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“We were just trying to get back to where we had been,” Byner said. “We knew we had to go to San Francisco the next week. The Niners always had our number. But we had no idea that Joe was going to retire [less than two months later].”

Gibbs said he didn’t either. Three months of contemplation ended with his announcement that he was walking away largely because of exhaustion.

Yoder sidelined

Backup tight end Todd Yoder was inactive for the first time in his two years with the Redskins because of a balky right knee. Washington’s other inactives were offensive linemen Mike Pucillo (back), safety Pierson Prioleau (hamstring), quarterback Jason Campbell (knee), receiver Keenan McCardell (calf) and defensive linemen Ryan Boschetti and Alex Buzbee. Rookie Sam Hollenbach was the third quarterback.