Even though it was preseason, Phillip Daniels wasn't happy to be sidelined with a back injury. He missed three of the Redskins' four preseason games to rest.
"I worked hard in the offseason, and it was tough to take three weeks off like that," he said. "If it was the regular season, I would have played through it. No doubt. But they wanted to make sure I was healthy and ready to go for the season opener."
Daniels is one of three injured defensive lineman expected to return to action in the season opener on Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings. Cornelius Griffin is returning from a knee injury and Renaldo Wynn has an ankle injury.
Daniels and Griffin returned to practice on Tuesday. Wynn is expected to return to practice later this week.
Daniels said he has been feeling ready for about a week.
"My back is fine now," he said. "I've gotten the tightness out. It's partly from the hard work I did in the offseason. I started in February to get ready for the season. I'm glad I did, because even though I've missed the last three weeks, it feels like I haven't missed anything. I'm just going to go out and play my game. I won't be worried about my back."
Griffin said after practice that he feels he is "good to go" for Monday's game.
Griffin injured his knee in the Redskins' second preseason game, on Aug. 19 against the New York Jets.
"It feels good to be back out there," he said. "For a while there, it didn't look possible. But it started looking better last Thursday."
The Redskins' defensive line remains a close-knit group. With Daniels, Griffin and Wynn sidelined, Joe Salave'a and Andre Carter have picked up the slack in preseason. They are eager to make up for lost time.
"Right now, I'm the only one left who is not out there," Wynn said. "I want to get out there and join them, as soon as possible. We want to start fast."
-- PORTIS IS 'DAY TO DAY'
#### -- SPRINGS UPDATE
Cornerback Shawn Springs watched Tuesday's practice from the sidelines. His status for next Monday's season opener is uncertain after he underwent a medical procedure last month to repair an abdominal injury.
Springs's status will be announced later this week when the team issues an official injury report.
Asked how Springs is progressing, Joe Gibbs replied: "We just keep working with him. We will see how far he is able to go."