Right Now, Springs Is Feeling The Pain

By Howard Bryant
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 24, 2006

Washington Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs slipped out of the team's training facility wearing a 5 o'clock shadow and a New York Yankees cap, but neither captured Springs's state of mind better than the strip of stitches that crisscrossed the right side of his pelvis.

Springs decided that 30 seconds worth of show-and-tell would best illustrate his disposition after surgery Aug. 15 to repair an abdominal muscle tear. He will be out three to six weeks and is in serious doubt to play in the Sept. 11 season opener against Minnesota.

"How does it feel? It hurts. It feels like it looks," Springs said. "How am I doing? Hurting."

Springs walked gingerly and did not want to make predictions about when he would return to the Redskins' lineup, but it was clear that the surgery -- which reattached part of the abdominal muscle to the pelvic bone -- was more than the "minor procedure" the Redskins announced the surgery would be.

"I didn't even want to look at it," said linebacker Marcus Washington.

In the meantime, the Redskins have added defensive backs Mike Rumph, Antuan Edwards and Julian Battle in Springs's absence.

'Wake-up Call' Needed

Running backs coach Earnest Byner doesn't like the idea that the Redskins are overreacting to their poor start to the preseason. It is true, as linebacker Lemar Marshall pointed out, that the Redskins haven't used their main defensive packages, and thus the results of the preseason could be misleading, but Byner was joined by several players in declaring that the deficiencies of the past two games require correction.

"A lot of times people say that the preseason doesn't count, but [those games] do count. Hopefully, what has happened will be a wake-up call for some of the guys," said backup safety Pierson Prioleau. Prioleau has been praised by assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams for having a complete grasp of the defense. "I think we'd like to play better. Health is always an issue, but so is health in season. It's the game we play. Every time you step on the field there's a chance of getting hurt. So we don't try to get tied up in getting hurt. We get tied up in making plays, and we haven't been doing that."

For his part, Byner was equally direct, and the increased focus has already been felt with an increased attendance at practice.

"What we need to be fixed, needs to be fixed now," Byner said. "If you play bad, you can always say, 'Well, there're three preseason games left.' Then you play bad in the opener, and you can say, 'Hey, we've got 15 games left.' Then 14, and before you know it, the season's gone and you're done. The time for us to get things right is right now."

Cash Is Waived

To make room for running back T.J. Duckett, the Redskins released wide receiver Ataveus Cash. Cash had been a long shot to crack a roster deep at wide receiver and it did not help matters that he was injured and missed the last preseason game against the New York Jets. . . .

In a light moment, Coach Joe Gibbs practiced with the defensive linemen, participating in flexibility and agility drills. He did not join in the full-contact portion of practice. . . . Gibbs said Redskins offensive coordinator Don Breaux is in the hospital recovering from hernia surgery. He is expected to return early next week.

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