- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 4, 2003

Redskins Notes

The Washington Redskins worked out former Pro Bowl tight end Byron Chamberlain yesterday but will withhold any decision about offering him a contract until at least next week.

Chamberlain, 31, was released Monday by the Minnesota Vikings after completing a league-imposed, four-game suspension for using ephedra. A Pro Bowl selection in 2001 when he caught 57 passes for 666 yards, Chamberlain showed up at Vikings practice 20 pounds over his listed weight of 250, with a body fat reading of 24 percent.

Vinny Cerrato, Redskins vice president of football operations, said Chamberlain was in better shape yesterday than he was in Minnesota, but the club wants to evaluate its current tight end duo of Robert Royal and Zeron Flemister in Sunday’s game at Philadelphia before deciding about Chamberlain.

“He did OK,” Cerrato said. “We’ll take a look after the game and see where we’re at.”

Chamberlain, who was limited to 34 catches for 389 yards while he battled a knee injury and conditioning problems last year, wouldn’t speak to reporters when he left Redskin Park. Agent Jonathan Feinsod said a handful of teams have expressed interest in Chamberlain, but no others have scheduled workouts.

Regardless of whether they sign Chamberlain, the Redskins will continue to look for ways to upgrade the tight end position. They offered a contract to veteran Wesley Walls before the start of the season, but he signed with Green Bay for less money. Royal, last year’s third-round draft pick, and Flemister, who has been hampered by a strained Achilles’ tendon, have combined for just four receptions through the first four games.

“We have confidence in those players,” coach Steve Spurrier said. “They’ve done OK. We just haven’t thrown a lot at them.”

Dockery to start

Rookie Derrick Dockery will make his second straight start at left guard tomorrow, with Dave Fiore’s status still uncertain because of his ailing knee.

Spurrier said Fiore, who has not practiced in two weeks, will not start against the Eagles but might be available to come off the bench.

“We’ll wait and see if he’s available to be a backup,” Spurrier said. “But he hasn’t practiced all week, so Derrick Dockery’s set to start.”

Fiore underwent an MRI this week, but the test revealed no structural damage. He’ll likely have to be held back during practice most weeks if the Redskins want him to be available to play.

“There’s a little concern that he’s got a bum knee,” Spurrier said. “He’s a guy who’s probably going to need to rest a lot during the week. We’ll try to get the most out of him that we can. He wants to play, so we’ll try to get him ready for Sunday each week.”

Dockery, Washington’s third-round draft pick from Texas, had a solid pro debut last week and should be more comfortable in his second game.

“I wouldn’t say it’ll be easier, because you’re going to play good players every week,” he said. “But just knowing what to expect, the speed of the game, it’s going to be different when I go out there. Because now I’ve seen and I’ve experienced the game at this level.”

Forgotten man

When Lional Dalton was acquired by the Redskins from Denver just before the start of the season, the hefty tackle figured he would become a central figure on Washington’s defensive line.

The Redskins, however, have made Dalton inactive each of the last two weeks, and are likely to do the same in Philadelphia, with Jermaine Haley, Bernard Holsey and Martin Chase the only active tackles.

“We’ve thrown everything at him. He’s done a great job of picking up what we expect out of him defensively,” defensive coordinator George Edwards said. “Right now it’s just a numbers game inside. We hope we’ll be able to get him on the field.”

Extra points

Cornerback Rashad Bauman (strained hamstring) will play tomorrow, taking his usual place as nickel back. He practiced yesterday and, according to Spurrier, had a “beautiful” interception.

Rookie corner Ade Jimoh, who has been beaten twice for touchdowns in very limited action and was chastised Monday by Spurrier, won’t be held out of the game, Edwards said. “We didn’t sit Champ [Bailey] when he got beat deep [as a rookie],” Edwards said. “It’s just a matter of what the situation brings up, whether he gets on the field or not.” …

The Eagles are listing safety Brian Dawkins (foot), cornerback Bobby Taylor (foot), backup linebacker Keith Adams (concussion) and defensive end Jerome McDougle (ankle) as out. Starting corner Troy Vincent (hamstring) and guard Jermane Mayberry (elbow) practiced yesterday but both will be game-time decisions. …

The NFL decided not to fine New England Patriots fullback Larry Centers for his late hit on Redskins linebacker Jeremiah Trotter last week. Centers, who appeared to spear Trotter after a play was over, was flagged for a personal foul. …

Along with Chamberlain, the Redskins also worked out cornerback Omare Lowe and wide receiver Dwain Goynes. The club made no immediate contract offer to either.

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