- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 25, 2008

With the New York Giants bringing the NFL‘s top running game to FedEx Field on Sunday, the Washington Redskins will have to scramble to put up some resistance.

Middle linebacker London Fletcher and defensive linemen Andre Carter, Kedric Golston and Cornelius Griffin suffered injuries in Sunday’s 20-17 win in Seattle.

Fletcher, the team’s leading tackler this season and in 2007, underwent an MRI on his left foot. He wore a boot Monday and limped noticeably at Redskin Park.

Carter, who also wore a boot, was slowed by a plantar fascia injury in his right foot and also was scheduled for an MRI. Golston’s bone spur in his right foot forced him to wear a boot and leave the facility on crutches; Griffin suffered a shoulder stinger. Golston and Griffin are expected to play but could be limited.

“I’m sure everybody was wondering, ‘Why aren’t you taking him off the field?’” coach Jim Zorn said of Golston. “But when he got down in his stance, he could still burst off the ball. He was a real warrior [Sunday].”

Losing Fletcher would be huge. The durable 11-year veteran has made 130 consecutive starts and calls defensive plays.

The Redskins are already without strongside linebacker Marcus Washington, who won’t play Sunday because of a high ankle sprain. If Fletcher can’t go, H.B. Blades would move to the middle and Alfred Fincher would get a shot on the strong side. Zorn said the Redskins might be forced to play a nickel defense - five defensive backs and two linebackers.

Led by 260-pound banger Brandon Jacobs, who is expected to return from a knee injury, the Giants (10-1) top the NFL at 164.9 rushing yards a game.

“We’ll have some guys to put in, but that’s what every team would have to do. … We’d have it covered,” Zorn said. “Every team is playing sore and hurt, and we’re no different.”

On the defensive line, Jason Taylor likely would move to his natural position of right end if Carter is limited and Demetric Evans would continue to receive plenty of playing time. At tackle, Anthony Montgomery is slated to return from a two-game absence after an Achilles injury.

Carter said his injury felt like “walking on glass.”

“I’m feeling confident about Sunday,” he said. “It happened on one play and came out of nowhere. It’s unfortunate. We have to be smart about how we practice this week.”

Happy birthday, boss

Zorn made a triumphant return to Seattle and beat his former boss and mentor Mike Holmgren, but he’s well aware of who signs his paychecks. After the game, Zorn gave the game ball to team owner Dan Snyder - or “Coach Snyder,” as center Casey Rabach inadvertently called him Monday - who was celebrating his 44th birthday.

“I was wondering what he was going to get for his birthday,” Zorn said. “He said, ‘I want a win.’ So we had a game ball already printed, hoping. It was like those baseball caps, you know? I wonder what they do with those things if you don’t [win]. It was that kind of deal.

“I was hoping that we’d win, and we had a ball painted up. It was a pretty good birthday gift for him.”

Ravens game flexed

The Redskins’ game at Baltimore on Dec. 7 has been moved to 8:15 p.m. and will be shown nationally on NBC. It originally was scheduled as a 1 p.m. Fox telecast.

“I think it’s a great strategy for the league because I think it’s going to be a great football game,” Zorn said. “That’s No. 1. Both teams are in close proximity, so there will be a lot of fan enthusiasm there. …

“It’s not that disruptive. It’s just a few hours later. And I think that our players will be very excited, and so will Baltimore’s, that we get to be a featured game, that we’re honored to have that opportunity this late in the season.”

At least one Redskins player didn’t sound too excited: “I’d rather play at 8 in the morning,” Rabach said.

The Redskins are 0-3 in prime-time games this season, losing at the Giants and at home to Pittsburgh and Dallas.

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