The Washington Redskins return to work this morning with a checklist of concerns about the Philadelphia Eagles. First among many is protection for quarterback Mark Rypien, and one of their first orders of business will be to check the sore right shoulder of Pro Bowl tackle Jim Lachey.

Lachey injured the shoulder during Sunday's 29-14 victory over Buffalo, and while the Redskins say he'll definitely play in their first-round playoff game Saturday, they have enough concerns that they're leaning toward activating another offensive lineman.

Since Ed Simmons was injured three weeks ago, the Redskins have had only two tackles -- Lachey and Joe Jacoby -- on their roster. When Lachey came out for part of Sunday's game, he was replaced by guard Mark Adickes, and Coach Joe Gibbs may not want to risk throwing Adickes out against Philadelphia's Clyde Simmons for a long period of time.

He had wanted to use this week's free roster move to bring backup quarterback Stan Humphries back to the roster, but yesterday the Redskins were leaning toward activating tackle Ray Brown instead.

Brown has spent the entire season on injured reserve after bruising a knee in training camp. He has practiced for several weeks and, in fact, probably was put on injured reserve because the Redskins had so many linemen.

His addition to the roster could give the Redskins a third tackle in case Lachey is unable to play the entire game.

The Eagles were second in the NFC with 46 sacks, one fewer than the Minnesota Vikings and one more than the Redskins. Eagles Coach Buddy Ryan's philosophy is that his defense will make some big plays and leave receivers in one-on-one situations enough to give up some big plays.

But by the end of the day, the quarterback will be beaten physically if not emotionally. The Eagles already have knocked six quarterbacks out of games, including Washington's Jeff Rutledge and Humphries during a 28-14 loss at Veterans Stadium eight weeks ago.

"We know they're going to give us some opportunities," Gibbs said. "It's a matter of Mark making his reads and us giving him some protection."

The Redskins allowed 22 sacks, and only New Orleans -- with 20 -- allowed fewer in the NFC. But protection is a different game against the Eagles, who rush seven and eight men into the backfield although one -- Pro Bowl tackle Jerome Brown -- is listed as doubtful with a slight tear in his right rotator cuff.

As for Rypien, he understands the price quarterbacks are asked to pay against Philadelphia. He also understands the rewards.

Even though the Redskins were beaten by 14 points the last time they went to the Vet, their coaches counted about six times when receivers were wide open downfield. Only once were Rutledge and Humphries able to get the ball there. The Eagles also got three sacks.

"You know there's going to be some things open," Rypien said. "What you have to do is hang in there and be prepared to get hit a couple of times. You try to get the ball downfield, then hope you can pick yourself up after the play. You can't be scared.

"In a lot of situations when they're rushing eight and you've only got seven to block, there are going to be some guys coming free. At the same time, your receivers are definitely going to be in some one-on-one situations. You've got to concentrate on getting your drop and making your throw. You go in knowing you're going to get hit. We've seen it on film and we've experienced it, so it won't be anything new. It's a matter of making a play here and there and getting them into a situation where they feel afraid of coming after you."

The Redskins didn't do that the last time and Rypien, who was on injured reserve for both Eagles games, said: "We had a couple of chances in there early and were a tad off on getting the ball away in time. They lick their chops in those situations and will continue doing it until you stop it."

The Eagles had shown the Redskins an entirely different look three weeks earlier at RFK Stadium. The Eagles blitzed only a couple of times that game, played a soft zone coverage and were geared to stopping the pass, not the run.

The Redskins won that game, 13-7, as Humphries passed for 200 yards and wasn't sacked. Four weeks later, the Eagles threw everything at the Redskins and forced three turnovers -- and scored on two of them. What should the Redskins expect?

"It's not that easy," Rypien said. "They show you a lot of defensive looks, and you have to be prepared for a lot of different things. The way they played us here was a lot softer than we thought, especially in third-down situations. We go to Philadelphia and thought they might do it again. But they came after us in a big way."

Lachey: "They put a lot of pressure on your pass protection and you have to be ready for that. Reggie White is one of the best and Clyde Simmons is very good too. Our line is going to have to play better than we did Monday night {Nov. 12}. We're going to have to play great, but you don't get to the playoffs without having been through a lot already."