Darrell Green said he isn't going to let it get him down. Barry Wilburn said he and Green even are able to laugh about it.
But they weren't laughing Sunday at RFK Stadium when Green, filling in for the injured Ken Jenkins, ran back a Cincinnati punt 77 yards for an apparent touchdown only to have it called back because of a penalty on Wilburn. The week before against the Philadelphia Eagles, the same thing happened on a 90-yard return by Green.
"That could have been the play we needed," said Wilburn, the rookie cornerback from Mississippi. "Fortunately, we won both games. That's what's made it comical. But it does make you wonder."
Green was at Redskin Park yesterday for meetings but did not practice because of flu.
"There's nothing else I can do. It doesn't matter what I think," Green said. "But I thought it was a pretty cheap call. Nine out of 10 referees won't call it. Besides, we won the game, and that's what does matter."
Wilburn had told reporters Sunday that he was seeking a bit of revenge.
"They say I hit him with a forearm," Wilburn said Sunday. "I must have got hit with eight forearms today and nobody called any penalties on those. But he deserved it. On the punt before that he kicked me when I was down. I was trying to knock him out. I just didn't know it was illegal."
Yesterday, Wilburn blamed it on a bad call by the officials.
"I'll tell you, we watched that film this morning, and it was another bad call for the second week in a row," he said. "Darrell knows what he's doing, and we're just going to keep working because any time he touches the ball it can go."
Wilburn said that during and immediately after the play, he had no idea he had committed a violation.
"They called it a personal foul but I missed my guy, really, and got a part of his shoulder. If I had hit him in the helmet, then maybe.
"Darrell flew by us and we went into the end zone and were celebrating," Wilburn said. "Then somebody said there was a penalty. It was only after a couple plays that somebody told me that it was on me."
Coach Joe Gibbs, who has sent some film clips, including the punt return, to the NFL for review, said he feels bad for Green.
"I hate to have that happen for him," Gibbs said. "They were two great plays."
Green, who ran the 100 meters in 10.08 seconds at Texas A&I, has considered the possibility of switching from his cornerback spot to that of a receiver, ala Roy Green of the St. Louis Cardinals, who will face the Redskins Saturday.
"I've thought about it," Darrell Green said yesterday. "It will probably never present itself, and with the punt returning, people forget I'm a full-time starting cornerback. I can dream about it (offense). I would like to see what it's about, but I don't bust my brains thinking about it."
Wilburn practiced yesterday at Green's corner spot, but Green is expected to practice today.
Gibbs said Monday he would like to see Green return some punts next season even with the expected return of Jenkins from shoulder surgery.
"We'll just wait until next year," Green said. "Whatever they ask me to do, I'd probably do. I think Ken did a great job. I just feel blessed and fortunate to get the chance. In no way am I knocking Ken Jenkins' ability. We'll just let the chips fall where they may."
Quarterback Jay Schroeder took all of the snaps in the offensive team drills, and afterward said he felt fine.
A fractured rib was the initial problem, and still must be watched. But he developed back spasms while trying to play with the rib injury, and the tightness in the back is as much of a concern now.
Vernon Dean, whose ribs also are sore, practiced and seemed fine, according to Gibbs.