Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Washington Redskins quarterback Tony Banks expects to practice today and play Sunday at Philadelphia despite suffering a concussion at Denver three days ago.
“I’m fine as long as those medical people tell me I’m OK,” Banks said yesterday. “They get paid to do a job, and I get paid to do a job. If they tell me I can do my job, I will.”
Banks underwent the last in a series of precautionary tests in the morning. There have been no signs of lingering effects from the concussion, and Banks said his headache went away Monday night.
“I’ve still got a little stiffness in my neck, but I’ve had that before after a game,” Banks said.
Banks was injured by Broncos defensive tackle Leon Lett late in the second quarter of Washington’s 17-10 victory. There initially was some concern of a more serious injury because Banks was not responsive while lying on the grass.
“It was a little scary because I’m used to getting up,” said Banks, who had a “mild” concussion in 1996. “That was probably the first time I’ve had to stay down. And getting carted off the field, that was my first time doing that, too. It was scary, but I started to get my wits about me after awhile.”
Backup Kent Graham hit 12 of 18 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns in relief of Banks, but coach Marty Schottenheimer said Banks will remain the starter if he is healthy.
One reason Banks might want to return is the excitement he is sensing in the community. He laughed as he recalled the encouragement of people at Arlington Hospital, where he went for the tests.
“People are excited around this city, and we’re just 4-5,” Banks said. “People are talking about the Super Bowl, man. I’m in the hospital, and everybody’s [saying], ‘Get back healthy so we can go to the Super Bowl.’ … We were 5-1 in my first six games in Baltimore last year, and people weren’t as excited as this.”

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