The Washington Redskins' latest and least surprising quarterback decision has been made.

Yesterday, Coach Joe Gibbs placed the playoff hopes of his team in the hands of veteran Doug Williams, relegating former starter Jay Schroeder to the bench. Williams will start the Redskins' National Football Conference semifinal game Jan. 9 or 10. {Related stories on Page C1.}

Gibbs did not make a decision on who will kick, saying that next week he would evaluate Ali Haji-Sheikh, who missed two field goals in Saturday's victory over the Minnesota Vikings, and Jess Atkinson, recovered from a dislocated left ankle.

This will be the third game Williams has started this season.

"I'm going on what I feel," Gibbs told a packed Redskin Park news conference. "Jay's a very talented guy . . . He still has a bright future here. I just think for this situation, Doug is the guy I'd like to take a shot with right now."

Williams, who replaced Schroeder at Minnesota, said he was not nervous about Gibbs' decision. He and Schroeder have been through five quarterback changes this season. "Once you've been through something like this, the second time around is a cakewalk," Williams said.

If Williams leads the Redskins to the Super Bowl, he would be the first black quarterback to play in the NFL's championship game.

"I think a Super Bowl would mean probably more for me, not so much from a personal standpoint as it would for black America," he said.

In 1979, Williams quarterbacked Tampa Bay to the conference title game, where the Buccaneers lost to the Los Angeles Rams, 9-0.