hopeful of avoiding the Redskins' PUP list to begin this season, ESPN Radio 980 in D.C. reports.

ROTOWIRE FANTASY ANALYSIS
Hankerson, who currently remains on the PUP list, says he's about two weeks away from being ready health-wise, so he'll be subject of a close decision to make Washington's active regular season roster. With the wideout still recovering from knee ligament surgery last fall, players like Ryan Grant and Aldrick Robinson have passed Hankerson on the depth chart, while offseason additions DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts have pushed him back even further. With that in mind, Hankerson faces an increasingly tough challenge to earn targets for the Redskins this season.


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Leonard Hankerson: ‘I feel like I’m close’ to returning after knee surgery

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Long after practice had ended Friday morning, Leonard Hankerson and Kirk Cousins walked to the far end of the main practice field at Redskins Park.

Cousins removed his helmet and grabbed a ball. And Hankerson, nearly nine months removed from left knee surgery, ran routes and caught passes from the backup quarterback for about 20 minutes.

The extra session marked a small but significant step in Hankerson’s rehabilitation process. The wide receiver, who is on the physically-unable-to-perform list, said it was the most substantial work he’s done since tearing the ACL and LCL in his left knee Nov. 17.

“I feel like I’m close,” Hankerson said. “It’s coming along, it’s coming along well. I just got to keep grinding, keep listening to the coaches, my strength and conditioning coach, doing what he’s telling me to do. And when he gives me the thumbs up, I’ll be ready to go.”

Hankerson spent all of training camp working on an auxiliary field, running routes and participating in agility drills. On Friday, he was running routes at nearly full speed.

As he enters his fourth season in the NFL, Hankerson said he is waiting to see orthopedic surgeon James Andrews and hopes to then be cleared to return to practice. However, he does not know when that meeting will occur.

“I’m still grinding right now,” Hankerson said, “and whenever they tell me that he’s available or he’s coming up or whatever, that’s when I’ll see him.”



While Hankerson has been relegated to the sidelines, a number of wide receivers have made the most of their opportunities in camp. Rookie Ryan Grant has drawn praise from the coaching staff for his crisp route-running ability. Aldrick Robinson has shown his speed down the field and improvement on intermediate routes.

If Grant, Robinson and veteran Santana Moss solidify their spots on the roster alongside DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts, Hankerson could be the odd man out. But he said that won’t push him to rush back to the field more quickly.

“That’s not a thought at all,” he said. “I mean, I went to the University of Miami. I always had guys come in every year. That’s part of your job. No matter what type of job you have. Somebody’s coming for your job. Somebody’s coming for my job. That’s just the nature of the game. I can’t worry about what’s going on when I’m not there. I just got to worry about what I can control and right now, that’s rehab.”


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(washingtontimes.com)
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Leonard Hankerson could go on reserve/PUP

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Redskins coach Jay Gruden acknowledged Thursday that reserve/PUP is a realistic option for WR Leonard Hankerson (ACL, LCL surgery).

Rookie Ryan Grant's strong training camp has given the Redskins reason to be patient with Hankerson, who underwent surgery last November. At age 25, Hankerson's career has reached a crossroads with a new regime in D.C.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Leonard Hankerson to meet with Dr. James Andrews soon

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RICHMOND — Redskins wide receiver Leonard Hankerson continues to improve while recovering from last fall’s surgery to repair ligaments in his knee. He soon will meet with Dr. James Andrews to see if he’s ready to be cleared for practice.

Hankerson, entering his fourth season, is on the physically unable to perform list while he continues his rehabilitation.

Washington’s trainers and strength coaches have worked with the former third-round pick to help him improve his strength and explosiveness. Hankerson said during the first week of training camp that he could tell he hadn’t yet completely regained his speed.

But Hankerson has observed progress since then.

“I’m getting better every day,” he said.

On Sunday, he did a series of sprints with a sled and 90 pounds of additional weight strapped to him.

Hankerson will not receive clearance until he meets with Andrews, who conducted his surgery. The receiver said that he expects to meet with the surgeon next week.

After the meeting — and depending on the findings — a target date for Hankerson’s return will be set, he said.

The knee injury represented the second major injury of Hankerson’s young career. He missed half of his rookie season with a torn labrum in his hip, and then missed six games with the torn ACL last season. He played all 16 games in his second season and recorded a career-high 38 catches for 543 yards and three touchdowns. Hankerson was on pace to set new career highs last season, having notched 30 receptions for 375 yards and three touchdowns before being lost for the season.

(washingtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson awaiting return from knee surgery

LeonardHankersonSkins
RICHMOND – With the sleeves of his white practice jersey rolled up to his shoulders, Leonard Hankerson paced the sidelines, watching as the Washington Redskins‘ offense continued on without him.

Now eight months removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee, Hankerson still has no idea when he’ll be medically cleared to rejoin his teammates on the practice field.

The wide receiver was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list when training camp opened last Wednesday.

“I don’t know why they say seven to nine months, because seven is not the case at all,” Hankerson said, referring to his initial prognosis. “At seven months, I couldn’t even think about playing football. I could say right around nine to 11 months, because seven to nine months is not realistic at all.”

Hankerson, entering his fourth season, tore the ligaments in the Redskins‘ loss at Philadelphia on Nov. 17 and underwent surgery four days later. He finished the year with 30 catches for 375 yards and three touchdowns, starting seven of 10 games and playing approximately 57 percent of all offensive snaps until his injury.

The Redskins signed wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts during the offseason, and over the first five days of training camp, they’ve joined Pierre Garçon as the team’s top three receivers.

With new coach Jay Gruden also praising veteran Santana Moss and rookie Ryan Grant, it’s plausible Hankerson could see his role minimized when he’s able to return – especially if the Redskins keep only six receivers on their initial 53-man roster.

“That’s why every day is pretty much an interview, and I can’t do anything until I get out there,” Hankerson said. “My main thing right now is just to get back to 100 percent, and whenever I get back to 100 percent, I can focus on getting back [on the field] and making plays.”

Restricted to running routes on a side field and sprinting before or after practice, Hankerson doesn’t feel the need to hurry back to play in a preseason game.

He also doesn’t want to measure himself against other players who have returned from similar injuries, such as quarterback Robert Griffin III – who returned to practice at the start of training camp a year ago just six and a half months after surgery – or cornerback Richard Crawford, who needed almost 11 months after getting hurt last preseason.

“Everybody heals different. Everybody reacts different,” Hankerson said. “It’s just about staying patient and grinding with the rehab.”


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(washingtontimes.com)
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Leonard Hankerson: 'I'm not rushing'

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Here is what Washington Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson knows: His knee felt good Friday, something it did not feel Monday or Tuesday.

Here is what he doesn’t know: When he will be at, or near, 100 percent healthy and ready to return.

Hankerson tore his left ACL and lateral collateral ligament last season. After surgery in late November, the Redskins said he faced a seven-to-nine month recovery. He’s in the eighth month of his recovery.

“I don’t know if it’s a week or two or three weeks or a month, two,” Hankerson said. “I don’t know. I have no clue. When I came out here Monday, Tuesday I was positive I can’t go, I can’t go. When I came out today, I felt like I can go out there and make plays. I know that’s not the case. I have to keep being patient and keep working.”

Hankerson runs sprints and routes on side fields during practices. But he’s not sure how fast he’s really able to run. He just knows it’s not 100 percent.

“It’s about having some confidence in it, feeling like its 95, 100 percent,” Hankerson said. “I know I don’t have that explosion yet. When I come out here and run routes, it’s not explosive. I know that. There is no need for me to go on the field because I’m not there. I’d probably embarrass myself.”

Hankerson said it’s not hard for him to be patient for one reason: It’s his career. He’s entering the last season of his rookie contract and if he returned before he felt ready, then further damage would have a huge negative impact.

“It’s bigger than just going out there and trying to get back and having fun with teammates,” Hankerson said. “That’s why the main thing is to keep being patient and get to 95, 100 percent to where I know I can go out there and be explosive and making plays and not worrying about getting bumped.”

Nor is he worried about the preseason. Hankerson isn’t battling for a starting job, but the Redskins do have a new offense. Even if it’s similar to their previous one, there is still an adjustment period.

Again, Hankerson does not want to rush back for a preseason game.

“No, man. I’m not worried about the preseason,” he said. “I’m not rushing back. It’s about being healthy. I mean, my health is more important than the preseason. What do you gain from the preseason? Nothing. Yeah it helps guys get better, but I would rather be 100 percent before I step on the field.”


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(espn.com)
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Leonard Hankerson to begin camp on PUP list

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RICHMOND – Defensive ends Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher, wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and offensive lineman Maurice Hurt will all begin training camp with the Washington Redskins on the physically-unable-to-perform list, coach Jay Gruden said Wednesday.

Gruden said he did not want to estimate when any of the players would be able to return, though he conceded that Hatcher, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on June 19, should be the first one to return.

Hankerson tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee in the Redskins‘ loss at Philadelphia on Nov. 17, and he wasn’t expected to be healthy for the start of training camp.

Hurt will enter training camp on the PUP list for the second consecutive season because he is out of shape. He also missed all of 2013 after he showed up to training camp out of shape last year.

“He came in a little bit out of shape and we’ll just go from there,” Gruden said. “We’ll make sure we monitor his condition moving forward.”

Cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Richard Crawford have been fully cleared and will begin training camp with no restrictions. Porter, who signed a two-year, $6 million contract in March, had surgery to repair a torn the labrum in one of his shoulders before offseason workouts began, while Crawford tore the ACL and LCL in the Redskins‘ preseason victory over Buffalo on Aug. 24.


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(washingtontimes.com)
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Leonard Hankerson's Redskins future up in the air

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In the aftermath of the 2011 NFL Draft, Leonard Hankerson claimed he was better than every wide receiver selected before him -- including A.J. Green and Julio Jones.

Now Hankerson's Washington Redskins future is up in the air.

Coming off reconstructive knee surgery, Hankerson had yet to receive medical clearance by the end of offseason practices in late June. He's a candidate to open training camp on the physically unable to perform list, per The Washington Post.Having displaced Josh Morgan as the starter opposite Pierre Garcon early last season, Hankerson was on pace for career-highs across the board when he tore his ACL and LCL in November.

Now that the Redskins have added DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts and impressive rookie Ryan Grant, Hankerson will be no higher than fourth or fifth on the depth chart if he recaptures pre-injury form. More likely, he will open the season on the PUP list while the organization tries to figure out his role in Jay Gruden's offense.

Hankerson will never come close to matching the careers of Green and Jones, two of the NFL's premier wideouts. At this point, it's fair to question whether he will ever start another game in the NFL.


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(nfl.com)
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Leonard Hankerson trying to learn new offense while rehabbing

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Nobody is sure when Leonard Hankerson will return from a knee injury he suffered last season.

The wide receiver, who is going into his fourth NFL season, tore his ACL in Philadelphia on Nov. 17. That was seven months ago and the normal recovery period for such an injury ranges from seven to nine months.

But Jay Gruden cautioned against using the calendar to set expectations for Hankerson. “It’s totally different,” he said. “Different guys handle it [differently] at different positions and the rehab could be longer for certain guys, so we’ll wait and see.”

Redskins training camp will open on July 24 and while Hankerson is optimistic about being ready he is of the same mindset as is his coach.

“I should be good by training camp but you never know,” he said. “Hopefully no setbacks or anything like that.

“I just got to keep working, keep pushing. Keep doing the little things I’m doing every day and keep moving forward and hopefully no setbacks.”

Hankerson needs to get back on the field to fight for playing time. The Redskins signed receivers Andre Roberts and DeSean Jackson during the offseason, pushing hi further down the depth chart. But Hankerson understands why.

“We needed help all the way around,” he said. “We won three games last year so something had to happen. Andre Roberts, DeSean, two great players.”
He also has to learn Jay Gruden’s offense. While both Gruden’s and Mike Shanahan’s schemes are in the West Coast family there are distinct differences that Hankerson has to get up to speed on.

“We have meetings every day,” he said. “We’re learning it. Every time you get a new coach there’s always going to be some different things. I should have it once I get out there and start running this stuff.”


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(csnwashington.com)
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No firm timetable given yet for Leonard Hankerson’s return

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Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson says there’s no firm timetable yet for him to resume practicing with the Washington Redskins as he works his way back from knee surgery in November.

“I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Hankerson said this week at Redskins Park. “I’ve been out here moving around a whole lot more. I’m seven months out now. So I’ve probably got another couple months to go. I should be good by training camp but you never know. Hopefully [there will be] no setbacks or nothing like that. But I’m feeling good right now.”

