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Zorn Is Hopeful That Injured DBs Will Return Soon

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After last night's loss against the New York Giants, the Post's Jason Reid analyzes the battle ahead for the Redskins. Video by Jason Reid/The Washington Post

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By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 6, 2008

Coach Jim Zorn said he is optimistic at least two of the defensive backs will be available for the Saints game and a third will be evaluated this week. Cornerbacks Shawn Springs (calf) and Fred Smoot (hip pointer) still are experiencing discomfort but should be able to help the secondary against New Orleans.

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Springs has been unable to put weight on his foot after being kicked in the shin during practice this week, but with a long layoff before the next game, he should be back, Zorn said.

Smoot suffered a painful hip injury during Thursday's 16-7 loss to the Giants, but he, too, should heal before the Saints bring their dynamic passing attack to FedEx Field.

"I took a knee to the hip" in the game, Smoot said. "They [Redskins trainers] say nothing out of place, nothing fractured. What is it? From a bruised hip bone to maybe a hip pointer or whatever they want to call it. I think I should be good."

Rookie safety Kareem Moore has been out for several weeks with a hamstring injury. The players are off this weekend and return to the field Monday, when Moore will be evaluated.

Hit by Samuels Angers Giant

Left tackle Chris Samuels made a "dirty play" in injuring Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka as time expired, Kiwanuka said yesterday.

"Honestly, I thought it was a dirty play," Kiwanuka told the Newark Star-Ledger. "There's no question about it, he was definitely beat. Instead of recovering or giving up or whatever options you have. . . . I don't think there's any place for that in the NFL."

Kiwanuka's left ankle was hurt on the play, during which Samuels held and then fell on Kiwanuka after getting beat in pass protection, but he expects to play in the Giants' next game, on Sept. 14.

"Before each and every game, I pray that both teams come off the field with no serious injuries," Samuels said. "On that particular play, I was just trying to protect my quarterback. It was never my intention to go out there and injure another player." . . .

Zorn praised the intensity and work ethic of tailback Clinton Portis, but overall said the running game was "average." Portis was hit often in the backfield and the running game averaged just 3.5 yards per carry. Portis again delivered crushing hits in pass protection and displayed a "violent" edge Zorn likes to see.

Bumps and Bruises

Defensive tackle Kedric Golston bruised his knee in the loss but will be fine, Zorn said.

Rookie wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, who missed the entire preseason schedule after knee surgery, is ready to return to practice, Zorn said, and could face New Orleans as well. Kelly is struggling to grasp the mental and physical challenges of the NFL after being a second-round pick.

Defensive end Jason Taylor, who has a sprained knee, was targeted by New York in the running game, but Zorn said Taylor's knee responded well and he came through the game well. Linebacker Khary Campbell will be ready for Week 2 after suffering a quadriceps injury before kickoff Thursday.

Staff writer Jason Reid contributed to this report.


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