- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 19, 2003

The Washington Redskins yesterday passed on trading for a pair of defensive tackles, deciding that the price in each instance was too high.

Ted Washington ended up being swapped from Chicago to New England for a fourth-round pick, while Lional Dalton apparently was on his way from Denver to another club, NFL sources said.

The Redskins had the opportunity to make each deal but passed. In Washington’s case, they didn’t have a fourth-round selection and didn’t want to part with a third-rounder. In Dalton’s, they were never sold on him and refused to surrender a pick that wasn’t conditional.

Washington is a well-known wide-body who probably could have helped the Redskins stop the run. However, he is 35, somewhat of an injury risk and in the last year of his contract. At best he would have been a short-term fix, whereas a third-round pick would be expected to contribute for a number of years.

The Redskins in the spring traded their 2004 fourth-round pick — to New England — in a deal to get a 2003 fifth-rounder to use as compensation for return man Chad Morton.

Dalton was viewed as a potential contributor at the “three-technique” defensive tackle, the position that plays over the outside edge of the guard. However, the Redskins didn’t see him as much of a step up from Bernard Holsey or James Cannida and elected not to part with a pick, believed to be an unconditional fifth-rounder. It appeared as though Jacksonville was the team that was prepared to pick up Dalton.

The Redskins will continue to monitor the market for available defensive tackles. Things probably will pick up late this weekend, after more preseason games are played. The league’s first round of cuts — to 65 players plus NFL Europe exemptions — are Tuesday.

For now, the starting defensive tackles are Jermaine Haley at nose tackle and Holsey at the three-technique. There is a fair bit of confidence within the club that Cannida can challenge Holsey for the three-technique, and that is the spot Washington is more interested in addressing in a trade or free agency.

Also, the club likes the potential of young Bernard Jackson at the three-technique, but he is out for about a month with a high ankle sprain.

Saturday’s devastating knee injury to nose tackle Brandon Noble led to more shuffling on the line, with Haley pushed back to his more natural spot on the nose and Holsey elevated to the starting lineup.

Ramsey status uncertain

Patrick Ramsey missed his second straight practice with a bruised right hand yesterday, leaving the quarterback’s status uncertain for Saturday’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens.

“I want to [play]. I hope that I’m able to,” Ramsey said. “I’m in here three to four hours trying to get it healed. If not, then it’s something we’ve got to deal with. But I’m hoping to play.”

Ramsey injured himself during last week’s game against New England, slamming the knuckle at the base of his right index finger into an opposing player’s helmet. He continued to play through the rest of the first half, completing 13 of 24 passes for 149 yards.

His hand wrapped in a bandage, Ramsey sat out practice Monday and again yesterday, leaving all the snaps to backups Rob Johnson, Danny Wuerffel and Gibran Hamdan.

Ramsey feels no pain, and there is no fear of any fractures, X-rays came back negative. But the nature of the injury prevents him from gripping and releasing the ball, and though he said he felt better yesterday and wanted to try to throw some passes, Ramsey was instructed not to by head trainer Dean Kleinschmidt.

“I asked if I can make it worse by throwing today, and he said yes,” Ramsey said. “I’m just trying to do whatever the trainers ask me to do and see how it feels from there. The swelling is much improved from yesterday. So that’s something to be excited about.”

The only thing Ramsey tossed around yesterday was a blue racquetball, to help him maintain his throwing motion. Otherwise, he spent most of his day receiving various forms of treatment: heat, ice, massage, ultrasound.

“Anything you can think of,” Ramsey said.

If Ramsey plays Saturday against Baltimore, coach Steve Spurrier plans to give him 12 to 15 pass attempts. Otherwise, Spurrier will start Johnson, with Wuerffel and Hamdan coming off the bench and seeing more playing time.

“Nothing’s fractured, nothing’s broken, so he should be ready by Saturday,” Spurrier said. “If not, we’ll play Rob and Danny and [Hamdan] and let them have a go at it.”

Ultimately, the decision whether Ramsey plays will be made by Washington’s training staff.

“To be honest with you, I don’t have a lot of experience with injuries. I haven’t had many,” Ramsey said. “I’m just kind of trusting what the trainers tell me at this point.”

Betts ready to go

Running back Ladell Betts has been cleared to play Saturday after missing the Redskins’ first two preseason games with a sprained left elbow.

Betts’ absence through nearly all of training camp has severely hindered his chances of winning the starting running back competition. Trung Canidate and Kenny Watson have been given the bulk of carries in practices and games, with rookie Sultan McCullough and third-down back Chad Morton getting their share of attempts as well.

Still, Spurrier wouldn’t say it’s too late for Betts, last year’s second-round draft pick from Iowa, to win the competition.

He figures to get plenty of rushing opportunities Saturday, even if it comes at the expense of the Redskins’ other backs.

“Ladell Betts is back ready to play, so I’m sure [offensive coordinator] Hue [Jackson] probably wants to give him quite a bit of action,” Spurrier. “Other than that, it’s hard to play all five of them.”

Extra points

With starting center Larry Moore (sprained knee) out for a month and backup Wilbert Brown sidelined yesterday by a left elbow injury, the Redskins’ only available centers were Lennie Friedman and Dave Fiore, neither of whom has played the position with any regularity. It showed. The pair combined to botch four of the first five snaps during full-squad drills. Friedman is slated to start against the Ravens. … Starting guard Randy Thomas sat out practice for the second consecutive day with lingering ankle and knee injuries. Thomas said he was just resting himself, though, and he plans to play Saturday. … Tackle Chris Samuels returned to practice after skipping Monday recovering from heat-related issues.

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