Moss Doubtful on Paper, but He May Play

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 6, 2007

Wide receiver Santana Moss is doubtful for tomorrow's game against Detroit with a groin injury, but Washington Redskins expect the rest of those injured to play.

Tailback Clinton Portis (knee), cornerback Fred Smoot (hamstring) and safety Sean Taylor (knee) participated fully in practice yesterday, wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (bruised shin) returned to practice and fullback Mike Sellers (heel) was limited, but all are listed as probable.

Moss did not practice all week, generally an indication that someone will not play. But Coach Joe Gibbs has said that Moss could be an exception to that rule. Moss ran routes at closer to full speed yesterday and was enthused about his progress -- which included more lateral cuts -- but those duties are a long way from completing all activities necessary to participate on game day.

"At this point it's feeling real good," Moss said. "I'm just happy to be at this stage. I did what I wanted to do today."

Gibbs said it's possible Moss's status could be upgraded, though it's rare for a player to go from doubtful to active. "It might be a situation where he warms up before the game, and it might not," Gibbs said.

Gibbs became agitated with certain lines of questioning yesterday during his brief meeting with reporters. Earlier in the week, Gibbs implied that new wide receivers Keenan McCardell and Reche Caldwell could make their debuts tomorrow, but yesterday he said that no decision had been made yet.

"I don't know yet, we'll decide after we watch all the film," he said.

Moss and Antwaan Randle El are the only wide receivers who have a catch this season and Lloyd's role has been minimized.

McCardell, who was signed this week, said he does not expect to be sure of his playing status until tomorrow, but is ready to contribute.

"You always come in expecting to play and you have to be prepared like you're going to start," McCardell said.

DeMulling Gets Comfortable

Offensive lineman Rick DeMulling, signed before Week 3, spent last week working out and delving into the playbook. He does not expect to play tomorrow unless an injury arises, but is pleased with his growing comfort in the offense. DeMulling worked with the starters a bit during Monday's practice -- right guard Jason Fabini had a rough time as a starter in Week 3 and a change at that position could come at some point -- but spent most of his time working with the reserves.

"The bye week for me was more about getting my conditioning down, because no matter how much you jog and run it's really different from what do on the field," said DeMulling, who was without an NFL job for several weeks before the Redskins signed him. "I hit the film pretty hard and I'm getting used to things and all nuances, because the technique is a little bit different from what I'm used to and it takes time and repetition."

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