- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Washington Redskins running back Stephen Davis said he has "no doubt" that he will playing against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday after an MRI yesterday revealed no significant damage to his sprained right knee.

Davis said his knee was stiff, but not swollen, and he was walking normally at Redskin Park. Davis might be limited during practices.

"There's going to be some soreness, but I just have to get through it," he said.

Meanwhile, quarterback Danny Wuerffel could be unavailable for two weeks with a sprained shoulder. Wuerffel had an MRI and his right arm was in a sling. He received a jarring hit Sunday on the first series against the Titans that forced him from the game. Shane Matthews will back up Patrick Ramsey against New Orleans.

"It's pretty sore. Apparently, nothing is broke so that's real good news," Wuerffel said. "I'm still the most thankful guy here. It's just sad the way it happened for me, but we got a big win and I'm so excited for Patrick."

Left guard David Loverne (bruised thigh) is questionable, and is expected to be limited during practices. Wilbert Brown will start if Loverne can't play. Linebacker LaVar Arrington will use a cast to protect his bruised right wrist. X-rays were negative.

Ramsey's sparkling debut overshadowed Davis' 90 yards on 18 carries with one rushing and one receiving touchdown. Kenny Watson will remain the No.2 running back after a solid showing in the victory over Tennessee. Davis remains the Redskins rushing (306 yards) and receiving (18 catches) leader.

Davis was tripped by Loverne late in the first quarter after gaining 31 yards on five carries with Washington leading 3-0. Team officials initially feared Davis might miss several weeks. Instead, he returned during the third quarter's opening drive. While Davis' knee was still sore, he capped four carries in the first possession with a 1-yard touchdown run for a 17-14 lead. Davis later scored on a 14-yard reception while his 20-yard third-quarter run led to another touchdown.

"Seeing how my teammates were playing, I wanted to be a part of that," Davis said. "Once I got hit a couple times I knew it would be all right."

Mind games

Speed skating and a business bestseller were among the motivational tools used by defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis on Saturday.

Players watched the 1,000-meter speed skating final won by Australia's Steven Bradbury after three leaders crashed on the last turn. Maybe it wasn't "Rocky," but players enjoyed the surprise flick.

"It just let us know never to give up," cornerback Fred Smoot said. "Things might look ugly, but we've got to keep going."

Said defensive tackle Daryl Gardener: "I thought we'd lost it. If we need this to motivate us we're in trouble."

Players also read "Who Moved My Cheese" that stresses flexibility to overcome challenges.

"It gets your mind right, that when things change you have to adapt to them," Smoot said. "He tries to get things across to you in more than one way. He keeps it intellectual. We're still in school."

Extra points

Ten game balls were awarded to the offensive line, receiver Kevin Lockett, cornerback Champ Bailey, Gardener, Ramsey and Davis. However, Gardener felt linebacker Jessie Armstead was overlooked after nine tackles, one sack and one recovered fumble.

"I felt my game was not at its best, but I'll still accept it," Gardener said. "I felt Jessie Armstead should have received a game ball."

Spurrier expects to increase receiver Derrius Thompson's role after solid downfield blocking and special teams play against Tennessee. Thompson didn't catch a pass against the Titans after losing his starting job, but was an effective role player.

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