The Washington Redskins, having already used three of their five free roster moves, probably won't activate quarterback Stan Humphries and return man Walter Stanley this week.
Humphries and Stanley have spent the required four weeks on injured reserve, and are both healthy enough to practice again. But the Redskins are in a bind, having already used moves to bring quarterbacks Mark Rypien and Jeff Rutledge off injured reserve and to activate cornerback A. J. Johnson.
That leaves only two free moves, and one of those is being saved for running back Gerald Riggs, who also can come off injured reserve this week, but has told trainer Bubba Tyer it might be another week or so before his sprained arch allows him to practice.
That leaves only one move, which the Redskins are hesitant to use, fearing they might need to replace a player at another position during the regular season. (Teams get an additional free move for each week they're in the playoffs.)
That predicament doesn't make the Redskins -- or Humphries and Stanley -- very happy.
"Naturally, you want to play. I'm anxious to get back out there," Humphries said. "You don't realize how much you miss everything until you don't have it. I miss practice, games, the whole works. To go through all of this and get healthy again, and then not be able to play . . . that'd be real disappointing."
The Redskins likely will have only 46 healthy players on their 47-man roster. Since they only activate seven offensive lineman, they're not going to replace Ed Simmons, at least for the moment.
Simmons will have knee surgery Wednesday and likely is lost for the year. Mark May, who has spent the season rehabilitating a knee, is the logical candidate to replace Simmons. Ray Brown is also ready to play.
May suffered a deep leg bruise and Brown broke a hand last week in practice, although both are expected to be on the field when practice resumes Wednesday.
"We're not really hurt there since we only activate seven linemen for a game," Coach Joe Gibbs said.
To fill Simmons's spot and not have to use a move, the Redskins will sign an offensive lineman for practice. He won't be in uniform Saturday at New England.
The only way a player could be activated without using a free move would be to place him on waivers and gamble that he won't be claimed. The Redskins said last night they aren't willing to risk such a move. Patriots' Hodson Injured
Rookie quarterback Tommy Hodson, who has a fractured finger on his throwing hand, probably won't start for the New England Patriots Saturday against the Redskins.
Hodson, who has started the last three games, has a chip fracture just below the nail of his right ring finger. He hurt it Dec. 2 against Kansas City, but played in Sunday's 24-3 loss at Pittsburgh.
Either Marc Wilson or Steve Grogan will be the likely replacement.