- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2006

None of the Washington Redskins’ starting offensive linemen have missed a game this season. And if center Casey Rabach and right tackle Jon Jansen have their way, the streak will continue Sunday at New Orleans.

Rabach hopes to play despite fracturing his left hand in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Philadelphia. He missed practice yesterday at Redskin Park and is listed as questionable.

Jansen’s, whose calf injury continues to worsen, also is questionable. He is not expected to practice this week and likely will be a game-time decision.

Rabach, who snaps with his right hand, will have the left hand fitted with a playable cast today.

“I hope to definitely play,” he said yesterday at Redskin Park. “Hopefully we can cast it up and I’ll get to play.”

Said coach Joe Gibbs: “This has been a huge year for him. He’s super tough and has proven it all year and played exceptional football.”

Rabach played games in Baltimore with a cast on his left thumb, but the hand cast will be more bulky and will force him to improvise.

“It will be a little cumbersome but hopefully I can get the cast on and get a good feel for it,” he said.

When Rabach was injured, it was the first time one of the offensive line starters had missed an entire series this season.

“My right hand is more important but getting used to the cast and not being able to grab anything with my left hand will be the biggest hurdle to overcome,” he said.

If Rabach can’t play, Mike Pucillo will start at center for only the third time in his career.

“I thought I did fine [last week] because I was able to make all the calls and keep doing what we were supposed to be doing,” Pucillo said. “I was in on some tight end plays earlier in the game so I felt involved and hadn’t just been standing around so I was able to get into a flow pretty quick.”

If Jansen can’t play, seventh-year player Todd Wade will start in his stead. Wade, in his first season in Washington, spent 2000 to 2003 with the Miami Dolphins and the last two years with the Houston Texans. He has played in one game this season.

Even though the Redskins are 4-9 and out of playoff contention, Gibbs said that no consideration has been given to shutting Rabach and/or Jansen down for the season.

“I want to get back as fast as possible,” Rabach said. “I’m not going to be able to hurt it any more so as long as I can play, I’m going to go.”

Betts nears 1,000 yards

Three consecutive 100-yard games have put Redskins running back Ladell Betts in position for his first 1,000-yard season. Betts has 814 yards through 13 games and averages an impressive 4.7 yards a carry.

“It will be important if it happens because that’s the standard by which running backs are judged so hopefully I can get there,” he said. “It’s important for the offensive line as well. They want a 1,000-yard back.”

Betts has gained 104, 155 and a career-high 171 yards in the last three games, helping the Redskins move from 12th to sixth in rushing offense.

Glad for Al

Count quarterback Jason Campbell among those happy associate head coach-offense Al Saunders will be returning for a second season.

“That’s big because everybody that has gone through this year knows what it feels like and that will make us that much more hungry when next season rolls along,” Campbell said.

The bigger deal is that for the first time in his college or pro career, Campbell will have the same offensive playbook two straight seasons.

“I won’t have to learn a new offense so I can focus all on improving my technique,” he said.

Briefly

Gibbs said he got a laugh Tuesday night when, while watching film in his office, he was told about rumors of him being in a car accident.

“They’re just wishing I was in a car wreck,” he joked. “The only way that would have happened was if a car had driven into the building because I don’t leave on Tuesday night.” …

Right guard Randy Thomas was named player of the year by the Quarterback Club in a banquet Tuesday night. Betts was not on the ballot, which was finalized after the Tampa Bay game. …

Saints safety Omar Stoutmire, who played for the Redskins last season, is questionable because of a knee injury. New Orleans receiver Joe Horn (groin) also missed practice yesterday. …

The Redskins signed linebacker Anthony Trucks to replace Robert McCune (who was picked up by Miami) on the practice squad. Trucks was in Tampa Bay’s training camp before being released in the preseason.

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