Notes from Washington's first minicamp: Antonio Gibson looks like himself again

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Notes from WFT's first minicamp: Antonio Gibson looks healthy originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Tuesday represented the first day of mandatory minicamp for the Washington Football Team, but thanks to how much participation they had in OTAs, things didn't seem that different.

Well, with one major exception.

After not showing up for the club's voluntary sessions over the past few weeks, Chase Young made his return to action, with coach Ron Rivera complimenting Young's energy after the practice in a press conference. And though Young didn't necessarily pop that much — it can be hard for a pass rusher to do so in a non-padded, no-tackling setting — plenty of other things did.

Here's what you need to know from the day's activities:

  • Antonio Gibson rattled some outsiders — especially those in the fantasy football community — by telling reporters last week that the toe injury that held him back at the end of the 2020 season is "definitely something to monitor" and that he'll need to stay up on his treatment so "nothing goes south." Now, in fairness, he also said that he was fine multiple times in the same answer, but those portions didn't attract the same attention as the quote's other pieces. After watching him on Tuesday, however, anyone who's overly concerned about his health can relax for now. A running back's exploits in terms of yardage gained absolutely shouldn't be given much weight in June, but how bouncy and quick they look matters — and Gibson had his bounce and quickness back. 

  • If those stressed about Gibson's foot want to turn their sights to someone else to angst over, Curtis Samuel can be that guy. Samuel missed the last get-together at OTAs because of a groin issue, but he was at least seen exercising on the side field where dinged-up players hang out. On Tuesday, though, Samuel wasn't around at all. Rivera didn't seem all that concerned when chatting with the media, which is probably the correct stance to take; the opener is still three months away, after all. Even so, it's not ideal to be building an offensive foundation without No. 10 in the mix. 

  • Like Samuel, Jon Bostic and Jimmy Moreland weren't at the facility Tuesday, but those two had excused absences, per Rivera.

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick's been picked off a few times in his brief summer career with the Burgundy and Gold, but his latest interception was especially bad. In the opening 9-on-9 segment, Fitzpatrick dropped back, scooted left in the pocket and then threw one over the middle without having his feet set at all. Not surprisingly, the ball sailed on him and William Jackson III was more than happy to snag it for the defense. It was... not pretty. For the offense anyway. It is worth adding that Fitzpatrick came back in a later 11-on-11 period and went 5-for-5, with completions to Steven Sims, Terry McLaurin, Gibson, Temarrick Hemingway and DeAndre Carter. 

  • WJ3 wasn't done after that turnover. Close to the conclusion of practice, he was matched up with Antonio Gandy-Golden down near the goal line in a one-on-one scenario. That's a matchup that's more than favorable for the corner, but Fitzpatrick tried to hit AGG anyway. The second-year wideout couldn't find an inch of daylight, and the pass fell harmlessly to the ground.

  • Taylor Heinicke is awfully creative when things break down, and he reminded those in attendance of that on Wednesday when he leapt up to snare a high snap, bobbled it yet still got rid of it to keep a screen on schedule. It was a sequence that easily could've ended in a huge loss without his athleticism and improvisation. That matters as a QB.

  • Lastly, Steven Sims was the victim of the zing of the day. Sims hauled in a bubble screen and had blockers in front of him close to the goal line, but as he tried to cut inside instead of continue toward the sideline, he ran right into the back of a fellow receiver. A few moments later, assistant coach Drew Terrell told Sims, "You can't be allergic to touchdowns, man!" Which, that's probably not a thing, but it is allergy season, right?