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News & Notes: Nipped By a 'Tuck'

A day after losing to the Denver Broncos by two points, Redskins players and coaches were still questioning the replay reversal of an apparent safety on Jake Plummer in the third quarter of Sunday's game.

The play in question occurred with the Broncos backed up at 3rd-and-5 at Denver's 7-yard line. Plummer dropped back to pass, wound his arm to throw, but then appeared to try to pull the ball back in. The ball dropped out of his hand and bounced into the end zone behind him.

Plummer scooped it up, where he was quickly tackled by cornerback Ade Jimoh.

Replay officials ruled that Plummer's pass was incomplete because his arm was going forward.

Officials cited the so-called "Tuck Rule" in which an incomplete pass is called when a quarterback attempts to tuck the ball back in after winding to throw, only to fumble the ball in the process.

The Redskins lost to Denver by a score of 21-19. The Redskins had scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but had to go for a two-point conversion instead of an extra point. Mark Brunell's pass to wide receiver David Patten was incomplete.

"Obviously those two points would have made a difference," Brunell said.

In explaining the "Tuck Rule" on Monday, head coach Joe Gibbs said: "When the quarterback goes and tucks the ball back in from an attempted pass, he has to do something beyond that before it becomes a fumble--in other words when he pulls the ball back in.

"But here's our point: We didn't have anything to do with it. He did it strictly on his own. We didn't hit him. What he did, he started forward with the ball, pulled the ball back in, and it hits his left hand. Then it comes back out, in back of him in essence. So the point is, at what point is that a lateral backwards?

"But, hey look, up here you've got to be able to overcome that. You can't spend a lot of time with it. We'll turn all of that stuff into the league and do our best to help them."


Cornerback Shawn Springs, sidelined for most of Sunday's game with a bruised shin, underwent a precautionary MRI on Monday. Team officials said X-rays have revealed no fracture.

Springs' injury is not expected to be serious, but his status is uncertain heading into next week's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gibbs said he expects cornerback Walt Harris to be ready to go next week against the Chiefs. Harris has been sidelined the last two weeks by a calf injury. He was replaced in the lineup by Carlos Rogers.

The Redskins will continue to move forward with two kickers on the roster, even at the expense of other positions on the team, Gibbs said.

John Hall has been sidelined with a quad injury and his replacement, Nick Novak, has been solid with the exception of two blocked field goal attempts.

"We're going to go with two kickers until John is healthy, and then we'll make a decision," Gibbs said. "We are thin at some other positions, but we don't have a choice at this point."


Linebacker LaVar Arrington did not play in Sunday's game. Gibbs said the defensive coaches opted to stay with certain packages that would help contain Plummer, a mobile QB.

Plummer rushed for 17 yards on four carries in the game.

"We were really concerned about bootlegs and waggles, so we did a lot less substitution on defense," Gibbs said. "The packages LaVar was in, we just didn't go to them.

"We know that this is something that has high interest from everybody. We want LaVar to play. It was just one of those games where we wound up not doing a lot of substitution."

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