- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 16, 2007

Demetric Evans hasn’t started for the Washington Redskins since their last playoff game 20 months ago in Seattle. But it’s likely Evans will replace ailing left end Phillip Daniels tomorrow night in Philadelphia.

Not only did Daniels skip a third straight practice with the sprained right foot he suffered in Sunday’s opener against Miami, he didn’t even join his teammates for stretching yesterday.

“I still have a couple of days, but I may have to skip this game and get ready for [the New York] Giants [on Sept. 23],” said Daniels, who was downgraded to doubtful.

Coach Joe Gibbs called Evans “real conscientious, real smart” and noted he had asked for a chance to play more when he re-signed last year.

“We all look forward to getting the chance to play more,” said Evans, who had 7½ sacks the past three years despite seeing limited action. “This game is all about making plays, and you can’t make them if you’re not on the field.”

Evans, 28, wasn’t on the field anywhere in 2003 after being cut by new Cowboys coach Bill Parcells after two seasons in Dallas. Evans revived his career in NFL Europe in the spring of 2004 and signed with the Redskins that July. He started eight games that season in place of the injured Daniels and three more at tackle — plus the playoff game in place of injured end Renaldo Wynn in 2005.

Smoot downgraded

Cornerback Fred Smoot, who injured a hamstring during Friday’s practice, didn’t work yesterday. Smoot said he was just resting and vowed to play, but he was downgraded to questionable. Pierson Prioleau was upgraded to probable, but fellow safety Vernon Fox is doubtful.

The survivor

Evans and Khary Campbell, the special teams’ top tackler the past two years, are two of the three reserves left from the 2004 defense that ranked third in the NFL. The unlikely third is tackle Ryan Boschetti, who began his career on the practice squad that season as a rookie free agent from UCLA. Boschetti has been cut a couple of times, has started only two games and has played in just 18.

“I don’t know if I’m a survivor,” Boschetti said. “I work hard. I come in here every day. I spend extra time in the film room. I know if you work hard, it pays off. Every day, I give 120 percent, and every time I had an opportunity to play in preseason, I busted my butt.”

Assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said the staff loves Boschetti’s work ethic and attitude, but he never believed the less-than-special athlete still would be with the Redskins.

A quick start

Cornerback Leigh Torrence didn’t play in the NFL last year after being cut by Atlanta following a 10-game debut in 2005. Torrence, who signed with the Redskins on Dec. 27 but was inactive for the subsequent season finale, faced a battle to make the roster this year with proven cornerbacks Shawn Springs, Carlos Rogers, Fred Smoot, David Macklin, Ade Jimoh and Jerametrius Butler all ahead of him.

But Butler couldn’t stay healthy and was cut. So it came down to Torrence and Jimoh, who had struggled in coverage for four years but excelled on special teams. The Redskins kept Torrence, who has 4.4 speed.

“Leigh’s the fastest guy that I have put a stopwatch on since I came to the Redskins [in 2004],” Williams said. “You can’t coach speed. The thing that you hope you can affect a little bit is the understanding of technique. Leigh has some upside. He has a long ways to go, [so it’s] good that he gets a chance to practice against Santana Moss [and] Antwaan Randle El. He caught all of our eyes that way.”

Torrence, who also caught the eye of special teams coach Danny Smith, limited Miami rookie speedster Ted Ginn Jr. to just 10 yards on the season-opening kickoff and later teamed with James Thrash to bring down Ginn for 9 yards on a punt return in the second quarter.

“That was a great feeling,” said the 25-year-old Torrence, who played at Stanford. “It had been a while since I had played [in a regular-season game], so it was good to make an impact so quickly.”

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