The Wahsington Redskins listed cornerback Pat Fischer as questionable yesterday for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals because the pinched nerve in his back has flared up again.
No one will say so publicly, but once again there is deep concern not only about Fischer's status for the Cardinal game, but for the remainder of the season.
After what he described as a spirited two-hour closed practice, coach George Allen said his second straight workout that Fischer missed because he was still stiff and sore after 82 plays against the Falcons on Sunday, his first game action since the 1976 season.
"IT's too early to tell." Allen said. "If he can't go by Friday, then it's something else. I could have pushed him, but we didn't need to do that."
Team trainer Bubba Tyer said Fischer's status would be decided on a day-to-day basis, but other club sources say the little cornerback definitely reinjured the pinched nerve in his back that forced him to miss all of training cap.
Fischer confirmed that yeaterday, but insisted, "It would surprise me if I wasn't able to play on Sunday."
"It's the same thing as before, but certainly not as severe," he said. "I don't think that's going to change much all year. If it was as bad as when I first hurt it, well, it wouldn't make much sense to come back because there's not enough time to go through all that again.
"At this point, there's nothing you can do but rest it at every opportunity. So that's what I'll do. I'm not going to worry about it.
"After a game like that, your back would ache anyway. I did start to feel some sensations in my hip again, so I know it's inflamed a little. If I practiced, I might set it back further. So we'll just wait and see what happens."
With Fischer missing practice, cornerback Gerard Williams handled he position for the second straight day.If Fischer is not available for the Cardinal game, Williams will start and Eddie Brown will become the back-up cornerback.
The Redskins also listed linebacker Chris Hanburger as questionable yesterday, although Allen said, "I think Chris can play this week. He looks good. He says he's stiff, sore and tired, but that's to be expected."
Allen said Hanburger and Mike Curtis split practice time at right lineback. Hanburger returned to work Tuesday after a month long recuperation from an emergency appendectomy.
Allen probably will start Hanburger against the caridinals and most likely agive him occasional relief with Curtis.
Did Allen close practice to put in a four-linebacker defense, or possibly switch his quarterbacks?
"Nah, it was just to improve their concertration, get them together," Allen said. "It's a big game for us, a real big game."
Terry Hermeling will return to his position as starting right guard. He sat out the Falcon game because he had still not fully recovered from a viral infection during the week. . . Running back Clarence Harmon, who sprained an ankle against Atlanta, was listed as questionable. . . The Cardinals Listed center Tom Brahaney (sore foot); running back Terry Metcalf (slightly fractured hand) and guard Bob Young (broken hand) as probable.