By Howard Bryant
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 25, 2006
ST. LOUIS, Dec. 24 -- Washington Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs fractured his right shoulder on the first play of the game, will be lost for the final game of the season Saturday night against the New York Giants and faces at least a five-week rehabilitation.
"If I didn't have bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all," Springs said. "Can you believe this? Make a play, break your shoulder."
The Redskins were already playing without strong-side linebacker Marcus Washington, who was placed on injured reserve and lost for the season Saturday with an injured right knee.
Springs left the game with 13 minutes 49 seconds remaining in the first quarter. On the first play of the game, Rams quarterback Mark Bulger attacked Springs deep. Pro Bowl wide receiver Torry Holt ran a play-action post route and appeared to have a step on Springs, who closed, seemed to catch the ball and dropped it. After falling to the ground, he felt pain.
He remained in the game. On the fourth play, Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce caught a four-yard speed out. Springs, in single coverage, took down Bruce and left the game.
"At first, I thought it was a stinger," he said. "It was no stinger."
With four minutes remaining in the half, Springs returned to the sideline wearing a sling. Reserves Ade Jimoh and Kenny Wright alternated at left cornerback. The Rams, in response, torched the Redskins for 579 yards of offense, including 388 yards and four touchdowns passing.
Yesterday's injury is a bitter end to Springs's season. In the Redskins' first preseason game Aug. 13 at Cincinnati, Springs played the first series, recorded a sack and then was lost for three months after tearing an abdominal muscle from his pelvic bone. He did not return until Oct. 22 at Indianapolis.
When Springs returned, his effect on the Redskins' defense was immediate, as opposing offenses did not often challenge his side of the field. Without Springs, the Rams turned away from cornerback Carlos Rogers and went after Jimoh and Wright. The Rams' first scoring drive was set up when Jimoh was called for pass interference on third and 16. The play went for 43 yards, and Bulger hit Bruce for a 10-yard touchdown pass.