It didn’t take long yesterday to realize that Fred Smoot was OK, after he suffered a mild concussion the day before.
Summing up an eventful day when he was briefly knocked out after colliding with teammate Matt Bowen and later returned home with no electric power, the Washington Redskins’ jovial cornerback was at no loss for words.
“The light’s out in my head,” he said, “and then the light’s out in my house.”
Smoot’s sense of humor was back, but it was too early to tell whether he’ll be back for tomorrow’s game against the New York Giants at FedEx Field. Though he did some running during yesterday’s practice at Redskin Park, Smoot is officially listed as “questionable.”
“They haven’t made a final decision on Fred yet,” coach Steve Spurrier said. “Obviously, he did have a concussion yesterday, and if it’s the smart thing to hold him out, we will. … The medical people will decide that, not me.”
If it was up to Smoot, he’d be playing. But he knows the decision won’t be his.
“I’ve been checked by a lot of good doctors, and I have one more to get checked by,” Smoot said. “Personally, I feel real good. I went out there and ran today, got my sweat on, so I feel good. Basically, it’s a game day decision, how I feel when I wake up [tomorrow] morning.”
Smoot remembers running head-down into Bowen as the two tried to defend a pass over the middle from quarterback Rob Johnson to receiver Cliff Russell. The rest is a little fuzzy.
“I went for the ball, and me and Matt Bowen collided with each other,” Smoot said. “My head went into his chest and I went down. I guess I was out for a little minute.”
After coming to, Smoot was stabilized and then transported to Loudoun County Hospital. Once neck X-rays and an MRI came back negative, he was cleared to go home.
If Smoot can’t play, second-year cornerback Rashad Bauman will move into the starting lineup with Champ Bailey. Bauman, who pulled his hamstring last week in Atlanta, participated fully in practice yesterday and should be fine.
Spurrier said tight end Zeron Flemister (strained Achilles’ tendon) will not play for the second straight week, meaning backup Robert Royal again will be in the starting lineup and rookie Kevin Ware again was signed off the practice squad.
To make room on the roster for Ware, the Redskins cut offensive lineman Wilbert Brown for the second straight week.
Starting nose tackle Jermaine Haley (fractured thumb) said he expects to play after being a last-minute scratch in Atlanta. Haley has practiced all week with a cast on his right hand.
Left guard Dave Fiore sat out practice for the second straight day with swelling in his surgically repaired knee but said it was a precautionary move and he expects to start tomorrow.
Quarterback Patrick Ramsey (sprained left shoulder) went through a full practice without any difficulties. “He threw the ball beautifully today,” Spurrier said. “He’s close to 100 percent.”
After pushing up practice Thursday to beat Hurricane Isabel’s arrival, the Redskins were able to resume a normal schedule yesterday. The team took down the goal posts on three practice fields at Redskin Park Thursday as a precaution and yesterday worked out on the turf field.
“The storm probably came at the perfect time,” Spurrier said. “We play on Sunday, and it’s supposed to be a nice day. We were able to practice Wednesday and Thursday morning, so it whistled through and didn’t interrupt practice much at all.” …
So much for the Redskins’ one-time-only uniform change. Spurrier said there’s “a good chance” his team will wear white jerseys and pants for the third straight game Sunday. Washington is, after all, 2-0 when sporting the new look.