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Springs returns, but Rogers sits
Question of the Day
Cornerback Shawn Springs and safety Ryan Clark were back, but cornerback Carlos Rogers was not in pads. It was just another day in the injury-riddled season of the Washington secondary.
Springs hadn't been on the field since aggravating a leg injury in the first quarter at Denver on Oct. 9.
"I'm back and I'm ready to go," said Springs, who only smiled when asked if his presence could have prevented the past two tight losses to the Broncos and Chiefs.
Clark also was injured against the Broncos, although neither he nor the Redskins' medical staff realized he had bruised his spleen until five days later. That ailment prevented Clark from playing Sunday in Kansas City.
"It's a blessing that it only kept me out one game," said Clark, who's listed as questionable for Sunday's game against San Francisco. "I'm feeling good."
Rogers, who started for injured cornerback Walt Harris on Oct. 2 against Seattle and again in Denver, aggravated an ankle injury in Kansas City. Rogers missed practice last week because of the ankle, but said the swelling is less severe this time around.
The team's top draft choice is probable for Sunday as is Springs. That would give the Redskins their top three corners for the first time since Week2 in Dallas. If Clark plays, Washington would be at full strength at safety for just the second time this season.
As the secondary returned to nearly full strength, the defensive line was minus tackles Joe Salave'a and Cedric Killings. Salave'a suffered plantar fascia, a painful arch injury, against the Chiefs while Killings, his backup, was knocked out of the game with a high ankle sprain. Salave'a, who is listed as probable, said he plans on facing the 49ers since his job doesn't entail much running. Coach Joe Gibbs said Killings, who played in 14 games as an undrafted rookie with the 49ers in 2000, is less likely to play.
If neither can go, 2004 rookie free agent Ryan Boschetti would start next to mainstay Cornelius Griffin with undrafted rookie Aki Jones activated to be the reserve.
Center Casey Rabach, who sprained an ankle in Kansas City, didn't practice but said, "I'll be there on Sunday." Running back Clinton Portis didn't practice because of the injured shin that kept him out last Wednesday and Thursday but not in Kansas City. Backup Ladell Betts, who missed the Chiefs game with an injured groin, returned yesterday. Portis and Betts are both probable for the 49ers.
Kicker John Hall is progressing well enough that he's probable for Sunday. Gibbs said he'll probably wait until the end of the week before deciding whether to keep rookie Nick Novak, the kicker during Hall's four-game absence, or return Hall to active duty.
Trial likely postponed
Safety Sean Taylor's trial is expected to be continued until February during a hearing in Miami today.
Taylor's attorney, Edward Carhart, will ask Judge Mary Barzee to continue the trial that previously was pushed back from Sept. 12 until Monday. Since the state attorney's office announced that it's not opposed to the continuance, Carhart said he's optimistic Judge Barzee will concur.
Taylor faces a felony assault charge and a simple battery misdemeanor stemming from a June 1 incident in Miami.
Like nowhere else
San Francisco coach Mike Nolan, then Washington's defensive coordinator, was let go by Oakland coach Norv Turner when both worked for the Redskins, but that hasn't ruined their relationship. Nolan said they talk occasionally and their wives are good friends.
Nolan had a great response when asked about being ousted in Washington at the behest of first-year owner Dan Snyder even though the Redskins won the NFC East and a first-round playoff game in 1999.
"Some of those experiences there I could never get any place else," Nolan said, before adding, "Don't take that wrong."
By Orrin G. Hatch
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