Hankerson’s anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee were repaired after he was hurt during a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I’ve just got to keep working, just keep pushing, keep doing the little things I’m doing,” he said. “I’m out here working each and every day, moving forward and hopefully no setbacks and I should be good to go.”

Hankerson had 30 catches for 375 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games last season. The former third-round draft choice has 81 catches for 1,081 yards and six touchdowns in three NFL seasons. The Redskins upgraded their wide receiver corps in the offseason by signing DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts as free agents.

“It’s coming along pretty well,” Hankerson said. “We needed help all the way around. We won three games last year. So, I mean, something had to happen. Andre Roberts, DeSean, two great players. We should have a pretty good year this year.”

Once he gets healthy, Hankerson must work to adjust to the offensive system of the team’s new head coach, Jay Gruden.


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson has 'couple months to go'

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Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson (knee) said he has a "couple more months to go" in his rehab.

"Should be good by training camp, but you never know," Hankerson continued. The fourth-year receiver tore his ACL and LCL in Week 11. The Redskins have since added Andre Roberts and DeSean Jackson in free agency, and drafted Ryan Grant in the fourth round. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, HankTime is squarely on the roster bubble. He'll need a strong preseason.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Leonard Hankerson's health working against him

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Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson may not be fully recovered from his LCL/ACL surgery until the start of training camp.

With a new coaching staff in D.C., Hankerson will be behind the eight ball when the Redskins open training camp. He's already below DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, and Andre Roberts on the depth chart, while Santana Moss remains a useful spot player, and Ryan Grant was added in the draft. By September, it's quite possible Hankerson will be on the outside looking in at a roster spot.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Photos of Leonard Hankerson’s knee surgery

HankersonSurgeryPhoto3HankersonSurgeryPhoto1HankersonSurgeryPhoto2


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Leonard Hankerson's LCL surgery reveals torn ACL

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Leonard Hankerson (knee, injured reserve) has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in addition to his torn LCL.

The discovery was made during HankTime's Thursday operation to repair his LCL. Whereas before Hankerson could have possibly been ready for OTAs, he's now questionable for training camp. It shouldn't cloud Hankerson's status with the Redskins, however. Going into the final year of his rookie contract, HankTime is signed for an affordable $645,000 in 2014. He'll have to be 100 percent to earn a starting job in camp.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Redskins Leonard Hankerson to injured reserve with torn LCL

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The Washington Redskins have announced that wide receiver Leonard Hankerson is done for the year with a torn LCL in his left knee that will require surgery.  Hankerson was placed on injured reserve from the injury that happened in the first quarter of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles this past Monday, which the Redskins lost.

This year, little has gone well in Washington but Hankerson started showing some ability to be a contributor.  While he needs to show more going forward, Hankerson had become the second receiver on the Redskins and had 30 catches for 375 yards and 3 touchdowns with 5 catches over 20 yards.

The timing of the injury is particularly frustrating as Hankerson was coming off back to back games with 5 catches each and only one target that did not result in a catch.  Hankerson also averaged 11.6 yards per catch.  How he recovers from the surgery will be important but the Redskins hoped what Hankerson was showing them can be something they can get in 2014 on a consistent basis.  The Redskins are just 3-7 and it does not get any easier as they prepare to host the San Francisco 49ers this week.


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(fansided.com)
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Leonard Hankerson has LCL injury in left knee

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The Redskins might be without wide receiver Leonard Hankerson for an extended period after he suffered a knee injury on Sunday.

Washington Redskins wide receiver Leonard Hankerson has an LCL injury in his left knee, but it has not yet been determined if he will require surgery to repair the injury, according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

Hankerson, 24, was a third-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft and didn't play much in his rookie season after suffering a hip injury that ended his season early. Since then, he has developed into a solid contributor and has tallied 30 receptions for 375 yards and three touchdowns.

If Hankerson misses extended time for the Redskins, they will rely on Aldrick Robinson, Santana Moss and Joshua Morgan to take larger roles in the Washington offense.

The Redskins have the sixth-ranked offense in the NFL, but are 13th in points scored. Quarterback Robert Griffin III has posted 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for the team.


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(philly.com)
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Leonard Hankerson to have MRI on injured knee

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Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, according to the coach, has a “possible” lateral collateral ligament injury and will have an MRI exam Monday as well.

Hankerson said after the game that he wasn’t overly concerned, but he admitted that he didn’t know for sure how badly he was or wasn’t hurt.

“It’s cool. I can’t really tell you because I feel good right now,” the third-year pro said. “I’m just taking it precautionary and figuring it out in the morning.”

Biggers suffered his injury early in the game and briefly returned. Bowen also made a brief return before exiting for good in the second half. Hankerson was seen jogging on the sideline following his initial injury, but he never returned to the game.


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson encouraged by recent play

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Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson is coming off of two of the most productive performances of his career, but he said that nothing has changed about his approach.

In his past two games, Hankerson has recorded 10 catches for 116 yards while serving as the secondary wide receiver opposite No. 1 wideout Pierre Garcon.

Hankerson recorded five catches for 55 yards with a long of 23 against San Diego. On Thursday against Minnesota, he had five catches for 61 yards with a long of 29.

“I just be out there doing my job,” Hankerson said on Monday. “Working hard every day at practice, being in the meeting room, listening to the coaches and what they’re saying. Like I said, just doing my job.”

Hankerson played 34 of the 75 offensive snaps against San Diego, and his productivity earned him more playing time the next game as he took 42 of the 79 snaps against Minnesota. Hankerson initially saw playing time fluctuate as he, Josh Morgan and Aldrick Robinson vied for time at the ‘Z’ receiver position. Hankerson said consistency in his approach has been the only key to his increased playing time and production.

“You do everything right. You go to practice, work hard and things practice. You just put the work in and everything happens out there,” Hankerson said. “I don’t really set any goal. I just go out there, make plays for the team, do my job and try to help my team come out on top. If you’re making plays, and you’re out there on the field, it always feels good to help your team out.”


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson: Back-to-Back Solid Games

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NEWS UPDATE
Hankerson caught five passes for 61 yards on five targets in Thursday's 34-27 loss to the Vikings.

ROTOWIRE FANTASY ANALYSIS
That makes two solid games in a row for Hankerson, who caught five passes for 55 yards against the Chargers last week. He had just four total receptions in the previous three games, as he was rather quiet from Weeks 2-8. Despite the inconsistent production, Hankerson's targets have actually been fairly steady, with no fewer than three and no more than seven in any game. Both Hankerson and Santana Moss appear to have limited upside, so long as Pierre Garcon and TE Jordan Reed stay healthy.


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(rotowire.com)
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Leonard Hankerson draws praise for Sunday’s improved effort

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With his team still waiting for a player to establish himself as a consistent pass-catching threat opposite Pierre Garcon, third-year wide receiver Leonard Hankerson on Sunday turned in one of the better performances of his career as the Redskins defeated the Chargers.

Targeted six times against the Chargers, Hankerson recorded five catches for 55 yards as the Redskins improved to 3-5 with the 30-24 overtime win. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan on Monday evening praised Hankerson’s efforts — some of which didn’t show up in the statistical report.

“Well, more than just stepping up — and you see the catches –— what we see is every play that he’s in the game, both in the running game and the passing game,” Shanahan said. “If the quarterback did go to him, is he open? And he played a very good game. He stepped up and did a lot of good things that if the quarterback would have looked his way, would he have been open or not? The majority of the time he would have. He played an excellent game.”

Prior to Sunday, Hankerson had only 19 catches for 254 yards and three touchdowns with five of those receptions and 80 of those yards and two touchdowns coming in the season opener. He had yet to make a consistent impact in the games since the opener, however.

As a result, the Redskins had rotated Hankerson, Josh Morgan and Aldrick Robinson in and out at that  ‘Z’ receiver position. But none had emerged as true complement to Garcon.

Those inconsistencies had prompted Shanahan to say last week, “I think we do have a second guy,” Coach Mike Shanahan said. “Who that guy is right now, I’m not sure. But we’ve got guys competing, and we’re going to have a guy step up. We’ve got guys with the ability to be a number two, but you want to take control, and that takes everybody. . . . When they go in and they get an opportunity, then they better show us that they deserve to be in there more time, and if you do, then you’ll stay in there longer. If you don’t do something outstanding and you’re full speed, the chances are you’re not going to be in there all the time.”

Hankerson took a step toward doing that this past week when he proved himself to be more sure-handed than in previous games and made tough catches to bail out Robert Griffin III and the offense and keep the chains moving. Now, Hankerson and the Redskins will see if the former third-round pick is capable of making those types of solid performances more of a regular occurrence in the second half of the season.


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson gets five grabs in win

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Leonard Hankerson caught five passes for 55 yards in Sunday's Week 9 overtime win over the Chargers.
Hankerson continues to play the possession, blocking complement at Z receiver. It's a role that doesn't have any upside in the Shanahan and Son offense. Hankerson is on pace for 48 catches, 618 yards and six touchdowns. It's a pace we'd expect him to maintain.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Leonard Hankerson misses practice with foot injury

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Washington Redskins wide receiver Leonard Hankerson missed Wednesday’s practice while nursing a foot injury suffered earlier this week.

Coach Mike Shanahan said that the third-year wideout hurt his foot while playing with his children on Tuesday. Hankerson stood on the sideline and caught passes from an assistant coach during the warmup portion of Wednesday’s practice.


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson displaying improved consistency, effectiveness

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Third-year wide receiver Leonard Hankerson continues to show signs of development as he made his third consecutive start and recorded four catches for 49 yards. Hankerson’s most crucial counting as a 17-yard reception on third-and-three to set Washington up to take a third-quarter lead that the team never relinquished.

Pierre Garcon remains the team’s clear-cut No. 1 threat, but Hankerson has started establishing himself as a reliable No. 2 threat for the Redskins.

“That’s what you have to do: You have to make plays,” Hankerson said. “I saw I was in one-on-one coverage, got open and Robert made a great throw. I’m just trying to give my all out there — do what I can do, whether it’s catching the ball, getting upfield, getting a first down.”

Through four games, Hankerson ranks third on the team with 15 catches for 185 yards and two touchdowns. He is on pace to record a 60 catches for 740 yards and eight touchdowns. Those would all count as career highs for Hankerson, who had just 13 catches for 163 yards in an injury-shortened rookie season and then recorded 38 receptions for 543 yards and three touchdowns last year.

Hankerson rarely has struggled to create separation from defensive backs. But consistency proved the biggest struggle for him. He would make a tough catch here and there, and then would get open and drop the ball on what looked like routine plays. But this season, the Miami product appears to have begun turning the corner.

“Hank’s always been one of our best guys in terms of separation, and that’s usually one of the first things you look for in a receiver,” offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. “Hank’s just been a little up and down when he has separated over the years – finishing a play. He’s done a good job of that the last couple weeks. He’s getting separation, he’s making the catch, he’s getting up the field, making some plays after the catch. And if he keeps doing that, he’s can have a great career because he’s got the skills to separate, he’s a big guy with got good hands. It’s just the consistency that we’ve talked about with him, and he’s been consistent the last few weeks and I think the results are showing everyone else.”

Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said continuity and health throughout the offseason has benefited Hankerson in his development. Hankerson as a rookie didn’t have an offseason to work with his coaches because of the NFL lockout. Then last year, he spent the summer rehabbing from hip surgery rather than practicing with the team. Fully healthy in this calendar year, he didn’t miss an offseason practice. The work and improved knowledge is manifesting itself on the field, Shanahan said.

“Hank is really playing well. When he gets the opportunity to set guys up one-on-one, he usually wins,” Shanahan said. “He’s one of the guys that has size, has strength and is becoming more comfortable not only with the system, but with himself. It’s nice to have a guy that’s healthy all the way through the summer, through the offseason, training camp, and he’s been able to do that. Therefore, you can see the progress that he’s made.”


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson goes for 49 yards in Week 4

LeonardHankersonSkins
Leonard Hankerson caught four passes for 49 yards in the Redskins' Week 4 win over the Raiders.
He was targeted seven times, playing ahead of Josh Morgan for the third straight week. Hankerson is big and runs savvy routes, but he's not an explosive player and lacks sure hands. He's a WR3/4 in fantasy leagues. The Redskins have a bye week coming up. Keep Hankerson rostered on your own whims.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Leonard Hankerson might be pulling away from Morgan

LeonardHankersonSkins
After receiving a relatively even allotment of playing time in each of the Washington Redskins’ first two games of the season as they split time at the ‘Z’ receiver spot, Leonard Hankerson and Joshua Morgan saw their snap counts trend in opposite directions in Sunday’s loss to the Lions.

