For Washington Redskins center Jeff Bostic, the wait continues.
After nearly a year without football because of reconstructive knee surgery, Bostic was told by Coach Joe Gibbs yesterday that it likely would be the end of the week before the Redskins decide if they want to activate him for Sunday's game with the New York Giants.
Although Bostic is eligible to return to the active roster today, the Redskins want to watch him practice this week (his fourth full week of practice) before making a decision.
Bostic, a Pro Bowl starter in 1983, is desperately needed for depth on an offensive line that has only seven players, but there still is some concern within the organization about how well he has come back from his injury.
"I feel good about it," Gibbs said of Bostic's prospective return, but, he added, "I wouldn't say it's a definite."
Another team official put the chances at 50-50 that Bostic would be activated for the game at the Meadowlands, which is between two of the three teams tied for second place in the NFC East with 3-3 records.
If Bostic returns, it's likely that long snapper Doug Barnett, who has been with the team for two games, would be waived, team sources said. Bostic was the team's long snapper before he suffered extensive ligament damage to his right knee on Oct. 21, 1984, in St. Louis.
Special teams coach Wayne Sevier called Barnett "a great snapper," but Barnett apparently would become expendable on the 45-man roster because he has not played at another position.
"Any indications I've had from the coaches are that they want me to do the snapping job," Bostic said yesterday.
One of the reasons the coaches want to wait to make the decision on Bostic is the chance that another player might be injured in practice, in which case that player could be put on injured reserve.
"They're not being too hasty, which is fine," said Bostic. "It's almost been a year. What's another day or two?"
Whenever Bostic returns, Gibbs said he would not immediately replace Rick Donnalley in the starting lineup.
"Rick had one of the best games he's had here," Gibbs said of the Redskins' 24-3 victory over Detroit.
Donnalley, often teaming with guards Russ Grimm or Ken Huff, kept Pro Bowl nose tackle Doug English from being much of a factor.
Injuries figured prominently in other ways yesterday at Redskin Park.
The coaches, trainers and doctors discussed having cornerback Vernon Dean admitted to the hospital to rest his bruised right thigh and injured right knee. (He missed a day of practice last week with fluid on the knee.) But they decided that wasn't necessary when they found out Dean felt pretty good.
Running back George Rogers said his sprained left shoulder "felt fine," and Gibbs said he thought Rogers "probably would be okay" by Sunday.
Assistant head coach-defense Richie Petitbon said cornerback Darrell Green "was not able to play as well" as usual because of the cast around a broken bone in his left hand.
After looking at the films of the Redskins' second consecutive convincing win, Gibbs didn't have a whole lot to complain about.
"What I'm happiest about is that we've played two games in a row with some balance and common denominators," he said, mentioning the running game, defense and special teams in particular. "That's good. We're headed in the right direction."
The best part about the Detroit game, Gibbs said, was that it proved the St. Louis game was no flash in the pan.
"Hey, it wasn't a one-game thing," he said. "We're capable of doing this.