A day after the Washington Redskins received a stinging address from Coach Joe Gibbs, words became action yesterday at Redskin Park.

A whirlwind day of activity included the abrupt release of one player -- cornerback Brian Davis -- and a shuffling of the offensive line -- Joe Jacoby starting in place of Ed Simmons at right tackle and Mark Adickes replacing Russ Grimm at left guard.

It also included a couple of decisions at quarterback. Starter Mark Rypien breezed through a third straight day of practice and has looked sharper than anyone expected after spending seven weeks on the sideline.

The Redskins won't expect miracles when he returns Sunday afternoon against the New Orleans Saints, but they're not expecting a disaster, either.

"I'll tell you, he's looked amazingly sharp out here," Gibbs said. "We're going to have to see how it goes in the game, but he's looked smooth in there."

His backup will be Jeff Rutledge, who has recovered rapidly from a sprained thumb and participated in all drills for a second straight day.

The Redskins also took in stride the news that defensive end Dexter Manley likely will be cleared to play on Monday. The club continued to decline to comment publicly on the matter, although sources have said for several months that Manley will be waived if Commissioner Paul Tagliabue lifts his suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

The Redskins' easiest decision of the week probably was in the offensive line, where there is enough depth to rotate players. In fact, the season's original plan was to use seven and eight linemen each game.

But when the running game bogged down in the early weeks, line coach Jim Hanifan stopped the rotation and let five guys play most of the way. He'll continue to do that, but this week with a couple of changes.

The offensive line play poorly in Monday's 28-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, as Washington quarterbacks were sacked three times and knocked down numerous times.

The line also was ineffective on running plays, as the Redskins gained only 50 yards on the ground. Rushers got 64 against the New York Giants two weeks ago, and Gibbs criticized his players for not playing with more emotion.

He did that and more after interrupting practice Thursday to hold a meeting that one player described "as much of a tail-chewing as I've seen." Gibbs was upset about many things, but especially that "we didn't come out and match their intensity," one player said. "That's no excuse for that."

"Coach Gibbs is the kind of guy that if he has something to say, he says it," Jacoby said. "He had something on his mind and he let us know it."

The benching of Grimm and Simmons probably wasn't directly related to Thursday's meeting. Both players were banged up Monday, and the Redskins typically want their starting offensive line together when practices begin on Wednesday.

The decision to make changes may have been easier after a bad game. After allowing four sacks the first six weeks of the season, the Redskins have given up 12 the last three weeks, and the running game has been stopped cold two of the last three games.

"I'd have to say we had a bad game," Hanifan said. But he was careful to say the moves shouldn't be interpreted as demotions.

"I don't want to make it look that way," he said. "Ed came out in the second quarter Monday night. His knee didn't feel right and with that in mind, I said let's go with Jake {Jacoby}. I've talked to both of them. As far as Russ, I think everyone in the organization has been surprised he has gone as far as he has. He hasn't been able to go a full season the last few years, and he'll be back in there."

Adickes was signed as a highly recruited Plan B free agent last winter. He once started 48 straight games for the Kansas City Chiefs, who literally pleaded with him not to sign with the Redskins.

He said he knew he might not play immediately in Washington, and he didn't. He has been inactive for six of the nine games and didn't play a down until getting in for the final drive in Philadelphia.

"I tried not to think about it," he said. "I've just tried to stay ready as best I could."

Jacoby -- one of the most popular Redskins ever -- returns almost a year after he tore up his left knee in Week 10 and underwent reconstructive knee surgery. He spent a week in the hospital and four weeks in a cast before beginning a grueling rehabilitation.

"He has worked his tail off," Hanifan said. "That shows you what kind of guy he is. He deserves a chance."

Jacoby laughed about the timing. His wife, Irene, will miss her first home game of the season after delivering their second child, Jenna, on Nov. 2.

"I'm excited," he said. "It's a little bit like starting over after 10 years. So much has happened, you go through a lot after an injury like that. There are still things I'm not doing as well as I should, but the more repetitions I've been getting in practice, the better I've been."

He comes in at a tough time. The Redskins are 5-4 and play the Saints on Sunday and the Cowboys on Thursday, then have only one more game left against an NFC opponent in the race for one of three wild-card spots in the playoffs.

"That's the way it's supposed to be," Jacoby said. "You want these games to matter. Maybe we should be ahead of where we are, but our future is in our hands."

As for Davis, the only surprise is the timing. Gibbs said he wasn't attempting to send a message to his players, but the message likely was received.

Davis's days with the Redskins became numbered when he pulled a calf muscle and was unable to play against the Detroit Lions two weeks ago. The Redskins wanted to start four cornerbacks that day against the run-and-shoot offense, and many in the organization -- including coaches, players and management -- were not happy when Davis said he couldn't play.

The Redskins had several players on the field with what they believed to be more serious injuries. For instance, wide receiver Gary Clark, who caught eight passes and made a spectacular fourth-quarter run, had a pulled muscle in his thigh.

Davis was placed on injured reserve a couple of days after that game. He began training camp as the starter opposite Darrell Green, but lost the job to Martin Mayhew when a pulled thigh muscle kept him from playing.

"Things didn't work out for him here," Gibbs said. "We kept hoping he'd get healthy and be able to help us. I think it's better for everyone if he gets a fresh start somewhere else."

The Redskins gave Davis two weeks' severance pay. However, since players are required to spend at least four weeks on injured reserve, he may be eligible for at least another week's pay. How he goes about getting it is unclear, since NFL players no longer have a union to file grievances on behalf of players.

Davis was not available to comment.

Redskins Notes: Wide receiver Stephen Hobbs and cornerback Johnny Thomas cleared procedural waivers yesterday and were added to the 47-man roster in place of injured Walter Stanley and released long snapper Randy Kirk. The moves were made through the waiver wires to keep the Redskins from using one of their four remaining free moves.

The team will use another move today when Stan Humphries is placed on injured reserve and Mark Rypien is added to the 47-man roster. . . .

The Redskins could have three quarterbacks in uniform for the first time this year, but it has nothing to do with the health of Rutledge and Rypien. Gary Hogeboom will be in uniform if there are two injured players for the two-man inactive squad. At the moment, wide receiver Joe Howard (concussion) and guard Mark Schlereth (ankle) probably won't play. Schlereth was unable to practice yesterday.