Washington Redskins fullback Mike Sellers might not play against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday because of a serious thigh bruise he suffered in the club’s loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Sellers was hospitalized after the Redskins’ 33-30 overtime defeat with a thigh bruise the team was concerned could develop into compartment syndrome, which sidelined defensive end Jason Taylor for three games last season. Sellers was released from the hospital Monday morning.
“If you get some bleeding, you get compartmental syndrome,” coach Jim Zorn said. “We had the blood [that was] pooling drained. I don’t know if he’s going to make it back in time for this game. It’s going to be really sore.”
With rookie Eddie Williams on injured reserve, the Redskins don’t have a backup fullback on the roster. If Sellers doesn’t play, reserve tight end Todd Yoder would take Sellers’ snaps at fullback. The Redskins then wouldn’t have a backup to Yoder or tight end Fred Davis.
Sellers likely was injured on the Redskins’ final offensive play in overtime, a fumble by Sellers that led to the game-winning field goal by the Saints. Sellers complained afterward that the whistle already had blown on the play and that the fumble should have been nullified.
Zorn, however, said Monday that the whistle had been “inadvertent” and that Chris McAlister’s fumble recovery was legitimate.
Meanwhile, DeAngelo Hall, who missed the past two games because of a right knee sprain he suffered Nov. 22 against Dallas, still is uncertain to face his old team Sunday.
“I know he would love to play against the Raiders, but he’s got to have that ability to explode and change directions,” Zorn said.
In the fourth quarter, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth aggravated the sprained left ankle that kept him out of the previous two games, and he also isn’t certain to play against the Raiders.
Running back Clinton Portis, sidelined since Nov. 8 with a concussion, was set to begin a series of examinations Monday and Tuesday with neurologists in Pittsburgh that the Redskins hope will clear him to return to action this week.
Zorn said he is inclined not to start backup Quinton Ganther at running back even though he averaged 6.0 yards on 13 carries the past two weeks and Rock Cartwright averaged only 2.5 yards on 28 carries as the starter in that span.
“By committee we’re doing a pretty good job,” Zorn said.
Defensive tackles Cornelius Griffin (knee) and Kedric Golston (elbow) and receiver Antwaan Randle El (shoulder) all were hurt during the second half against the Saints but aren’t expected to miss any time.
Suisham in danger?
Zorn said the Redskins will try out kickers this week as potential replacements for Shaun Suisham, who missed a chip-shot field goal attempt in the waning minutes that would have sealed an upset over the unbeaten Saints.
He said, however, that the club wouldn’t necessarily replace Suisham.
Zorn watched film of the failed 23-yard field goal try and said that Ethan Albright delivered “a decent snap,” that Hunter Smith made “an excellent hold” but that the kick by Suisham with 1:56 left was “poor.”
Therefore, Zorn didn’t rule out replacing Suisham, who had made all three of his kicks earlier in the game and was 18-for-20 for the season, if another kicker wows the Redskins during tryouts Tuesday.
The only kickers who were in the NFL this year and are currently out of work are 39-year-old Jason Elam, the unreliable Mike Nugent and the inexperienced Shane Andrus and Steve Hauschka.
“That’s a possibility,” Zorn said. “We’re going to talk about it. We work out a lot of guys. That doesn’t mean that he’s cleaning out his locker today.”
Zorn said some of Suisham’s short kickoffs Sunday were designed by special teams coach Danny Smith to be caught on the muddy portion of the field.
Blades for Orakpo
Backup linebacker H.B. Blades played more against the Saints than he had all year because the coaches didn’t want rookie Brian Orakpo, a college defensive end, to spend much time covering New Orleans Pro Bowl tight end Jeremy Shockey.
“We didn’t want to put Rak on Shockey,” said Zorn, who added that the rookie also is beginning to wear down from the long season. “It was for that game.”
Blades, who came in with six tackles, made four against the Saints.