Ed Simmons, who did not start the past two weeks because of a knee problem, returned to full-time practice this week and Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs said he would start at right tackle Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
"He looked good," said Gibbs. "I think he is back healthy. I think he is fresh and hungry. The good part is that he has had a couple of weeks of rest. The bad part is that he has missed some work."
Guard Mark Schlereth, whose sprained ankle kept him on the inactive list the past three games, practiced today, but Gibbs said he is not 100 percent.
Wide receiver Ricky Sanders (ankle) sat out but only as a precaution and he will play Sunday. Monte Coleman, who is listed as questionable with a pulled hamstring, practiced lightly yesterday.
Gibbs was very pleased with the practice performance of cornerback A. J. Johnson, who has been on the physically unable to perform list from a preseason knee injury. Gibbs said he'll wait until Saturday before deciding whether to activate him. Paige Rushing Back
Through their first nine games, the Dolphins averaged 119 yards rushing per game. In their last two, they averaged 63. Probably much of a coincidence is that blocking fullback Tony Paige, a Plan B free agent signed in the offseason, missed both games with a knee sprain.
Although Paige is listed as questionable (as is reserve safety Liffort Hobley), Shula said Paige began light workouts yesterday and hoped he would be available Sunday. . . . 17-0 Still the Best
Miami Coach Don Shula, in his 28th NFL season and working on the first year of a new three-year contract, still manages to keep an eye on history.
Shula admitted yesterday that he was not disappointed to see the previously unbeaten New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers both lose last weekend, thereby assuring, for at least one more season, that no team could match the 17-0 season of Shula's 1972 Dolphins.
Does he still think that team was the best of all-time?
"Obviously," he said. Just the Facts
The Dolphins are the eighth straight Redskins' opponent to win its previous game before playing Washington. . . . Miami leads the series with Washington, 5-2, and has won the last four regular-season meetings. . . . The Redskins are 27-7 in December since 1980, the NFL's best mark. They are 33-15, including 4-0 this year, under Gibbs in games following losses. . . .
Shula has a combined 9-0 regular season record against Gibbs and the two former head coaches currently on Gibbs's staff. Shula is 3-0 against Gibbs, 4-0 against quarterbacks coach Rod Dowhower (former Colts coach) and 2-0 against offensive line coach Jim Hanifan (former Cardinals coach).