Redskins Notebook

After Missing Practice, Salave'a Could Miss Game

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 23, 2006

Washington Redskins starting defensive tackle Joe Salave'a was unable to practice again yesterday because of a calf strain and may miss tomorrow's game against the Texans in Houston. A decision will be made shortly before game time, Coach Joe Gibbs said.

Salave'a has a tremendous tolerance for pain, playing through a foot injury last year that left him barely able to walk, and did not rule himself out. Gibbs said that, in general, if an offensive player does not practice all week, he does not play. But the defensive coaches will have final authority in this case, Gibbs said.

"That will probably be up to [defensive coordinator-line coach Greg] Blache," Gibbs said.

Cornerback Shawn Springs, out for the game with a groin strain, was at Redskins Park yesterday for treatment. Running back Clinton Portis is expected to start tomorrow.

Kids Lift Pro Bowl Linebacker

With the Redskins having not won a game this season -- 0-6 including the preseason -- players look for different ways to escape. It's almost impossible to find solace from the pressure to win, but Pro Bowl linebacker Marcus Washington, one of the most active Redskins in the local community, found a welcome retreat this week.

After years of individual outreach, Washington is now a local spokesman for the United Way and spends every Tuesday -- a day off for players -- doing charity work in the morning before heading to Redskins Park to work out and review game film. He spent this Tuesday with needy schoolchildren, who ended up lifting his spirits without even trying.

"Those kids were great, man," Washington said. "You're kind of feeling down after a big loss [at Dallas] and you show up at that school and they couldn't be happier to see you. They're all screaming and yelling and saying how we're going to beat Houston and go to the Super Bowl.

"It just lifts you up. You can't help but feel good after that."

Game Could Be Indoors

With rain in Houston's forecast this weekend, the Texans could opt to close the retractable dome at Reliant Stadium. Gibbs said he had no preference, although the Redskins practice outdoors and face few dome teams. Houston must make a decision three hours before game time. "I think it's the same for both teams," Gibbs said. "I always look at it that way." . . .

Injured safety Pierson Prioleau was moving swiftly yesterday, savoring his remaining days of mobility before undergoing season-ending knee surgery Tuesday in Alabama. Prioleau, who tore his right ACL on the opening kickoff this season, said that he will be on crutches for at least a month and will not be able to resume running until December at the earliest. "This will be the last time you'll see me moving like this for a while," Prioleau said while scooting to his car. . . .

The Redskins are 0-10 against AFC teams dating from September 2003, when they beat New England.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company