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Sore Hamstring Will Keep Moss on Bench

By Howard Bryant
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 18, 2006

Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss will miss tomorrow's game at Tampa Bay with a left hamstring injury that kept him out of practice this week.

Moss suffered the injury Oct. 22 at Indianapolis, and even though the Redskins had a bye week following that game, Moss did not play in the Redskins' 22-19 victory over Dallas on Nov. 5. In Sunday's 27-3 loss at Philadelphia, Moss clearly was not himself, catching three balls for 17 yards.

"I'm on the same program. I didn't do anything all week," Moss said. "I didn't make it worse, but it's not getting any better. I like to be myself, and I don't want to be out there if I'm not myself."

For Moss to declare himself out against Tampa Bay is nothing if not uncharacteristic.

"It was the same thing in the game last week," Moss said. "Every time I tried to go, my leg would just pitter-patter. I couldn't do anything. This is annoying the [heck] out of me."

Moss is the Redskins' leading receiver this season, with 31 catches for 452 yards and three touchdowns. All three of his touchdowns came in the same game, a 36-30 overtime win over Jacksonville.

His frustration regarding the injury is mounting, especially because quarterback Jason Campbell will make his debut tomorrow without the team's best wide receiver and best running back, Clinton Portis, who was placed on injured reserve earlier in the week.

"I don't know how to take these things," Moss said. "I kind of want to be out there in a situation like this. In a situation like this, everyone is needed. I want to be out there with him."

Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs said there was a "slim hope" that Moss would play and that it would be a game-time decision.

Wolverines React

Michigan alumni Todd Collins and Jon Jansen both were shocked by the death of legendary coach Bo Schembechler, who died yesterday morning of a heart attack at age 77, on the eve of today's Michigan-Ohio State game.

"You still see his influence all around the university," Collins said. "I think it's going to motivate the players, not that they need any more motivation, but if anything it's going to help them because there are a lot of people still at Michigan who know Bo, and those guys will be ready to play."

Playing for Defensive Pride

A meeting between defensive gurus Gregg Williams and Monte Kiffin usually would be circled on the calendar. But this year, with both teams struggling and their defenses playing uncharacteristically poorly, Williams said pride is still something worth playing for.

"There is a lot of defensive pride down there. I have a lot of respect for Monte Kiffin, that group of coaches and that system they have been using," Williams said. "Both defenses will rise up and be playing as hard as they can. In that playoff game [last season] there were two prideful defenses that were playing hard."

Both defenses also will attempt to rattle a young quarterback. Kiffin, Tampa Bay's defensive coordinator, will see Campbell for the first time; Williams, the Redskins' assistant head coach-defense, will get his first look at Bruce Gradkowski.

"They feel like they have a young quarterback to go against and we have a young quarterback to go against," Williams said. "It is going to be about systems. It is going to be how effectively the teams can run the football to protect those guys and minimize the shots."

Fauria Out, Daniels In

Gibbs said that tight end Christian Fauria will miss tomorrow's game, but defensive end Phillip Daniels will play despite a sore wrist. Redskins director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said Daniels would play with a soft shell on his wrist; Daniels said he wouldn't need it.

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