- The Washington Times - Friday, September 22, 2006

Joe Salave’a didn’t practice again yesterday, so it’s unlikely that the Washington Redskins’ veteran defensive tackle will be ready for tomorrow’s game at Houston. Coach Joe Gibbs said the decision whether Salave’a plays will be up to the defensive coaches and added that it likely will be a game-day decision.

“It’s better,” Salave’a said of the calf muscle he strained in last Sunday’s loss at Dallas. “You know me. They’ll have to strap me to a chair to keep me from playing.”

Salave’a missed two games last year with a foot injury and one in 2004 with an ailing hip. Sixth-round draft pick Kedric Golston, whose six tackles are just one off the lead among Washington linemen, likely would start in place of Salave’a. Fellow rookie Anthony Montgomery likely would be active for the first time and could see time at tackle along with Ryan Boschetti and Demetric Evans.

Gibbs confirmed that running back Clinton Portis is ready to return to full-time duty.

Cornerback Shawn Springs, meanwhile, said the strained groin he suffered in his return to practice Wednesday was a consequence of the abdominal surgery he had Aug.15. And Springs is doubtful that he’ll be ready to play as soon as next week against Jacksonville.

“When I had my surgery, they had to cut my groin,” Springs said. “I’ve got to get healthy before I get back out there again.”

Betts and L.T.

It probably won’t last past tomorrow, but for now, Redskins running back Ladell Betts and San Diego All-Pro runner LaDainian Tomlinson are the only NFL players leading their teams in rushing and receiving. Betts has 10 catches and 62 rushing yards.

“It just means that we have stuff to get corrected,” Betts said of his leading the Redskins in catches rather than a receiver.

Sack man

Redskins linebacker Jeff Posey had 13½ sacks combined in seven of his first eight seasons. However, in his 2002, his lone season in Houston, Posey recorded eight sacks, which is still the Texans’ franchise record. He signed with Buffalo after the season.

“They let me rush the passer all the time, which no one else has,” Posey said. “In a 3-4 defense, one of the linebackers is coming most of the time.”

Texans memories

Redskins cornerback Kenny Wright was a Texan during Houston’s first three seasons. Wright signed with the expansion team as a restricted free agent from Minnesota in April 2002 and left in March 2005 for Jacksonville.

“I have a lot of good memories from Houston,” said Wright, who’ll make his third straight start tomorrow in Springs’ place. “My favorite is probably our first game when we brought the NFL back to Houston [after a five-year absence] and beat Dallas in prime time.”

Old friends

No organization has more Redskins alumni than the Texans. Defensive end N.D. Kalu, assistant coaches Bob Karmelowicz, Martin Bayless, Dan Riley and Ray Wright, trainer Kevin Bastin, equipment manager Jay Brunetti, vice president Barry Asimos and scouts Larry Bryan, Rob Kisiel, Mike Maccagnan, Miller McCalmon, George Saimes and Dave Sears all used to work at Redskin Park.

The excitable Riley formed the most lasting impression during his 19 seasons in Washington.

“One day at the old [Redskins] park, D-Boy was all painted up with a bandana on and stark naked standing atop of a weight machine, screaming and hollering,” Redskins offensive line coach Joe Bugel recalled. “Everybody laughed and started lifting. You weren’t sure what he was going to do every day. That’s how he kept everybody on their toes. Everybody laughed. He’s a dysfunctional animal.”

Night to remember

Houston coach Gary Kubiak had the misfortune to be a Denver rookie quarterback the same year that Hall of Famer John Elway joined the Broncos. Kubiak started just five games in his nine seasons (1983 to 1991), but one of those was a 14-10 victory over the Redskins on “Monday Night Football” in 1989 when Elway was too ill to play.

“John was so sick and every doctor on the Broncos’ staff was in our room pumping him with IVs and trying to get him well,” Kubiak remembered. “I couldn’t help but sit there and think, ‘Golly. They don’t want me to play.’ That was a special evening.”

Kubiak completed 13 of 27 passes for 123 yards, two touchdowns and an interception as the Broncos dropped the Redskins to 5-6. Washington won its final five games but lost a playoff-qualifying tiebreaker. The Broncos went on to lose the Super Bowl to San Francisco.



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