Ex-Teammate Will Donate Kidney to Ailing R. Springs

By Howard Bryant and Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Washington Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs said yesterday that his ailing father, Ron, has found a match for a kidney transplant, and it happens to be an old friend.

Everson Walls, the former Dallas Cowboys cornerback who was Ron Springs's teammate with the Cowboys from 1981 to '84, agreed to donate a kidney, and surgery could take place, according to Shawn Springs, "any day now."

Ron Springs, 50, has diabetes and has been undergoing dialysis as he tries to get healthy enough for a transplant.

Ron Springs, who lives in Dallas, played eight years in the NFL. He was the backfield mate of Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett in Dallas for six seasons, ending his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His best season was in 1983, when he rushed for 541 yards and seven touchdowns and caught 73 passes for 589 yards and a touchdown.

Shawn Springs offered to end his career and donate a kidney, but his father would not allow any of his children to be tested. Last year, another relative initially appeared to be a match but was not. A battery of tests is scheduled for today and surgery could be completed shortly thereafter.

"Everson Walls is my dad's best friend and somebody who taught me a lot about being a cornerback in the NFL," Springs said.

Gibbs Irked by Penalties

Coach Joe Gibbs said yesterday that the 11 penalties the Redskins were flagged for in Sunday's 21-19 loss to Philadelphia were disappointing and the five procedural calls were inexcusable.

Once the most penalized team in football, the Redskins in recent weeks had appeared to correct the issue. But their 91 penalties are fourth in the league, behind Minnesota, Detroit and Arizona. Their 778 yards in penalties is second, behind Dallas.

Even worse for Gibbs was that five of the eight offensive penalties occurred on third downs. "We had five procedural penalties on offense, which is really hard to explain," Gibbs said. "We're playing at home. The penalties and turnovers really cost us."

Samuels Injury Not Serious

Left tackle Chris Samuels sprained his right wrist Sunday but said the injury was not serious. . . .

Center Casey Rabach left Sunday's game after breaking his left hand, marking the first time this season that a member of the offensive line missed a snap. Two pins were surgically inserted in Rabach's hand, Gibbs said, and the team will determine during the week whether he will play Sunday in New Orleans.

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