Monday, December 12, 2005

The Washington Redskins’ precarious health at cornerback took another turn for the worse yesterday when rookie Carlos Rogers had his left arm in a sling after bruising his biceps the previous day at Arizona.

Rogers’ tenuous status for Sunday’s critical NFC East game with Dallas added to an injury list that includes fellow starter Shawn Springs, who strained his groin and lower back at Arizona, and third corner Walt Harris, who strained his calf in practice last week.

“It puts us in a tough situation at corner,” Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. “We’ll just have to see how all these things play out.”

If the three regular corners can’t play, the Redskins will be forced to go with little-used Ade Jimoh and perhaps practice squad corner Dimitri Patterson against the Cowboys, although free safety Sean Taylor is swift enough to play the position. Jimoh has never started during his three seasons but made a huge tackle on receiver Larry Fitzgerald on third-and-1 at the Washington 29 during the Cardinals’ final drive.

“It was fun to be out there and to be able to help my team,” said Jimoh, who relieved the injured Springs during the third quarter.

Samuels vows to play

Chris Samuels sprained his right knee and ankle on the final series of the 17-13 victory at Arizona, but the offensive left tackle won’t skip a chance to sweep the hated Cowboys.

“My knee’s not in that bad a shape,” said Samuels, who likely will miss at least tomorrow’s practice. My ankle’s a little swollen, a little painful. I’ll get that down, and I’ll be ready for Dallas.”

Quarterback Mark Brunell sprained his left thumb when it hit Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby’s helmet in the fourth quarter. Brunell should be ready for Dallas, as should center Casey Rabach and reserve defensive lineman Ryan Boschetti, who have mild knee sprains; backup safety Matt Bowen (bruised knee); and guard Randy Thomas (sore knee). Third receiver James Thrash will take limited work tomorrow for the first time since pulling a hamstring Nov. 20 against Oakland.

Arrington, Salave’a likely

Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said LaVar Arrington, inactive at Arizona with a bruised thigh, should play Sunday.

“There’s less pain, but the flexibility is not quite where it should be yet,” Arrington said. “If I’m healthy, I’m going to go. I’m working hard to get it to where I can be a factor in the game.”

Joe Salave’a, sidelined the past two games with an injured left foot, was walking briskly yesterday. Tyer said the defensive tackle should get back on the field tomorrow and be ready for Dallas.

“I’m feeling a little bubbly, and that’s a good feeling,” said Salave’a, who said his foot hasn’t felt as good since he first hurt it Oct. 16 at Kansas City.

Backup defensive tackle Cedric Killings, out the last two games with an injured groin, also will return tomorrow.

Twice as nice

The 91-yard touchdown by Antonio Brown at Arizona and the 94-yard touchdown by Ladell Betts on Nov. 13 at Tampa Bay gave the Redskins their first pair of kickoff return scores in a season since Eddie Saenz took two all the way in 1947.

Portis ups pace

With 105 rushing yards at Arizona, Clinton Portis pulled a little further ahead of Stephen Davis’ team-record pace of 2001, when he gained 1,432 yards. With 1,184 in 13 games, Portis is on track for 1,457.

“Clinton is on a mission,” Thomas said. “He’s trying to carry this team, and I appreciate him. We should continue handing him the ball.”

Indeed, Gibbs has called Portis’ number at least 26 times the last three games. Portis didn’t have many carries in any of the first 10 games. During his two seasons in Washington, the Redskins are 8-1 when Portis has at least 25 carries.

Turnovers, schmurnovers

With just eight takeaways through 10 games, the Redskins were on pace to set the NFL record for the fewest in a full season. In the last three games, the defense had nine takeaways, but the offense turned those opportunities into just 10 points.

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