Lest anyone forget, there are 43 other active Washington Redskins. Quarterbacks Doug Williams and Jay Schroeder dominate dinner table conversations in this city, but several other players are dominating on the field.

One is strong safety Alvin Walton, who looks as tough as he plays. In the tradition of John Riggins and Dexter Manley, Walton wears a mohawk haircut, though he's a lot more shy than those two. Walton is one who talks softly and delivers the big hit. He's currently the Redskins' leading tackler with 97, including 32 in the last two games.

Sunday against the Giants, he made six hits behind the line of scrimmage. Once, he took on blocking back Maurice Carthon, tossed him aside and threw down running back Joe Morris.

"We've had a few good strong safeties here: Ken Houston, Tony Peters and Ken Coffey," said defensive coach Richie Petitbon yesterday. "This kid has a chance to be better than all of them."

Another unsung Redskin is nickel back Dennis Woodberry, who preserved Sunday's 23-19 victory over the Giants with a "bad" tackle. With four seconds remaining, Giants quarterback Phil Simms dumped a pass from his own 16-yard line to running back Tony Galbreath, who was in the clear for an instant.

Woodberry, with great speed, came out of nowhere and threw his body in front of Galbreath. Petitbon says it was not a picture-perfect tackle, but it worked. The bottom line here is that a lot of people forget Woodberry was once a replacement player.

"I'm sure a lot of guys used to have negative attitudes {about replacement players}, but they begin to accept you as we play," Woodberry said yesterday.

Offensive assistant coach Dan Henning had Woodberry in Atlanta last year, and Woodberry intercepted two Dan Marino passes one game. He comes from little Southern Arkansas University and he's little (about 5 feet 10), but Darryl Grant -- who nearly knocked over the replacement team bus once -- loves him.

"I wouldn't be afraid to be in a foxhole with Woodberry," said Grant. "He's got guts and heart."

"{Woodberry} certainly has a future on this club, at least in my opinion," cornerback Darrell Green said. "I saw it in Barry Wilburn, and he's panning out, and I see it in Dennis."

Receiver Ricky Sanders is another name to get used to because Green -- the fastest Redskin -- says Sanders can run on his heels.

"Nah, Darrell, he'd kill me," Sanders said yesterday.

Apparently, fast is relative. Sanders -- who's nicknamed "Slick" -- said he runs about a 4.4 second 40-yard dash, and he said it with a slight frown. "But they had me at 4.38 in camp," he said, when asked to name his fastest time.

Besides catching the winning touchdown pass Sunday, Sanders also returned three kickoffs for 82 yards, including a 39-yarder. This is what Coach Joe Gibbs and special teams coach Chuck Banker had been searching for, so expect more of the same Sunday at St. Louis.

"First time since high school," Sanders said of returning kicks.

Gibbs: "He used to be a running back, you know. And he got excited when we told him we were putting him on {kickoffs.}"

Against the Giants, by the way, the Redskins had two men deep on kickoffs for the first time all season (Sanders and Keith Griffin). Gibbs said yesterday it may continue that way, depending on the opponent. The advantage of using two men deep, Gibbs said, is that teams won't be free to kick to the corners any longer.

Speaking of special teams, the Redskins will continue to use Green on punt returns, but only in specific situations. Regular punt returner Eric Yarber went 30 yards with a return against the Giants, but Green has potential to go for a touchdown any time he touches the ball. So, when the situation calls for a big return, the Redskins will use Green.

"If I didn't play corner full-time, I'd love to return punts," Green said yesterday. "Fortunately, I've been blessed with talent to play corner. I can do both, sure. I've done it before. But teams have specialists, and that's Eric's specialty. He can do just as good as I can do. If anything were to happen, I probably could do it full-time. I've no problems with it."

Gibbs again closed practice yesterday, but he said running back George Rogers practiced with the first team.

Yesterday, Kelvin Bryant was listed as "questionable" for Sunday's game and did not practice. But trainer Bubba Tyer said: "Kelvin's better today. Put it this way. If he can practice, I'd say he'll be able to play."

Quarterback Doug Williams, who injured his back a week ago, did practice yesterday. And kicker Jess Atkinson, who dislocated his non-kicking ankle in the season opener, also continued kicking field goals yesterday.

Originally, Atkinson hoped he could be activated somewhere between last Sunday's game and the Dec. 13 Dallas game. Yesterday, he said: "I'd love to play against Dallas, but I'll take Minnesota {Dec. 26}."

Atkinson, who said he kicked with no pain, tried 10 kicks yesterday, eight from inside 35 yards and two from 42 yards. He made every one.

"But before {the injury}, from 45 yards, I didn't have to hit it well, and I'd make it," Atkinson said. "Now, I feel that way from 35 or 36 yards. So I still have a ways to go."

Of course, when Atkinson's ready, Gibbs would have to decide whether to bench current kicker Ali Haji-Sheikh.

"What that does is create an option," Gibbs said yesterday. "As long as Ali's going good, you stay with Ali. But that's something down the road. {Atkinson} may not be back this year, so it does no good to stir something up."

Redskins Notes:

The Redskins have printed playoff tickets for up to two games. Season ticket holders will be given the right to purchase the same number of tickets they had during the regular season. The NFL establishes ticket prices, which range from $25 to $40 for the wild card or divisional games and from $30 to $45 for the conference championship game . . . The injury report: Kelvin Bryant (ankle/hamstring) is questionable; while tight end Joe Caravello (arch), linebacker Kurt Gouveia (broken hand/ twisted knee), defensive tackle Steve Hamilton (sore hamstring), tackle Mark May (ankle), linebacker Rich Milot (ankle) and cornerback Barry Wilburn (broken finger) are probable . . . Rookie defensive back Brian Davis (hamstring) is eligible to come off the injured list this week, and the Redskins worked him as a starter on special teams yesterday. Gibbs said a decision will be made later this week whether to activate him.