Redskin defensive tackle and team captain Diron Talbert tore ligaments in his left knee in the second quarter against the Cardinals yesterday and will be lost for the season.
Talbert, a 12-year veteran, will undergo surgery today at Sibley Hospital and will be placed on the injured reserve list.
Team trainer Bubba Tyer said he thought Talbert's injury would not mean the end of his career, but Redskin Coach Jack Pardee was more concerned with the short-term effects of Talbert's absence.
"He's had a fine year, he's been playing every down," Pardee said. "And he's always played well against the Cowboys (the Redskins' opponent on Thanksgiving Day).We're going to miss him."
Talbert's injury leaves the Redskins with only five relatively healthy defensive linemen, and defensive ends Coy Bacon (sprained shoulder) and Ron McDole (sprained ankle) both were nicked slightly yesterday. Both returned to action, however. Talbert's place will be taken by second-year man Perry Brooks.
Talbert's absence also forced the Redskins to go to their 3-4 alignment more often yesterday, and they probably will continue to use the four-linebacker defense the rest of the year.
Pardee said he will try to add an extra defensive lineman to the roster this week, but admitted there is not much talent to choose from the free-agent ranks.
Safety Donnie Harris probably will be listed as doubtful for the Cowboys with a sprained neck suffered in the second period yesterday.
Harris is one of the Redskins' most talented special teamers on punt and kickoff coverage and also was the fifth back on the nickel defense. He was replaced in the nickel yesterday by second-year safety Mark Murphy.
With cornerback Lemar Parrish still out with a broken arm, the Redskins will go to Dallas with only Murphy available as a back-up in the secondary.