EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., OCT. 28 -- Eric Williams had played well while subbing for Tracy Rocker last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, and this afternoon he apparently took over as the Washington Redskins' starter at left defensive tackle.

Rocker was in for a little more than one series of today's loss to the Giants before giving way to Williams. Rocker made one big mistake, jumping offside when New York was backed up at its 3-yard line.

But the Redskins clearly had been looking for a place to get Williams into the lineup since he was acquired from Detroit for James Wilder and a fourth-round pick six weeks ago.

He had been a five-year starter for the Lions and was dealt after sitting out training camp in a contract dispute. Less than a week after signing a one-year $425,000 contract, he was sent packing.

Ironically, it now appears his first start will come next week in the Silverdome against his former teammates and against a front office that he said lied to him.

"I didn't know how much I would play, but it felt good to be out there," he said. "I thought when they acquired me they'd want me to play. Everyone wants to be out there, especially in a big game like this."

Rocker took his demotion in stride, saying, no, he didn't know it was coming and, yes, he'd deal with it.

"I'm not going to worry," he said. "I'll just look forward to the next one and see what happens."