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Cartwright Waits for the Rock

Although running back Rock Cartwright still wears many hats on special teams, he was expected to have no role in the Redskins' offense this season.

Cartwright, a co-captain of special teams, essentially became the No. 4 back when Marcus Mason surprisingly made the opening 53-man roster, and he was pushed further down the depth chart last week when the team re-signed Anthony Alridge. Despite being disappointed, Cartwright accepted the situation and said he would continue to work hard in practice in an effort to be ready on offense if needed.

And when the coaching staff unexpectedly called on him Sunday, Cartwright delivered late in the fourth quarter of an embarrassing 19-14 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. With top back Clinton Portis slowed because of sore ankles and a calf injury and primary backup Ladell Betts in need of a breather, Cartwright replaced Betts during the Redskins' next-to-last drive of the game and caught a four-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jason Campbell with 2 minutes, 43 seconds left. Place kicker Shaun Suisham's successful point-after attempt closed the scoring and the Lions' losing streak ended at 19.

"Clinton had hurt his calf, and we were in hurry-up," Cartwright said. "I usually back up Ladell on hurry-up, and Ladell was tired and he got banged up a little bit, so I was able to go in and things just happened."

Cartwright caught the three passes he was thrown on the drive and finished with 12 yards receiving. He had no rushes in the game.

"I consider myself a person who can make plays if I get an opportunity, but I'm all for the team," Cartwright said. "Whatever the team wants to do. If they want to put somebody else in there who can help us be successful, I'm all for that. It's all about doing whatever we can to try and win.

"I got out there and made some plays, and hopefully they see that. "But we've got to start winning some football games. It's not about what we do individually, it's about what we do as a team out there.

"We didn't win the game, and that's really all that matters. We've had opportunities to win and we've got to start doing it."

Mason and the speedy Alridge are expected to stay ahead of Cartwright in the offense, but Cartwright plans to stay sharp.

"I have to," he said. "I've got to be there for the team."

A Tweet from Fletcher

RT @LFletcher59: Thanks to all Skins fans for continuing to support us, we will turn this around, u all deserve a winner.

LaVar's Take

When Dan Steinberg isn't chronicling the Burgundy Revolution (he's the Sports World's John Reed),he's helping LaVar Arrington write a column from his tweets. And then there's the fan who's selling his loyalty on eBay.

By Jason Reid  |  September 29, 2009; 9:40 AM ET
 
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