Redskin running back Joe Washington, who missed the second half of Sunday's game against Dallas with a rib injury, practiced with the team yesterday and said it was almost certain he would play this week in Buffalo against the Bills.

"It's still very painful, but it's getting better every day," Washington said after the workout. "I'm sure I'll play this week. The only thing I really can't do is throw the football. I did mostly everything else today."

Coach Joe Gibbs, who said he is preparing for the Buffalo game as if Washington won't be available, said he was "really surprised at how well he (Washington) did today. We'll make a decision later as to what we do, but how Joe feels is what will govern it."

Washington's injury is torn rib cartilage on the left side and because of the nature of the injury, a flak jacket or similar type protection won't help.

He said he was first injured in practice last Thursday. "I just felt a pain while I was cutting and twisting," he said. "I was running, but I didn't take a lick or anything like that. It hurt, but I was able to finish practice. When I hurt it Sunday in Dallas I thought the same thing would happen, and after I rested for a bit I'd be able to go back into the game."

Washington couldn't go back in, however, and, with him out, the Redskins' offense slumped.

Washington split time at running back with John Riggins yesterday and Gibbs said Riggins would start if Washington wasn't available. Recent acquisition Nick Giaquinto also worked at the position.

The Redskin yesterday re-signed rookie defensive back LeCharls McDaniel and placed linebacker Charlie Weaver on injured reserve.

Weaver injured his knee two weeks ago against the Detroit Lions and, since he must be on the injured list for a minimum of four weeks, will not be available to the Redskins the remainder of the season.

McDaniel, 5-foot-9, 169 pounds, was a Redskin free agent from Cal-Poly. This is the third time he has been signed by the Redskins this season.

He was needed because Lemar Parrish is out of the Bills' game with a sore knee and the Redskins were down to only five defensive backs.