- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 2, 2003

Though an MRI showed no structural damage to Dave Fiore’s ailing right knee, the Washington Redskins are preparing to play for the second straight week without their starting left guard.

Fiore, who was unable to play Sunday against the New England Patriots because of lingering pain in his surgically repaired knee, sat out practice again yesterday and left Redskin Park in the afternoon to pick up the results of his MRI.

“We really just wanted to see if there was any new structural damage,” said Fiore, who had surgery last fall while playing for the San Francisco 49ers. “They pretty much cleared that, so that was good. Now we’re just trying to calm it down and rest.”

Fiore, who was walking with a noticeable limp, has not ruled out the possibility of playing Sunday at Philadelphia, but he would not have practiced in two weeks and the Redskins aren’t counting on him being ready. Rookie Derrick Dockery, who performed well in his NFL debut last week, once again would start in Fiore’s place.

Just as they did last week, the Redskins aren’t likely to make a final decision on Fiore’s status until Sunday morning on the off chance he shows up at the stadium feeling better.

“It’s going to be a game-time decision again,” offensive line coach Kim Helton said. “I just don’t know.”

Regardless of whether he plays this week, Fiore said he remains optimistic that the injury will not hinder him all season.

“I’ve been working on it, doing rehab with the trainers,” he said. “Hopefully, it’s not something serious.”

Good advice

When coach Steve Spurrier decided to add an offensive coordinator to his staff this year for the first time in his career, the Ball Coach sought advice from what might seem like a surprising source: Eagles coach Andy Reid.

It really wasn’t all that surprising, though. Reid, like Spurrier, has an offensive coordinator on his staff but still calls all his team’s plays. The two spoke during a recent NFL owners’ meeting, with Spurrier also seeking advice from Seahawks coach/play-caller Mike Holmgren.

“I just sort of asked them how they handle it and so forth,” Spurrier said. “They told me how they did it. They were very helpful.”

Four weeks into the season, Spurrier is happy with the way he’s been able to work alongside offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. Jackson’s presence has allowed Spurrier to spend more time dealing with defense and special teams after sticking with the offense nearly every moment of his first season with the Redskins.

“I think it’s been very beneficial, as far as getting everything organized,” Spurrier said. “It really has saved me a lot of time.”

Extra points

Cornerback Rashad Bauman (strained hamstring) returned to practice and should be fine to play Sunday.

“I pretty much did everything I was supposed to do,” said Bauman, who is still listed as questionable. “I don’t plan on injuring anything more before Sunday.”

Defensive end Renaldo Wynn (sprained ankle) also returned to practice after being excused Wednesday for personal reasons. …

Veteran tight end Byron Chamberlain, recently released by Minnesota, is scheduled to work out at Redskin Park today. Washington continues to be interested in a pass-catching tight end, with the current duo of Robert Royal and Zeron Flemister having combined for only four receptions. …

Spurrier plans to continue designating receiver Cliff Russell as his third-string quarterback for each game. Russell has never played quarterback, and the Redskins have no intention of lining him up under center. But by being named the No. 3 quarterback, Russell is allowed to suit up and participate in pregame drills. He would not be allowed to play any position other than quarterback during a game.

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