Redskin running back Mike Thomas said yesterday he was asked to consider taking a pain-killing injection in his sore right foot in order to play Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles "but I just didn't feel like I wanted to do that."
Thomas, who sat out the 17-10 loss to the Eagles also emphasized "they didn't put any pressure on me to take it, not the kind of pressure they used to use around here. It was nothing like that."
Thomas said he spoke with Coach Jack Pardee on Saturday, and was asked to speak with team physician Standord Lavine Saturday night about taking the shot that probably would have allowed him to play.
"Jack just asked me what I thought about taking a shot and I told him I didn't really like the idea," Thomas said. "He asked me to see Stan (Lavine) and I did.
"I just decided not to do it. Ankles are kind of funny, you really can't tell how bad they're hurt sometime. I don't like the idea of taking shots. I took'em last year for my hamstring, but I don't like to do it."
Thomas said the pain was centered on the outside portion of his right foot near the arch. "It still hurts" he said. "If I had to practice today I couldn't do it. It's another week where we'll have to wait and see.
"It just bothers me that people would think I didn't want to play. I feel real bad about not being able to play, and I don't think people realize that I feel a loss, too. I feel bad because I couldn't contribute.
"How you think I felt standing there watching? I don't know if I could have contributed anything. I wanted to play. I just couldn't go to war with them. But I love playing."
Pardee said yesterday he never urged Thomas to take the shot. I'm never going to force a player to be shot up to play a game," he said. "Those are medical decisions and I'm not a doctor."
Pardee also said he is still not precisely certain what ails Thomas. "I don't know if it's a strain or a sprain, if it's arthritis or bursitis," he said. "When you play on artificial turf, your foot has a tendency to roll. When he makes a cut and his foot rolls, that's where the pain comes."
So for now, the Redskins will be playing the waiting game on Thomas, as well as newly acquired running back Benny Malone.
Malone came limping on a sprined ankle to the Redskins in a trade with the Miami Dolphins last week and did not play against the Eagles. He worked out at Redskin Park yesterday and Pardee said he expected Malone to be available Sunday against the New York Giants. If Malone is healthy, Pardee said, he would not hesitate to play him.
"Our offense is a lot like Miami's in some ways," Pardee said. "By shuttling in the plays with the backs, we can also get him in for some of the plays that he knows and does best. Physically, I think he's going to be okay."
Meanwhile, Pardee seemed to take the Redskins' first loss of the season with the same low-key approach he exhibited after each of the Redskins' first six victorics.
There was no harangue about the officials and only one blame-pointing finger - directed at himself.
"The day after a loss, I'm not a very good sport or a very good loser," he said. "I'm just trying to figure out what I did wrong last week so I can correct it and get the team ready to go this week.
"I'll do a good job of disguising how I feel either way (win or lose)."
When someone asked why he blamed himself, Pardee said, "Because you are responsible to make sure everything gets done. Who else are you going to blame? The press? Maybe it's the trainer's fault."
Ander then he laughed.
Pardee insisted he had no second thoughts on attempting a fake field goal, or going for a touchdown on fourth and goal at the Philadelphia two. Both plays failed.
"The fake field goal could have been successful," Pardee said. "We were getting to a marginal point at the first point we kicked (from 39 yards out, a successful Mark Moseley field goal nullified when guard Ron Saul was called for lining up offside).
"After a five-yard penalty, it became a toss-up. Do we punt, kick it, oe fake it? There was a real swirling wind there; it's a funny stadium. I think it was the right choice; I just wish we had made it."
On the fourth-and-two play, a roll out by Joe Theismann that became a disaster when the Eagles smacked him and caused a fumble, Pardee said, "As far as my thinking, I wouldn't change anything. And it was a good play.
"I thought we had at a touchdown. It was going to take a touchdown and another field goal to win. To take the field goal then knowing we'd be against the wind in the fourth quarter, well, I just liked the opportunity we had with the wind at our backs to either score, or keep them bottled up and try to get the ball back again down there.
"As it turned out, we did get a turnover in their next series, but no right away."
Pardee said he expects a toughie this week when the Redskins travel to East Rutherford, N.J., to face a Giant team that has defeated Washington the last three meetings and is tied with Philadelphia at 4-3 for third place in the NFC East.
"It'll be the same thing for us as the Eagles," he said. "They still have a shot at winning the division or getting a wild card, and they're playing at home.
The Redskins suffered no serious injuries and Pardee said wide receiver Danny Buggs, out of the last three weeks with a slightly separated shoulder, should be available Sunday against the Giants, his former team . . . The Redskin defense has given up only three touchdowns in the last 20 quarters . . . John Riggins' 97 yards rushing against the Eagles gives him 595 for the year, surpassing his best season with the Redskins . . . Mike Bragg continues to lead the NFL in net punting with a 36.9 average and has had a streak of 310 straight punts without a block . . . Pardee said he could not detect holding on Dan Nugent, a penalty that cost the Redskins a Ricky Thompson touchdown reception. He refused to describe the call as bad, or questionable. "Just say it was costly," he said.