- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Patrick Ramsey’s shoulder should be OK.

Coach Steve Spurrier and club officials all agreed yesterday the Washington Redskins quarterback most likely would practice tomorrow and play Sunday against the New York Giants despite a sprained left (non-throwing) shoulder.

The injury occurred on a late first-half sack in Sunday’s 33-31 victory at Atlanta. Club officials worried he wouldn’t be able to continue when he couldn’t raise his arm above his head at halftime. Instead, he played to near-perfection in the second half (completing 13 of 15 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns) and finished with a career day.

Ramsey received treatment at Redskin Park yesterday and expressed little concern as he departed in the early evening.



“It’s a little sore,” Ramsey said. “You’re going to see me in here tomorrow, too. Hopefully I’ll be able to practice Wednesday. … I’ll take it as it comes. I really don’t see it inhibiting my ability to play on Sunday.”

Spurrier, who took a wait-and-see tone Sunday, was upbeat.

“He did it right at the end of the second quarter and was able to finish the game,” Spurrier said. “So with a lot of treatment and so forth, in all likelihood he should be fine.”

The coach did not expect any of Sunday’s other injuries to lead to absences against the Giants. Wide receiver Laveranues Coles was diagnosed with a strained neck and club officials stressed he did not suffer even a mild concussion. Also banged up were linebacker Kevin Mitchell (sprained ankle), cornerback Rashad Bauman (strained hamstring), running back Trung Canidate (mild ankle sprain) and fullback Bryan Johnson (sprained thumb).

Meanwhile, wide receiver Taylor Jacobs said he had a tube put down his throat Friday to get a better look at his bruised pancreas. Doctors determined he did not need surgery, but he might not be re-evaluated until late in the week. Spurrier called his status “doubtful.”

Nose tackle Jermaine Haley (fractured thumb), a surprise inactive Sunday, plans on practicing and playing this week.

“We’ll just see how he progresses,” defensive coordinator George Edwards said. “We could get him back. We just had an opportunity to get him rested.”

Tight end Zeron Flemister (strained Achilles’ tendon) is taking it slow but believes he should be able to play Sunday.

Morton chafed

Lousy special teams have return man Chad Morton frustrated. He was especially angry the club “took a big step back” in his forte, kickoff returns.

“We’re horrible right now,” Morton said. “I’ve got to prepare a lot better, and I’ve got to help the other guys prepare a lot better.”

Morton returned four kickoffs for an 18.3-yard average Sunday, dropping him to 13th in the NFC at 20.3 yards. Last season, before Washington signed him to a five-year, $8 million contract, Morton ranked second in the AFC at 26.0 yards for the New York Jets.

Meanwhile, Morton’s longest punt return is 10 yards (though he’s upbeat about that area, citing a lack of chances); kickoff coverage yielded a 52-yard return Sunday and punt coverage has given up a 26-yarder in each of the first two games.

“Our special teams are doing OK,” Spurrier said. “We’re not where we hope to be, as far as our coverage and our returns. … We’ve got to keep plugging along. I really think Chad will break some before the year is over.”

Bruce fired up

Defensive end Bruce Smith considered it simply his turn to make a play.

Smith, whose two quarterback pressures keyed a crucial second-quarter defensive stand, played down how teammates responded to his yelling and urging. Still, his vocal role appears to be growing each week.

“I never ask another player to make a play before I ask myself to make a play,” Smith said. “I don’t say, ‘Look, LaVar, we need a big play out of you.’ I tell myself that first. And hopefully others will follow that example. We all just rallied around each other. I think each and every individual took their turns making big plays.”

Phony audibles

Spurrier poked fun at Sunday’s broadcast for focusing on whether Falcons quarterback Doug Johnson was stealing signals. Johnson, who was coached by Spurrier at Florida, thought he was able to pick up the Redskins’ audibles.

“It was kind of interesting,” Spurrier said. “We phony-audibled one of our signals where we send the guy deep to the post, and I looked over to the sideline and Doug came out and started pointing deep. Actually, we were running a draw play on that one. I don’t know if the TV boys mentioned that.”

Extra points

The Redskins are among the NFL’s leaders in total offense and total defense. Heading into last night’s Dallas-New York Giants game, Washington ranked No. 3 in offense (381.0 yards) and No. 2 in defense (220.5 yards). …

Offensive lineman Wilbert Brown was re-signed and rookie tight end Kevin Ware was waived. Ware, who had been added because of Flemister’s injury, will return to the practice squad provided he clears waivers.

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