Rookie running back Timmy Smith, who has carried the ball in only two games this season, "will play some" in the Washington Redskins' game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday night, running backs coach Don Breaux said yesterday.
The Redskins plan to replace veteran George Rogers with Smith during the game "if I'm not playing well or if I'm tired," Rogers said after practice at Redskin Park.
Defensive end Dexter Manley missed his second consecutive day of practice with a sprained right shoulder. He missed Wednesday's practice because he attended a grandmother's funeral in Louisiana and said he "did nothing" in yesterday's workout.
However, both he and Coach Joe Gibbs said they expect him to be able to play against the Dolphins.
"I'll be there," Manley said.
Gibbs has closed practice to the media this week. The Redskins did not announce that Manley had missed Wednesday's practice.
Rogers said he expects to start the game, but the coaches reportedly are considering playing Smith very early in an attempt to spark the team's struggling running game.
"We want to put him in there to see how he can do," Breaux said. "He'll play some. It could be a little bit or maybe one-third of the time. We're just not sure."
Smith, a training camp sensation, has carried 15 times for 76 yards and leads all Redskins running backs with a 5.1-yard average. He played in games against Buffalo and Detroit last month. The Redskins' running game has been having problems recently. In three of the past four games, the Redskins have not gained 100 yards on the ground.
Rogers has had only two 100-yard games this season and is averaging a career-low 3.7 yards per carry. He said he doesn't view Smith as a threat to his job.
"We need everyone we can get," Rogers said. "I know the coaches are anxious to see what Timmy can do. I'm anxious to see, too. I'm glad he's going to get a chance."
Smith, Washington's fifth-round draft pick from Texas Tech in April, said he doesn't know what to expect Sunday at Joe Robbie Stadium.
"We'll wait and see how George is running, but I expect to play," he said. "Hopefully, I'll get a good chance. They've told me to be ready. Finally."