By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 4, 2006
The Washington Redskins activated kicker Shaun Suisham to the game-day roster yesterday and used him for kickoffs and field goals, which could mark the end of Nick Novak's stint with the team. Coach Joe Gibbs said he was pleased with Suisham's work in the 24-14 loss to Atlanta at FedEx Field, and although he said he was unsure if the team will carry two kickers through this week, he seemed to be leaning against it.
Washington released veteran defensive lineman Ryan Boschetti to make room for Suisham, who was signed to the practice squad Tuesday. Suisham's three kickoffs against the Falcons went inside the 5, although Gibbs said his hang time suffered. Suisham kicked the ball long enough on a 50-yard field goal attempt, but missed wide left. Gibbs was pleased with his outing.
"We wanted to see what [Suisham] did, and I kept Nick for a situation there just to see how we did perform early," Gibbs said. "But the fact is we need to be more accurate on field goals and we need more distance on kickoffs. There's two things there."
Novak has struggled since replacing injured kicker John Hall and missed a 37-yard attempt last week.Springs Does Not Play
The Redskins' secondary was dealt a significant blow with top cornerback Shawn Springs kept out of the game with a hamstring injury. Springs missed the first half of the season with a sports hernia, and was beginning to play at top form in recent weeks.
Springs was listed as probable on the final injury report of the week, but experienced discomfort during warm-ups. "I was feeling like I was ready to go and felt a little pull," Springs said. "And that was it."
Springs believes the injury is minor.
Starting safety Troy Vincent missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury, and veteran Vernon Fox filled in. Safety Adam Archuleta was benched again. Center Casey Rabach (bruised shin), defensive tackle Joe Salave'a (knee sprain), tackle Cornelius Griffin (shoulder), cornerback Kenny Wright (knee) and tight end Todd Yoder (quad) all suffered injuries in the game but returned to action. They will be re-evaluated today.Another Bad Day for Lloyd
Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd's season reached another low when he took off his helmet in frustration in the fourth quarter, costing the team 15 yards. The Redskins blocked the ensuing punt -- without Lloyd's penalty it may have been returned for a touchdown -- and he caught two passes for 26 yards.
Lloyd, who was acquired from San Francisco for two draft picks and given $10 million in guaranteed money in a contract extension last offseason, has just 20 catches for 295 yards and no touchdowns through 12 games.
Gibbs said he plans to speak to Lloyd.
"You can't do that, and obviously that hurts the football team," Gibbs said. "We're going to have to handle that. We can't have that."Cartwright Contributes
Running back Rock Cartwright, who turned 27 yesterday, had another excellent day returning kicks and also blocked his first career punt. He is having a strong season on special teams and averaged 22 yards per return in the loss. "I try to get what I can get and give the offense a short field," Cartwright said. "We did a decent job of that today, we just weren't able to score enough points." . . . Free agent end Andre Carter had by far his most productive game as a Redskin, showing a nose for the football with 11 tackles.