Washington Redskins running back John Riggins, who spent two days in traction at Sibley Memorial Hospital last week, said after yesterday's 29-27 victory over St. Louis that he would have to think of retirement if his aching lower back problems continued.

Riggins indicated he will not make a decision until the offseason.

Riggins has come out of traction to play on Sunday each of the past two weeks. He carried 27 times for 76 yards yesterday, including an five-yard touchdown run.

Riggins said he did not feel as bad after yesterday's game as he had after many others this year. He expressed hope that with two weeks of rest before the Redskins' first playoff game, he could avoid another experience in traction.

"I'm a little suspect on my training practices," Riggins said with a smile yesterday. "It's probably my diet that is killing me."

Riggins said he was exhausted after the game, but added he started the day that way. "At the beginning of the game, I was too tired to even be nervous," said Riggins, 35. "Right now, I couldn't be more tired if I had run a marathon. I'm just glad the game didn't go into overtime."