TAMPA, JAN. 2 -- Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jerome Brown probably will not play in Saturday's NFC wild-card playoff game against the Washington Redskins, Coach Buddy Ryan said today.
Brown suffered a slight tear of the rotator cuff in his right shoulder last week against the Phoenix Cardinals, and Ryan said: "I don't think he'll be able to play. But if he's tough enough, if he can, he'll be there."
If Brown can't play, Mike Golic probably would start in his place.
Ryan sounded more optimistic about starting center David Alexander, who has been listed as doubtful because of a knee injury -- also suffered last week against the Cardinals.
"Hopefully he'll be there," Ryan said. "At least if we need him, he could play. But we're in this thing for the long haul. We're not going to say, 'This is our last shot, we're going to start David.' We're planning on being here for a while."
Ben Tamburello would replace Alexander in the starting lineup. Other players on the Eagles' injury report are safety Terry Hoage (sprained wrist), linebacker Seth Joyner (sprained ankle), guard Mike Schad (dislocated toe) and guard Ron Solt (ankle). All four are listed as questionable. Flying South
The Eagles are working out at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' training facility because they found out last week that the weather at their intended site -- the Atlanta Falcons' training facility in Suwanee, Ga. -- would be just as cold as the weather in Philadelphia.
Ryan said he wants his players in more of a controlled, training camp-like environment. He also wants them worrying less about the weather and more about what they are trying to get accomplished on the field.
They are scheduled to work out here Thursday, then return to Philadelphia on Thursday evening. But if they defeat the Redskins, they likely would hit the road again. A matchup against the Giants in East Rutherford, N.J., probably would mean a return here or a trip to Suwanee. If they have to play the 49ers in San Francisco, they probably would train in Phoenix; Scottsdale, Ariz.; or Santa Rosa, Calif.
Because the Redskins are an NFC East team that has given them considerable difficulty in recent years, defensive coordinator Jeff Fisher said Saturday's game would be the Eagles' toughest matchup of the playoffs. "If we win this one," Fisher said, "it's downhill from here." . . .
Defensive tackle Reggie White took advantage of the continuing speculation over Ryan's job security to fire a broadside at Eagles management, which has had its share of contract disputes with players. "It's on their shoulders too," White said. "I would really like to see the direction this team would go if we had everybody at training camp once training camp begins."