Daniels Unlikely To Play, Evans May Get the Start
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Many signs yesterday indicated that Washington Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels won't play tomorrow night against Philadelphia, and Daniels's assessment of his injury topped the list.
Having missed practice for a third consecutive day because of a foot strain, Daniels, the starting left defensive end, seemed resigned to sitting out tomorrow in hopes of returning to the lineup for a Sept. 23 game against the New York Giants at FedEx Field.
The Redskins listed Daniels as doubtful, and backup Demetric Evans remained on track to move to the top of the depth chart.
It's all about the big picture, Daniels said.
"You don't want to go and set yourself back, or get in the game and only be able to play a quarter," he said. "The guys are counting on you and [then] we're short of numbers. I've just got to be smart about this. I'm a veteran. We've got 14 games left . . . it's a long season."
Without the 12-year veteran, the Redskins would have only seven healthy defensive linemen on the roster. Gregg Williams, assistant head coach-defense, recently praised Evans for his steady approach, saying he would be comfortable playing the six-year veteran at either end against the Eagles.
Gibbs seemed similarly confident about Evans.
"He's real conscientious, real smart. He's got a real good motor for us," Gibbs said yesterday. "He's been wanting for an opportunity. Last year, he talked about it. He said, 'Hey, I want a chance to play.' In all likelihood, he's going to play a lot."
Cornerback Fred Smoot (hamstring) was downgraded from probable to questionable, which could open the door for cornerback Shawn Springs to start opposite Carlos Rogers.
Smoot played down the injury, saying he would be ready to help against the Eagles, who have defeated the Redskins 10 times in their previous 14 games. Smoot's limited work in practice, however, would seem to open the door for Springs to play a bigger role this week than he did in the season-opening victory over Miami. . . .
Safety Vernon Fox (groin) was listed as doubtful. Safety Pierson Prioleau (hamstring) expects to play against the Eagles. "It looks great," he said. "I think I'm going to go."
Staff writer Jason La Canfora contributed to this report.