There will be one, and possibly two, rookies in the Washington Redskins' starting lineup Sunday when the Detroit Lions come to RFK Stadium.
Gary Clark, who caught two passes in Monday night's 27-10 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals -- one a 10-yard touchdown -- will replace Calvin Muhammad at wide receiver. And rookie guard Raleigh McKenzie, who practiced yesterday in Ken Huff's spot, will start unless Huff recovers from a broken left big toe.
Coach Joe Gibbs said Clark's production prompted the change. Clark is fourth on the team in receptions with nine, for 118 yards (13.1 yards per catch). Muhammad has seven catches for 95 yards, but just one in the last three games, that being an eight-yarder two weeks ago against the Bears.
"It's not anything that Calvin's done," Gibbs said. "We're just looking for the right combination.
"Gary's been very productive when he's been in there. Calvin's working very hard and has done a good job for us. But we're searching for the right combination to get some click in the passing game so we'll take a shot at Gary. They'll both play a lot, though."
Muhammad, who started the first five games, declined to comment on the switch.
Huff went about half-speed in group drills yesterday, but did not participate in team drills.
"We'll plan to go with Raleigh unless Ken can play, which is still a possibility," Gibbs said. He said he considered moving tackle Mark May to guard and inserting Dan McQuaid at tackle, but decided against it.
Huff, who joked before practice that May's size-17 feet were the cause of the injury, said the toe injury, sustained sometime in the second quarter Monday night, is getting better.
"It felt a whole lot better today than it did yesterday," said Huff, who has a piece of hard plastic taped to his cleat to try to prevent further injury if someone really does step on him. "Hopefully, I can make the same improvement tomorrow and get some work in."
Huff said if the improvement continues at the same rate, he will play, and if not . . . "Well, I'm optimistic that it will be all right."
The Redskins are leading the NFL in rushing with a 186-yard average, and are the only team to have more yards rushing (930) than passing (710). Though there certainly are other factors, such as field position, the Redskins (2-3) have won the two games in which they have run more than they passed.
The Redskins, for the first time in their history, had two running backs go over 100 yards in one game -- George Rogers had 25 carries for 105 yards, and John Riggins, who will start again, had 17 carries for 103 in the victory over the Cardinals.
"That's always been a key. We know we have to run the ball," said guard Russ Grimm, who added that his bruised knee is fine. "The formula has worked in the past and we have to get back to that a little more."
Punter Steve Cox was examined by neurologist Dr. Bruce Ammerman and given a clean bill of health, according to a team spokesman. Until earlier this week, team doctors were unaware that Cox had surgery in 1983 to insert a shunt (tube) in his brain to allow spinal fluid to pass through.
Dr. Stanford Lavine, the Redskins' team physician, resigned yesterday, owner Jack Kent Cooke said last night. It was unknown what led to the resignation. Lavine could not be reached for comment.