Dating from last season, Hankerson and Morgan have alternated frequently opposite No. 1 wide receiver Pierre Garcon. Morgan last season recorded 48 passes for 510 yards and two touchdowns while starting 15 games. Hankerson in 2012 made five starts and recorded 38 catches for 543 yards and three touchdowns.

During training camp and the preseason, the two continued alternating as they competed for the starting job at the ‘Z’ position.

Against Philadelphia, Morgan got the start opposite Garcon and played 34 offensive snaps (45 percent of the plays) while Hankerson played 41 snaps (55 percent). Hankerson recorded five catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets. Morgan, meanwhile, had four catches for 51 yards on five targets.

The following week against Green Bay, Hankerson got the start and played 30 snaps (49 percent) while Morgan played 26 (43 percent). Hankerson had three catches for 35 yards on three targets while Morgan caught two of six balls that came his way for 39 yards. Morgan in that game committed a glaring error by tipping a pass up into the air for a Green Bay interception.

This past week, Hankerson got his second consecutive start, but his playing time increased. He played 54 snaps (70 percent) while Morgan was on the field for only 24 offensive snaps (31 percent). Hankerson recorded three catches for 21 yards on seven targets. Meanwhile, Robert Griffin III targeted Morgan two times and Morgan caught both passes while recording 19 receiving yards.

Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said Hankerson earned an increase in playing time because he stood out more than Morgan the previous week. But he added that the team has an ongoing competition on its hands.

“We thought [Hankerson] had a better game the week before so we gave [him] a few more reps than we did [Morgan] just because of his play the week before,” Shanahan said. “A lot of competition there for playing time.”

Hankerson entered this season hoping to display improved consistency after being plagued by frequent drops last season. The third-year pro also hoped a healthy offseason for the first time in his young career would lead to more development.

Morgan, who signed with Washington as a free agent last season, played all of the 2012 season with seven screws and a plate in his right ankle. That made it hard for him to make certain cuts because the pain proved too great. He had the screws and plate removed over the offseason and also banked on improved health for increased success.

Asked about improvements he has noticed in Morgan’s game, Shanahan said: “He’s much better than he was a year ago, there is no question about it, but there is still that competition. People are fighting for playing time. You’ve got two guys that are close, and each game dictates how much they will play the following week.”


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson catches three passes in start

LeonardHankersonSkins
Leonard Hankerson started the Redskins' Week 2 loss to the Packers, catching three passes for 35 yards.

It was just HankTime's seventh career start. He caught Robert Griffin III's first pass of the game, but had a quiet day thereafter as the Redskins got blown out in Green Bay. Although it's possible Hankerson may have finally overtaken Josh Morgan as a starter for good, he hasn't done enough to suggest he's a weekly WR3. He was also out-targeted 6-3 by Morgan, but notched one more catch. HankTime should remain limited to WR5 duties on your bench for the time being.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Shanahan: Hankerson needs some playing time

LeonardHankersonSkins
Coach Mike Shanahan was pleased with Leonard Hankerson's Week 1 opener, saying the third-year receiver "needs some playing time."
We take that as Hankerson is in line to see the field more after his five-catch, 80-yard, two-touchdown performance on Monday night against the Eagles. "What a lot of people don’t see is the routes he is running and when he doesn’t get the ball and he’s open," Shanahan continued. "That’s what you are impressed with." Hankerson played 44 snaps, while starting Z receiver Josh Morgan was on the field for 34 plays. Hankerson may be able to overtake Morgan by mid-season.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Leonard Hankerson reels in two TDs in MNF loss

LeonardHankersonSkins
Leonard Hankerson caught five passes for 80 yards and a touchdown in the Redskins' Week 1 loss to the Eagles on Monday night.

Hankerson was targeted seven times on the night, scoring both of his touchdowns in the fourth quarter to give the Redskins a chance at a comeback win. His first score came from 10 yards out out of a bunch formation, while his second touchdown was a 24-yard strike with 1:14 left in the game. Eagles SS Patrick Chung let Hankerson slip behind him on the final score and badly misplayed the ball. Hankerson is a guy to keep an eye on in re-draft leagues, but he's going to struggle to post consistent numbers in a run-heavy offense. He also is behind Josh Morgan at Z receiver. Santana Moss mans the slot.


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Leonard Hankerson learning to manage family life with football career

LeonardHankersonSkins
NORTH LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The two football fields at Lauderhill Middle School come alive each weeknight during the summer and fall. Youth football teams of all ages practice on their allotted sections of turf. Whistles chirp between the crunch of shoulder pads and helmets. Cheerleader squads rehearse their routines on the periphery.

Hundreds from this South Florida community — mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, cousins and grandparents — sit in lawn chairs or walk the fields and share each other’s company. They sell conch fritters at the concession stand and serve chocolate cupcakes in the parking lot.

On a Wednesday evening this summer, two hours after the day’s thunderstorm blew past, Leonard Hankerson II stared from the sideline as his 7-year-old son performed a tackling drill. Across the field, his 4-year-old daughter ran around with her fellow cheerleaders. At Hankerson’s feet, his 11-month-old son sat in his stroller delighted by the taste of a green watermelon lollipop. To Hankerson’s right stood his high school sweetheart and the mother of his three children, Marketria Smith.

Hankerson stood immersed in fatherhood, oblivious to the violence that changed his life just four miles south.

Lisa Williams, only 19, was seven months pregnant with her third child the night her boyfriend loaded his .38-caliber revolver and left to settle a dispute. His 6-foot-3 frame and special basketball talent once made college a possibility. He veered off, though, toward a life involving drugs, and in that world, resolving disagreements sometimes required firepower.

At approximately 8:30 p.m., sheriff’s deputies responded to a shooting at 1741 SW 40th Terrace, a section of Fort Lauderdale best avoided even in the daytime. Witnesses described to police a shootout that punctuated an argument about the location of a recent drug sale. Williams disputed that during an interview this summer, saying her boyfriend defended his sister in a confrontation unrelated to his drug dealings.

Whatever the circumstances, they yielded an uncompromising result. Her boyfriend, Leonard Hankerson, 23, lay dead near the street from a gunshot wound in his neck. Two men were arrested at the scene and later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Hankerson’s death so distressed Williams that her body could not hold the pregnancy. Twenty-seven days later, on Jan. 30, 1989, she gave birth to a healthy 8-pound, 6-ounce, 23-inch long boy. When it came time for her to choose a name, there really was no debate.

The boy would never know his father, but he would bear his name.

Now, Hankerson is experiencing what his father could not. Being a dad fortifies his identity as he becomes a man himself at age 24. He navigates typical challenges of fatherhood in an atypical dynamic: He is operating without a blueprint; he’s the product of a culture in which raising children is optional for fathers in many cases, and his job as a receiver for the Washington Redskins significantly impacts his role as a provider and caretaker for his children.

Hankerson doesn’t dwell on his father’s absence because he never knew anything else. Instead, he is driven by a fatherly instinct, an innate responsibility. It’s an uplifting example but not a fairy tale life. The obligations of fatherhood, his children’s needs and his own youth are too real for that.

“I love two things more than anything,” Hankerson said. “Football and my kids.”

At practice that day, Hankerson’s son missed a tackle when he ducked his head and couldn’t see the ballcarrier. Hankerson had not interjected his football acumen until now.

“You gotta keep your head up!” he yelled.

Smith leaned over and muttered: “You’re gonna have to teach him.”

The family dynamic
Hankerson’s kids perked up when the waiter served a plate of honey butter croissants at lunch. They’re an adorable trio whose bright personalities are outdone only by their energy.

All five family members go by nicknames. Just about everybody calls Hankerson “Hank,” including his kids sometimes. To his right sat 7-year-old Leonard III. They call him L.J., short for Leonard Jr., a misnomer with a tragic subtext.

Hank is the Redskins‘ quietest player, an observant man who usually speaks only when spoken to. L.J., on the other hand, always has something to say, whether he’s showing off the golf swing his dad taught him or a new game on his Nintendo DS. With his wide smile, earrings in both ears and fauxhawk haircut, he looks like an NFL wide receiver in training.

Lenaris — Naris, for short — sat in a booster seat next to L.J. He picked up the package of three crayons provided for kids by the restaurant and put it in his mouth. Hank told L.J. to replace the crayons with a French fry. Naris’ face illuminated when he tasted it, and Hank laughed.

Marketria, known as Kie Kie, is the glue that holds together the operation. She’s the fulltime caretaker. During the football season, she lives in North Lauderdale as a single mother of three. Her relationship with Hank is complicated by ups and downs not uncommon of a partnership between a 24- and 25-year-old.

She and Hank acknowledge they technically are not a couple right now, but “we’re communicating,” Hank said.

It’s obvious Kienarria, whom they call Na Na, has her father’s genes. She’s 4 going on 7. She’s strong enough to carry Naris up and down the stairs, and she’s only five pounds lighter than L.J. “Her feet are growing overnight,” Kie Kie said. “Pretty much every month she’s up another size.” The plastic beads in her hair augment her warm smile.

The family lunch, spurred by a reporter’s invitation, was one of their last experiences together before Hank left for training camp four days later. They generally dread his annual departure.

Football has a bilateral impact on Hank’s fatherhood. It enables him to provide for his loved ones well beyond his impoverished upbringing — he is scheduled to earn $580,000 this season, his third, according to league records. But it also pulls him away for half the year to Redskins headquarters in Ashburn.

Kie Kie and the kids could move to Northern Virginia, but Hank prefers his South Florida roots stay rooted, and changing the children's school district mid-year is not an option. So Kie Kie and Lisa commute to all 16 games, and they bring the kids to Washington for the eight home games.

“The kids, they kind of understand, but they don’t understand why we don’t stay with dad,” Kie Kie said. “It’s really hard for them, if anything. They like flying up and flying back, but they don’t like leaving him. That’s the hard part for the kids. It’s a lot on them.”

Kie Kie has help when she needs it. Her mom and Lisa are two of many extended family members who pitch in, similar to how Lisa had help raising her six children. But the daily routine during the football season casts Kie Kie in a solitary role.

“She do a great job,” Hank said. “It’s hard work 24 hours a day.”

Hank stays connected to his kids by video chatting over cell phone. L.J. got his own phone this year, partly because Kie Kie got tired of him hounding her for hers. L.J. calls him up to 50 times a day, Kie Kie said, and Hank confirmed that’s no exaggeration. The second grader just started riding the school bus for the first time; that’s usually when he calls.

“Daddy, what is you doing? When you coming over?” Hank said, recalling how his kids question him over the phone. “It’s bittersweet. I got to take care of my business.”

Hank is as much his children’s friend as their father, but he does discipline them when necessary. And along with the kids’ adoration for him comes respect.
When Hank asked L.J. to put his uniform on for practice, L.J. did. When Hank wanted Na Na to take her open can of strawberry soda off the couch and return it to the refrigerator, she did.

Near the end of the family’s lunch that day, an elderly man approached the table on his way out of the restaurant. Local fans sometimes recognize Hank because of his record-setting career at the University of Miami, but this man didn’t seem to make that connection.

“When I saw all the kids come in, I thought, ‘Oh, no, they’ll be raising Cain,’” the man said. “But no. Keep up the good work.”

Hank and Kie Kie thanked the man. When he was out of earshot, they glanced at each other and chuckled.

‘It was a struggle’
Kie Kie didn’t think she’d hear from Hank after he asked for her phone number that Saturday in the park more than eight years ago. He didn’t write it down, so how would he remember?

“Later that night he comes calling me, and he asked me what I was doing,” she recalled. “I asked him what he was doing, and he said, ‘Waiting for you to be my girlfriend.’ I was like, ‘OK?’ Just connected since that Saturday night. We moved so fast and got to know each other through that time.”

Hank’s life stabilized during that period in high school. It was difficult before then, although to hear him tell it: “I always felt like my life was good.”

One of Lisa’s six children is Leonard’s full biological sibling — Leonarda. She’s 25 with an 8-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter.

“It was a struggle for us,” she said. “I’m not going to say it was a good life. It was crazy. We wasn’t fortunate, and we wasn’t able to get anything we want.”
She and Hank frequently stayed with their paternal grandmother. To this day they remind her of her lost son.

“It’s only me and Leonard that she still babies,” Leonarda said.

