A day after straining his left calf, Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell did some light practice work yesterday but was held out of team activities as a precaution. He is expected to play tomorrow against the San Francisco 49ers.
“It was improved from [Thursday], which is good,” Brunell said after receiving treatment for the injury. “It’s Coach [Joe] Gibbs’ decision. I didn’t get much work today, but I do feel better. It’s his call.”
Gibbs said the Redskins “don’t anticipate any problems,” and the team lists Brunell as probable on the injury report.
Brunell was injured in the middle of Thursday’s practice when he planted on a dropback. He enters the 49ers game with consecutive 300-yard passing games and has nine touchdowns in four starts this season.
Brunell was one of 11 players on the Redskins’ injury list. Safety Ryan Clark (spleen) was upgraded to probable.
The Redskins could be short-handed at defensive tackle. Joe Salave’a (foot) and Cedric Killings (ankle) haven’t practiced all week, and Aki Jones (hamstring) missed Thursday and yesterday.
Killings, who is listed as questionable, all but ruled himself out for tomorrow.
“It doesn’t look like it, but I didn’t get a chance to [practice],” he said. “As far as the pain, it did get a lot better this week, but I’m not quite there yet. [The Giants game Oct. 30] is what I’m shooting for.”
The Redskins have dressed six defensive linemen for each of their first five games. If Killings is out, that could create a chance for rookie Nic Clemons, who has been inactive.
Clinton Portis, Casey Rabach and Carlos Rogers returned to practice yesterday.
Novak will kick
Gibbs said Nick Novak will be the Redskins place kicker for the fifth consecutive game and handle the kickoff duties even though punter Derrick Frost kicked off during Thursday’s practice. John Hall (quadrceps) has not played since Week 1 against Chicago.
Frost said he was the kickoff man at Northern Iowa and was getting solid distance on his kicks Thursday.
Novak is 4-for-6 on field goals this season and both misses were blocked.
When Hall returns to full health, Novak said, “Whatever happens, I’m sure there will be some opportunities for me. The biggest benefit has been showing other teams that I can do it at this level.”
Players react to dress code
The NBA’s recent decision to implement a dress code drew mixed reaction in the Redskins locker room this week, but Santana Moss, Chris Samuels and Ray Brown all laughed when told that Marcus Camby of the Denver Nuggets suggested that players should be given a clothing allowance. The NBA has ordered players to dress “business casual,” ending the days of vintage jerseys, chains and work boots.
“It’s a direct response to what’s happening in the corporate world,” Brown said. “They know they have a product that’s probably been somewhat tainted with how they dress and the culture so now they’re trying to capture some advertising dollars. It’s an economic decision.”
Said Samuels: “Certain things about it could be good to make guys look professional on road trips. But not being allowed to wear chains outside their suits — I don’t think that’s fair because that’s their lifestyle and the cross on the chain is their belief.”
Moss said he disagreed with the dress code, but would conform if he was playing in the NBA.
“[NBA commissioner] David Stern sees fit that things [need] to be this way and he has that right,” Moss said. “When I was in high school, my coach made me wear a tie on game day. I didn’t want to walk around school that way, but I did. And I made sure I was still looking fly.”