By Howard Bryant
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 8, 2006
TAMPA, Jan. 7 -- As expected, Washington Redskins starting right cornerback Shawn Springs was inactive for Saturday's playoff game against the Buccaneers with an injury to the right side of his groin.
Springs has been hampered with the injury for more than a month but aggravated it in the second quarter of last Sunday's 31-20 win at Philadelphia, leaving that game and not returning. Throughout the past week Springs seemed pessimistic enough about his ability to play against the Buccaneers that he repeatedly said he thought he could return to play against the Seattle Seahawks should the Redskins advance.
That Springs did not play ended a week of low-level intrigue for the Redskins. Springs never seemed comfortable even suggesting he might be able to play on Saturday. Yet during the week, the Redskins medical staff would not rule him out for the game, despite the fact he did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday.
Two and a half hours before the game, while various Redskins players participated in drills, Springs was on the field wearing a pair of sweatpants.Wynn's Forearm Fractured
Starting left defensive end Renaldo Wynn was carried off the field on a cart in the second quarter with a fractured right forearm. Wynn had been slowed with an inflamed right arch and practiced once last week. He was replaced by Demetric Evans, who had recorded a sack on the Redskins' first defensive series.
"I had tears in my eyes when I saw that," defensive end Phillip Daniels said. "I was right next to him. I saw his arm all messed up, and I just wanted to comfort him." . . .
Clinton Portis played hurt, rushing for 53 yards on 16 carries. "I was injured coming into this game. My shoulders were killing me," Portis said. "So that's why I was in and out sparingly." . . .
Pro Bowl tackle Chris Samuels was nursing a sore right knee after attempting to block Buccaneers defensive end Simeon Rice. Samuels has been fighting pain in his knee for a month. . . .
Punter Derrick Frost suffered a black eye during punt coverage.Two Sides of Arrington
After spending most of the season outside of the Redskins' inner circle, LaVar Arrington greeted his first postseason game with the first big play of the afternoon.
On first and 10 from the Tampa Bay 20-yard line following a punt by Frost, Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms looked to his left and threw to the flat. The pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage by defensive tackle Joe Salave'a and landed in the arms of Arrington, who returned it 21 yards to the Tampa Bay 6.
One play later, Clinton Portis plowed over left tackle for the first touchdown of the game.
Yet, as proof of how difficult the season has been for Arrington, he cost the team as well. On third and five from the Tampa Bay 42, Arrington attempted to anticipate the snap count and was offside by five yards. It was a difficult play for Arrington because virtually all season Redskins defensive coaches have not used him on third down.
The play gave the Buccaneers a first down, and they ran nine more plays, the last a 43-yard field goal by Matt Bryant for their only points of the half. . . .
For an offense that topped 30 points in its last three games, the Redskins were historically bad. The Redskins did not mount a drive of longer than nine yards in the second half, and the Buccaneers allowed 120 yards to set a team record for fewest yards surrendered in a playoff game. That total surpassing the previous low of 157 in a 14-13 win over the Redskins on Jan. 15, 2000.
"We played against the number one defense," wide receiver Santana Moss said. "I mean, they saw what we did last time and made sure we didn't do it to them again."