- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Marcus Washington, once the indestructible force of the Redskins‘ defense is hurt. Again.

The 2004 Pro Bowl linebacker suffered a high ankle sprain and was carted to the locker room for the first time in his career during Sunday night’s 14-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He will miss at least one game, but coach Jim Zorn thinks that is a conservative estimate.

“The guy I’m concerned about is Marcus,” Zorn said Monday. “That’s going to keep him out more than a week.”

Washington, who started 46 straight games - including the playoffs - until sitting out the final two games of 2006 with a knee injury, has since missed time with hip, elbow, hamstring and shoulder injuries.

“It’s part of the game; you’re going to get injuries,” said Washington, 31. “You’re going to get some cuts and scrapes. How you deal with it tells you a lot about your character.”

Washington said he believes his injury history has nothing to do with his ailing left ankle.

“If it was my first practice, it still would’ve been a high ankle sprain,” said Washington, who wore a walking boot Monday. “We were going to make the tackle, [but] the fullback fell on me and my foot got stuck underneath some people.”

While Washington won’t play this week at Seattle, cornerback Shawn Springs should return after missing four straight games with a strained left calf. Springs, 33, said he was close to playing in a limited role against the Cowboys after practicing Friday for the first time in four weeks. However, he was kept inactive in favor of rookie tight end Fred Davis. New addition DeAngelo Hall played well in Springs’ place.

“He just could not go full speed,” Zorn said of Springs. “He has a hard time … feeling like you can really cover outstanding receivers not being 100 percent yourself. We gave him that rest. We’ll have him this week.”

Receiver Antwaan Randle El sprained his left ankle on a punt return in the third quarter, but he expects to be ready Sunday. Randle El, whose absence Dec. 2 against Buffalo last season is the only game he has missed in his seven-year career, termed himself day-to-day.

“It’s sore now, but I’m already walking better,” he said.

Zorn said running back Clinton Portis, who missed all of practice last week with a sprained left knee, is “better than he was coming into last week” and should practice at some point in preparation for Sunday’s game in Seattle. Backup Ladell Betts, who played Sunday after missing a month with a sprained left knee, was hit on the knee in the third quarter. He too should be ready for Seattle.

Defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery said the strained right Achilles tendon that kept him out against the Cowboys was a little better, but his status is still uncertain for Sunday. Defensive end Jason Taylor, who returned in a reserve role against Dallas but didn’t appear on the stat sheet, said he finally felt right after two months of dealing with a troublesome left calf that required emergency surgery Sept. 22 and a follow-up procedure Oct. 27.

Defense still solid

Washington’s defense remains fourth in the NFL and second in the NFC.

The Redskins are fifth against the run, seventh in scoring defense - including the two touchdowns allowed by the punt team - and 10th against the pass.

Against the wind

Shaun Suisham’s string of six consecutive field goals ended when his 46-yard try into what he called “a pretty stiff” wind fell short in the third quarter Sunday.

Suisham is 19-for-25 this year and 56-for-69 in 31 regular-season games with the Redskins.

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