Friday, November 3, 2006

Pro Bowl receiver Santana Moss, who became a Washington hero with two late, long touchdown catches to stun Dallas last season, won’t play when the desperate Redskins (2-5) meet the Dallas Cowboys tomorrow at FedEx Field.

Moss, still sidelined by a strained left hamstring, watched in gray sweats as his teammates went through their final practice yesterday.

“You’re seeing how I’m dressed,” said Moss, who hasn’t practiced since getting hurt in the Oct. 22 loss at Indianapolis. “How can you go out there and do something when you haven’t even put out the work? It’s not right for me to say I’m going to jump out there and try and go 100 miles per hour.”

Although he was bothered by hamstrings during his last three seasons with the New York Jets, Moss missed just two games because of those problems and hadn’t missed a game during his two years in Washington.

“I’ve dealt with it before,” Moss said. “I went out there and tried [to play] with it and it didn’t do anything except carry on week to week to week. So instead of going through that all over again, I just said the leg will let me know when it’s ready.”

Moss’ absence would sorely be felt since he has a team-high 28 catches and his 435 yards are twice as many as any teammate.

“You’re going to miss Santana,” Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. “It’s looking more and more like it’s going to be hard for him to go. We’re going to have to have some other guys step up.”

David Patten, last year’s No. 2 receiver, also didn’t practice because of a strained left hamstring. Gibbs and Patten both expect his availability to be a game-time decision.

“It’s so frustrating. I don’t want to talk about it,” said Patten, who has just one catch this year and missed the past three games with a strained left thigh. “I’ll go if it’s at all possible, but if I can’t go, I can’t go.”

While receivers Brandon Lloyd (shoulder), Antwaan Randle El (heel) and James Thrash should all play more, tight end Chris Cooley could wind up seeing the most passes. Cooley had touchdowns in Washington’s past two games after not scoring in the first five.

“I think I’ll be in the game plan more no matter who’s in there,” Cooley said. “It’s been a tougher adjustment to the new offense than I figured. You run plays in [organized team activities] and you think you’re doing well, but it’s a lot different when you get out on the field in a game.”

Meanwhile, offensive tackle Jon Jansen rested an ailing calf yesterday but should start tomorrow along with running back Clinton Portis (ankle), quarterback Mark Brunell (ribs) and offensive tackle Chris Samuels (leg).

The gang’s all here

With linebacker Lemar Marshall (ankle), defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (hip) and cornerback Carlos Rogers (thumb) all back, the Redskins will start their 11 preferred defensive players tomorrow for the first time in more than a year. Cornerback Shawn Springs (seven starts), Griffin (six), defensive tackle Joe Salave’a (four), Rogers (three), Marshall, safety Sean Taylor and former starting end Renaldo Wynn (one apiece) all missed starts in the interim.

“It will make what we’re doing a little easier because we know each other and we’re comfortable with each other,” linebacker Marcus Washington said.

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