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From Moss On, The Injuries Are Piling Up

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By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss has a groin strain, but, with the bye week, hopes to play when Washington hosts Detroit on Oct. 7. Linebacker Rocky McIntosh (shoulders) and defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (knee) have injuries that concern the team, while other players are nursing lesser injuries.

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Moss suffered the left groin injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 24-17 loss to the New York Giants, and although not related to abdominal/groin issues he had in the offseason, it will require care. McIntosh was forced out of the game with injuries to both shoulders that MRI exams revealed are pinched nerves. Bubba Tyer, Washington's director of sports medicine, said two weeks without contact was prescribed. Griffin has a small meniscus tear in his right knee that could require offseason surgery, but should "calm down" with rest, Tyer said.

Coach Joe Gibbs, who gave the team the rest of the week off, said he is optimistic that the team will have the services of those players against the Lions.

Moss, a vital cog on offense, said he was given no timetable on when he is likely to return to practice. "I don't really know," he said. "Knowing my body, I know I'm just going to have to take care of it and tell them how I feel."

Griffin is equally as important to the defense -- anchoring a line that is short of proven reserves -- and like Moss has battled repeated injuries in recent years. The Redskins were cautious with him in the preseason after hip and shoulder problems limited him last season.

McIntosh, who is having a breakout season after getting very little time with the defense his rookie season, was clearly in pain after the game. With him out of action, rookie linebacker H.B. Blades, a sixth-round pick, was forced in. Starting strong-side linebacker Marcus Washington has been playing in pain after dislocating his right elbow in the preseason and then suffering a setback in his recovery in last Monday's win at Philadelphia, he said.

"I got it pushed back too far, so I got a new brace now that's a little more bulky than the other one I had," he said.

Cornerback Fred Smoot missed a second straight game with a hamstring problem after proclaiming he would play in each of those contests. "I didn't know the extent of it," Smoot said, adding the swelling is not dissipating but that he plans to play against the Lions.

Rookie safety LaRon Landry cut his right hand and defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery sprained his right thumb in the game, but neither injury will prevent them from playing. Wide receiver Antwaan Randle El (sore knee), defensive end Phillip Daniels (bruised back), return specialist Rock Cartwright (toe) and fullback Mike Sellers (bruised calf) are expected to be able to practice as well.

Randle El Takes Off

Randle El, thriving as a starter, leads the NFL with 21.6 yards per catch. He has emerged as a serious deep threat after averaging 11 yards per catch last year while being used mostly on screens and gadget plays.

"Being able to contribute to the team as much as I am now on offense, that's what I was brought here to do and as player what I expect to do," Randle El said.

Conversely, Brandon Lloyd, given an essentially identical contract to Randle El in 2006, has yet to catch a ball this season and was not even used in most four-receiver sets Sunday. Lloyd has been held without a catch in six of his 18 games as a Redskin. . . .

Wide receiver Reche Caldwell has been inactive both games since being signed as a free agent, but could see action after the bye.


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