Wilbert Montgomery, the Eagles' star running back was listed as doubtful yesterday by his coach for Sunday's game in Philadelphia against the Washington Redskins.
Montgomery suffered a painful hip pointer in the Eagles' loss to St. Louis Sunday and spent that night and most of yesterday in a Philadelphia hospital receiving treatment.
Coach Dick Vermeil would not rule out Montgomery's playing but said, "it depends upon how he responds . . . right now it doesn't look promising."
The Redskins, who expect middle linebacker Neal Olkewicz to play Sunday for the first time this season, also have a potentially damaging injury to a running back. Clarence Harmon, their clutch third down receiver and starting fullback, has a sprained ankle that had him on crutches after Sunday's game against Seattle.
"We don't know how bad the ankle is yet," Coach Jack Pardee said "But it could be serious. We just have to wait and see. Sometimes with a sprained ankle, you are only out a few days; other times it can be a few weeks. s
"But we certainly need Clarence in there. Losing him would be a serious blow."
When Harmon went down Sunday, Buddy Hardeman moved over to fullback on pass plays while Bobby Hammond went in at halfback. Ricky Claitt, who gets most of the running work at fullback anyway, would become the starter if Harmon can't play.
The loss of Montgomery would be painful for the Eagles, who likely would start little used Louie Giammona against the Redskins. Montgomery, quarterback Ron Jaworski and receiver Harold Carmichael are considered the keys to the Philadelphia offense.
Montgomery has gained 400 yards (5.6 average) and caught 22 passes for 154 yards. With the Redskins's season-long vulnerability to the run, he had been certain to receive considerable work Sunday.
"I think he'll play," said a skeptical Pardee.
In other developments, Pardee said veteran Paul Smith probably would play considerably more at defensive tackle this week. "We want to save Perry (Brooks) for passing situations," the coach said.
Tackle Jerry Scanlan and defensive end Joe Jones, both on the injured reserve list, are eligible to be activated this week, but Pardee said. "I don't think we will. I have to talk about it some more it would mean creating roster space and that is a problem."
Pardee said he hoped tight end Don Warren, unable to play the last two weeks, would be able to suit up against the Eagles.