- The Washington Times - Friday, November 1, 2002

Washington Redskins running back Stephen Davis appears unlikely to play against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Davis sprained a knee in the Redskins' 26-21 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday and has not practiced the past two days. He wouldn't say yesterday whether he will test the knee today before the team travels to Seattle or whether there has been any improvement since the Colts game.

"I'm taking it day-to-day. Day-to-day. Day-to-day," Davis said.

Still, Davis has played in games in the past despite holding himself out of practice. He played against the New Orleans Saints on Oct.13 even though he did not work out beforehand.

However, coach Steve Spurrier yesterday was preparing Kenny Watson to start in Davis' place. Watson replaced Davis in the second half against the Colts and gained 67 yards on 15 carries.

"Stephen hasn't done anything all week, so he looks doubtful," Spurrier said.

Guard Brenden Stai appears likely to miss a second straight game because of tendinitis in a knee. Right guard Wilbert Brown continued to work with the starting offense, though newcomer Tre Johnson should gain more time.

Punting blues

Punter Bryan Barker's 29.2-yard net average is last in the NFL by 3.7 yards. However, he's not concerned about job security despite the recent release of Denver's Tom Rouen, the NFL's next worst punter.

"Every year we talk about statistics but the bottom line is getting the job done," Barker said. "There have been several occasions where I have not gotten the job done, and many occasions where I have. What I do as a punter a lot of times is circumstantial."

Both special teams coach Mike Stock and Spurrier are concerned with Barker's 5.7-yard net dropoff from last year.

"Bryan has been in a rut the last three games," Stock said. "We've got to get him out of it. We need to tackle better, too, but we need to get Bryan back into his rhythm, routine and confidence. It's like a great golfer. You get in ruts. But this is probably the least effective that I've seen him. He's not punting it real well, and we're not covering it real well."

Lucky 7

Linebacker LaVar Arrington has long said his goal of becoming the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year would depend on getting a lot of sacks. He's suddenly fourth in the NFL with seven after gaining five over the last three games.

"I'm like Kevin McHale scoring about 40 points a night where'd they come from?" Arrington said of the retired Boston Celtics forward. "I've been sneaking in some sacks there. If I get [the award], I'd love to have it, but I'm just playing. I think it's come to a point where guys know I'm out there."

Extra points

Locker room side wagers are nearly down on tomorrow's Florida-Georgia game. Cornerback Champ Bailey is trying to bet former Florida players into wearing his Bulldogs jersey should Georgia win, though former Gators quarterback Shane Matthews would prefer cold cash. "We won't do a jersey deal," Matthews said. "I'm not wearing his jersey."

Tight end Zeron Flemister will play against Seattle after being inactive against Indianapolis. Tight end Leonard Stephens will be idle. The Redskins will practice tomorrow at Seahawks Stadium to test the "FieldTurf" made from 35,000 recycled tennis shoes and 30,000 tires. The field is considered a softer alternative to AstroTurf.

Safety Sam Shade received the "Golden Glove" trophy for his goal line hit of Indianapolis running back Jim Finn. It was the first time the two-year honor was bestowed for a non-special teams play. "We didn't have a big hit on special teams," Shade said. "We expanded it out a little bit."

Staff writer Jody Foldesy contributed to this report.

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