- The Washington Times - Monday, December 31, 2012

Kory Lichtensteiger played off and on through a sprained left ankle in the Washington Redskins’ NFC East-clinching victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, and the left guard hopes to be able to go when the playoffs begin in a week.

“I’m feeling all right. I think with a week of treatment, take it easy for the next couple days, I’ll be all right,” Lichtensteiger said. “The fact that I could come back out there and do a series even though I didn’t feel a hundred percent, I think that says a lot that it should be good for next week.”

Lichtensteiger left the game in the third quarter of the 28-18 win and was replaced by rookie Josh LeRibeus. It was the first time the veteran guard had missed snaps on offense this season.

“I just wasn’t quite as effective as what I should be, so [offensive line coach Chris] Foerster came to me and he just noticed that I was gimping on it a little bit so he wanted to put Josh in there,” Lichtensteiger said. “I think it was for the best; Josh came in and did a good job.”

Lichtensteiger, the Redskins’ Ed Block Courage award winner after tearing the ACL, medial collateral ligament and meniscus in his right knee last season, started all 16 games this year.

LeRibeus made his NFL debut on offense when he replaced Lichtensteiger. He conceded battling some nerves.

“The heart was pounding a little faster than usual, I’d say,” LeRibeus said. “But the jitters got out and then it’s a lot more like practice and just getting after people, just focusing on technique a little bit more.”

Center Will Montgomery praised LeRibeus’ play, too, but it was obvious against the Cowboys how big of a drop-off there is from Lichtensteiger to the third-round pick.

Forbath no longer perfect

Kicker Kai Forbath went into the Redskins’ season finale 17-for-17 in his professional career. Then, Sunday night, he clanked a 37-yard attempt off the right upright to break his streak.

In a victorious locker room afterward, he joked that he didn’t want to be asked about his first miss.

“I haven’t seen the film yet. I think I just picked my head up a little too soon. I wanted to see it go in, which is just a stupid mental error,” Forbath said. “I’m just a little frustrated that the miss came on such an, I don’t want to say easy one because obviously it’s not. That proves it.”

The snap appeared clean, and Forbath said it wasn’t a matter of wind affecting his distance or the temperature, which dipped below freezing. But there were other factors, like footing.

“I would never blame conditions, but we’re not working with the best field here,” Forbath said.

The 25-year-old desperately wanted a chance to redeem himself against Dallas but never got it. More opportunities could be coming, though, with the Redskins hosting the Seattle Seahawks in the wild-card round Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

“I look at it now, we got the miss out of the way, I’d rather have it now than next week,” Forbath said. “I’m coming back just as confident as I was coming into this game.”

Extra points

• Cornerback Richard Crawford left the game briefly in the third-quarter after a pass break-up because he got hit in the groin. He shook it off, saying “I’m good.”

• Tight end Chris Cooley replaced safety DeJon Gomes (inactive with knee injury) on the punt coverage team. The Cowboys had a 39-yard punt return in a losing effort.

• The Cowboys lost receiver Miles Austin a left ankle injury; receiver Dez Bryant had a back injury that coach Jason Garrett described as being so bad Bryant couldn’t walk.

• Stephen Whyno can be reached at swhyno@washingtontimes.com.

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