On a day when coach George Allen declared Billy Kilmer healthy enough to start the preseason opener Monday night in Cleveland, the Redskins still had two other medical problems.
Cornerback Pat Fischer was bedded down in traction. Defensive tackle Diron Talbert may need a minor operation to remove a [WORDS OMITTED FROM SOURCE] and probably will spend the next few [WORD OMITTED FROM SOURCE] at Carlisle Hospital and probably will spend the next few days there.ice all wekk because of what the team's medical department has alternately referred to as either a muscle spasm or strained muscles in his lower back.
Fischer had disc surgery in 1972 and his back has since troubled him during training camp. The Redskins hope that several days in traction will ease the pain and allow Fischer to resume drills next week.
Fischer said he hurt his back lifting weights the first day of practice. In addition to affecting his lower back, he said, the pain was also starting to shoot to his legs.
"The best thing I could go for it was just get off my feet." Fischer said. "It's helping me already. I'm able to roll over on my side and it's staring to come around. I'll stay a few days in the hospital and see how it goes."
Fischer will not play Monday night against the Browns. Nor will Talbert, who has been advised by a local surgeon to avoid having the lump hit.
Talbert said the trainers would treat him with heat and ice for several days and "hopefully the thing will go aways. I was worried about it, hell yes," he said. "You never know what to think about things like that. But they don't think it's anything serious."
Talbert said that if the lump does not go away after treatment, a decision will be made on whether to have it surgically removed, a process he said could keep him out as long as three or four weeks.
"I wouldn't think it would take that long," Allen said. "But the report 1 got was that it was definitely not malignant and that's what we not malignant and that's we were most concerned about. It may dissolve by itself. We'll just have to wait and see."
That was the same approach Allen took with Kilmer, who came up with a sore arm lastweek, missed four days of practice, then began building again gradually.
Kilmer passed his first major test today. Halfway through the morning practice he sent swift wide receiver Danny Buggs racing down field on a fly pattern.
Kilmer lofted a lovely spiral - honest - that traveled 65 yeards in the air and onto the fingertips of Buggs for a spectacular touchdown. The Redskins cheered loud and long after the completion. Kilmer smiled as he trotted off the field.
"It's getting better every day," he said. "I feel a lot better about it then I did earlier in the week."
Kilmer has been undergoing a rehabilitation program with Keoki Kanau, a young student trainer from Hawaii who is helping the Redskins in training camp.
"I've never been oriented toward weights," Kilmer said, "and this is pretty much an isometric program. He gives me pressure on the arm and I pull back, things like that. He's also been rubbing my arm down every day, and whatever he's doing, it seems to be working."
Allen said Kilmer will start against the Browns and probably play about a quarter. Will be relieved by Joe Theismann, who most likely will finish out the first of three Redskin preasason games in a span of 10 days.
Fischer will be replaced in the starting lineup by second-year man Gerard Williams, who is expected to take over when Fischer decides to retire.
"Gerard's got an awful lot of ability," said secondary coach Ralph Hawkins, "and there's no doubt that he can be a starter here. He needs to get a little more intense and more aggressive, but he learns quickly.
"The thing we don't really know about him is how well he'll force the run and whether he'll hit. We think he can, but that's what we've got to find out during the preseason."
Talbert will be replaced by Bill Brundige at defensive tackle and Brig Owens will take over for Jake Scott at safety.
Mike Thomas, still nursing a sore hamstring and still unsigned will be replaced by Calvin Hill at tailback.
Thomas' agent, Guy Draper, said today there was still nothing to report on the status of Thomas' contract negotiations. Draper said he was still waiting to hear from team president Edward Bennett Williams.
Safety Eddie Brown is still hobbling with a strained groin and most likely will not got to Cleveland . . . Defensive tackle Curtis Akins his knee again in a morning practice and also will be held out against the Browns . . . Defensive end Ron Wade was allowed to return home to Claifornia to visit his ailing mother . . . The Redskins brought in Keith Jenkins, a safety from Cincinnati, for a tryout but did not sign him. Jenkins was the Falcons' fifth-round draft choice this year, but was placed on waivers last week . . . The Browns report that flashy tailback Greg Pruitt probably won't play against the Redskins because of a pulled muscle in his hip. He will be replaced by third-year man Larry Poole . . . Brian Sipe will open at quarterback and probably play a half.