Hanker­son: No han­ker­ing for pay­back vs. Red­skins

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY SCOTT ALLEN scott.allen@wash­post.com  Ex­cerpted from wash­ing­ton­post.com/ dc­sports­bog

The Red­skins’ sec­ondary will face per­haps its tough­est task of the young sea­son Sun­day when Washington vis­its At­lanta (4-0), home of the NFL’s sec­ond-lead­ing re­ceiver, Julio Jones, and a fa­mil­iar face who is off to the best start of his ca­reer.

Leonard Hanker­son signed a one-year, $1 mil­lion con­tract with the Fal­cons in the off­sea­son, re­unit­ing the Red­skins’ 2011 thir­dround pick with of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Kyle Shana­han. Hanker­son, who ap­peared in only one game last year, had 81 catches and six touch­downs over four in­jury-rid­dled sea­sons in Washington. He has 17 catches and two touch­downs this sea­son.

Might he be ex­tra mo­ti­vated to add to those to­tals against his for­mer team?

“Just another game, man,” Hanker­son told 106.7 The Fan’s Chris Rus­sell on Wed­nes­day. “I moved on. It’s some­thing you have to do. You can’t dwell on the past. I played for the Red­skins for four years, but hey, that’s the past.”

Hanker­son, who has dis­placed Roddy White as Matt Ryan’s sec­ond op­tion in the pass­ing game through four games, said stay­ing healthy has been the biggestkey to his mod­est suc­cess in At­lanta.

“In my past, I had the knee surgery, I had the hip surgery, and it kind of de­railed me a lit­tle,” Hanker­son said. “But if you stay healthy in this game, it can take you a long ways be­cause you can do a whole lots of things.”

Rus­sell asked Hanker­son whether he feels like he was given a fair shot with the Red­skins.

“I re­ally don’t know,” Hanker­son said. “Maybe it wasn’t the right tim­ing. Maybe it was me. What can you do, you know? I’m just look­ing for­ward to be­ing here with the Fal­cons, do­ing my job, do­ing the best that I can do. We’re off to a hot start right now, and we’re try­ing to keep that go­ing.”

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