Lisa and all six kids, and occasionally a couple other cousins, lived in a two-bedroom apartment at one time. She worked for the Broward County school system as a bus attendant and bus driver. “It was always chaotic,” she said. “I thank God for the help I did have.”

Lisa never had to worry about Hank acting out. He always has been self-disciplined. He never fought in school or stirred up any drama. He doesn’t drink alcohol.

“As far as a bad bone in his body, there isn’t one,” said George Smith, his high school football coach.

Being around so many children then helped Hank learn how to care for them. He would change their diapers and play games, following the lead of his mother and grandmother.

After Hank’s freshman year at Dillard High, a public school, he transferred to private St. Thomas Aquinas High. He was a standout basketball player like his father, but he decided to try football. It turned out his talent in that sport was even more elite.

“I think the place kind of encompassed him, and he thought this is a place I could be successful,” Smith said. “His entire culture changed, which meant that he changed this way of thinking about what the world was. That’s how I read it.”

Hank and Kie Kie’s relationship began during the summer after his 10th-grade year. She was a year ahead in school at Dillard. Within months, he began living with her. Hank was in 11th grade when Kie Kie got pregnant with L.J.

She worked at Lady Foot Locker and Victoria’s Secret. Hank washed cars for friends and neighbors for $20 per car.

“When you’re in high school,” he said, “that’s a lot of money.”

Kie Kie saw in her partner a dedication to her and their son. That continued when the family of three moved south after Hank began classes at Miami.

“I always felt like I was lucky because I watched all my other friends that had kids, and their baby dad wasn’t helping, wasn’t around, didn’t see them,” she said. “I just watched them struggle, I guess.

“But with Hank from high school and college, I felt like I was lucky because he was always here. We lived together. He helped me. So I always thought I was lucky even before he got to the NFL.”

In some ways, Kie Kie remembers those as easier times. His presence as a caretaker means that much to her and the children.

“If I could trade it in,” she said, “I would prefer him to be around more.”

Role model for teammate
Na Na held her daddy’s burgundy and gold football helmet with both hands while he spoke to a reporter coming off the practice field at training camp in Richmond last month. About 10 yards away, L.J. spotted his dad’s teammate, receiver Pierre Garcon, and raced over to request an autograph. Na Na toted the helmet as she went running after him.

Redskins receiver Aldrick Robinson, Hank’s closest friend on the team, has seen many of these moments since Washington drafted both of them in April 2011. In advance of his wife’s October due date — they’re expecting their first child, a son — he and Hank have discussed how to be a positive influence raising children.

“He always talk to his kids,” Robinson said. “He love his kids, and you can see it. When they around him, they don’t want to leave him. I look up to him as a father. I see how he handles his kids and everything. I plan to treat my kids the same way that he treats his kids.”

If Hank’s fatherless childhood motivates him, he does not admit it. Maybe he isn’t conscious of it.

It doesn’t, he said, because others filled the caretaker role when he was a boy. But Hank grew up without a dad who provided for him and the family. That’s an aspect of fatherhood at which he is determined to excel.

That would be more difficult if he weren’t making NFL money, although he did graduate from Miami with a degree in liberal arts.

Kie Kie admired how Hank pushed himself toward the financial security the NFL would provide. She recalled a conversation Hank had with his son while he was at Miami.

“I don’t remember what L.J. asked him, but I remember Hank saying, ‘That’s why Daddy working so hard, L.J., so you can have stuff.’ That stuck with me because he was only in college. He worked hard to make sure he improved to get that chance, training and everything.”

Now, L.J. and Na Na can navigate an iPad like pros. Kie Kie and the kids last month moved to a new apartment 10 minutes away because their old two-bedroom had been broken into three times since the spring. And Hank agreed to put Naris in day care until 2 p.m. each weekday to help Kie Kie’s workload and stress.

Hank extends that outreach beyond his kids. “I don’t want for nothing,” Lisa said. Leonarda knows she can ask her younger brother for help, but she’d rather follow his example.

“I’m happy that he made it the way he did, but I’m trying to get there, too,” she said. “I want a child care license for myself so maybe we could open a day care in the future.”

After practice that day in Richmond, when L.J. and Na Na finished chasing down their dad’s teammates, Hank spent a few minutes with them before he had to go shower and eat lunch.

His father didn’t have moments like that.

“I know I had a responsibility to my kids,” Hank said. “I mean, those are my kids. I’m sure there’s things I can do better. I know I’m not perfect. Na Na will say, “Daddy, you’re No. 1,’ so I know I’m doing something right.”

On other side of the rope that sections off the field from fans, Kie Kie stood wearing her Redskins T-shirt and holding Naris.

Next to them stood Lisa, as proud a mother as she could be.


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(washingtontimes.com)
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GIFs: Leonard Hankerson Made a Great One-Hand Grab for a Touchdown

Leonard Hankerson, third year wide receiver for Washington, made a great one-hand grab climbing the ladder on a high pass to the back of the end zone from Rex Grossman. Grossman had to come in to the game in the first half after Kirk Cousins left with what appeared to be a foot or ankle injury after getting tackled near the sideline.

leonardhankerson-grab-1
leonardhankerson-grab-2


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Make Or Break Season For Leonard Hankerson

LeonardHankersonSkins
Since being drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2011, many Redskins fans feel wide receiver Leonard Hankerson hasn’t lived up to the reputation he had held at the University of Miami where he broke school records once held by Michael Irvin.

While fans might believe Hankerson has struggled or even been a waste of a draft pick, the truth is much different, in fact, Hankerson has been one of the Redskins more reliable receivers.

During his first season in 2011, Hankerson had the unfortunate task of being an NFL rookie during a lockout which left him unable to prepare as he normally would. In an interview during 2011, Hankerson admitted to that, “it is a lot harder because you have to just come in and learn so much in such a short time and be expected to go out and produce.”

To top it off, Hankerson suffered a torn labrum and subluxation of his right hip, ending his season during his first career start against the Miami Dolphins. While Hankerson only appeared in three games during 2011, he still managed to haul in 163 yards off of 13 receptions.

His sophomore year wouldn’t be any easier as he would have to learn an entirely new offense with the emergence of the option read; a system in which the wide receivers have multiple roles. When speaking to receiver Joshua Morgan, he [Morgan] insisted this offense takes time to master for the receivers (noting that they have up to 6 responsibilities per play depending on Roberts cadence at the line).

That however didn’t seem to set Hankerson back. For the first season in which he was healthy, Hankerson recorded 543 yards and three touchdowns, numbers better than those of current elite level wide receiver Brandon Marshall (309 yards, two touchdowns) and Roddy White (446 yards, three touchdowns) during their first full seasons in the NFL.

What might be even more impressive for the second year pro is during a season in which players usually have a decrease in production, he had the least amount of dropped passes on the football team with three, according to Pro Football Focus (Garcon led the team with 9). Additionally he was third best in catch percentage at 69.1% (PFF), only behind Joshua Morgan (69.6%) and Pierre Garcon (69.8%).

Heading into 2013 there are a lot of expectations on the plate for Leonard Hankerson. This will be his third season in the NFL, a season which usually is considered to be the time for a player to “breakout” which fans are expecting.

If Hankerson truly wants to have a breakout season, he’s going to need to work on two very important flaws in his game.

One of those happens to be his fear of going across the middle and making bigger catches. Thankfully because of the read option Hankerson was able to have more room allowing the footsteps to not bother him so much, but heading into year two, teams should somewhat be able to hold their ground across the middle, meaning his fear could come back.

Another is his ability to catch the ball smoothly. Though Hankerson finished the season with the least amount of drops on the team, he still has shown he cannot smoothly catch balls as one would think, especially with the size of his hands. In St. Louis, Hankerson had his defender beat by roughly five or so yards, but because he bobbled the ball, the defender managed to catch up and nearly tackle him short of the end zone.

The positive for Hankerson is that he is coming back to an offense that will stay the same minus some tweaks, a first for the first time in his NFL career. Ideally this should make a “break out” more capable for him in 2013, but if his fear of going across the middle, and his bobbles continue, that could not only slow down his pace, but also limit his time on the field.


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(riggosrag.com)
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Leonard Hankerson hopes to build on 'consistent' offseason

LeonardHankersonSkins
While 2013 probably isn’t a ‘make or break’ year for Leonard Hankerson, the wide receiver certainly ranks high on the list of Redskins in need of a breakout performance.

He’s coming off a sophomore season in which he established career highs in receptions (38), yards (543) and touchdowns (3). But more is going to be expected of Hankerson as he enters his third NFL campaign.

And, if his strong showing this offseason is any indication, he knows it.

“If you ain’t your own biggest critic, then you ain’t got nothing,” Hankerson said, responding to a question about Coach Mike Shanahan acknowledging recently that the 24-year-old was “pretty tough on himself last year.”

Hankerson added: “You have to be able to see and know when you did stuff wrong because if you don’t, you’ll never get better. That’s the key, man, improving each and every day, learning from your mistakes and capitalizing on your chances.”

Although much of the offseason program was conducted without media present, when reporters were allowed to observe practice, Hankerson often stood out. He appeared more polished and, when balls were thrown his way, more times than not, he made a play. One of the highlights from Tuesday’s session, in fact, was a deep completion from Kirk Cousins to Hankerson, who had to adjust to the slightly underthrown pass. In one fluid motion, Hankerson reached up, snagged the ball between the approaching safety and cornerback, then quickly turned upfield.

Hankerson acknowledged that he’s feeling more confident and comfortable these days. The reason for it is simple: practice. As a rookie, the NFL lockout cost him the entire offseason. Last summer, his primary focus was rehabbing a serious hip injury, not refining his game like most second year players.

“It makes a huge difference,” he said. “When you’re healthy, it lets you just focus on getting better.”

Hankerson says he’s working to hone all facets of his game.

“You can’t just go out there and pick one thing,” he said. “You have to go out there and keep grinding and work on everything, blocking, route running, focus, everything.”

Hankerson will likely enter training camp next month as the No. 4 receiver on the Redskins’ depth chart behind Pierre Garçon, Josh Morgan and Santana Moss. That isn’t likely to change after the addition of veteran wide receivers Donte’ Stallworth, 32, and Devery Henderson, 31, this week. But it does mean Hankerson can’t afford to slip during training camp and the preseason.

“He’s trying to step it up,” offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. “Hank’s been as good as anyone at times, and sometimes he has his little bad moments. He’s been very consistent through OTAs, and I think Hank can be as good as he wants to be.”

Most important, it seems Hankerson is starting to believe that, as well.

“I’m getting better, figuring things out, but I still have a long way to go,” Hankerson said. “I’m still young. We all want to make plays, but you just have to go out there, keep working hard and it’s going to come.”


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(csnwashington.com)
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Shanahan has praise for Hankerson

LeonardHankersonSkins
Mike Shanahan typically tries to avoid heaping praise on individual players. But the Redskins’ head coach made an exception when asked recently about third-year wide receivers Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson.

Hankerson established career highs last season for receptions (38), receiving yards (543) and touchdowns (3). But what has Shanahan excited is the fact that the 24-year-old has finally had an an entire offseason to hone his route running and refine other details of his game.

In 2011, the five-month lockout erased Hankerson’s first offseason in the NFL and, as a rookie, he played in only four games before landing on injured reserve with a hip injury. In 2012, he spent most of the spring and summer watching from the sideline as he rehabbed from surgery to repair a torn hip labrum. 

“One thing about Hankerson, this is his first offseason, OTAs, spring ball, whatever you want to call it that he’s been healthy,” Shanahan said. “So he’s had the chance to develop.”

Hankerson made five starts and appeared in all 17 games last season and, as of now, figures to enter training camp next month fourth on the Redskins’ depth chart behind Pierre Garçon, Josh Morgan and Santana Moss.

“He’s in shape. His weight is the right way,” Shanahan said of Hankerson, who is listed at 6-2, 211-pounds. “He’s getting some valuable reps." 


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(csnwashington.com)
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Leonard Hankerson healthy

LeonardHankersonSkins
Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said WR Leonard Hankerson is fully healthy for the first time in his career. The team is expecting Hankerson to develop more this year.

Fantasy Tip: Hankerson showed improvements in his second year with Robert Griffin III entrenched at quarterback. Despite the increase in targets he saw, he'll likely be the third- or fourth-string wideout in Washington, making a deep sleeper or nice post-draft pick-up.


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(kffl.com)
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Redskins Leonard Hankerson: Pressure Is On

LeonardHankerson
ASHBURN, Va. (WUSA) -- Do we label Leonard Hankerson yet? So many of Mike Shanahan's draft picks have panned out in Washington, it's become a puzzling matter if a homegrown player starts to lag behind.

