Redskin coach George Allen said yesterday he is willing to wait "two weeks at the maximum" before making a decision on whether to trade for an experienced cornerback to replace Pat Fischer, still suffering from a pinched nerve in his back.
Allen said a trade is a move he prefers not to make, adding that, "I would like to stay the way we are. But in two weeks, if Pat isn't better and Gerard (Williams) hasn't improved, I'll be forced to go out and do something."
Allen insisted, however, that he has not given up on either Fischer or Williams, the second year man now occupying the left corner.
"It's going to be Pat's decision," Allen said on a rare day off. "It's all going to depend on how he feels about playing. I want to give him as much time as possible, but I would think that two weeks would be as long as we can wait.
"I still feel Gerard can do the job. He played a little better against the Chiefs and he did some very good things. He got an interference call late in the game that really could have gone either way. And he had a very big interception in the end."
The interference call very nearly cost the Redskins the game. Joc Lavender's end-zone interception on the following play killed the threat. Williams intercepted a pass on the final play to preserve a 11-7 Redskin victory.
The Redskins learned yesterday that defensive tackle Diron Talbert will not have to undergo surgery to remove a traumatic cyst on his right breast.
Talbert was examined by Dr. David Bachhuer, a general surgeon in Chevy Chase. The cyst apparently developed after Talbert took a blow in the chest four weeks ago. But Bachhuber gave Talbert a clean bill of health and told him to return for a routine checkup in six weeks.
The Redskins, however, reported that middle linebacker Harold McLinton probably will have to miss next Saturday night's preseason game against the Packers because of a sprained left foot. He is expected to be ready for the Sept. 4 game at New England.
Fischer, meanwhile, spent another afternoon in therapy and said his condition has remained "about the same.
"It's still a problem, and there's still pain," Fischer said. "I go down there (to the offices of team physician Stanford Lavine) for therapy every day. I try different motions to see if there's any relief and once in a while I get a shot."
If I don't run out of time, I'll play. There's really nothing I can do about it. It would be a heck of a lot easier if they said go out and work hard, lift weights, run, and you'll be able to play.
"But this is the toughest thing in the world - having to rest. But that's the only way it will resolve itself."
Two weeks ago, Fischer said he had no doubt he could return for another season. Yesterday he said, "In my mind, I'm still going to play this year, but all I want right now is for my back to get better.
"If it gets better in time for me to play, then I'll play. If it doesn't, I won't. And I'm prepared for that. I just don't want to experience pain whenever I move, and that's what's happening now.
"Something has to be done. If it's rest, then I'll rest. If I need surgery, I'll have surgery." Lavine will examine him again Monday.
Fischer said that once the pain subsides he will not need much time to get in shape to play. "I could play now if my back didn't hurt," he said. "It wouldn't take me long to get ready."
Allen, on the other hand, said he thought Fischer would need a minimum of two weeks of practice "just for him to get ready, and if we wait much longer, that would take us into the opener (against the Giants on Sept. 18)".
Allen also insisted yesterday that he had not really made a "concentrated effort" to look for a cornerback "because I think Pat will be back and Gerard will continue to improve.
"I don't like to bring in players once training camp is under way. We did last year because we were forced into it by some emergencies, but the way I feel right now, we've got the people who can do the job."
Allen said he probably would not bring in any more free-agent cornerbacks - he already has given tryouts to veterans Clifford Brooks and Rich Sowells - and that he would take a long look at second-year man David Thomas and rookie Skip Sharp, both cornerbacks against the Packers.
The Redskins admit there are several veteran cornerbacks available if Allen is willing to offer a player of equal ability or even his No. 1 selection in the 1979 draft.
But Allen always has declined to trade one of his starters even-up, and sources in the organization insist he would rather not give up that draft pick in this sort of a deal.
One source said yesterday that Williams probably would do as well as any new man Allen brought in anyway."He had all of last year to learn the system and he's statred three preseason games already," the source said. "We think he's a fine athlete, and I think they're going to stick with him if Pat can't play."
Allen, meanwhile, was still grousing about too many mistakes in the Redskins' sloppy victory over the Chiefs. But he said he was encouraged by the improved pass rush, Mark Moseley's booming kickoffs and two field goals and Larry Jones' five receptions, good for 124 yards. Jones got a game ball.
Allen gave the team off until noon Sunday. They will practice in Carlisle at least through Friday, and Allen has received permission to stay at Dickinson College through the following week, as well, though he may decide to break camp Friday.