- The Washington Times - Friday, January 1, 2010

His two starting safeties on injured reserve and recovering from a concussion, Jerry Gray joked that he and fellow Washington Redskins assistant coach Steve Jackson may have to play Sunday at San Diego.

Reed Doughty suffered an ankle injury against Dallas on Sunday night and is out, and LaRon Landry’s concussion likely will keep him from facing the Chargers. That leaves Kareem Moore and possibly Fred Smoot as the starters.

“It doesn’t limit what you can do; it limits probably what you can do best,” Gray said Thursday at Redskin Park.

Moore is slated to make his second NFL start at free safety, leaving the Redskins with the possibility of playing the 185-pound Smoot near the line of scrimmage. Landry is 210 pounds.

“Fred is able to do some things that we did with Shawn Springs last year,” Gray said. “It will give us a chance to put another guy on the field that can cover, play back deep and do some of those things.”

Moore started a game last year and has been primarily limited to three-safety packages this year.

“He’s made a lot [of progress],” Gray said. “He’s pretty good at playing free safety. This is another chance for him to start to see where he’s going next year.”

Gray still mum

Gray was asked five questions about reports that he interviewed for the Redskins’ head coaching position and what the future could hold for him. He wouldn’t bite, declining to comment on the speculation.

“If you’re a coach, then you have to coach,” he said. “If you’re sitting around and worrying about what’s going to happen, then San Diego comes out and beats you up. The thing we have to do is not really worry about what’s going to happen Monday and Tuesday and just go out and do your job.”

As for his relationship with coach Jim Zorn, Gray said: “We talk. I think we have a good relationship.”

Haynesworth sits

In addition to Landry, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (hip) and receiver Devin Thomas (ankle) did not practice Thursday. Linebacker Rocky McIntosh (back) was limited, and receiver Santana Moss (knee) returned for a full workout.

Thomas is unlikely to play - he hasn’t practiced since being injured Dec. 21 - and Haynesworth will likely be listed as questionable.

Smith’s status

Punter Hunter Smith is a free agent after the season and said he is open to returning for a second year.

“Would I like to be around here if it was the right situation? Yes,” he said. “Every year, there are teams who look for punters and look to get that position solidified. We like it here and enjoy it here and would be open to staying.”

The Redskins are 26th in net punting but seventh in coverage.

“When you get past the flashy stats of gross average and get to production, as a punt unit, we’ve had a pretty productive year,” Smith said.

Right guard contest

Zorn said he hasn’t decided who will starts for Mike Williams at right guard. Paul Fanaika took the first-team reps Wednesday, and Edwin Williams worked at the spot Thursday.

“We’re still just working through all of the issues,” Zorn said. “We’ve rotated a couple of guys in there right now, and then we’ll see what happens [Friday].”

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