Springs, Rogers Are Still Ailing

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Washington Redskins opened practice again this week without starting cornerbacks Shawn Springs and Carlos Rogers on the field yesterday, with Rogers unlikely to play.

Springs, who has back and groin problems, played in all of Sunday's win over Dallas despite the discomfort, and is expected to play Saturday against the New York Giants. Rogers (questionable) has a torn biceps that forced him out of the 35-7 victory over the Cowboys, and veteran Walt Harris may likely have to replace him again in the lineup. Rogers is not expected to practice today, Gibbs said, which is the last day of physical contact in this short work week.

"It's still pretty sore," said Coach Joe Gibbs, who believes that overall the secondary is in better health than it was a week ago. "And I think we're going to have to have something really good to happen to us for him [Rogers] to be able to play this weekend."

Starting left tackle Chris Samuels, whose right knee has been bothering him for weeks and will require offseason arthroscopic surgery, was also rested for yesterday's practice. Samuels has not been practicing on Wednesdays, and is listed as probable for Saturday, as is safety Matt Bowen (knee). Linebacker LaVar Arrington, who has missed the last two games with a thigh injury, was able to get back on the field yesterday and practice fully, Gibbs said, but he remains questionable. Wide receiver James Thrash (hamstring) was not listed on the injury report after missing four games and is expected to play.

Pierce Is Out

Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce will miss Saturday's game. Pierce, one of the Redskins' leaders in 2004 before signing with New York, had a great game against Washington in October, but has a high ankle sprain that could sideline him until the playoffs.

Pierce spent significant time speaking with players and coaches before the first game, giving pointers to the offense and defense on Washington's tendencies, and some Giants players credit that at least in part for their dominance in the 36-0 blowout.

"With Antonio over there, as far as our offense, he probably knows a lot of our schemes and what we do," defensive end Phillip Daniels said. "So I'm pretty sure our coaches have some things they can change up."

Thomas on Crutches

Guard Randy Thomas, who underwent season-ending surgery Monday night on his fractured right fibula, was back at Redskins Park yesterday on crutches. Thomas, a fiery presence in the huddle and before games, said he is eager to be on the sideline Saturday. . . . Wide receiver Santana Moss got his first dose of sustained double teams in the first meeting with the Giants, a tactic most defenses have employed since then. Moss was on pace for an NFL all-time receiving record after his first six games, but has been better contained since then. He expects the Giants to pay particular attention to him this weekend; they held him to a season-low 34 yards in Week 8. "I can't do nothing about that," Moss said. "All I can do is just be me, play as good as I can play, mentally be into the game."

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