- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 13, 2008

Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn expects Shawn Springs to play for the first time in five games against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

The cornerback, well, he isn’t so sure.

“I’m concerned,” said Springs, who hasn’t been on the field since he reinjured his calf Oct. 9. “It’s getting better but not as quick as I thought.”

Last week’s signing of cornerback DeAngelo Hall has helped ease Springs’ absence. Zorn was impressed with Hall’s first practice in pads, noting his ability to change directions smoothly and quickly.

Meanwhile, running back Clinton Portis and linebacker Marcus Washington also were not able to practice Wednesday.

Washington, who missed two games with a hamstring problem, termed his injury “just a shoulder.”

“I’ll rest it this week, and I’ll be a game-time decision,” he said.

Zorn said Washington is getting strength back in the shoulder.

“I’m encouraged, but he’s not out of the woods yet,” Zorn said.

Receiver Santana Moss (hamstring) was back on the field, as was No. 2 running back Ladell Betts, who the Redskins hope can start if Portis is out with a sprained knee. Betts, who was limited, hadn’t been in pads since he sprained his knee Oct. 12 against Cleveland.

“It’s early, but I feel better than I felt the week we played Pittsburgh,” Moss said. “I feel more like my hamstring is healed. Now I have to get my strength, and that comes day to day. I have to make sure I do everything the right way.”

Zorn said he was impressed with Moss but cautioned that he “didn’t have the burst.”

Defensive Jason Taylor (calf) took part in contact drills for the first time since Oct. 26.

“I feel good,” said Taylor, who had emergency surgery on the calf Sept. 22 and a minor follow-up procedure Oct. 27. “I felt good during the bye week walking around and chasing the kids, but I haven’t played football yet. We’ll see how it [feels] after practice. I pushed it after the first surgery and tried to get back. That might not have been the smartest thing to do, but I did it anyway. At this point, I had to take the time to let it rest. Thank God the bye week was when it was. I’m champing at the bit to get back out there. I wish today was Friday, Saturday or, hell, Sunday morning because I’m ready to go.”

Zorn said Taylor was “revving it up.”

“I’m very excited about seeing him participate at full speed,” Zorn said. “He’s not just going through the motions.”

Rookie receiver Malcolm Kelly was in pads for the first time since Oct. 17.

“I didn’t hesitate or anything,” said Kelly, whose left knee has been an issue since before it was scoped Aug. 4. “I was able to cut. It felt great to be back. I just had to be really patient and let it heal up.”

Guard Pete Kendall rested his ailing knees, but he should return Thursday and start Sunday. Tackle Chris Samuels (knee) was limited but also should start. Backup defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery (Achilles) didn’t work and remains doubtful.

Collins’ scary bye week

Backup quarterback Todd Collins spent Saturday night in a Boston-area hospital with a ruptured left eardrum that developed from a severe sinus infection. Collins wasn’t allowed to fly for a few days, so his father drove him back to Virginia on Tuesday.

“My ears got blocked up on the plane [last] Tuesday,” Collins said. “During the course of the week, it continued to get worse. I had yellow pus oozing out of my ear. The pain was so bad in my ear I didn’t know what was happening. The whole family was sick. The baby had a couple of ear infections and croup. He was in the ER the night before me. My other son had bronchitis. My wife was sick, too. It wasn’t an enjoyable bye week.”

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