When the University of Miami product was drafted in the third round of the 2011 draft, Redskins fans and the organization rejoiced, visualizing a solution to the ever problematic wide receiver position. I was one of those believers. 

Hankerson stood tall at 6-foot-2. He broke Michael Irvin's receiving records at a college oozing with remarkable NFL talent for two decades. What was thought to be a minor hands problem dropped Hankerson in the draft. In round number three, he seemed like an absolute steal. 

Here we stand, two full seasons later, with an army of receivers taken in the same draft who are already blossoming stars. A.J. Green and Julio Jones are the obvious studs, both perennial all-pro players. But second round picks Torrey Smith (Ravens) and Randall Cobb (Packers) have also each arguably become their franchise's biggest playmaker -- in crowded depth charts nonetheless. Shoot, even the Raiders Denarius Moore (a fifth round pick in 2011) posted 51 catches and seven touchdowns last season with Carson Palmer as his quarterback. Carson Palmer. 

So there isn't doubting the Redskins receiver is lagging behind several of his peers. Pesky little Aldrick Robinson was arguably more important to the offense last season than "Hank Time," -- see his full stats here. Sure you can argue the hip injury derailed most of Hankerson's rookie season -- one which he didn't suit up during the first five games because he wasn't ready. Sure you can argue 2012 was his first season with a dependable quarterback -- but Hankerson often went missing, recording only nine receptions in five December games.

The clock is ticking on whether Hankerson will reach his potential.

"Last season could've been a whole lot better. There's some plays last year I could've made," said Hankerson following Thursday's OTA session. "I'd grade myself a C. I had 500 or something yards. But we all can do better."

Most avid NFL film watchers will concur that Hankerson does indeed possess key attributes to become an above average pro. He's not scared of the middle of the field, he's shown ability to get deep separation from cornerbacks and his size alone distances himself from the rest of the Redskins receiving corps -- some have raved about his increased muscles in OTA's.

Here's the thing that Shanahan and Hankerson both brought up: this is his first real offseason. In 2011 the lockout slowed down his mental speed of the NFL, and last season most of training camp was spent not going at 100 percent because of hip surgery.

So now Leonard Hankerson, 24, has zero excuses to finally show the skills that made him a legendary Miami Hurricane. Some Redskins sources speculate that fellow receiver Josh Morgan will have the upper hand to begin the season as the starter alongside Pierre Garcon. Morgan was bogged down by several injuries and still managed to be semi-productive. Hankerson seems to welcome the challenge. 

"There is eight, nine, ten receivers on the depth chart. We all compete with each other. Of course it's all friendly. The coaches look for the guy who makes the play. That's what I'm trying to do," said Hankerson.

Hankerson's answer to this final question is what should concern most Redskins fans. He may lack the killer instinct that Alfred Morris and many other young players on this team carry inside themselves. Hankerson shouldn't be shy about wanting to become a dominant receiver.

Q: If you put up the same exact numbers this year as you did last year, would you be heavily disappointed?

A: "I just look forward to going out there helping my team doing every little bit I can do -- helping us win games you know. The numbers don't really matter. I'm just going out there and putting the team first, doing whatever I can to help us win."

Some will view that as a selfless answer. Some will agree with me. And I won't judge an athlete on one answer alone. But like mentioned earlier, Hankerson's leash is shortening by the season. He needs to start treating every down like it's his last. He has shown the skills and has the quarterback to join Randall Cobb and Torrey Smith as a game changing receiver. If he does duplicate those average 2012 numbers, the Redskins biggest need in the 2014 draft will indeed be wide receiver.


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VIDEO: Leonard Hankerson - 2012 All Regular Season Targets/Catches




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Leonard Hankerson Predicted to Have a Breakout Season

LeonardHankersonSkins
Leonard Hankerson. I struggled finding a 2013 breakout player for the Redskins, but I do think Hankerson should be in line for a much bigger role and his skill set fits what Mike Shanahan wants to do with this offensive attack. First of all, wide receivers must be very good blockers in this offense. Hankerson has the size and overall physicality to develop into a very good edge blocker. He also is built to run quick-hitting routes like slants -- which work really well off Washington’s fantastic play-action game -- and to do something after the catch with a physical running style. Hankerson isn’t an elite deep threat and has just average wide-receiver speed, but he can go up and get the football downfield or in a crowd in the end zone. Drops have been a problem for Hankerson, but I expect him to take a noticeable step forward in 2013 and become a solid No. 2 receiver opposite Pierre Garcon.


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(espn.com)
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All Canes Radio with Future proCane Kendal Thompkins & proCane Leonard Hankerson

LeonardHankersonSkins
Every MONDAY Night proCanes.com joins All Canes Radio to bring the latest news on not only current Hurricane football but also proCane news and exclusive interviews with current and former proCanes live from Shake Shack in Coral Gables.

Click here to listen to this week’s show and hear our exclusive interviews with future proCane Kendal Thompkins, proCane Gerard Daphnis and proCane Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson.

Listen to future NFL WR Kendal THompkins talk about his days at The U, what he is doing to get ready for the Draft and much more! Gerard Daphnis joins All Canes Radio to talk about his Annual Hurricane Alumni Reunion Tailgate which will be taking place before the Spring Game at Sun Life Stadium from 12:30-2:30 in Lot E12. Also, proCane Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson joins the show and talks about his days at The U, his transition to the NFL, his new QB RGIII and much much more!


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Leonard Hankerson has a big opportunity this off-season to become a starter

LeonardHankersonSkins
Now that it appears that Brandon Banks has played his last game for the Redskins, some fans need a new player to complain about. Leonard Hankerson has taken Banks’ place as the player that Redskins fans love to hate.

In Banks’ case I think the criticism was justified; with Hankerson, I don’t quite understand it.

The primary complaint that I get is that he drops the ball too much. He has had some memorable drops and at other times he looked like he was battling to hang on to fairly routine passes. But according to Pro Football Focus, Hankerson held on to the ball better than any other Redskins wideout.

Per PFF, Hankerson was targeted 55 times and he had 38 receptions and three drops. That gives him a drop rate of 7.32 percent. Of the 82 NFL wide receivers who played at least 25 percent of their teams’ snaps that is the 28th-best drop rate.

That’s not great but it was the best on the team. Pierre Garçon caught 44 passes and dropped five, a drop rate of 10.2 percent (51st in the NFL). Josh Morgan’s caught 48 and dropped seven for a rate of 12.73 percent (67th). Santana Moss, with six drops and 41 receptions had a rate of 12.77 (68th).

Certainly, Hankerson still needs to improve in other areas. He has had issues getting separation from defensive backs so it looks like his route running could use some improvement.

This will be a critical offseason for Hankerson. The NFL lockout wiped out OTA’s his rookie year and rehab from his hip injury kept him sidelined during the offseason program a year ago. We will see if a full cycle of team workouts will help Hankerson take the next step.

Widen the field?
This appears to be just in the speculation phase right now but the NFL could take a look into widening the field of play as a safety measure.

The thinking is that with more wide open spaces there will be fewer of the big, debilitating hits that the NFL fears is causing long-term injuries, particularly to the player’s head. The field in the Canadian Football League is 195 feet wide compared to 160 feet in the NFL.

"It's a radical idea, but I think it's worth thinking about," former Colts GM Bill Polian said. "You would have more space and perhaps a safer game. I say that based on my CFL experience. There are less collisions of that type in the Canadian game."

The offenses in the CFL are more wide-open thanks to the wider field. Defensive backs have 22 percent more field area from goal line to goal line to try to cover receivers. Backs running around the end of the line have more room to get to the edge.

There are considerations beyond competition. In most stadiums such a change would necessitate the removal of some prime seats along the sideline.

It would be surprising to see the NFL make such a change. But the thought of Robert Griffin III sprinting out with some extra field to work with might make a change that Redskins fans could believe in.


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Washington Redskins' Top Receivers Will Cost $7 000,000 More for 2013 NFL Season

LeonardHankersonSkins
The top four wide receivers for the Washington Redskins—Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan were the only group of four NFL receivers on the same team to each have 500-plus receiving yards in the 2012 season.

While they accounted for 62 percent of the Redskins' receiving yards and all but seven touchdowns, to keep them will cost the Redskins over $14 million combined in 2013.

Should the team assess the contributions these receivers made to the team on offense and will any have to take a pay cut to remain on the 2013 roster?

Pierre Garcon was the Redskins' first free agent signed prior to the 2012 season after four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Garcon missed six games due to an injury to the bottom of his right foot, but led the team in receiving yards with 633 yards and four touchdowns.  

His $2.1 million salary is going to more than double next season with a scheduled payout of $5.6 million. Garcon averaged 4.4 receptions and 14.4 yards per catch.  



In his eighth year as a Redskin and 12th NFL season, Santana Moss led the team with eight receiving touchdowns and second with 573 receiving yards. Moss played every regular season game and averaged slightly over 2.5 receptions per game and 14 yards per reception.

Moss collected $2.65 million in 2012 and is due $4.15 million next season.

Leonard Hankerson entered his second season with the Redskins after missing much of 2011 either as a non-starter or while on injured reserve. He was the lowest paid receiver among the four with a 2012 salary of $465,000. He is scheduled to earn $555,000 next season.

Hankerson accounted for 38 catches for 543 yards and three touchdowns. His biggest game of his professional career occurred in Week 15 against the Cleveland Browns as Hankerson caught two touchdowns from quarterback Kirk Cousins en route to a 38--21 'Skins victory and the team's fifth straight win.
Josh Morgan signed a five-year contract in 2012 after four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. The first two years of his contract are secured and the Redskins have the option of nullifying the remaining three years.  

In 2012, Morgan had two receiving touchdowns and 510 yards. His $1.8 million salary jumps to $3.8 million next season.

With salary cap space at a premium in 2013, should the team pare down the receiving corps or look for cuts elsewhere? The Redskins have a diverse, capable and productive receiving corps which kept defenses uncertain as to which receiver among the four would be targeted as the prime receiver.

Despite having the only wide receiver quartet to each have 500-plus yards, quarterback Robert Griffin III finished his rookie year ranked 22nd in passing yards among 2012 quarterbacks.

Griffin's rehabilitation from knee surgery could allow his return by the start of the 2013 season. During the offseason, the Redskins may evaluate the triple-threat, pistol formation offense to limit any further injuries to their quarterback of the future.  

If that is the case, the Redskins could see an increased need for their top four receivers and a decrease in rushing by their quarterback as evidenced by Griffin's rushing total of 67 yards in the final two games of the 2012 regular season.


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(bleacherreport.com)
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proCanes Players of Week 15

LeonardHankersonSkins
Co-Offensive Players of the Week:

Leonard Hankerson: proCane Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson caught two passes for 56 yards with two touchdowns in the Redskins' Week 15 win over the Browns. Hankerson made the most of his two targets. His first score came when he blew past Sheldon Brown and Kirk Cousins threaded the needle between three Browns for a 54-yard score in the first quarter. His second touchdown came on a simple goal-line bootleg from Cousins. Don't chase these plays as Hankerson continues to rotate with Josh Morgan opposite No. 1 target Pierre Garcon.

Andre Johnson: proCane Texans WR Andre Johnson caught 11 balls for 151 yards and a touchdown as the Texans defeated the Colts 29-17 in Week 15.
He was targeted 13 times, a game high on either side of the ball. Johnson was truly dominant against Colts top CB Vontae Davis, consistently winning 50:50 balls in the air and scoring from three yards out on a rub route deep in the red zone. Johnson has reasserted himself at age 31 as a top-five NFL receiver and likely future Hall of Famer. The past eight games have been the most productive stretch of Johnson's career, averaging 8.4 catches and 119.6 yards per game. He needs just seven receptions and 140 yards to join Marvin Harrison as the only receivers with at least 100 catches and 1,500 yards in three seasons. Andre Johnson also topped 11,000 career receiving yards this week

Honorable Mention: Travis Benjamin WR Browns, Jimmy Graham TE Saints, Frank Gore RB 49ers.

CalaisCampbellCards
Defensive Players of Week:

Calais Campbell: proCane Cardinals DE Calais Campbell in his first game back from a calf injury played his best all-around game since Week 2 at New England despite still dealing with the lingering effects of a calf injury that sidelined him for a month. He wasn’t in pain while he recorded eight tackles, four for losses, a sack, a quarterback hurry and a pass deflection, but his calf wasn’t completely healed either.
Honorable Mention: Sam Shields DB Packers

Special Teams Player of the Week:

Matt Bosher:
proCane Falcons P Matt Bosher continued his great 2nd season though this week he only had two punts but made them count. Bosher’s two punts totaled 100 yards with a long of 61 yards, and average of 50 yards and one touchback.


