- The Washington Times - Friday, November 28, 2003

Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier yesterday confirmed what had seemed a foregone conclusion since Wednesday: Quarterback Patrick Ramsey will miss at least tomorrow’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Tim Hasselbeck will make his first NFL start after playing with surprising poise last weekend at Miami, while Ramsey won’t be available even as a backup. Rookie Gibran Hamdan was signed from the practice squad to be No.2.

“It looks like now the doctors want Patrick to rest up until maybe the middle of next week,” Spurrier said.

Ramsey was knocked from the loss at Miami with a concussion on Washington’s second series, but before the hit he was moving awkwardly and, particularly before the game, appeared to be in pain.

Even a week earlier at Carolina, where the Redskins called for few roll-outs and cringed as Ramsey danced in the pocket at times, it was clear the talented second-year passer was not himself. Now he will miss his first start in nearly a year.

“It’s discouraging,” Ramsey said through a team spokesman. “But I think I’ve reached the point with this injury that I would hinder more than help us. Tim’s played well, and I think he can lead us to a victory on Sunday.”

Hasselbeck won the respect of teammates at Miami, where he hit 10 of 14 passes in the first half but couldn’t nail down a victory in the second. This week he expects to be more comfortable, and there’s a good chance he’ll be able to audible a play or two after not being able to react quickly enough last week.

“Having [the majority of practice snaps] last week and having them this week, that’s a handful of practices where we’re running our stuff,” Hasselbeck said. “I’ll feel more comfortable going into this game than last game.”

Notes — Running back John Simon was cut to make room for Hamdan. Spurrier reiterated Trung Canidate will start with Ladell Betts the primary reserve. Rock Cartwright is healthy from an ankle sprain and will return to a fullback/short-yardage role after standing out at tailback in recent weeks. …

Wide receiver Darnerien McCants (knee) remains questionable. His absence would move Patrick Johnson into the No.3 spot and Taylor Jacobs, who should play despite a knee sprain, to No.4.

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