Springs Sits, Could Miss 2 More Games With Injured Calf

By Jason La Canfora and Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 20, 2008

Cornerback Shawn Springs, who aggravated a strained calf during practice late in the week, did not play against Cleveland yesterday at FedEx Field and is likely out at least two more games, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Springs went for an MRI exam Thursday after injuring the muscle late in practice and has a second-degree calf strain, according to the source. Springs missed two games earlier this season with a sprained calf and played fewer reps than normal in the loss to St. Louis in Week 5.

The calf was a little tender during practice but Springs was practicing in two positions this week, according to team sources -- free safety and cornerback -- because of injuries.

Cornerbacks Fred Smoot and Carlos Rogers both missed practice this week but started. Rookie safety Chris Horton was back in his starting role as well. . . .

The lost season for second-round pick Malcolm Kelly continued with the rookie again inactive. He practiced all week after several setbacks with his knee recently, but Coach Jim Zorn has talked openly about the wide receiver's need for better conditioning and a better knowledge of the offense as well.

Alexander Back on the Run

Newly acquired running back Shaun Alexander said he would reserve judgment on his brief performance until after film study. But after logging his first since last season's playoffs, Alexander said he felt good.

"We'll see if I actually ran it right tomorrow on film," said Alexander, the former most valuable player who finished with eight yards on three carries, all in the third quarter.

Alexander broke an eight-yard run on his first touch and gained one more yard on the next play. He later took a one-yard loss.

Zorn Praises Plackemeier

Five days after signing with the Redskins as a free agent, punter Ryan Plackemeier made his Washington debut. And though his average of 37.3 yards on eight punts was less than that of his predecessor -- rookie Durant Brooks -- Zorn called Plackemeier's performance "excellent."

"He's developed some talent in that end-over-end pooch kick, and that really gave us a chance," Zorn said. "He had several punts that had great hang times. . . . There was no shanks. There was no total disaster situations."

Zorn said Plackemeier did well holding for kicks, and that Shaun Suisham's missed 36-yard field goal was just "a poor kick."

Too Many Men on the Field

During the pause for a television timeout late in the game, two fans eluded security and ran onto the field. One sprinted past midfield, and the Redskins' Santana Moss headed toward him, causing him to veer toward Antwaan Randle El. Randle El tackled the man near the 40-yard line, and security immediately pounced on him and arrested him.

Zorn, though, had other ideas. "I was going for the other guy," the coach said, and Zorn started to pursue the other man as he headed toward the Redskins' sideline. There, he ran into a Redskins official and was apprehended by security.

Staff writers Barry Svrluga and Marc Carig contributed to this report.

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