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VIDEO: Leonard Hankerson's 2 TDs

Thank you to @GDixon410 for sending us the below GIFs of proCane Leonard Hankerson’s 2 TDs.

703176508

703175526


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Leonard Hankerson records first two-touchdown game

LeonardHankersonSkins
Last week, wide receiver Leonard Hankerson recorded four catches for 67 yards. His coaches called that his best game of the season, not only because of his catches, but his blocking contributions as well.

This week, Hankerson continued his production, recording two catches for 56 yards and two touchdowns as the Redskins defeated the Browns.

It marked the first multiple-touchdown game of the second-year Miami product’s career. It was also only the second time this season that a Redskins receiver has had multiple touchdowns in the same game. (Santana Moss had two in Week 7.)

“Any touchdown is special. I’m just glad I was able to go out there and help my team come out on top,” said Hankerson, who on the season has 36 catches for 521 yards and three touchdowns (all career highs).

Hankerson’s first touchdown — a 54-yard bomb — put the Redskins on the board following four consecutive three-and-out possessions.

Kirk Cousins faked to Alfred Morris on the stretch play to the left, rolled back to his right and threw downfield to Hankerson, who had gotten behind three defenders and made a juggling catch before he hit the ground. Hankerson bounced back up and trotted into the end zone. Kai Forbath’s successful extra-point attempt tied the game at 7 with 2:26 left in the first.

“It was a little play action, and I was actually the last read on that play,” Hankerson said. “All the safeties came up, and he made a great throw. It was like a distraction drill, because they all jumped up in front of me, and the ball dropped in my hands.”

Hankerson’s second touchdown came in the third quarter, putting Washington up 24-14 and capping a seven-play, 60-yard drive.


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson caught four passes for 67 yards

LeonardHankersonSkins
Leonard Hankerson caught four passes for 67 yards versus the Ravens in Week 15.

He would have added a touchdown if not for an end zone drop on a back-shoulder throw. Although Hankerson's five targets were second only to Pierre Garcon's nine, he's not a fantasy option for Week 15 versus the Browns.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Leonard Hankerson was scheduled to rotate Sunday

LeonardHankersonSkins
OC Kyle Shanahan said the plan was for Leonard Hankerson to rotate with Aldrick Robinson at "X" receiver in Week 9.

Hankerson didn't start, but played 44 snaps compared to 32 for Robinson. Hankerson was the preferred option in the red zone. Even if Pierre Garcon (foot) ends up shut down for the season, neither of his backups can be trusted while sharing the snaps.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Leonard Hankerson caught three passes for 49 yards in Week 9

LeonardHankersonSkins
proCane Redskins WR Leonard ankerson caught three passes for 49 yards in Week 9 against Carolina.





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(fantasysp.com)
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Leonard Hankerson grabs six passes

LeonardHankersonSkins
Leonard Hankerson caught six passes for 70 yards in the Redskins' Week 7 loss to the Giants.
Stepping in at the "X" spot for Pierre Garcon (foot) once again, Hankerson led the team with eight targets. He was solid, showing fearlessness over the middle and creating separation on slant routes. The big plays for the Redskins' offense came on a bubble screen to Santana Moss and a go route to the slot receiver. Hankerson will be a flex option against the Steelers next week if Garcon sits, but we can't expect any big plays. He has one touchdown and one play longer than 23 yards on the season.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Meet Leonard Hankerson!

LeonardHankersonSkins
Come by the Harris Teeter in Reston TODAY from 12PM – 1PM to meet Leonard Hankerson and try out his new sandwich, the Hanktastic!

Location:
Harris Teeter  
11806 Spectrum Center
Reston, VA 20190
(703) 435-5800

• DATE: October 23, 2012
• TIME:  12:00 PM 
• LOCATION:  Harris Teeter in Reston, Va.


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Leonard Hankerson demoted behind Morgan

LeonardHankersonSkins
Leonard Hankerson caught just one pass for three yards and gained two yards on a rushing attempt in Week 5 against the Falcons.

Hankerson was Washington's fourth receiver in this game, after getting demoted behind Josh Morgan. Pierre Garcon is the other outside receiver, and Santana Moss plays the slot. Hankerson could come into fantasy value eventually should one of those wideouts get injured, but for now he's droppable in 12-team leagues. He'd need a Garcon injury to be a viable week-to-week producer.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Leonard Hankerson helps in areas besides pass catching

LeonardHankersonSkins
Washington Redskins wide receivers Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan both had active games Sunday, helping the team to a 24-22 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Hankerson, a second-year pro out of Miami, had a season-high seven catches for 57 yards. Morgan – a free agent signing last spring — had four catches on four targets and recorded a season-high 62 yards (three of his catches for 49 yards came in the second half).

 Redskins coach Mike Shanahan called Sunday Morgan’s best game as a Redskin, and praised Hankerson’s development as well.

 But what pleased the coach just as much as the wideouts’ pass-catching ability was their blocking. Both displayed a willingness to get physical with opponents in the run game. Hankerson had a downfield block that helped running back Alfred Morris make it to the end zone on a 39-yard run.

Redskins coaches have stressed the importance of receivers contributing with strong blocking, and the wideouts have bought in.

 “They have to understand that that’s part of their responsibility, is to block,” Shanahan said. “Every receiver likes to catch, we know that. But when you have guys like Pierre [Garcon] and [Morgan] coming in and [Hankerson] has gotten so much better here in the last couple games where he’s becoming a total player, that they understand when it’s time to block you have to block and when it’s time to catch you have to catch. When you have that mindset, you have a chance to do something special as an offense. Everybody has a role and everybody has to play for each other.”


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Leonard Hankerson Leads Redskins in Receptions

LeonardHankersonSkins
Leonard Hankerson caught seven passes for 57 yards in the Redskins' Week 4 win over the Bucs.

Pierre Garcon hogged the X receiver snaps, but Hankerson was promoted as a starter ahead of Josh Morgan on the opposite side. He responded by consistently going over the middle without fear and getting separation on slant routes. Hankerson saw 11 targets, clearly earning the trust of both Robert Griffin and the coaches. He's on pace for only 52 catches, 724 yards and four touchdowns, but his arrow is pointing straight up.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Leonard Hankerson leads Washington wideouts

LeonardHankersonSkins
Washington Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson (neck, back) posted 56 yards on four receptions in the Week 3 game against the Cincinnati Bengals to lead the team's wide receiver corps. WR Joshua Morgan hauled in two receptions for 22 yards, while WR Aldrick Robinson managed just one catch for 12 yards.



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Leonard Hankerson coming off 'best game yet'

LeonardHankersonSkins
Redskins OC Kyle Shanahan said WR Leonard Hankerson had his "best game yet" in Week 2.

In addition to his 68-yard touchdown, Hankerson was cited for several key blocks away from the ball. After Aldrick Robinson hogged the "X" receiver snaps when Pierre Garcon exited in Week 1, Hankerson earned a timeshare versus the Rams last week. It's noteworthy, as Hank had spent the summer practicing at the "Z" spot. Neither player is an attractive WR3 option in Week 3. If forced to choose between the two in deeper leagues, we would side with Hank Time.


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VIDEO: Robert Griffin III 68 Yard Touchdown Pass to Leonard Hankerson HD




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Leonard Hankerson gets deep for a 68-yard score

LeonardHankersonSkins
Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson caught two balls for 68 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's loss to the Rams.

All of his yards came on an impressive deep strike from QB Robert Griffin III where Hankerson got behind the Rams' coverage and very nearly dropped the pass. He saw only three targets on the day, however, and was not a big part of what the Redskins' game plan.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Leonard Hankerson Needs To Step Up

LeonardHankersonSkins
WR Leonard Hankerson -- The coaches remain high on Hankerson but he needs to show why. He had a slow preseason which could be attributed to his recovery from a torn labrum in 2011. Free agent signee Josh Morgan outshined Hankerson in training camp and that's the reason he is listed as the starter at the Z position.



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(cbssports.com)
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Josh Morgan listed as starter over Leonard Hankerson

LeonardHankersonSkins
Josh Morgan is listed as the first-team "Z" wideout on the Redskins' Week 1 depth chart.

Leonard Hankerson is listed as a second-teamer. Mike Shanahan's depth charts rarely mean much, but this confirms our suspicion that the two will rotate opposite every-down "X" receiver Pierre Garcon. It's a poor recipe for fantasy success.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Will Leonard Hankerson break out?

LeonardHankersonSkins
Will Leonard Hankerson have a breakout season?

The background: The Redskins thought they got a steal when they took Hankerson in the third round in 2011. Early in the year it looked like they may have been too high on the Miami product as he struggled with drops. But when he finally got his chance to be in a featured role in the offense he produced, catching eight passes for 106 yards against the Dolphins in Week 10. That turned out to be his last game of the season, however, as he suffered a hip injury and went on injured reserve. Injury rehab had him sidelined for most of OTA’s and minicamp but he appears to be fully healthy and ready to go.

Tandler: When the Redskins signed Pierre Garçon and Josh Morgan in free agency, it looked like they were hedging their bets on Hankerson’s health. But with Hankerson healthy the Redskins could have a quartet of potent weapons at receiver with Garçon, Morgan, Hankerson, and Santana Moss. Hankerson could emerge as a dual threat receiver in this group with the ability to move the chains on third and five and to get open deep. That could make him one of Robert Griffin III’s best friends and that could add up to a Hankerson stat line of 60 catches for 850 yards and six touchdowns. That would constitute a breakout season in my book.

El-Bashir: I like Hankerson’s chances of enjoying a breakout season. First, the 23-year-old appears fully recovered from offseason hip surgery. Second, he finally seems comfortable in Coach Mike Shanahan’s offense, one season after he occasionally looked lost in it. And third, it’s possible he’ll find himself matched against weaker defensive backs as opposing teams look to shut down Robert Griffin III’s favorite target, Pierre Garçon. I also like Hankerson’s size. At 6 foot 2, 211-pounds, he‘s the Redskins‘ biggest receiver. Now, he just needs to prove he’s gotten over last season’s maddening case of the drops. Fifty-plus receptions, 700 yards and five touchdowns would constitute a successful season, I think. 


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(csnwashington.com)
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Leonard Hankerson's Baby Born

Leonard Hankerson’s baby; Lenaris Kienard Hankerson was born on August 22nd. Congrats to Leonard and here’s to a life full of health love and happiness for you and your family.

BabyHank1

BabyHank2


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Leonard Hankerson sees three targets, drops one

LeonardHankersonSkins
Leonard Hankerson caught one of three targets for three yards in Saturday's preseason game against the Colts.
Again working as the No. 2 wide receiver, Hankerson didn't see his first target until fellow-starter Pierre Garcon saw his sixth. The second-year receiver's first target was a 60-yard bomb down field, but his only catch was a short dump-off and he dropped his only other look. Hankerson has hauled in three balls for 26 yards this preseason and will continue to feel pressure from Santana Moss and Josh Morgan for reps. He's an intriguing late-round flier.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Leonard Hankerson back after becoming dehydrated Tuesday

LeonardHankersonSkins
A day after being carted off the field because of dehydration, Redskins wide receiver Leonard Hankerson said he was back to normal on Wednesday afternoon.

The 23-year-old said it wasn’t the first time he become dehydrated and he made sure to stay hydrated on Wednesday.

Last season Hankerson played in four games as a rookie and totaled 163 yards on 13 catches. He didn’t make an appearance until week seven after a poor training camp. Hankerson said he’s done everything coaches have asked this summer and is working to be on the same page with the entire offense.

“I feel good right now,” said Hankerson. “It’s a little bit different. I’ve been here the whole offseason, I know all the plays and I feel good out there. I’ve been running around all confident and just having fun.”

He said he’s recovered from the hip injury that cut last season short for him. He said it’s not on his mind when he’s playing and contact has not caused him any problems.


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson Will Be Fine After Heat-Related Illness

LeonardHankersonSkins
Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan informed the media after practice on Tuesday that wide receiver Leonard Hankerson is fine after suffering a heat-related illness that required him to be carted off the field earlier in the day. The Redskins head coach stated that he was given an IV drip to help replenish his fluids.

After missing the majority of the 2011 season due to injury, the 23-year-old is expected to be the team's No. 2 receiver in 2012.

Mike Shanahan: Leonard Hankerson got a little heat illness and got an IV and should be fine.

