Defensive end Markus Koch is expected to miss one or two games after spraining his left knee in the win over the Patriots Saturday. He missed the final five games of last season with a similar injury. Fred Stokes will take his place in the starting lineup, but Coach Joe Gibbs said Koch will remain on the 47-man roster.
His injury leaves the Redskins with only six healthy defensive linemen, but General Manager Charley Casserly said there are no plans to bring Tracy Rocker off injured reserve. "We've gone with six before without a problem," Casserly said, "and the doctors expect Markus back in a week or two."
The Redskins have two remaining free roster moves and get an additional one for each week they are in the playoffs. They plan to use them only if necessary.
Rookie running back Brian Mitchell may miss a day or two of practice after spraining an ankle at New England. He's expected to play Saturday in Indianapolis. At Last, a Real Grasp
Washington has had this kind of running game only once in the post-Riggo era. The Redskins roll into their final two games averaging 123.8 rushing yards a game and since John Riggins retired after the 1985 season, they've done better than that only in 1987, when they averaged 140.1 and won the Super Bowl.
But the most impressive thing is that the running game has had 434 plays and turned over the ball once, on Earnest Byner's fumble in the rain Saturday.
They've lost only six fumbles all season, fewest in the NFL. Fabulous Foxboro
That 25-10 victory at cold, wet New England produced a lot of odd numbers, including:
Mark Rypien threw only 11 passes. That's the team's fewest since Billy Kilmer's 10 in a 20-16 victory at Dallas Oct. 3, 1971. Rypien's five completions are the fewest since Kilmer's five that day; he completed four in a 1970 game.
The 22,286 at Foxboro Stadium were the fewest to attend a Redskins game since Dec. 10, 1967, when a game at Pittsburgh (Redskins, 15-10) drew 22,251.
Byner's three straight 100-yard games are the team's most since Riggins had three ending the 1983 season. No Redskin has done it four weeks in a row since Riggins in the playoffs following the 1982 season. Sanders Trial: Jan. 28
Wide receiver Ricky Sanders as expected had his trial in Houston put off until after the season. Sanders appeared in Texas yesterday before Judge Donald Shipley, who set a Jan. 28 trial date. That's the day after Super Bowl XXV in Tampa.
Sanders is charged with aggravated assault and failure to stop and render aid after an argument over a missing hubcap. Assam "Sam" Jamus, who works for a parking firm outside a night spot, accused Sanders of striking him with his car and driving off the lot.
Stand by Your Man
Gibbs on why he's hesitant to remove his starting quarterback no matter if the team is way ahead: "I don't see much purpose in it. Chances are all the backup will do is hand off, and I don't think you're going to get much out of doing that. The other thing is, I don't like having to re-win games. I always made a promise to myself about that because I've seen a couple of those happen in college. That's one of the most exhausting experiences you can go through. I saw an Oregon-UCLA game once that was lost after one team had an insurmountable lead. I never forgot that." Gibbs and Madden
Gibbs last weekend became the 17th NFL coach to win 100 games. John Madden is the only other coach to win 100 games in 10 seasons. He was 103-32-7 and Gibbs is 100-50-0. Gibbs's overall record of 111-53 ranks 15th on the all-time win list, one game behind Madden's 112-39-7. . . .
The Colts (6-8) have won four of their last six games and have an outside shot at a wild card.