- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Four kickers will audition for the Washington Redskins today in case John Hall is unable to play Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, a move that could signal the team is ready to cut ties with the oft-injured veteran.

Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said “there’s a good chance” Hall won’t be available because of strained quadriceps and groin muscles.

Among the group trying out is former Maryland kicker Nick Novak and NFL veteran Todd Peterson. Novak, who was 5-for-7 on field goals for the Redskins in Hall’s absence last year, was released by the Arizona Cardinals in training camp.

“Luckily for him, he’s been working out every day in Maryland, so he’ll be there [today],” said Novak’s agent, Richard De Luca. “We’re optimistic, and I know he’s pretty excited and thrilled.”

Peterson, 36, was 23-for-25 on field goals for Atlanta last year but was released when the Falcons decided to use Michael Koenen as a place kicker/punter. The Falcons later signed kicker Morten Andersen.

Hall, who was 1-for-2 on field goals against the New York Giants on Sunday, didn’t handle the Redskins’ two kickoffs.

“This is something we have to address,” coach Joe Gibbs said yesterday at Redskin Park. “We’ll have to list this as a real concern for us.”

Hall missed 14 games during the 2004-05 seasons. He is 9-for-11 on field goals this season, but the Redskins might be tired of dealing with a weekly scenario in which they don’t know how much Hall can handle.

“It started with fatigue in the leg during the week, and we were going to have him kick off,” Gibbs said. “On Saturday, we decided that it was best to go with [punter Derrick Frost] if John wasn’t feeling his best. During the game, it gradually progressed and went from his thigh area to his groin.”

More injury news

Four defensive starters sustained injuries against the Giants: Joe Salave’a (left calf), Cornelius Griffin (hip), Marcus Washington (hip) and Phillip Daniels (burner). Salave’a’s injury appears to be the most serious of the quartet. Cornerback Shawn Springs (groin) will take individual work in practice tomorrow.

Daniels said his stinger was different than any he had sustained in his career.

“It was kind of scary, not knowing what exactly was hurt because I was so numb,” he said.

On the play Daniels was hurt, Giants running back Tiki Barber fumbled.

“I think it happened before the fumble, on the initial contact of the play,” Daniels said. “I turned around and felt it then. But I saw the fumble and tried to get in there, but I could barely move it, and then I hit it again when I dived.”

Daniels remained down for several moments but returned to the game in the second half.

“I didn’t feel anything on my whole right side, all the way from my neck on down,” he said. “I couldn’t move. It was like being paralyzed.”

Patten bides time

David Patten was a healthy scratch Sunday for the first time in three years. The Redskins dressed four receivers, and James Thrash got the nod as fourth because he plays special teams. Patten, who started last season as the No. 2 receiver, has only one catch this season.

“When they call my number, I’ll go out there and try to make something happen,” he said. “… At this point, I’m getting limited chances. I’m trying to operate the best way I can.”

Obviously, Patten is not a part of the mix with the Redskins. The trade deadline is Oct. 17. Would Patten be interested in a deal that would land him on another team as a No. 3 receiver?

“I have nothing to do with that because I don’t make those decisions — I didn’t even know when the trade deadline was,” he said. “We haven’t talked about anything like that.”

What dirty tactics?

The Redskins denied they were playing dirty against the Giants, an accusation leveled against them by running back Brandon Jacobs.

“I don’t know how they can accuse that,” Daniels said. “What did we do dirty besides hit them? If you think hitting people is dirty, you don’t need to be playing this game.”

Jacobs said the Redskins are taught by their coaches to hit low.

“That’s crazy,” Daniels said. “They teach tackling and hitting people.”

Upshaw visits

Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association, visited Redskin Park yesterday to meet with players to discuss details of the new collective bargaining agreement. The new deal kicks in next year.

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