- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2003

The Washington Redskins ended the comeback attempt of left guard Dave Fiore yesterday by placing him on injured reserve, vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato said.

Fiore, who wasn’t available after the move was revealed, had been hoping to get ready for Sunday’s game against Seattle. He had arthroscopic knee surgery on his surgically repaired right knee Oct.17, and in the days that followed he reported less soreness and good rehabilitation progress.

But yesterday the club conceded rehab for this season was a long shot, and it decided to shift Fiore’s focus to getting ready for 2004.

Fiore signed a four-year, $6.4 million contract on the first day of free agency as part of Washington’s high-profile attempt to upgrade its interior line. The Redskins got somewhat of a discount because of Fiore’s history of knee injuries.

He enjoyed a productive training camp and preseason and believed he was on track for a successful season. When his knee began acting up in Week4, he thought it was a temporary setback. Like guard Brenden Stai last year, who went on IR after weeks of knee soreness, each week Fiore thought he would be able to return to the field.

Certainly Washington’s offensive struggles aren’t all because of Fiore’s absence. But the Redskins were ranked No.1 when his knee became inflamed, and rookie Derrick Dockery has struggled a fair amount as the new left guard.

Players meeting?

There’s a good chance there will be a players-only meeting in coming days to address concerns about coach Steve Spurrier and to refocus themselves on the final eight games, one veteran player said yesterday.

Redskins players held full-squad players-only meetings in 2001 and 2002, when they grew frustrated about Marty Schottenheimer and Spurrier, respectively. In each instance, players said they would try to block out frustrations and play for each other.

A similar mindset guides them now. Several players acknowledged mounting frustration with Spurrier — particularly following a pair of dubious recent speeches — and several players admitted in recent days that they have begun tuning out the coach.

A players-only meeting was called among offensive players earlier this season to attempt to reverse the unit’s slump.

Extra points

Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson clarified his comments to an ESPN reporter, which caused some controversy at Redskin Park on Monday.

The ESPN reporter cited Jackson as saying Redskins assistants do challenge Spurrier on strategic issues. The ESPN reporter then said Spurrier was stubborn — which was the reporter’s opinion, Jackson said, not further conveyance of Jackson’s comments. …

The Redskins made several other personnel moves: Former Tennessee running back John Simon was signed to gird against the current injuries at tailback. Offensive lineman Brad Bedell was re-signed. Cornerback Calvin Carlyle was released. And offensive lineman Pita Elisara was signed to the practice squad. …

Green Bay and Carolina put in waiver claims for former New Orleans defensive tackle Grady Jackson, meaning Washington will not get a chance to sign him as a free agent.


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