- The Washington Times - Friday, December 12, 2003

Cartwright to start against Dallas

With Trung Canidate, Ladell Betts and Chad Morton ailing, Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier said he plans to start Rock Cartwright at tailback tomorrow against the Dallas Cowboys.

Canidate (sprained foot) and Betts (fractured forearm) had been ruled out earlier in the week. Now Morton, who is suffering from a second bout of the flu, probably will join them.

“Chad’s still sick,” Spurrier said. “He looks doubtful right now.”

Morton is officially listed as questionable on Washington’s injury report, but unless he makes a dramatic recovery, Cartwright will slide over from fullback to start at tailback against the Cowboys. Spurrier said John Simon and Sultan McCullough also will suit up.

“I don’t know yet, but if [Morton] can’t go and they call on me to start, then that’s what I’ll do,” said Cartwright, who has 61 carries for 233 yards (3.8 average) this season. “I’m ready.”

Smith replies to Collins

Responding to strong comments from Kerry Collins, Redskins defensive end Bruce Smith said he did nothing wrong in taking down the New York Giants quarterback last week.

“I felt like it was unnecessary on a couple of fronts,” Collins told New York area reporters Thursday. “First of all, obviously it was a dead play. Secondly, to be pulled down after you throw the ball, from behind like that … I don’t know.”

On the play in question, the Giants were whistled for delay of game. However, officials didn’t halt play in time, and Collins dropped back to pass. Smith, who was seeking an NFL record 199th sack, hit Collins after he released the ball. The quarterback got his legs caught underneath him and suffered a high ankle sprain that forced him out of the game.

“I am sure [the record] had something to do with it,” said Collins, whose streak of 67 consecutive starts will end this week. “He was doing his [best] to get to me, and I understand that. I am not saying he was wrong. But I just felt like it was kind of unnecessary.”

Smith, who was not fined by the NFL for the hit, said he did nothing wrong.

“The referees didn’t blow the whistle,” he said. “It’s our job to keep playing until they blow the whistle.”

Enemy No. 1

Southeastern Conference fans apparently know how to hold a grudge.

Two years removed from his job at Florida, Steve Spurrier remains an unpopular figure. He’s been voted the “Enemy of the State” three times in Sports Illustrated’s year-long profile of all 50 states.

Residents polled in Louisiana, Tennessee and Alabama all picked Spurrier as the least-liked sports figure in their home state — and there could be more. The magazine hasn’t done Georgia yet.

Spurrier seems to be wearing all the good-natured ribbing as a badge of honor.

“I figured Georgia would be in there, [but] I didn’t know if Tennessee would still be there,” he said. “That’s a good compliment, that they still remember a little bit. Two years from now, they won’t say that. They’ll forget.”

Extra points

Neither linebacker LaVar Arrington (knee/ankle) nor receiver Laveranues Coles (toe) practiced yesterday, but both are expected to play tomorrow. “Laveranues should be OK,” Spurrier said. “He and LaVar usually have a way of being ready on game day.” …

A day after flooding forced them to move practice to the nearby Dulles SportsPlex, the Redskins were able to stay in-house yesterday. Much to the surprise of everyone in the organization, the waters receded, making the artificial turf field usable … The United States Marine Corps Reserves will be collecting “Toys for Tots” before tomorow’s game at FedEx Field. New, unwrapped toys are requested.

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