Quarterback Jeff Rutledge returned to practice for the first time yesterday afternoon after spending the required four weeks on injured reserve.

Rutledge won't be formally removed until late next week, but Coach Joe Gibbs said that Rutledge would be his No. 2 quarterback for the Oct. 14 game with the New York Giants at RFK Stadium.

Rutledge was placed on injured reserve to allow the Redskins to keep an extra player at another position for the first four weeks of the season. But it also allowed Rutledge a chance to heal the right shoulder he injured Aug. 4 in a scrimmage against the Buffalo Bills.

The scrimmage was supposed to include no contact for quarterbacks, but Rutledge was blind-sided and driven to the ground by rookie linebacker Marcus Patton. Rutledge suffered a mild shoulder separation, and even though he returned and played well -- completing five of six passes for 114 yards and one touchdown -- he's still sporting a knot at the top of his right shoulder.

"The doctor told me I'd always have that," he said. "A little souvenir of my trip to Buffalo."

Return Candidates

Rutledge is one of three Redskins on injured reserve who'll return to practice this week. Wide receiver Stephen Hobbs also will come back and the third will be either tackle Ray Brown, guard Mo Elewonibi or linebacker Jon Leverenz. Only five extra players are allowed to practice, so just two players for the new developmental squads -- running back George Searcy and safety Rico Labbe -- will be signed. Both will be at practice today.

On an Off Day?

What does a coach do on his day off? On Tuesday, Gibbs drove to Williamsburg, Va., to watch son J.D. practice with William and Mary. When Gibbs was kidded about watching football on his day off, he said: "Don't laugh. They do a great job down there. They run their practices very well."

Unlikely Leaders

Stan Humphries has a quarterback rating of 109.0 after one NFL start. That would easily lead the NFC if he had played in more than two games. The official leader is Tampa Bay's Vinnie Testaverde at 104.5. Mark Rypien is sixth at 88.2. Gary Clark is tied for fourth in scoring among non-kickers with 18 points. Chip Lohmiller's 35 points lead the kickers.

Clark also is the NFC's leading wide receiver in terms of yards (389) and is second to Philadelphia running back Keith Byars in total receptions. Byars has 25, Clark 21. Clark's yardage is third in the NFC behind Phoenix's Johnny Johnson and Tampa Bay's Gary Anderson.