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Moss, Samuels Play Through Injuries, but Below Form

By Dan Steinberg
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Two of Washington's key offensive cogs, left tackle Chris Samuels and wide receiver Santana Moss, had been question marks all week as they battled knee and hamstring problems, respectively. Both played last night in the 23-6 loss to Pittsburgh, but neither was at his best.

Moss, who was averaging more than five catches and 80 yards per game, was held to two grabs for 14 yards. And Samuels played on a beleaguered offensive line that allowed seven sacks; he was called for holding three times.

Both admitted they were less than 100 percent against a quick and physical Pittsburgh defense.

"I knew I was going to play pretty much," Samuels said. "It was a question in a lot of people's mind or whatever. But I practiced all week long, struggled with the knee, but Sunday I actually felt pretty good. It's on fire right now, it's hurting, but everyone has something wrong with them at this point in the season. It's getting late, so everybody's banged up."

Teammates said they weren't sure if Moss, who has a history of hamstring issues, was going to play until pregame warmups, when he was cleared. Moss said the team needs the upcoming bye week after five preseason games and nine regular season contests, but he wasn't sure whether the break would heal his injury.

"We'll see," he said. "Thinking and telling you are two different things. I'd rather tell you the truth."

Several other players also said they were looking forward to healing during the bye week, but regardless, the injured players didn't use their maladies as an excuse.

"Of course I felt the knee bothering me, but you know, it is what it is," Samuels said. "I don't want to blame that, we just got our butts beat, simple as that."

Campbell Ready for Rest

Quarterback Jason Campbell was pleased with Washington's performance in the first half of its schedule, though not satisfied. The team has seven games remaining, and Campbell hopes the Redskins continue to work hard and finish strong.

This week, however, Campbell plans to rest. After five preseason games and nine in the regular season, the Redskins have a bye in Week 10. They will resume practice Monday at Redskins Park in preparation to host Dallas on Nov. 16 at FedEx Field.

Campbell has impressed in leading the Redskins to one of the best records in the NFL, but now it's time to catch up on his sleep, he said.

"It's definitely been a long grind," Campbell said after practice recently. "You definitely get to a point where guys get a little tired, a little banged up, and you look forward to getting some time off."

Injury Updates

The Redskins were without several injured starters. Cornerback Shawn Springs (knee) and defensive end Jason Taylor (calf) have been dealing with lingering injuries and are aiming to be back after the bye week, but were not in uniform last night.

Backup tailback Ladell Betts remains out with a sprained knee, but he could be a few weeks away from coming back. Wide receiver Malcolm Kelly rarely has played or practiced this season after a series of knee injuries dating from the preseason, and a decision on whether to place him on injured reserve will be made before Washington's next game.

Staff writers Jason La Canfora and Jason Reid contributed to this report.

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