In addition to Hankerson, wide receiver Josh Morgan also suffered heat illness on Tuesday and was given an IV.


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(sbnation.com)
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Leonard Hankerson savors his first taste of game action since last November

LeonardHankersonSkins
Second-year wide receiver Leonard Hankerson came away from Thursday’s preseason opener at Buffalo with a sense of encouragement as he works his way back from a season-ending hip injury.

Thursday’s game represented the first game that Hankerson has played in since Week 9 of the 2011 season. Hankerson, who is competing for the starting wide receiver position opposite Pierre Garcon, got the start and had one reception for 12 yards — the only play in which he was targeted.

Hankerson and his fellow starters played only 14 snaps, but the activity was enough to indicate to the receiver that he is making progress in his recovery.
“It felt good to be back out there with my teammates,” Hankerson said Saturday after practice. “Going on the right track. Feeling good. Making plays.”

The last time Redskins fans saw Hankerson in a game, he caught eight passes for 106 yards in a loss last season to Miami, a breakout performance in the city where he went to college.

The outing has tantalized ever since. Hankerson tore the labrum in his hip that game and did not return until the preseason opener at Buffalo.
Redskins fans might reference Hankerson’s memorable outing from last season, but he does not.

“Honestly, I haven’t really thought about that Miami game until you brought it up,” Hankerson said. “I can’t be thinking about it. It doesn’t count now. It’s all gone. So I’ll just have to work on getting another one of those games this year.”

The 6-foot-2, 211-pound Hankerson struggled with dropped passes at times last season as a third-round pick out of Miami and did not play until the seventh game. Because of the hip injury, he not only sat out the rest of last season but also organized training activities and minicamp this year.

At Buffalo, Hankerson caught a sideline pass from Griffin, kept his balance as he slipped a defender, then picked up another 10 yards.

Did he feel like the old Leonard?

“I want to be better than the old Leonard,” Hankerson said. “That’s what I’m striving for.”


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson started the Redskins' preseason opener Thursday

LeonardHankersonSkins
Leonard Hankerson started the Redskins' preseason opener Thursday night, catching one pass for 12 yards.

Hankerson got the nod over Josh Morgan, while Santana Moss entered in three-receiver sets. The Z receiver -- Hankerson's role -- is not typically a featured position in the Shanahans' offense, but it will still bode well for his NFL outlook if he's able to hold off Morgan and Moss entering the regular season.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Leonard Hankerson shines for Redskins, report says

LeonardHankersonSkins
If everything goes as planned, Robert Griffin III will be throwing the ball in a Washington Redskins uniform for the next decade-plus. His cast of receivers, however, still is being sorted out.

Pierre Garcon and Santana Moss are penciled into the top slots, but the competition behind them presents an opportunity for the likes of Josh Morgan, Anthony Armstrong, Brandon Banks and Leonard Hankerson.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Hankerson has "made a strong bid" for a prominent role in the offense with a productive training camp. While Morgan has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, Hankerson has been the most consistent of the bunch, according to the newspaper.

"It always can be a whole lot better," Hankerson told The Post on Monday. "But I feel like I'm right there. I feel like I'm getting better. I feel like I'm doing what the coaches ask me. And I feel like I'm taking a step each and every day, and that's what it's all about."

We listed Hankerson among our potential breakout players for 2012 after he played well in a pair of starts as a rookie last season before being lost to injury. He's a nice fit in the slot and gives RG3 a young wideout to pair with. A franchise quarterback in the house could get Hankerson's young career on track in a hurry.


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Leonard Hankerson Says He’s Not 100% But Will Play Hurt

LeonardHankersonSkins
Redskin’s wide receiver Leonard Hankerson experienced the high and low point of his short career in a single game last season.  In a week 10 match up against the Miami Dolphins, Hankerson had a break-out game with career high 8 receptions for 106 yards before suffering a hip injury that ultimately ended his rookie season. After off-season surgery, the second-year receiver is looking to re-establish himself as a go-to target in Coach Mike Shanahan’s offense.
Hankerson joined 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny to discuss the status of his recovery and how he’s fitting in with rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.

When asked about how close he was to being fully healthy, Hankerson said he was still a ways off but that won’t keep him off the field.

“I really don’t feel like I’m 100% yet because there’s always going to be a little nagging and a little problem but if you don’t play hurt, or whatever, you’re not going to be here,” Hankerson said.

In addition to adjusting to an increased workload, Hankerson will also have to adapt to playing with Griffin III. He says that having a year under his belt and knowing what’s expected of him will help him do just that.



“If I’m running my routes, getting to my right depth and (Griffin III) is going through his reads then of course it won’t be a problem. That’s getting everybody on the same page,” said Hankerson. “When we get everyone on the same page, like I said, we’re gonna be special.”


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(cbslocal.com)
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Leonard Hankerson having a strong training camp

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It has been a solid training camp for Washington Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson, a second-year pro who has been one of the team’s more consistent pass-catchers in practices.

While free-agent addition Josh Morgan has been plagued by a hamstring injury, Hankerson has made a strong bid thus far for a prominent role in the team’s receiver corps alongside Pierre Garcon and Santana Moss.

“It always can be a whole lot better,” Hankerson said Monday. “But I feel like I’m right there. I feel like I’m getting better. I feel like I’m doing what the coaches ask me. And I feel like I’m taking a step each and every day, and that’s what it’s all about.”


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson looking like #2 WR

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With a week of practice in the books, Leonard Hankerson appears to be in the lead for the Redskins’ #2 WR spot.  ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano guesses that Hankerson and Garcon will be the starters on the outside, with Santana Moss manning the slot.  WR Josh Morgan could be used as a fill-in at all 3 spots.  This situation is still unsettled, but we like Hankerson’s odds of winning a starting job.  He has the best combination of size (6’2, 205 pounds) and athleticism among the trio behind Garcon.  And insider Rich Tandler notes that Hankerson is "holding onto the ball better [and] looks more fluid as he runs his routes" than he did last year.  Hankerson would be an upside bench stash in fantasy if he’s named the #2 receiver.


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(proplayerinsiders.com)
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Leonard Hankerson returns with confidence

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Leonard Hankerson had about as frustrating a rookie season as he could have had. During the preseason, the University of Miami product never seemed to have trouble getting open. Passes would come his way, but Hankerson rarely could hang on.

And aside from the drops, Hankerson struggled to pick up all aspects of the offense. Because of this, the Redskins’ third-round pick didn’t play in his first official game until seven weeks into the regular season.

Hankerson finally broke out in his fourth game, making eight catches for 106 yards, but in the same game, he tore the labrum in his hip and was lost for the season.

After an offseason that featured a setback in rehab and surgery in February, Hankerson finally has returned, and is competing for a key role in Washington’s offense.

Held out of organized training activities and minicamp to ensure he had fully healed, the past three days of training camp practices have represented Hankerson’s first full-speed football activity in eight months.

After a slow start on Thursday, Hankerson had a strong practice on Friday, making four impressive catches from quarterback Robert Griffin III.

The 6-foot-2, 211-pound Hankerson says this training camp is “totally different from last year. I know what [coaches] are expecting now. … I know what I need to do. I’m more confident in the playbook.”

And in turn, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said that his confidence in Hankerson — both mentally and physically — is high.

“I feel really good about Hankerson,” Shanahan said. “I’ve been with those hips before, and you just don’t know about the hips. It really didn’t look like there were any setbacks today whatsoever. He’s been going full speed for the last couple weeks, and knock on wood, he can stay healthy and keep on getting better.”

The Redskins have Hankerson competing for one of the starting wide receiver positions opposite free agent pickup, Pierre Garçon. In the early days of camp, he has alternated with Josh Morgan as the starter. Other times, he has lined up in the slot while competing for that spot with Santana Moss.

Hankerson is Washington’s biggest wide receiver. Boasting great leaping ability and hands that measure 10-5/8 inches across, he has all the tools to be an impact player.

But Hankerson said he doesn’t allow concerns over whether or not he will start to consume him. He just wants to do his best and let the rest fall into place.

“It’s not about if I should be a starter. It’s about coming here and putting in work,” he said. “If I come in here and put in work, bust my tail every day and win the competition, then that’s why. We’re all out here having fun. We all compete with each other. It’s an open competition, and whoever comes out on top, comes out on top.”


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(washintgtonpost.com)
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Leonard Hankerson worked with the first-team offense at flanker

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Leonard Hankerson worked with the first-team offense at flanker during Friday's training camp practice. Josh Morgan opened camp opposite "X" receiver Pierre Garcon, but the Skins are holding an open competition at "Z.

Speaking to reporters after Friday morning's walkthrough at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Hankerson admitted that he is still not quite recovered from the surgery to repair the injury.

"Not quite yet," he said. "I'm still working down in the training room, working with [Redskins head athletic trainer] Larry Hess and the other training guys.
"It's nothing major," Hankerson continued. "It is just not normal."


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(fantasysp.com)
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Leonard Hankerson (hip) practicing on Thursday

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Leonard Hankerson (hip surgery) has been cleared for the start of training camp, as expected.

"(The hip) feels pretty good right now," Hankerson said after Thursday morning's walk through. "We're just going to take it step-by-step to see how it goes. Hopefully it holds up." Although Hankerson went "full speed" Thursday, he appears to have fallen behind Santana Moss and Josh Morgan in the race for the starting job opposite Pierre Garcon. He's a player to track throughout August.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Will Leonard Hankerson Break Through?

LeonardHankersonSkins
WR Leonard Hankerson. He finally showed life with a 106-yard day vs. Miami on Nov. 13, only to tear the labrum in his hip. He needed surgery in the offseason when rest and rehab didn't take and he was unable to practice in the spring. Hankerson and Redskins coaches say he'll be ready when camp starts Thursday, but you can't assume he'll be a big factor in the passing game for a while. There's still a notion that he's too much of a long strider to run all the necessary routes in this system. So even if healthy Hankerson has much to prove. The Redskins also have Josh Morgan and Santana Moss, both of whom play the Z and slot positions like Hankerson.


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Leonard Hankerson: "I'm ready"

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Leonard Hankerson said his recovery from hip surgery remains on target and that he’s anxiously awaiting his return to the field next week at Redskins Park.

“Right now, I’m feeling pretty good,” the second-year receiver said at Brian Orakpo’s youth football camp in Fairfax. “I’ve been in the training room this whole off-season, working out, working on my hip, doing little things to get me prepared for next Wednesday.”

Veterans report to Ashburn on Wednesday; the first practice of training camp is Thursday.

“I can’t wait to get out there and get going and see how it goes for me,” added Hankerson, who, if healthy, could be another weapon for an improved receiving corps that includes veterans Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan and Santana Moss.

Hankerson showed flashes of promise last season – he had eight receptions for 108 yards at Miami in November – before a torn labrum in his right hip ended his season. In four games, the 23-year old notched 13 catches for 163 yards and no touchdowns.

Hankerson underwent surgery in February, but was withheld from last month’s mini camp for precautionary reasons.

The surgery “impacted me a little bit because I missed all of the off-season program with my teammates,” Hankerson said. “I wanted to be out there working with them guys, but I couldn’t because of the injury. I was a little disappointed, but it didn’t stop me. I kept working, stayed focused doing the little things I had to get done. I’m ready.”

Hankerson said he has yet to be on the receiving end of a pass from rookie Robert Griffin III. But the wait, he added with a smile, will end soon enough.

“I’ve talked to him a couple of times,” Hankerson said. “He’s there now, so I’m going to get back over there and go workout with him. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”


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(csnwashington.com)
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Leonard Hankerson will excel with RG3, Redskins

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Leonard Hankerson set for sophomore jump

High expectations have been heaped on Robert Griffin III, but most of the talent surrounding him on offense is unproven. In some cases, total unknowns. That alone should temper some of the hype.

The jury is out on Pierre Garcon as a No. 1 wideout, but the Redskins are sold, paying him $42.5 million over five seasons. For Garcon to produce, defenses must believe the rest of this receiving group poses some sort of a threat.

Santana Moss has an early jump on the No. 2 spot -- and we've heard whispers he could compete with Garcon for No. 1 -- but Washington is going to lean on second-year man Leonard Hankerson to build on the late-season work he produced as a rookie.

Before he was lost with a hip injury, Hankerson gained the confidence of the Redskins coaching staff through his performance in practice and two intriguing starts. In the second of those, we saw Hankerson tear up the Miami Dolphins with eight catches for 106 yards.

