Linebacker Wilber Marshall was named NFC defensive player of the week yesterday after forcing two fumbles, recovering one, getting a sack and making six tackles in the Redskins' 29-14 victory over Buffalo Sunday.
He was forced back into his favorite role -- standup defensive end and outside linebacker -- because the Redskins were short of players. He responded with the gusto that made him famous when he played that role during four years with the Chicago Bears.
Since coming to the Redskins three years ago, he has been used as a pure outside linebacker, where his responsibilities include only a few blitzes and more run and pass duty.
He has accepted that responsibility quietly, but seethes to blitz more often.
"The big thing for me was proving to myself I could still do it," he said.Two Players Ailing
The Redskins hope to get all their injured players back on the field for Saturday's playoff game in Philadelphia. But Coach Joe Gibbs said that defensive linemen Eric Williams (foot) and Markus Koch (knee) still worry him.
Trainer Bubba Tyer said he is optimistic Koch will play. But Williams jogged a half mile yesterday and said he considered that a big step.
"If he can't run Wednesday, that'll be a bad sign," Tyer said. If he can't run hard, "he's going to have a hard time pushing off and doing the things he needs to do in a game."
Williams was more hopeful, saying: "I'm really optimistic about playing. The next step is to try and push off on it, see if I can handle the weight of a guy like Ray Brown in practice."Even Up
By finishing third in the NFC East, the Redskins will play these opponents next year outside their division: Atlanta, the Los Angeles Rams, Houston, Cleveland, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit and Pittsburgh. . . .
The Eagles and Redskins were almost identical statistically this season. The Eagles scored 396 points, the Redskins 381. The Eagles allowed 299, Redskins 301. Only one NFC team scored more points than the Redskins -- Philadelphia. Only two NFC teams -- the Bears and Eagles -- rushed more yards. . . .
The Redskins are making their sixth playoff appearance in 10 seasons under Gibbs. They are 11-3 in postseason play under him. Twenty-five of the 47 Redskins have playoff experience. Darryl Grant, Russ Grimm, Joe Jacoby, Monte Coleman and Don Warren -- have played in all 14 of Gibbs's playoff games. . . . Gibbs is 7-3 against Buddy Ryan. . . . Earnest Byner enters the playoffs having averaged 6.5 yards per carry in his playoff games in Cleveland. That is the third-highest in NFL history.