If all the principals are healthy, Federals Coach Ray Jauch said he will play an entirely different backfield from the one he started in Washington's last three games.
Quarterback Kim McQuilken and running backs Eric Robinson and James Mayberry will be replaced by quarterback Mike Hohensee and running backs Craig James and Billy Taylor.
McQuilken completed only 20 of 44 passes against Philadelphia last Sunday and Robinson and Mayberry combined for just 27 yards rushing.
James and Hohensee have not played since they were injured in the second week of the season. Both players worked out with the team yesterday but they will not know for certain until later this week whether they can play part or all of Monday night's game against the Arizona Wranglers.
"I'm hoping both Mike and Craig are ready to go," Jauch said. "We've missed them."
"I feel fine," said James, who has a mild compression fracture of the upper spine. "It hurt in spots, though. I can't say I'm 100 percent."
Hohensee, who suffered a fractured sternum, has been throwing for a week. "We'll kind of feel our way with Mike this week," said Offensive Coordinator Dick Bielski. "If he can handle it, he'll get the nod."
Jauch said he had also not ruled out starting former Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Joe Gilliam if Hohensee is not ready.
Taylor, a former halfback for the New York Giants, may replace Mayberry at fullback if James is ready to assume his halfback position; if James does not start, Taylor will replace Robinson at halfback.
Taylor signed with the Federals two weeks ago and has impressed the coaches with his running and pass catching ability. Against Philadelphia, he carried the ball six times for 47 yards--relatively eye-opening statistics for Washington's troubled running offense.
"Billy's been working in very well," Bielski said. "He's learned our system very rapidly. We have to keep twisting the dial until we find the right combinations. Billy will help us."
James, who watched the Philadelphia game on television, said, "My impression was that talentwise, they weren't so much better than we were. But they were more intense. They were enjoying being there. We seemed stiff. People may be worried about losing their jobs, I don't know."
"It's hard to enjoy the game when you're not moving the ball," Jauch said.
The Federals yesterday signed Phil Murphy, a former defensive player for the Rams in 1980-81 and now an offensive tackle; tight end Vince Rogusky, cut by the Washington Redskins in training camp last summer; running back and return specialist Lou Giammona, a former Philadelphia Eagle, and Joe Harris, former Redskins' linebacker.
"Harris is especially significant," Jauch said. "He can play ball." On defense, the Federals are still weakest at the linebacker position.
Waived were quarterback Chris Garrity (of William and Mary), tight end William Wall (Virginia Union), defensive end Farley Bell (Cincinnati) and running back Mark Sanford (Virginia).