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News & Notes: Springs, Taylor, Heyer Sit Out Practice


Three Redskins starters sat out Wednesday's practice due to injuries, putting into doubt their status for this week's game at Philadelphia.

The most serious is Jason Taylor, who has a calf injury that required minor surgery on Sept. 22. He missed the Dallas game last Sunday.

Taylor was on the sidelines during practice and did some light running.

Jim Zorn did not sound optimistic that Taylor would be available for the Eagles game.

Asked if Taylor would play, Zorn said: "I wouldn't say that he's definitely out. I think that, but I wouldn't say that. You just don't know. Jason is optimistic. But if he doesn't practice, then I can't imagine he would play.

"It may be another week. He's out here running, and that's more than I thought he would be able to do at this time."

If Taylor cannot play, then Demetric Evans would likely draw the start for the second game in a row.

Shawn Springs was sidelined with a calf injury, but the 12-year veteran said he hopes to be ready for Sunday's game against Philadelphia.

"I'm still really sore right now, but hopefully I'll be back out there and getting ready to play on Sunday," Springs said.

Springs suffered the injury in the second half of the Dallas game and he did not return.

Stephon Heyer also missed practice on Wednesday to rest a shoulder injury.

Heyer did not start at right tackle against Dallas, but he did see action on special teams.

Blocking for a field goal attempt, Heyer aggravated the injury, Zorn said.

If Heyer is unable to play, then Jon Jansen would draw the start for the second game in a row.

"I go in believing I'm the starter and when they tell me it's me or Stephon, that's when I'll know," Jansen said on Wednesday. "I'm not going to change anything I do to get ready during the week. I'm going to prepare myself to play and if it happens, it happens."

Also, Andre Carter was excused from practice on Wednesday due to a personal matter.


Jim Zorn's post-game cheer--"Hip Hip Hoo-ray"--was broadcast on national television during FOX TV's post-game show after the Redskins-Cowboys game.

Asked about it this week, Zorn said there was a "long history" to that cheer in his background.

"When Chuck Knox came to the Seattle Seahawks, he gave the old Hip Hip Hoo-ray, and I thought, 'This is very old school.' Hip Hip Hoo-ray?

"In a way, it kind of fired me up. And when we were doing this as a player, I thought, 'What's wrong with old school? Yeah, let's go. Hip Hip Hoo-ray! And I enjoyed that cheer because I just enjoyed the enthusiasm Chuck Know had when he led the cheer.

"I sort of just carried the banner, if you will, through being a coach."

Redskins Hall of Fame coach George Allen used the Hip Hip Hoo-ray post-game cheer during his coaching days from 1971-77.


Shawn Springs has competed against Donovan McNabb since 1999, and he has followed McNabb's development through the years.

A year ago, McNabb did not have great mobility as he came back from a knee ligament injury.

Springs said that McNabb's mobility appears to be back, but he is using it differently.

"He can really keep a play going," Springs said. "He has always been able to make plays with his feet since he has been in the league. And he has a cannon arm. But before when he scrambled, he would scramble to run and keep going. Now he scrambles to throw the ball, so he's dangerous."


The Redskins' defense is keeping tabs on the status of Philadelphia running back Brian Westbrook, who has an ankle injury and missed the Eagles' last game.

Westbrook was limited in practice on Wednesday.

Defenders are preparing for Westbrook as if he is going to play.

"He's from Washington, D.C., so he wants to play in this game," London Fletcher said. "If he is close to 100 percent, then he will probably play. We have to be ready for him. It's hard to get a good shot at tackling him because he is so elusive and changes speeds really well."


The Redskins are 3-1, but Clinton Portis still feels like the team has an underdog status going into games.

"The five years I've been here, we have always been loved over, so right now we can't let being an underdog slip away," Portis said. "If you look at the past, the times we went on winning streaks was when it was just us who believed in us."

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