- The Washington Times - Friday, December 19, 2003

Though coach Steve Spurrier expressed uncertainty about Chris Samuels’ status for tomorrow’s game in Chicago, the Washington Redskins offensive tackle said yesterday he plans to start.

“I’m expecting to play,” said Samuels, who has missed the last three games with a sprained knee.

Samuels said he participated fully in practice at Redskin Park yesterday and experienced no setbacks, which in his mind was the final test to make sure he was ready to return.

Spurrier was less optimistic, saying, “He’s not healthy,” and suggesting that recently signed lineman Daryl Terrell likely would start at left tackle.

“I think Daryl Terrell is probably the most healthy one there right now, but we’ll see how Chris is the day of the game,” Spurrier said. “Right now Daryl Terrell would probably be the starter.”

Samuels, named a third alternate to the Pro Bowl on Thursday, sprained his knee four weeks ago at Miami and was forced to leave the game. Journeyman Brandon Winey took over at left tackle and, with Samuels still ailing, performed well in his first three career starts.

Winey, though, suffered a sprained knee of his own last Sunday against Dallas, forcing the Redskins to turn to their third-string tackle: Terrell, who was signed Dec.9. The former Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars lineman played the entire second half and got a significant number of reps in practice this week.

Though he says he’s learned the playbook enough to feel comfortable if called upon, Terrell does not expect to see much action tomorrow.

“No, there’s no indication of [my] starting right now,” he said. “Chris is starting, and we’re just going to play it by ear.”

Hasselbeck gets a grip

One week after posting the worst game by an NFL quarterback this season, Tim Hasselbeck hopes to have a better grip on things tomorrow.

Literally.

Bothered by a cold, wet football last Sunday against the Cowboys, Hasselbeck was encouraged to learn of the good weather forecast for Chicago this weekend.

Temperatures at Solider Field are expected to be in the low 40s with partly cloudy skies — downright balmy conditions there in late December.

Hasselbeck will decide shortly before the game whether to wear a glove on his throwing hand . He did two weeks ago on a frigid day in New York and played extremely well. He took the glove off last week in the rain and wound up posting a quarterback rating of 0.0.

“It was pretty cold out today and I didn’t wear a glove, and I felt like it was fine,” Hasselbeck said yesterday. “A lot of it depends what the game balls are like. If it’s wet, there’s no way I’ll wear a glove. If it’s cold and dry, there’s a chance I will.”

Spurrier isn’t worried about his quarterback’s ability to play in poor conditions or to rebound from a bad game.

“Tim’s had a good week of practice,” Spurrier said. “I think the weather’s supposed to be pretty nice, actually. Hopefully we can throw and catch a lot better than we did the last time we played.”

Hasselbeck isn’t dwelling on his wretched performance against Dallas.

“The thing for me is to not start doubting myself — ‘Why was that such a bad game,’ ‘Is it going to happen again this week,’ that kind of stuff,” he said. “There wasn’t anything I did going into the other games that I didn’t do going into the Dallas game. And there isn’t anything I need to do any different. It sounds stupid, but I need to play better.”

Extra points

As expected, Spurrier named fullback Rock Cartwright his starting tailback for tomorrow’s game. With Trung Canidate (sprained foot) and Ladell Betts (fractured forearm) still out and Chad Morton (flu) not 100 percent, Cartwright will be looking to duplicate his career-best 94-yard effort last week. … Wide receiver Taylor Jacobs (sprained foot) will not play against the Bears, Spurrier said, though safety David Terrell (sprained knee) likely will. Both have become key players on the Redskins’ kickoff and punt coverage units, and Chicago has one of the best return teams in the league.


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