Despite Lack of Playing Time, Duckett Plans to Stick Around

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Despite getting on the field for only one of five games this season -- and watching all of Sunday's loss to the New York Giants from the sideline -- Washington Redskins running back T.J. Duckett said he is not seeking a trade before next week's deadline. Duckett is in the final year of his contract and has had only five carries since being acquired from Atlanta for the equivalent of a high third-round pick in a three-way trade during the preseason.

Duckett said he does not want to cause any problems or distractions for the Redskins and is willing to ride out the situation.

"It's just something I have to go through," Duckett said. "I don't have any control over it, so I'm not going to rack my brain and be stressed out about it."

Duckett's specialty is third-and-short situations, but with the Redskins in a critical third and one Sunday, he was left on the bench as the team threw an incomplete pass. "You've just got to be prepared," he said. "You don't want something to come up and you're on the sidelines eating sunflower seeds. You've got to be ready."

Coach Joe Gibbs said he "feels bad about it every week" that Duckett does not play, and that the tailback, a former first-round pick, is practicing well and working out hard, but merely is stuck behind Clinton Portis and backup Ladell Betts.

Gibbs said he does not anticipate the Redskins making any deals before next Tuesday's trade deadline.

Another Injury for Salave'a

Defensive tackle Joe Salave'a made his first appearance since Week 2 after missing two games with a right calf injury, but strained his left calf Sunday and could be out again. Bubba Tyer, the director of sports medicine, said this strain is as severe as the first one.

Salave'a said extended rest might be the best option, but he is hoping to make progress through treatment. Salave'a did not play as much in the second half against the Giants, and with rookie Kedric Golston shining in his absence and rookie Anthony Montgomery making strides, too, he said he would not be shocked if the Redskins went with youth at his position.

"We've got some young bucks in there right now who are ready to play," said Salave'a, who has been with Washington since 2004. "I'm going to have to earn my way back into the rotation and the coaches might decide they want to go another way."

Springs Still on the Mend

Cornerback Shawn Springs, out since the first preseason game with groin and abdominal injuries, said he hopes to be able to play in the next few weeks. He has not made it through a full practice since early August, which perhaps would make it difficult to return for Sunday's game with Tennessee, but he said he is making progress. "I feel like I can play relatively soon, barring a setback," Springs said. Springs will begin limited individual work during practice tomorrow, Tyer said. Gibbs said he expects Springs to be able to practice this week. . . .

Linebacker Marcus Washington was limping after suffering a hip injury against the Giants, but said it is not a significant problem, and Gibbs said place kicker John Hall was the only major medical setback from the game. Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (hip and quadriceps), tailback Clinton Portis (shoulder) and end Phillip Daniels (stinger) were fine as well, Gibbs said, and Tyer said all would play Sunday. . . .

Veteran wide receiver David Patten was a healthy scratch against the Giants for the first time in his career, he said, but took the decision in stride. "Everybody wants to play," said Patten, who was signed as a free agent in 2005. "Everybody wants to suit up, but the bottom line is you're part of a team with roles you have to fill and perform. [On Sunday], my role was to be sort of a cheerleader from the sidelines."

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