Defensive tackle Eric Williams said his injured left foot "feels much better" and it appears the Washington Redskins will hold off making a roster move in the hope that he will be ready for the first round of the playoffs next week.

Coach Joe Gibbs said he will make a final decision today after conferring with trainer Bubba Tyer. If Charles Mann is able to play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, the Redskins will have five healthy defensive linemen.

Mann missed a second straight day of practice because of a bruised knee, but Tyer believes Mann will play Sunday.

If he does, the Redskins will start Mann and Fred Stokes at ends and Darryl Grant and Jumpy Geathers or Tim Johnson at tackles. Linebackers Ravin Caldwell and Wilber Marshall also could play some standup defensive end in a three-man front.

"It's better in terms of walking," Williams said. "I'm trying to put more weight on it. I can feel it when I walk, but it's not as severe. It's something I know I think I can work out.

"The thing is I've never had an injury like this so I don't know what I'm feeling or how long it'll take. But compared to {Wednesday}, I have to be encouraged."

Gibbs said he will "decide {today}. I'd like to find out about Charles. If he can practice, that might make a difference."

Gibbs will use one of his two remaining regular season free moves to place running back Kelvin Bryant on injured reserve and activate running back Gerald Riggs, who has been out since re-injuring his arch against the Eagles in Philadelphia on Nov. 12. Teams get an additional move each week they're in the playoffs.

That would give Gibbs two moves for the playoff opener against the Eagles, and one of those probably will be used to bring back kick returner Walter Stanley. Backup quarterback Stan Humphries -- also injured against the Eagles -- might be activated.

Five players missed practice yesterday and four won't play on Sunday -- cornerback Sidney Johnson (concussion), Williams, Bryant (knee) and defensive end Markus Koch (knee). Koch is expected to be ready for the playoff opener. Humphries on Hold

Gibbs said it would be wrong for Humphries to assume he's not going to play again this season. But that would be logical since there are injuries at so many other positions and Gibbs wants Stanley back.

Gibbs certainly would like to have Humphries as a backup to Mark Rypien -- and could get him back for the playoffs -- but the Redskins will have only two free roster moves after this week.

"Until they tell me otherwise, I have to assume I'm not going to be back," Humphries said. "There's nothing I can do. You're kind of off to the side. You don't really hear anything and just wait for them to tell you what they want you to do."

Does he still feel a part of things? "You still go to all the meetings and practices and everything," he said. "But you do feel you're kind of on the outside." Wait for Playoff Date

The Redskins won't know until Monday morning whether they're opening the playoffs on Saturday or Sunday (Jan. 5 or 6). They'll play at Philadelphia unless the Eagles lose to Phoenix on Saturday and the Redskins defeat the Bills.