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Wade's Injury Is Latest Blow to Patchwork Offensive Line

By Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, November 19, 2007

IRVING, Tex., Nov. 18 -- Add right tackle Todd Wade to the long list of injured Washington Redskins offensive linemen.

Wade sprained his left knee early in the third quarter and did not return in a 28-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday at Texas Stadium. Wade said he injured his medial collateral ligament while pass blocking and is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam Monday.

"In 2001, I had a grade 2 MCL sprain," he said. "I either sprained the MCL again or tore the scar tissue that formed in there and keeps it tight. We're just going to have to take a look at it and see how it is."

Wade replaced right tackle Jon Jansen, who is out for the season after breaking his leg in the season-opening victory over Miami. Right guard Randy Thomas has been sidelined since tearing his triceps in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jason Fabini, a former tackle, has started at right guard since Week 3 against the New York Giants.

Against Dallas, rookie tackle Stephon Heyer replaced Wade and played well in the final two quarters. "Stephon did a good job," Wade said. "We've definitely had a lot of injuries on the line, but the good thing is that we've had other guys step up. We're going to have to keep getting that."

M. Washington Returns

Linebacker Marcus Washington, who missed four of the last five games because of recurring hamstring problems, returned to the starting lineup. Washington participated in full drills last week in preparation to face the Cowboys. He appeared to move well in coverage and while rushing the passer, helping the Redskins to limit the Cowboys to seven points in the first half. . . .

With safety Sean Taylor out several weeks with a knee injury, Gregg Williams, assistant head coach-defense, turned to Reed Doughty. Doughty, like Taylor, has a knack for making big hits.

Doughty, 25, made his first NFL start in what was an important game for the Redskins. Williams played largely a deep zone defense against Dallas, opening the game alternating between cover-2 and cover-3, with Doughty often stationed deep to prevent big plays. Dallas has one of the most explosive offenses in the league, and Williams has made negating long passes a priority.

Pierson Prioleau, who had been used as the third safety much of the season, is known more for his smarts and ball skills than his ability as a physical force. Reserve safety Vernon Fox also is smaller and plays primarily on special teams. Rookie LaRon Landry started at his usual place at strong safety.

Griffin Plays Hurt

Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin missed a few plays in the first half with an ankle injury, but returned in the following series. . . . The Cowboys held the ball for 10-plus minutes in the first quarter, yet trailed 7-0. . . . The Redskins denied an ESPN report that owner Daniel Snyder withheld tickets from players in order to give tickets to team sponsors. "It's completely wrong," team spokesman Chris Helein said.. . . Middle linebacker London Fletcher, who has bruised ribs, finished with seven tackles.

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