- The Washington Times - Friday, October 17, 2003

Jermaine Haley won’t be uniform tomorrow when the Washington Redskins face the Buffalo Bills, and the stocky nose tackle said he won’t have surgery immediately to repair his fractured right thumb.

Haley said earlier this week that if he wasn’t going to play Sunday, he would want to have surgery right away to take advantage of the Redskins’ upcoming bye week. But after doctors told him they were unclear how long it would take to recuperate, Haley elected to take the next two weeks off and hope the thumb heals in time for Washington’s next game, Nov.2 at Dallas.

“I was thinking about the surgery, but they can’t determine a time period on me returning to the field,” said Haley, who aggravated the injury Sunday against Tampa Bay. “So I’m just wondering if it’s worth going to get the surgery, not knowing the time period, and have [his absence] end up being longer than we expect. I really don’t want that.”

Haley originally hurt himself in the season opener against the New York Jets. He sat out the following week against Atlanta but returned to start the Redskins’ next four games with a cast on his right hand. The cast, however, was jarred loose from a direct hit during last Sunday’s game, and the pain became too much for Haley to handle.

He was replaced by Martin Chase, who will start at nose tackle tomorrow. Lional Dalton, who had been inactive the last four weeks, will suit up and rotate in and out of the defensive line.

Haley will try to avoid contact in practice for awhile, limiting himself to footwork and conditioning drills during the bye week.

“We figure that will help calm it back down,” he said. “Hopefully, it will heal right, stay lined up and then no problem, I’ll play.”

Fiore, Canidate out

Left guard Dave Fiore had arthroscopic surgery yesterday to clean out his right knee. Fiore elected Thursday to have the procedure, which will keep him sidelined at least three weeks but will give him an opportunity to return this season.

Rookie Derrick Dockery will make his fourth straight start in Fiore’s place tomorrow, but coach Steve Spurrier said veteran Lennie Friedman likely will spell him.

Meanwhile, running back Trung Canidate was officially declared out for the Buffalo game with a high right ankle sprain. Canidate hopes to return following the bye week. Ladell Betts will start at tailback and receive the bulk of Washington’s rushing attempts.

“He very well could carry a whole bunch if we’re making yards,” coach Steve Spurrier said. “He’s slated to get more action. Ladell’s our man.”

Spurrier said there’s a good chance the Redskins will activate rookie Sultan McCullough to back up Betts and Chad Morton. The undrafted former Southern Cal star doesn’t expect to see much action, but he hopes to make the most of his first career appearance.

“I’m ready mentally and physically,” McCullough said. “I know how to carry the ball. I’ve been doing it for a long time.”

Spurrier: ‘I’m happy’

Spurrier denied a television report that suggested he is unhappy with the Redskins and has considered walking out of his five-year, $25 million contract in his second season.

“Of course I’m happy,” he said. “We’ve got a good team. We haven’t played extremely well the last couple of games. But I think we’re ready to play well at Buffalo.”

Spurrier, who expressed frustration just before the season began when he was overruled by owner Dan Snyder on a couple of roster moves, reiterated his longstanding intention to remain in Washington at least three seasons before contemplating a career move.

“We’ve got a young quarterback, Patrick Ramsey, that’s coming around,” he said. “We’ve got receivers, an offensive line, our defense is in good shape. I think we’ve got a good team here. I’d like to see what happens.”

Extra points

Kickoff for Washington’s Nov. 2 game at Dallas has been moved to 4:15 p.m. from its original 1 p.m. time to accommodate Fox’s television schedule. It will be the second Redskins game moved to the late afternoon (tomorrow’s 4:15 p.m. kickoff was originally scheduled for 1). …

Buffalo receiver Eric Moulds (groin) and defensive tackle Sam Adams (ankle) both participated in a no-pads practice yesterday and are listed as questionable tomorrow. Moulds sat out last week’s 30-3 loss to the Jets.

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