- The Washington Times - Monday, August 16, 2004

The Washington Redskins insured themselves against further complications on the offensive line yesterday, making preparations to sign veteran tackle Marcus Spriggs, a club source said.

The move, which should be announced today, comes one week after right tackle Jon Jansen ruptured his left Achilles’ tendon in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. Combined with last week’s signing of 41-year-old guard Ray Brown, the addition of Spriggs should ensure that the “Dirtbags” have some experienced replacements.

Kenyatta Jones started in place of Jansen in Saturday’s 23-20 overtime loss to the Carolina Panthers. Jones, who started 12 games for the New England Patriots in 2002, appeared to do a generally solid job, though his side of the line permitted a sack to Julius Peppers on what Jones termed a “miscommunication” between he and Randy Thomas.

Brown, the third-oldest position player in the league, could move into the starting lineup in the event of injury or if the coaches decide to swing young left guard Derrick Dockery to right tackle. However, Spriggs will give the Redskins another option.

Spriggs, 30, played last season for the Green Bay Packers, appearing in two games. The 6-foot-3, 310-pound tackle has 18 starts in his seven-year NFL career. He is considered in league personnel circles to be somewhat of an injury risk at this point in his career, which is why he remained unsigned two weeks into training camp.

Injury update

An MRI on tight end Fred Baxter revealed, somewhat surprisingly, that he only sprained his right knee. Although a tendon is partially torn, according to Baxter, trainer Bubba Tyer confirmed “all the major ligaments are intact.” Tyer estimated Baxter’s recovery “could be two or more weeks.”

That’s an upbeat diagnosis considering Baxter went down untouched in the Panthers game after feeling “a little snap in the back of my leg.” …

Wide receiver Laveranues Coles took a cleat to the shin while making a 34-yard catch Saturday but should be fine to practice today. The way Coles was limping at halftime led to speculation he re-injured his toe, which was fractured last season. But Coles said his toe is “fine,” adding, “The pain I do have I can live with it. It’s not slowing me down.”

Tyer confirmed that assessment, saying the team has been pleased with how Coles’ toe has held up. …

Linebacker Mike Barrow, who has missed more than a week with tendinitis in his knee, could return to practice in a few days. Said Tyer: “We’ll work with him this week and get a better idea of where he is.”

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