- The Washington Times - Friday, November 4, 2005

With the backups working on special teams, left end Renaldo Wynn was defensive line coach Greg Blache’s only pupil as the Washington Redskins began practice yesterday. Wynn’s fellow starters, Cornelius Griffin, Joe Salave’a and Phillip Daniels, were all inside getting treatment for their various injuries.

The lack of proven tackles prompted assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams to joke that three-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker LaVar Arrington finally would return to the starting lineup for Sunday’s critical NFC East showdown against Philadelphia … at tackle.

Despite the likely absence of Griffin with a hip flexor and the tenuous health of the right foot of Salave’a, Arrington won’t start inside, but he could well replace Warrick Holdman on the weak side as he did in the second half of last week’s stunning 36-0 loss to the New York Giants. Williams expects Salave’a and Daniels, who sprained his left ankle in last week’s 36-0 loss to the New York Giants, to practice today and play against the defending NFC champion Eagles.

When Griffin and Salavea went down at New York with backup tackles Cedric Killings (ankle) and Aki Jones (hamstring) inactive, reserve end Demetric Evans, who hadn’t played more than 18 snaps in any previous game this season, played more than that at the unfamiliar inside spot alone and responded with eight tackles and a sack.

“That’s why the offseason practices are so important,” Williams said. “Demetric took a lot of snaps [at tackle then]. Those are snaps that will come back to help us when we’re throwing him into the heat of battle. I was really pleased with how Demetric did.”

Evans, who jump-started his career in NFL Europe in the winter of 2004, knows that versatility makes him more valuable.

“It makes me study more and watch more film, but hopefully I’m showing the coaches I can play more than one position,” said Evans, who hadn’t practiced inside this fall before last week. “You never know when your opportunity is going to come, so you have to be ready.”

Safety Sean Taylor (ankle), reserve linebacker Khary Campbell (shoulder) and backup safety Omar Stoutmire (hamstring) didn’t practice, but Williams expects them to work today and face the Eagles.

Offensive tackle Chris Samuels didn’t practice again because of his sprained right knee but performed agility drills on the side and said he expects to play Sunday. So does tight end Robert Royal, who strained both calves while dropping the opening pass against the Giants. Royal also didn’t practice for a second straight day, but receiver Santana Moss was back after becoming ill on Wednesday.

Dr. Don’t Know

Running back Clinton Portis said his flamboyant persona of last week, “Southeast Jerome,” is dead.

But that “news” and Portis’ career-worst nine yards on four carries against the Giants didn’t prevent him from donning another costume for his weekly press conference.

Yesterday Portis called himself “Dr. Don’t Know” while wearing a watermelon-colored wig, glittery pink and silver curlicue sunglasses and a black plastic mustache.

“For whatever reason, the Giants had our number,” Portis said. “We couldn’t get anything going. [Even] when we were stinking up the place last year, we didn’t play like that. I can assure you that Sunday night the effort will be 100 times higher. You’ll get Redskin football.”

The Eagles are just 21st in run defense, but on Oct. 23 they ended LaDainian Tomlinson’s record touchdown streak at 18 games while holding the San Diego star to seven yards on 17 carries. Portis managed 117 yards on 40 carries in two games last season against the Eagles.

Mitchell hosts benefit

Brian Mitchell, a record-setting return specialist for the Redskins (1990-99), Eagles (2000-02) and New York Giants (2003), is the host of the “Evening With The Stars” tonight at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce building in the District. The event, co-sponsored by the NFL Players Association and the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, benefits Native Vision, a nonprofit youth initiative in which professional athletes mentor American Indian youth in Johns Hopkins’ health and education programs.

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