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News & Notes: Injury Concerns at D-Line

Renaldo Wynn walked side-by-side with the defensive linemen on Wednesday, looked around, and suddenly realized he was the only remaining starter available to practice.

Cornelius Griffin has a hip injury and is listed as questionable. Joe Salave'a has a lingering foot injury and is also questionable. Phillip Daniels has an ankle sprain and is listed as probable.

All three sat out practice on Wednesday, putting the Redskins' defensive line in a state of flux as the team begins preparation for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday evening.

With so many defensive linemen ailing, backups Cedric Killings, Ryan Boschetti, Aki Jones and Nic Clemons could see increased action this week.

At this point, Salave'a and Daniels are expected to be available to play on Sunday, but there is a degree of uncertainty about Griffin. He sustained his injury in the Week 7 win over San Francisco, then participated in only a handful of plays last Sunday.

"Maybe all of the injuries will be a character or reality check for all of us," Salave'a said. "It just goes to show you that whether you're a backup or a third-string guy, you can't take a day off as far as your preparation. This is when we need them most."

Added Wynn: "You know what, I just look at it as a great opportunity for the young guys. It's pretty fun, because the young guys always talk about getting an opportunity and showing what they can do. Well, here it is. There's no better situation than ESPN on Sunday night. I look forward to seeing those guys play."

Killings, one of the team's surprise performers early this season, has been nursing an ankle sprain that sidelined him the last two games. He is not on the team's injury report this week, signaling that he should be available to play against the Eagles.

"My ankle feels a lot better," Killings said. "It's not as sore as it was. It'll probably feel better to play on grass."

Jones is also coming off a hamstring injury, but he is expected to be available this Sunday.

Head coach Joe Gibbs said the team has no initial plans to add any free agent defensive linemen to the roster.

"We have not talked about that," Gibbs said. "[Defensive coordinator-defensive line coach] Greg Blache feels that we're going to be getting some of the injured guys back. At this point in the year, you're scrambling sometimes because you have a few guys nicked up. We're expecting a couple of those guys to come back."

-- T.O. A NO GO?

Gibbs will believe Terrell Owens isn't playing Sunday when he sees it. The Eagles have listed Owens as doubtful for Sunday's game due to an ankle injury.

"You always hear things like doubtful," Gibbs said. "I've learned over the years that they always play. They always play great-that's the other bad thing. That's the approach we always take with it."

With Owens possibly sidelined, former Redskins wide receiver Darnerien McCants could be activated for this Sunday's game. McCants has one catch for 22 yards in limited duty with the Eagles this season.

"If T.O. can't go, then he'll have an opportunity to get in there and be active," Eagles' head coach Andy Reid said.

Gibbs is expecting McCants to come to Washington, D.C., looking to prove something against the team that released him in the preseason.

Said Gibbs: "We had a long time here with Darnerien. We wish him the best, except against us. We don't want him to play well against us on Sunday night. I'm sure anyone that has played somewhere else has a chip on."


Tight end Robert Royal is listed as questionable with a calf injury and did not practice on Wednesday. If Royal is unable to play, veteran Brian Kozlowski could see increased playing time on offense. Since Gibbs views the tight end and H-back positions as interchangeable, Chris Cooley and Mike Sellers could also see action at tight end.

Left tackle Chris Samuels also sat out practice as he continues to rest a knee sprain. Samuels suffered the injury in last Sunday's game against the Giants. He is listed as probable.

Safety Omar Stoutmire is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.


The Redskins and Eagles are two teams that have been bedeviled with injuries at place kicker this season.

David Akers, the Eagles' Pro Bowl kicker who has been sidelined since Week 3 with a hamstring injury, could be back on the field this Sunday. The Eagles also have kicker Jose Cortez on the roster. It's possible that Cortez could be used on kickoffs this Sunday, while Akers only kicks field goals. That would likely reduce the strain on Akers' injury on game day.

The Eagles also have issues at punter. With Dirk Johnson now on injured reserve with a groin injury, the team signed rookie Reggie Hodge on Wednesday to take over the punting duties.

Like the Eagles, the Redskins currently have two kickers on the roster. With John Hall sufficiently recovered from a quad injury, the future of Nick Novak remains uncertain. It's possible that Novak could be released later this week to make room for another offensive or defensive lineman on the roster.

Said Gibbs: "I would think we'll probably go to the end of the week again before we make a decision what we're going to do. I don't think there's any reason to do it early. There's no benefit to it."

Added Hall, who is not on the injury report for the first time since Week 1: "I feel well. I've had another week of rest. I'm just continuing to work hard and trying to get stronger."

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