- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 4, 2008

Although Jim Zorn had said Thursday he probably would shut down Shawn Springs if the cornerback didn’t practice all week because of a strained calf, Washington’s coach reversed field Friday and said he won’t decide about Springs until just before kickoff Sunday in Philadelphia.

“Shawn is still a question mark,” Zorn said. “He would be one guy I would definitely play without the reps.”

Strongside linebacker Marcus Washington was limited for a third straight day because of a sore hamstring. But since he started Week 4 at Dallas, when the injury was a little worse, he’ll likely play even though he’s also a game-time decision.

“We’re trying to nurse it a little, [but] I suspect he’s going to play,” Zorn said.

Right tackle Stephon Heyer (sprained left shoulder) and left end Jason Taylor, who’s recovering from emergency calf surgery on Sept. 22, won’t play. That means a second straight start for Jon Jansen and Demetric Evans. Right guard Randy Thomas (toe) was limited again but should start. Although he practiced all week, rookie receiver Malcolm Kelly will be inactive for the fourth time in five games.

Defensive end Andre Carter returned after missing two days for personal reasons.

Meanwhile, Brian Westbrook completed a full practice in Philadelphia for the first time since he sprained his ankle Sept. 22. The Redskins can expect to face the Pro Bowl running back, who torched them for 717 yards on 95 touches in four meetings in 2006 and 2007.

Frustrated James

The Redskins knew that defensive end Erasmus James was coming off major knee surgeries in consecutive years when they traded for him in May. However, the Redskins didn’t expect that they would receive such little production from Minnesota’s 2005 first-round draft choice a quarter of the way through the season.

James had a quarterback hurry but no tackles in the first two games and was inactive the next week. Taylor was out last week, but the Redskins activated seventh-round pick Rob Jackson and kept James in street clothes.

“We were hopeful that Erasmus would be a little further along,” defensive line coach John Palermo said. “I don’t think he’s 100 percent. His strength’s starting to come back in his lower body. His intensity factor’s picked up. There’s going to come a point when we’re really going to need him.”

That could be Sunday. James is likely to be active against the pass-happy Eagles, but he expected to play against the Cowboys.

“I prepared all week, and then to not be able to play was frustrating, especially in an NFC East game,” James said. “I was a little bit surprised [to be inactive]. I want to put some of that accountability on me. I feel like I work every day in practice as hard as everyone else.”

But as Palermo said, James isn’t fully ready to go even though he returned to full practice Aug. 13 and hasn’t missed a day since.

“I’m still trying to get my footwork down and bring along my feet with my hands,” said James, who has played in just 10 games since first hurting his knee in Week 2 of 2006. “Sometimes, it’s been a little uncoordinated. It’s coming, but it’s not quite there yet.”

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