Bert Jones will return to action Saturday night when the Baltimore Colts try to to snap a two-game losing streak against the unbeaten Redskins at Memorial Stadium.
The 29-year-old quarterback sat out the Colts' 20-17 loss to the New York Giants last week because of a slight back injury, but he has been throwing well all week and is expected to play at least half the game.
Jones completed 13 of 19 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown in the Colts' opening 24-23 last-second loss in New Orleans. He will be joined in the starting backfield by Curtis Dickey and rookie Randy McMillen.
McMillen, a first-round draft choice from Pittsburgh, has been impressive. The 6-foot-1, 226-pound fullback has carried the ball 13 times for 44 yards and has caught 10 passes for an additonal 105 yards.
Coach Mike McCormack is going to give rookie Obed Ariri an opportunity to win the placekicking job. The Colts released veteran Steve Mike-Meyer yesterday, opening the door for Ariri, who has made four of five conversion attempts and kicked field goals of 27 and 36 yards without a miss.
Ariri, a seven-round draft choice from Clemson, holds NCAA records for field goals in a season (23) and for his career (63). He made 99 of 103 extra-point attempts in his four seasons with the Tigers.
McCormack said he will start his No. 1 unit and play them at least half the game. The only two changes will be at linebacking where Ed Smith is filling in for the injured Ed Simonini in the middle and Barry Krauss will take over the injured Sanders Shiver on the left side.
A crowd of 40,000 is expected for the Colts' only preseason appearance at home. Last season they averaged only 38,097 paid admissions for eight regular-season games.