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Redskins Hope to Have Secondary Back At Full Strength


Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot are expected to practice next week as the Redskins prepare for their Week 2 game against the New Orleans Saints.

Springs was deactivated for Thursday night's preseason game against the New York Giants due to a calf injury.

"He could not put any weight on his foot," Jim Zorn said. "I'm hoping that he'll recover and be able to play next week."

Springs was listed as probable for the game, so it was a surprise when he was included among the inactives.

Smoot suffered a lower back injury in the second half of the Giants game. He was in the process of making a tackle when he collided with Chris Horton and fell out of bounds.

He was seen walking gingerly from the locker room to the team buses after the game.

"Smoot has a hip pointer," Zorn said. "He's okay. It's just a painful injury. I think he'll be ready to go."

Said Smoot: "We have 10 days to the next game. I think I should be ready to play."

In Thursday night's game, a 16-7 loss to the Giants, the Redskins turned to Leigh Torrence and rookie J.T. Tryon in nickel and dime packages.

The Giants were able to build a first-half lead by attacking the Redskins' secondary.

Wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who stands at 6-5, proved to be a tough matchup for the Redskins. He caught 10 passes for 133 yards. Five of his catches converted first downs for the Giants.

"We had our defense in a real tough situation with Plaxico Burress one-on-one with the corner," Zorn said. "All they were doing was running curl routes and little in-routes and completing them."

The defense showed improvement in the second half by going with more man-to-man coverage.

"Greg [Blache] told us to press," Smoot said. "We were playing off in some of our Cover 3 packages and they started to dink and dunk. So Greg told us to make them beat us deep. That was the thing to do. They did not get any deep passes on us after that. Our coaches did a great job."

Smoot was second on the team in tackles with eight, and he also logged an interception before he was injured.

Rogers added five tackles in the game.

Perhaps most frustrating of all, the Redskins' defensive backs had opportunities for three more interceptions off Eli Manning, but the ball eluded their grasp.

"When we got pressure on Manning, he threw the ball up for us to have opportunities at interceptions," Zorn said. "On a couple of passes, our DBs were there, they just could not react quickly enough. There were in great coverage position and the ball was thrown a little bit off."

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