James Wilder passed his physical yesterday morning, so the trade that sent him from the Washington Redskins to the Detroit Lions for Eric Williams was formally completed.

But the biggest news at Redskin Park was again defensive end Fred Stokes, who got through a second straight day of practice and appears certain of playing Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Stokes has looked so good that the Redskins appear to be leaning toward not using Williams at all this week. He showed up about 10 pounds under his normal playing weight, but yesterday was the first time he'd worked out in pads since December.

"He looked good," Coach Joe Gibbs said. "He's got some quickness and it'll just be a matter of playing his way into shape."

Williams said he stayed in shape by running and working out this summer, but admitted that being ready for football is not the same as playing it.

He had wondered how hard the Redskins practice and said he found out yesterday. "One good thing about these guys is you know what kind of shape you're in," he said. "Normally, you play preseason games and practice at one level, then increase about 30-40 percent for a regular-season game. These guys go about 100 percent all the time. That's a change for me."

As if getting his body in shape wasn't enough work, he is also starting a crash course in Richie Petitbon's defensive playbook.

"The terminology is like reading Chinese compared to what we had in Detroit," Williams said. "I've been studying the playbook, but it's going to take a lot more."

A Whirlwind for Wilder

Wilder reported to the Lions yesterday morning, and like Williams, went through his first practice. He admitted to being surprised by the trade, but refused to criticize the Redskins.

"I was surprised," he said. "The timing was off. I was just moving in. I had just leased a condo and I had just finished moving in when Charley {Casserly} drove up. He'd been looking for me all day, and unfortunately, he found me. It's an inconvenience to my family. I have two kids who are in school and they were just enrolling."

He said the Lions had talked to him during last winter's Plan B signing period, but "Washington offered the money sooner."

He also accepted his role as a backup for Barry Sanders, adding, "I've been lucky. I've been healthy. I haven't taken a beating. Barry's the guy here. We all know that. I assume he needs a {rest} and hopefully I'll do that."

Rough on the Road

Sunday's game is an odd matchup of teams who've played better away from home the last couple of years. The 49ers have won 15 in a row away from Candlestick Park, and are 19-2 away from home since the start of the 1988 season. The Redskins are 9-8 at RFK since the start of the '88 season and 12-7 on the road. . . .

Redskins executives, busy drawing up plans for the new Redskin Park, will tour the 49ers' new state-of-the-art complex on Saturday.