Daniels's Status for Eagles Still Uncertain

By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 15, 2007

Washington Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels sat out practice again yesterday, stirring doubt about his ability to play Monday night against Philadelphia.

The starting left defensive end, Daniels has been slowed because of a foot strain. The 12-year veteran acknowledged time was running out for him to play in the first game of the season against an NFC East opponent that has defeated the Redskins 10 times in their previous 14 games.

"We've got a few more days," Daniels said. "We'll see, but I've got to be patient."

If Daniels is sidelined Monday, Demetric Evans is expected to move into the starting lineup. Gregg Williams, assistant head coach-defense, said he would be comfortable with Evans playing either end.

Without Daniels, the Redskins would have only seven healthy defensive linemen on the roster. Moreover, if Evans, a six-year veteran, moves up, that would leave rookie Chris Wilson as the only other defensive end on the active roster.

A third-down rush specialist, Wilson is considered raw and not yet suited to be an every-down player. The Redskins recently released veteran defensive end and onetime team leader Renaldo Wynn.

Portis's Mother Unfazed

One bad experience in Philadelphia apparently hasn't prompted Clinton Portis's mother, Rhonnel Hearn, to change her travel plans for Monday. Hearn intends to attend the game at Lincoln Financial Field, the site of her altercation with an Eagles fan in the final game of the 2005 regular season.

"It don't matter," Portis said of the incident. "She's going to be at every game I have until God stops her from coming. Nothing else is going to stop her."

While seated in the end zone with family and friends in the fourth quarter of the Redskins' 31-20 victory, Hearn allegedly was doused with beer tossed by an Eagles fan. In response, Portis's mother "busted some lady in the nose," Portis said at the time.

After that, Hearn watched part of the game from the Redskins' sideline.

Despite her history in the stadium, and the fact that Eagles fans are considered among the most exuberant in the league, Hearn plans to root for her son, Portis said.

"We ain't running from nothing. We ain't worried about nothing," he said. "She's going to come, she's going to sit in the stands and . . . enjoy the game."

Secondary Thoughts

With the pass-first Eagles on deck, the Redskins are still playing it close to the vest about their starting cornerback alignment.

Fred Smoot and Carlos Rogers started in the season-opening victory over the Miami Dolphins, but Smoot (hamstring) participated in limited drills yesterday. "It's nothing to speak of," Smoot said. "I'll be out there [today]."

Meanwhile, Shawn Springs's role is expected to increase this week after he played considerably less than Smoot and Rogers against Miami. Of course, Williams hopes to keep the opposition guessing, so things could change.

"That'll be the fun part," Williams said, "of the decision-making process every week." . . .

Safety Vernon Fox (groin) was unable to practice for the second day in a row and is unlikely to play against the Eagles. Safety Pierson Prioleau (hamstring) also sat out practice for the second time in as many days.

Staff writer Jason La Canfora contributed to this report.

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