Washington Redskins wide receiver Art Monk definitely will miss the NFC championship game Sunday, while the Redskins are making preparations to play without cornerback Darrell Green, Coach Joe Gibbs said yesterday.

Gibbs said he doesn't think "there's any way" Monk will be ready to play the Minnesota Vikings in Sunday's 12:30 p.m. game at RFK Stadium. Monk, who partially tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee Dec. 6, ran at half-speed and caught passes from quarterbacks coach Jerry Rhome for about 40 minutes at practice.

Monk declined comment on his status. However, it's likely he could be ready for the Super Bowl Jan. 31, if the Redskins are playing in it.

Green, who sprained rib cartilage during his 52-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Redskins' 21-17 victory at Chicago, did not practice and was listed as questionable (50-50 chance of playing) for the game. His condition is the same as it has been the past two days, team officials said. He still is stiff and sore. Rookie Brian Davis replaced him at practice and will start if Green cannot.

On Monday, Gibbs said if he had to guess, he thought Green would play. By yesterday, he had changed his tune, saying the team would prepare as if he is not going to play.

"What's best for us is to make preparations that Darrell would not be able to play," Gibbs said. "I think it's good for us to take that approach. Obviously, it's going to be late in the week before there's going to be any kind of indication from him what he's going to be able to do.

"Our approach is a little different than it was earlier in the week. We need to make preparations as if he was not going to play. That way, if he can play, that would be great. Our team has to get ready for Darrell not playing . . . There's a chance that {Green would not be able to play}, for sure."

If Green cannot play, the task of covering playoff sensation Anthony Carter will belong to either Davis or fellow cornerback Barry Wilburn, but Gibbs isn't saying which one will get the job.

"Brian will go in and take Darrell's place and we'll make game plans based off that," Gibbs said. "Obviously, with Carter, nobody else has been able to stop him. We're going to try to do the best we can of getting a good game plan and trying at least to slow him down. I don't think anybody's going to stop him, but you try and keep his production down."

Carter caught 16 passes for 306 yards in the Vikings' two upset playoff victories over New Orleans and San Francisco.

Davis, the Redskins' top draft choice last year, is not speaking with the media, a team spokesman said. Neither is Green.

Wilburn is talking, but said he doesn't care who he covers, "Carter, Leo Lewis, Hassan Jones . . . It's up to the coaches to make that decision."

And the coaches aren't saying. However, assistant head coach/defense Richie Petitbon said he thinks Green will play. "I really think so," he said. "I think he'll be ready."

At practice, George Rogers and rookie Timmy Smith shared the running back spot, but they did not share the same opinion about why Rogers, who gained only 13 yards on six carries last Sunday at Chicago, is not running well.

"George is a great running back, no doubt about that," Smith said. "I think he's just got to start believing in himself, that he can get the job done."

"I don't think he lost any confidence," Smith added. "I just think after you've played nine, seven years, I think you have a tendency of slacking up a little bit. I think he'll come around this week."

Rogers, in his seventh NFL season, laughed when told what Smith said about him.

"I guess he thinks I'm down because he's playing well, but I don't think that's the case," said Rogers, who is scheduled to start Sunday. "More than anything, I want to win. Whether it means him playing or me playing."

On the subject of "slacking up," Rogers said, "I don't think I've slacked off. A couple things are going on. Sometimes, it's the blocking. Sometimes, I don't make the right decision. On the fourth-down situation {he was stopped short on fourth and inches at the Chicago 32-yard line in the first quarter of Sunday's game}, Reggie {Branch} went in the wrong hole and I had to go by instinct and try to hit it up in there, and evidently it didn't work."

Smith gained 66 yards on 16 carries in relief of Rogers, but said he doesn't think he should start against Minnesota.

"I don't think I deserve to be starting," Smith said. "I think George deserves to be in there. It's too late to just put me in there right now. I think my time will come, sooner or later. I'm not in a big hurry to start. I don't think I'm ready to start. I'm used to coming off the bench. So why change it now?"

Entering the game in relief of Rogers suits Smith just fine. "I think I can get that running game going a little quicker," he said.

Rogers once again blamed injuries for "not playing well" this season. He said he is hoping to have a good game Sunday, but would rather forget about what has happened this season and instead focus on next summer's training camp.

"If I get hurt then or don't play well, I'm sure I won't get to play much next year, and we'll see what happens then," he said.

The Redskins announced they held a lottery for Super Bowl tickets. Season-ticket owners will be notified by mail this week whether they won the right to buy Super Bowl tickets.