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Icy injury


This week's installment of Bengals wide receiver Kelley Washington's diary of life as a NFL rookie finds him coping with realities of change and injury.**

About 8 in the morning on Monday, my roommate, Lawrence Hamilton, woke me up, and told me he needed a ride to the airport. The Jets had just picked him up off our practice squad and he was leaving right away for New York.

I drove him over from our apartment in Crestview Hills, Ky., and it was tough to say good-bye. We've been together ever since he showed up from Arizona (off waivers) in training camp, and we've been sharing the apartment since the second week of the season.

He's not as talkative as me, but we both kind of like to hang out and do the same type of things, and we were used to each other, because we're both pretty laid back.

It just shows you never know. I was happy for him because he was excited, and he should be. The

Jets had to put him on the 53-man roster and now he's got a chance to play. What it shows me is that there are 32 teams in this league and if you can play, someone is going to find you. It's already Lawrence's third team, and he's showing people what he can do.

Talk about how things can change so quickly. I was sitting at home Wednesday night by myself with an injury. It's really the first one I've had and I was mad because my big goal this year has always been that I don't want to miss a practice.

We were on the (Astroturf) because it was raining and it was on one of the first plays, if not the first play. I turned my ankle at the same time (linebacker) Brian Simmons stepped on it. I went down, but I was hoping I could go back later in the practice.

But when the trainers took me in, I didn't come back out and I was discouraged. The big thing about being a young player is getting the reps in practice. The coaches talk about that all the time and now I'm at the point where they're trying to get the ball to me on some plays. So I didn't want to have any kind of a setback. Plus, Chad and the other receivers were getting on me because they didn't want me out.

I just made sure I was going to get the swelling down. I took home one of those home kits from the training room and I kept putting ice on it every 20 minutes and taking it off every 20 minutes. I stayed up until 2 in the morning because I wanted to make sure I could get back to Thursday's practice.

I didn't do much of anything. I didn't watch anything or talk to anyone because Lawrence was gone. So I just listened to some R and B, and kept icing.

It paid off because I was able to do what I needed Thursday. The swelling went down pretty well. Stuff like that is going to happen, you just have to make sure it doesn't get any worse.

I talked to Lawrence a little later in the week, and he sounded good. I don't think I'll get another roommate. Everyone on the team is set, and there's hopefully only about six weeks left. I might as well keep it the way it is.

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