- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 3, 2003

With Chris Samuels unlikely to return this week and newly signed Kenyatta Jones being placed on injured reserve yesterday, the Washington Redskins suddenly find themselves with a dearth of available offensive tackles.

Samuels, who missed last Sunday’s game with a sprained knee, was held out of practice yesterday and likely won’t suit up. He is officially listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.

“I really don’t think [Ill play],” Samuels said. “Right now I’m just rehabbing and trying to get healed. … If I can [play], I will. But at this point, I really don’t know.”

Fresh off a successful performance in his first career start, Brandon Winey remains the Redskins’ first-string left tackle. Jones had been serving as backup since signing Nov.24, but he tore a pectoral muscle while weightlifting and was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.

To cover, Washington signed former Jacksonville offensive lineman Daryl Terrell. Terrell, 28, started nine games for the Jaguars in 2002 and nine games for the Saints the previous season. He lined up as the second-string left tackle yesterday, and coach Steve Spurrier said he could be in uniform Sunday.

LaVar tops voting

LaVar Arrington leads all NFC outside linebackers in fan balloting for this year’s Pro Bowl.

Arrington, a two-time starting selection for the game, had 79,773 votes as of Friday. Voting continues online through Dec. 12, after which the fan totals will be combined with balloting among NFL players and coaches. The rosters will be announced Dec. 18.

Arrington, the only Redskins player currently leading at his position, has significantly fewer votes than most other leaders on the ballot. Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair leads everyone with 641,410, and only four top vote-getters have totals beneath Arrington’s.

Trotter: Tackle Tiki

Tiki Barber’s fumblitis is well-documented — the Giants tailback has dropped the ball seven times this year, losing five. Barber, however, said he does his best not to think about the problem, because that only makes it worse.

“It’s something you’re conscious of but can’t dwell on,” Barber said in a conference call with Washington area reporters. “A lot of good backs in the history of this league have fumbled because they’ve thought about it too much.”

Redskins defenders know they should have numerous opportunities to strip the ball from Barber this week, but they also don’t want to go out of their way to try to make it happen.

“Making the tackle is always the No. 1 priority,” middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter said. “Whenever you start looking to strip the ball, that’s when you make a mistake. You have to wrap him up first.”

Extra points

Steve Spurrier denied a fast-spreading rumor that he is interested in the coaching job at Nebraska. One such rumor claimed Spurrier was in Lincoln for an hour Tuesday night, but the Ball Coach shot that down and insisted he has no desire to relocate to the Midwest. “I can honestly say this is as far north as I’ll probably ever live,” the lifelong southerner said. …

Along with Samuels, wide receiver Rod Gardner (bruised arm), running back Chad Morton (sprained ankle), Trotter (sore knee) and defensive end Bruce Smith (sore knee) missed practice yesterday. All are listed as probable and are expected to play Sunday. …

Wide receiver Darnerien McCants was at practice after being held out of last week’s game with a bruised knee, but he appears to have dropped from third to fourth on the Redskins’ depth chart. With Gardner out, Patrick Johnson lined up alongside Laveranues Coles on the first-team offense. …

Washington was one of 10 teams to put in a waiver claim for former Cowboys cornerback Derek Ross but lost out to the Atlanta Falcons. Ross, a former third-round pick from Ohio State, was cut by Dallas coach Bill Parcells on Tuesday after missing a mandatory conditioning run and the team’s annual area hospital visit.

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