- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 24, 2009

After missing two games with a groin injury, Hunter Smith punted Friday and will be ready to go Monday night for the Washington Redskins against Philadelphia.

“I’m very excited to get back and help with the field position,” he said. “It’s been a tough couple weeks for me not being able to help the team.”

Smith punted three times last Saturday for the first time since he was hurt Oct. 4 against Tampa Bay, but the groin wasn’t right. That changed Friday.

“I knew after three or four punts today that I was good to go,” he said.

foot Smith celebrated on his way off the field, leaping toward Larry Hess, the team’s director of rehabilitation, to chest-bump him and joyfully slapping him on the thigh.

“I just about lost my breath,” coach Jim Zorn said. “I’m going, ‘What are you doing?’ But he felt real good. He had a real good workout. I’m confident that we’re going to get everything we need to get out of him Monday night.”

Injury updates

Safeties Chris Horton and Kareem Moore returned to practice Friday, but defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and running back Clinton Portis remained out with sprained ankles.

Zorn said he expects Haynesworth and Portis to be ready Monday. Despite fighting high fevers, Horton and Moore are expected to play, too.

Horton said he began feeling sick last Saturday but felt better during the team’s 14-6 loss to Kansas City the next day. He took a turn for the worse Sunday night, and his fever climbed to 102 degrees Monday. The safeties were so sick that they didn’t come out to practice Wednesday and watched while bundled up Thursday even though it was warm.

“I’m still fatigued, but I felt good enough to run around today,” Horton said.

Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, who’s fighting a sprained left elbow, practiced and should start against the Eagles.

Solidarity at tackle

Tackles Stephon Heyer and Mike Williams, two starters on the reshuffled offensive line, shaved their heads this week.

“I just needed a haircut,” Williams said. “Stephon was a surprise. There wasn’t no coordination going on.”

Neither player has started in a Monday night game.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Williams said.

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