It is unlikely the Washington Redskins will be a markedly better team when they face the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 5. But at least they will be in somewhat better health.
The Redskins will practice twice before getting four days off this week.
"It's a great thing, and it's coming at a good time," running back Clinton Portis said. "We have a lot of guys banged up, and they'll get the opportunity to rest."
Three defensive starters missed the Redskins' 36-22 loss to Indianapolis on Sunday: cornerback Carlos Rogers (broken thumb), middle linebacker Lemar Marshall (high ankle sprain) and defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (hip).
Injured in the Colts game were Portis (mild high left ankle sprain), receiver Santana Moss (left hamstring strain), receiver Antwaan Randle El (sore heel) and quarterback Mark Brunell (strained muscle in rib cage).
"It's a win, win," Randle El said of the bye week. "We'll get time to rest players and get the players who have been nicked up back healthy. And it gives some extra time to prepare for a Dallas team that gave us fits the first time around."
The Redskins have lost 13 man games to injury among their defensive starters. (The offense has lost only one game.)
"We've got to get healthy again," assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said. "We're juggling as many people as possible and will continue to do that."
Punter Derrick Frost admitted he "just lost it" after his free kick was disallowed and he was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for taking off his helmet.
Kicking from the 10-yard line, Frost wasn't allowed to "punt" the ball, which must be on a tee.
"I've always had a temper, but the only time it comes out is when I'm competing," Frost said. "I just lost it. I don't even know what I said. I was geared up, and I hit it well, and then they blew the whistle."
Gibbs defends Moss
Santana Moss was penalized 15 yards in the second quarter because of a head-butt retaliation against Colts defensive back Jason David, who moments earlier hit Moss from behind.
"He got hit directly from behind, and he was lucky he wasn't hurt," coach Joe Gibbs said. "That guy cheap-shot him, and Santana knows he can't do it, but he turned around and ran into the other guy. And then another [Colts] player got in his face, which you supposedly can't do."
Randle El reacts
Antwaan Randle El, penalized for excessive celebration following his 87-yard punt return touchdown Sunday, said he misunderstood the new rule.
"The falling to the ground thing was what got me," he said. "I thought the rule was that you were good as long as you didn't celebrate with another player."
Randle El also put to rest any kind of riff with receiver Brandon Lloyd. Television cameras showed the two players jawing on the sideline in the second half.
"We were just keeping each other cool because it was frustrating that we had the lead and weren't able to keep scoring," Randle El said. "That's how we go about it. It's better to let it out on each other than have a misunderstanding and take it out on somebody after the whistle. It wasn't doubt or turning our backs on things, just frustration knowing we should be doing better."
The touchdown was Randle El's fifth on a punt return, tied for first among active players with Dante Hall and Joey Galloway.
Vincent plays big role
Signed only six days earlier, new Redskins safety Troy Vincent played more than expected and had four tackles. He saw time on special teams and appeared to play just as much in the secondary -- if not more -- than starter Adam Archuleta.
"I didn't have any idea how long I'd play or when I would play," Vincent said. "I just stood next to the coaches, and when they told me to go, I went. I would say I played average. I didn't make any spectacular plays, and there were a couple run tackles I'd like to get back.
"In the passing game, I thought I did exactly what I was supposed to do. I took responsibility getting people lined up and covering what I had to cover."
The Redskins swapped reserve offensive linemen yesterday, signing Taylor Whitley and releasing Tyson Walter. Whitley started 11 games for the Miami Dolphins in 2004 and appeared in two games for the Denver Broncos last year.
cStaff writer David Elfin contributed to this article.