Hankerson has been mentioned as an option at the slot. This used to hint at less production, but Wes Welker and Victor Cruz prove inside receivers can change a team's fortunes. The Redskins aren't shifting away from Mike Shanahan's moving-pocket attack, but the coach acknowledged he'll shape the offense to fit RG3's unusual gifts.

Griffin was highly accurate at Baylor and used the weapons around him. All Redskins wideouts should see a boost with the rookie QB at the controls, but Hankerson, especially, could see his career altered by RG3's arrival. Hankerson's not a household name here in June, but riding Griffin's coattails could thrust him into the lights.


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Leonard Hankerson Interview




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NBC analyst impressed with Leonard Hankerson

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Evan Silva, works for Pro Football Talk as a writer and for Rotoworld.com as a writer/analyst (both of those fine sites are corporate cousins of ours). Last night, he put on his analyst hat and bored in on Leonard Hankerson during the two starts he had in 2011 before a hip injury cut his season short.

Silva put out his impressions this morning in a series of tweets. Here is what @EvanSilva had to say about the then-rookie wide receiver:

Watched & charted every snap from #Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson's two 2011 starts. Good-looking, smooth wideout. Fearless across middle.

Hank caught 13 balls (incl. 2-pt conversion on fade). 9-of-13 over middle. Two big-time leaping grabs over mid late in Wk 10 Dolphins game.

Hankerson played Z vs SF (Wk 9). Moved to featured X spot in Wk 10. Worked Vontae Davis -- one of NFL's top young CBs. Finished with 8/106

More Hank: Big body, knows how to use. Long, lean, athletic. Really moves well. Explodes into routes. HUGE hands. Bigger than Hakeem Nicks'.

All of this looks good but it needs to come with the warning that the sample size is very small. Over the course of 16 games defenses have a chance to adjust and try to take away what a receiver does well. 

But if Hank can perform like this all year, Robert Griffin III will have a go-to receiver on third down and the Redskins offense will have the sort of weapon it has been missing for quite some time.


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(csnwashington.com)
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Where would Leonard Hankerson play?

LeonardHankerson
The reason I like actually going to see my teams in person is that I learn so much. Being around and talking to the players and coaches involved is the best way of transforming perception into information, and there's almost always at least one thing I believed or thought before the visit that turns out to have been wrong.

One example from my visit to Washington Redskins minicamp last week is the case of receiver Santana Moss. Before I went to Ashburn, I thought Moss was a guy whose spot on the team still wasn't 100 percent secure and who, if he did make the team, would have to play the slot receiver position in order to get reps. After a couple of days around the team and talking to coaches, I came away believing they have the slimmed-down Moss projected as the starting wide receiver opposite Pierre Garcon, and that while they might use him in the slot, he retains a chance to be the Redskins' No. 1 wide receiver in 2012.

Which leads me to the question of 2011 third-round pick Leonard Hankerson, who looked as though he was being groomed as the future No. 1 wide receiver in Washington before last year's hip injury and this spring's signings of Garcon and Josh Morgan. Hankerson is feeling good and believes he'll be a full-go come training camp, but with Moss and Garcon slated to start and the team having invested in Morgan, there remains the issue of where Hankerson could make his impact. He's been working some in the slot, which he says he enjoys.

"In the slot you have more mismatches, get matched up on linebackers and safeties and stuff like that," Hankerson said after last Wednesday's practice. "So I like playing in the slot, but I'll play anywhere they want me to play."

Mike Shanahan said Hankerson has "a big upside, knock on wood he can come back healthy." And that's where the Redskins are with Hankerson right now. They need to see him healthy, and if they do, they believe they'll find a place to play him. In the meantime, they feel that Moss' rejuvenation and the additions they made in free agency allow them to give Hankerson all the time he needs to get back to full health.


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Leonard Hankerson watches and learns

LeonardHankersonSkins
Despite the fact that about a dozen players watched what turned out to be the last practice of the Redskins’ minicamp on Wednesday with an assortment of injuries, none of them are expected to linger into training camp, which will start around July 26.

Mike Shanahan indicated that the player about whom there was the most concern, Leonard Hankerson, could have fully participated in minicamp.
“He’ll be able to go Day One of camp,” he said when asked about Hankerson. ‘[W]e could push him in this minicamp. He was doing drill work. The last couple of days you could see the routes that he ran were full-speed. I’m glad we didn’t try to push him or overwork him because I thought we could set him back. Hopefully, over the next five-six weeks, he’ll just be getting better and better.”

The second-year wide receiver had his rookie season cut short when he suffered a hip injury in Week 10. After trying to rehab the injury for a few months, the doctors decided that surgery was needed and the procedure was done in February.

Hankerson has been participating in some drills, running patterns and catching passes from Robert Griffin III and the other quarterbacks. But when things got more serious and they line up to run plays 11 on 11, Hankerson became a spectator. 

“It’s been every tough emotionally, I want to be out there but I can’t,” he said after Wednesday’s practice. “It was very tough for me to sit on the sideline knowing that the next practice is six weeks from now, very frustrating. 

“I want to be out there.”

Hankerson understands why he has been sidelined even though he is physically able to go and he is trying to make the best of it. He says it’s a matter of attitude.

 “It depends on you. You can get down, go in the tank, and learn nothing, he said. “Or you can watch the guys, you can go in the meeting room, listen and learn, break down the notes, stuff like that. 

“You can learn a whole lot sitting on the sideline and seeing what the other guys do.”


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(csnwashington.com)
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Leonard Hankerson Doing Individual Drills, Santana Moss Making Plays

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Leonard Hankerson (hip), running back Tim Hightower (knee) and guard Kory Lichtensteiger (knee) went through positional drills as they continue to work their way back into form from 2011 season-ending surgeries.

Santana Moss shook DeAngelo Hall when he lined up across the defensive back in the slot. Hall fell down and Moss made a midfield catch from Griffin, racing 40 yards untouched for a touchdown.


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(washingtonpost.com)
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PHOTO: RGIII helped rip Leonard Hankerson’s glove

“Out here grinding,” Redskins second-round receiver Leonard Hankerson posted along with this photo. “This is what #RG3 and #Kirk did to my glove.”

hanktimeglove0612


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Leonard Hankerson won’t be at full speed until training camp

LeonardHankersonSkins
Safety Josh Wilson will miss next week’s mini-camp and wide receiver Leonard Hankerson will not practice at full speed until training camp begins in late July, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said Thursday.

The Redskins held their final practice of the organized team activity phase of offseason workouts. Their mandatory full-squad minicamp is scheduled for next Monday through Thursday.

Hankerson spent the first two weeks of OTAs working on the side with the team’s trainers, but this week received clearance to return to the field. He went through positional drills, but was still held out of team drills.

Shanahan said that rather than turn Hankerson loose, the Redskins will continue to bring him along slowly. He probably won’t practice at full speed until July, when training camp begins. Shanahan said Hankerson’s hip is fine, but that the Miami product still is working his way “back into football shape.”


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Redskins being cautious with Hankerson

LeonardHankersonSkins
Leonard Hankerson has said that he is ready. Mike Shanahan has said that Hankerson is ready.

So where’s Hank?

He has been seen doing some work at OTA’s but it has consisted mostly of doing some conditioning and tossing a ball around off to the side. He has yet to step in with the full offense and catch some passes from Robert Griffin III. 

Hankerson has been limited during offseason activities as he is recovering from a hip injury that he suffered on Nov. 13 last year against the Dolphins. At first they tried to rehab the injury without surgery. However, in mid February it was determined that he was not making sufficient progress and the decision was made to conduct a procedure to repair the injury.

All reports have been positive since then. When asked about Hankerson’s after last Thursday’s OTA, Shanahan said, “The hip is healed. We’ve got to get him back into football shape but he’s working extremely hard.”

But he cautioned against Hankerson working too hard. “We don’t want to overdo it so we don’t set him back. But the hip is healed.”

That is the dilemma that the team faces with Hankerson. There are just six practices left in the offseason program, three OTA’s this week and next week’s three-day minicamp. He desperately needs the work, especially since the NFL lockout wiped out the offseason prior to his rookie year. 

But on the other hand, they really need him healthy when training camp starts on about July 26. Having Hankerson not fully participate in the remaining six practices would be a minus; if he practices, has a setback, and misses a good chunk of training camp, that would be a disaster.

The Redskins suffered a lot of injuries last year but the one to Hankerson may have been the worst. After getting off to a bumpy start with troubles hanging on to the ball in training camp, he was inactive for the first five games of the season. In the Miami game, he was having a breakout performance with eight receptions for 106 yards before getting injured. Hankerson missed six weeks of practice and six games worth of development. That is work that Hankerson, who has a lot of rough edges that need to be smoothed out, could have used.


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Leonard Hankerson (hip surgery) fully cleared

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Leonard Hankerson (hip surgery) confirmed that he's fully healthy and cleared to participate in all offseason activities.

Hankerson appeared in just four games as a rookie. We're expecting to get a better look at his progress off the hip surgery during the minicamp that starts June 11. ESPN's Dan Graziano projects the 2011 third-round pick as a starter opposite Pierre Garcon, but that's far from set in stone.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Leonard Hankerson Aware Of Redskins’ Expectations For Second Season

LeonardHankersonSkins
ASHBURN – Leonard Hankerson’s routine over the past six weeks hasn’t been too kind.

He’ll wake up early enough to be at the Washington Redskins’ facility by 7:30 a.m., first preparing for the next step in his rehabilitation from hip surgery before joining the rest of his teammates in meetings.

The receiver will stretch, run, lift weights – whatever is in his plan for that day. Then the hard part begins. As his teammates grab their helmets and run onto the field for drill work, Hankerson dons a ballcap and struts down the sidelines, often dropping to a knee to keep an eye on everything he can’t do.

“I mean, of course I miss being out there, you know?” Hankerson said Thursday, not long after walking off the fields at Redskins Park by himself. “That’s what I do. Of course I want to be out there with those guys, but obviously, I can’t. I’m just doing the things I can do right now in the rehab process.”

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Hankerson didn’t have the most fluid rookie season, one in which he played only four games, and his first offseason has been quite the struggle as well.

After the coaches expressed concerns about his route-running and his knowledge of the playbook, Hankerson, a third-round draft pick out of Miami (Fla.) last April, didn’t make his debut until Week 7 at Carolina.

It was one worth forgetting. He took the field for just one play in the third quarter, and miscommunication between Hankerson and quarterback John Beck immediately led to a broken route, an interception and a spot back on the sidelines.

But the coaches stuck with Hankerson, and in his return to hometown, the receiver delivered. He caught a team-high eight passes for 106 yards in the 20-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins – a game that ended early for him when, while laying out to catch a pass, he landed awkwardly on his right hip and tore the labrum.

The Redskins put him on injured reserve the following day, bringing a premature close to his season. The injury hurt the sociable, fast-talking Hankerson so much that he politely declined all interview requests and avoided most chatter with reporters for the rest of the season.

“I was let down then,” Hankerson said. “But I’m getting there. I’m feeling good. I’m moving around pretty good.”

Hankerson originally believed that a few weeks of rest and rehabilitation would take care of the labrum, allowing him back on the field by the start of the Redskins’ voluntary offseason workouts in mid-April. Progress was slow, however, and in late February, he elected to undergo surgery – a move that would keep him out approximately four months.

The receiver said in late March he was aiming for a mid-June return to football activities. He didn’t want to comment on a timetable last week, but head coach Mike Shanahan said the hope was that Hankerson could begin doing positional drills with his teammates this week.

“We’ve got to get him back to football shape, but he’s working extremely hard,” Shanahan said. “He’s done all we’ve asked him to do … we just don’t want to put him in there real quick. He’ll definitely be ready for the season. We just don’t want to overdo it because it will set him back.”

The Redskins are counting heavily upon Hankerson being ready for the start of this season. After acquiring Pierre Garçon and Joshua Morgan via free agency in March, Shanahan professed the future of the receiving corps in Washington lies with the two newcomers and Hankerson. Garçon is expected to be the featured receiver; Morgan and Hankerson will battle for time as the split end, though either of the two could see time in the slot.

Hankerson understands the level of expectation such a role brings, and he appreciates the coaches’ belief in him. He is trying to remain cautious, though, because he knows that if he can’t return to the team fully healthy, expectations and projections mean nothing.

“You can’t really worry too much about what people are saying,” Hankerson said. “You’ve got to go in there and put in the work, and if you put in the work, there’s no doubt about it – you’re gonna show up. For me, I just worry about getting better each and every day, and just keep putting in work, because if I put in the work, it’s gonna show.”


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(fredricksburg.com)
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