The Redskins are expected to waive Coy Bacon today. The veteran defensive end missed another practice yesterday and was told to "go home" by Coach Joe Gibbs.
Bacon's latest problem with Gibbs is the climax of a series of run-ins with the coach that began as early as April when Bacon refused to attend any minicamps until he signed a new contract.
Since then, Bacon has been late for or missed a number of meetings and, according to team sources, has broken other team rules. Bacon overslept and showed up late for a training camp workout, which resulted in a fine. He also stormed off the practice field a month ago and had to be talked into returning by an assistant coach.
Gibbs said yesterday that no decision had been reached about Bacon's future with the Redskins. Although Bacon told friends he had been waived, team sources said he still was part of the Redskins' active roster, and would remain so at least until today.
Washington also placed guard Jerry Scanlan, who has a sore neck, on the in-season injured reserve list and activated veteran Ron Saul, who first had to clear waivers. Saul had been on the preseason injured list after hurting a knee in training camp.
Gibbs said he and Bacon "had a long talk before practice. I told him to go on home today. We'll be talking with him tonight.
"This has been building for quite a while. We talked almost weekly (with him) about the problems. I like Coy as a player but we've had so many problems, so many things have come up, that I finally told him to go home."
The Redskins have four options with Bacon. They could trade him, waive him, suspend him or retain him. Since it is unlikely they could get much for a 38-year-old player in a trade, it seems almost certain that he will be waived.
With Wilbur Young ready to come off the injured reserve list next week, Bacon probably would have been released at that time anyway. Bacon already was sharing his defensive end spot with Mat Mendenhall, and a combination of his inability to stop the run and his off-field attitude problems made him a prime candidate for waivers.
Only injuries to both Young and Mendenhall saved Bacon from being cut in training camp. The Redskins were so thin along the defensive line that they had little choice but to keep Bacon around. But Gibbs was adamant, both in public statements and in private discussions with team officials, that he would not tolerate much more from Bacon.
Bacon, who has three of the Redskins' four sacks this season, has been their top pass rusher since 1978, when he was obtained, along with Lemar Parrish, from Cincinnati in exchange for a No. 1 draft choice.
Bacon has been in the league for 14 years, ranking among the all-time leaders in sacks. He led the league in 1976 with 26 sacks, and had 12, 15 and 11 in his first three seasons with the Redskins.
Besides Cincinnati, he has played for Los Angeles and San Diego. He made the Pro Bowl in 1972, 1976 and 1977.
If Bacon is released, the Redskins could decide to fill his roster spot this week with a defensive back instead of a lineman. They are carrying only six backs, one fewer than they would like, and they know Young is returning soon.
Mendenhall, who started against St. Louis Sunday at left end when Karl Lorch moved to tackle, will take over for Bacon. Brooks, who had a bad neck, is practicing again, so Lorch has returned to left end.
The decision to deactivate Scanlan came after his neck was not noticeably improved this week. Scanlan had not been playing well, and with guard Russ Grimm already out for a week with a bad knee, the Redskins had no healthy backup guards going into Sunday's game at Philadelphia.
Saul, an 11-year veteran, started at guard the last five years for Washington after coming over in a trade with Houston for three draft choices. But in training camp this summer, he was demoted and his position was given to Fred Dean. When Dean hurt his arm, both Grimm and Scanlan were promoted into the starting lineup before Saul finally was placed on injured reserve.
Rookie Joe Jacoby, a converted tackle who started at guard for the first time on Sunday, remains with the first string. And Gibbs talked yesterday as if Jacoby could stay in that spot for a while.
"Joe really did a good job against St. Louis. He could be the answer," Gibbs said. "He's a large guy (290 pounds) with a great heart and a smart mind. For the first time at that position, he played very well."
Center Jeff Bostic, who hurt his knee against St. Louis, practiced yesterday and will start against Philadelphia . . . Cornerback Parrish had his knee drained, but Gibbs said he should be able to play Sunday . . . Four starters -- Mark Murphy, Don Warren, Rich Milot and Tony Peters -- have been added to the special teams this week . . . The Redskins have decided to retain punter Mike Connell . . . Return man Mike Nelms is expected to have a smaller cast placed on his broken thumb prior to the Eagles game . . . Young, Brad Dusek, Charlie Brown and Larry Kubin, all of whom are on the in-season injured reserve list, are working out with the team . . . Owner Jack Kent Cooke watched practice yesterday . . . The Redskins are ranked first in the NFC in offense and second, behind Philadelphia, in defense.