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Hall Optimistic He'll Be Able to Play Against Giants

By Leonard Shapiro
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 27, 2005

Place kicker John Hall said yesterday that he thinks he will be able to play Sunday against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium, but said he won't know for sure until his coaches see him in practice the rest of the week.

Hall, who has been out since the season opener with a pulled quadriceps muscle in his right leg, will have his most extensive workout of the week today at Redskins Park. But Coach Joe Gibbs said the staff likely will not make a decision until the end of the week.

"It feels good," Hall said. "This will be the second week [he has been able to kick extensively in practice], so it feels pretty good. I'm looking forward to the challenge. Of course, I'm anxious. It was a lot of fun watching on Sunday [as the Redskins drilled San Francisco, 52-17], but I want to play. It's a pretty big game, and players want to play in big games."

Hall has been replaced in the last five games by rookie Nick Novak, who had the game-winning extra point against the Dallas Cowboys in his debut, then kicked a game-winning field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in overtime. Last week Novak had 10 points -- a field goal and seven extra points.

The Redskins have said they do not want to keep two kickers on the roster, especially as injuries mount at other positions. If Hall is activated, Novak almost certainly would be released, but his performance should enable him to get picked up by another team. Hall knows all about the swirling winds that often make kicking at Giants Stadium a nightmare; he played there for six seasons with the New York Jets.

"We'll wait to the end of the week," Gibbs said. "It's week to week. [Today] we do most of our kicking. [Hall] took quite a bit [yesterday]. We'll monitor it."

Moss's Numbers

Wide receiver Santana Moss not only leads the NFL in receiving yardage, he's also averaging 125 yards per game. Among the top four receivers, Moss is the only one to have had a bye week. Chad Johnson of Cincinnati, No. 2 in yardage, is averaging 94 yards a game. The Eagles' Terrell Owens is the only other receiver in the league averaging more than 100 yards per game, with 101.5 yards.

"I'd say he's been pretty phenomenal," Gibbs said of Moss. "And this couldn't have come at a better time for us. Last year, we were so frustrated we couldn't get any big plays. For us to get some this year, it's changed the whole complexion of our offense."

Injury Report

The Redskins listed 10 players on their first injury report of the week, but all were labeled probable, defined by the NFL as a "virtual certainty that the player will be available for normal duty."

Four players did not practice yesterday as a precaution, including defensive tackles Cornelius Griffin (strained hip flexor), Cedric Killings (sprained ankle) and Aki Jones (pulled hamstring) and safety Sean Taylor (sprained ankle).

Quarterback Mark Brunell, who strained a calf muscle in his left leg in the Thursday practice before the 49ers game, was given limited action yesterday.

He also indicated his leg felt better this week than it did when he first tweaked it last Thursday. He was among the probables.

Also on the list were tackle Joe Salave'a (foot), linebacker LaVar Arrington (hamstring), center Casey Rabach (ankle), cornerback Carlos Rogers (ankle) and Hall. They all practiced yesterday.

The Giants listed three players on their injured list -- cornerback Will Peterson, who is out with a bad back, and two questionable starters, wide receiver Plaxico Burress (shoulder) and linebacker Carlos Emmons (pectoral muscle). None practiced yesterday.

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