SAN FRANCISCO, JAN. 12 -- Backup quarterback Jeff Rutledge didn't accompany the Redskins back home after today's 28-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers and probably won't return next season.
Rutledge asked Coach Joe Gibbs for permission to fly to Southern California to be with his family and won't attend the annual season-ending team meeting on Monday.
He indicated he'd still like to play, but almost admitted he had no idea what the future holds. He's 33, has been a career backup and won't be protected under the Plan B free-agency system.
The Redskins will make their player evaluations over the next few weeks, but at the moment, it looks as if they will enter training camp with three quarterbacks -- Mark Rypien, Stan Humphries and Cary Conklin. Trades or draft choices could change that, but either way, there doesn't appear to be room for Rutledge.
Whatever else happens to him, he gave the Redskins one very exciting afternoon when he rallied them from 21 points down in Week 9 to beat Detroit, 41-38.
The season-ending story was different for veteran wide receiver Art Monk. On WMAL radio, he said he would continue to play for the Redskins "as long as I can contribute." Brown's Season's Debut
When right tackle Joe Jacoby injured his shoulder late in the first half, the Redskins turned to Ray Brown. There's nothing unusual about that except for the fact that Brown hadn't played in a game all season.
He spent the regular season on injured reserve after hurting a knee in training camp, then was activated but didn't play in last week's game at Philadelphia.
Earnest Byner also bruised a shoulder in the first half and played only sparingly in the second half. Flippant Call?
The Redskins were upset about several calls by officials, and one of the oddest came on the 49ers' first touchdown drive. Jerry Rice caught an 11-yard pass from Joe Montana on the second play of the drive, and when Darrell Green flipped him to the ground, he was called for a 15-yard personal foul.
"That guys outweighs me by 20 pounds," Green said. "I didn't even know it was against me until I came to the sideline and someone said, 'Bad call.' I'm not one to point fingers at the officials, but I don't think Jerry Rice has to worry about being hurt by me." . . .
The Redskins finished with 441 yards offense, more than they managed in all but three games this season. . . . Over his last six games, Rypien threw seven touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.
Today's game was delayed for five minutes while CBS televised President Bush's news conference on the vote of Congress to authorize military action in the Persian Gulf.