The postscripts of a shocking loss were written around Redskin Park like graffiti yesterday.
For injury and intrigue, there was linebacker Monte Coleman and his severely strained right hamstring. For a little strategy, there was running back John Riggins, who said he spoke with Coach Joe Gibbs about the number of times he is carrying the ball. For controversy, there was defensive end Dexter Manley -- and his mouth.
And for morale, there was quarterback Joe Theismann, who called a special team meeting to urge the troops to stick together. The 10-minute meeting was the first of its kind this season, the players said.
Game or no game, the losses continued to mount for the Washington Redskins (1-2). They learned that Coleman's injury, suffered late in the first half of their 19-6 upset loss to Philadelphia, will "definitely" force him to miss Sunday's game at Chicago (3-0), according to trainer Bubba Tyer.
There were strong indications last night that the Redskins might put Coleman on injured reserve, which would mean he would miss a minimum of four weeks.
Team officials spent much of the day searching for an available outside linebacker. They apparently were unable to find someone who also filled Coleman's roles as a nickel-defense linebacker and special teams player.
A decision on Coleman's status is expected today or Wednesday.
Linebacker Mel Kaufman, who missed Sunday's game with a pinched nerve in his neck and was replaced by Coleman, will be able to play against the Bears, Tyer said.
Playing time was the issue for Riggins, who carried 12 times for 32 yards against the Eagles. George Rogers ran 11 times for 72 yards.
In three games, Riggins, who appeared restless on the sidelines Sunday, has averaged 13.3 carries per game. Rogers has averaged 13.
Last season, Riggins averaged 20.4.
"It's something we have to work out," Riggins said last night on his television show on WJLA-7. He said he spoke with Gibbs but declined to give details.
Said Gibbs: "I'm sure John would like to carry the ball more . . . I would like to see both John and George totally healthy. Hopefully, both will get hot and they'll get 15-20 carries apiece."
Gibbs said shifting the running backs -- first Riggins, then Rogers, then Riggins again -- does not adversely affect his offense.
"I don't think the running game is out of sync," he said. "We're doing about as good as we can rushing the ball."
Rogers, whose fourth-quarter fumble led to the Eagles' only touchdown, refused to comment on the game.
His fumble occurred when linebacker Garry Cobb stripped the ball from Rogers' right hand as he ran around left end for a two-yard gain. Some running backs move the ball from their "inside" hand to their "outside" hand as they run -- in this case, from right to left.
Rogers does not, and said he has no plans to change in spite of this fumble, his fifth in seven games, counting preseason.
"A lot of backs carry the ball in their right arm all the time," said running backs coach Don Breaux. "Then you look at Walter Payton. He carries it out here like a loaf of bread."
Breaux wasn't the only member of the Redskins speaking of the Bears' running back yesterday. Manley, who leads the NFC with 5 1/2 sacks, had a little explaining to do after being quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times as saying, "We're gonna have to knock Walter Payton out of the game. We're gonna have to do that.
"I think (quarterback Jim) McMahon's a little fragile. The guy can get hurt. But my main concern is Walter Payton. If we can get him, then we're gonna be all right."
In the Redskin Park public relations office, Manley confronted Sun-Times writer Brian Hewitt about the quote that appeared in his story in yesterday's paper.
Hewitt asked Manley to listen to his tape-recording of their conversation. When the tape reached the moment of truth, Manley, with a big smile on his face, yelled, "Whoops."
"I really didn't mean it," Manley said. "There's no way I'm ever going to knock Walter Payton out of the game. I probably had diarrhea of the mouth."
Chicago Coach Mike Ditka was asked about Manley's statement at his Monday press conference.
"Things like that are said out of frustration," Ditka said. "Things like that are said out of stupidity. We don't worry about that."
"It probably was stupidity on my part," Manley said. "He's right. It was a stupid statement."
Other issues, all perhaps a bit more meaningful than that, confronted the Redskins as they began to prepare for the team that blitzed them silly and knocked them out of the playoffs, 23-19, last season.
Gibbs said he doesn't think his team is giving "the fanatical-type effort and commitment" it has in past seasons.
"I think the intensity . . . is not the kind of effort we've had here in the past," he said. "Preseason is so easy for you . . . you picture yourself winning all the time . . . we kind of forgot how we won."
He again refused to blame Theismann for the problems of an offense that has not scored a touchdown in seven quarters.
"I went through all (the) passing plays . . . and I don't attribute very many of (the problems) to Joe," Gibbs said.
He refused to blame any receiver in particular, including Calvin Muhammad, who did not catch a pass and appeared to make several mistakes.
However, there are indications that wide receiver Gary Clark, who played during the late stages of the Eagles game, might play more this week in practice and against Chicago.