The Washington Redskins' good fortune on the injury front continues. Starting free safety Leomont Evans participated in yesterday's practice at Redskin Park a day after suffering a sprained left knee, and said he expects to play on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers at Redskins Stadium.
"It felt pretty good," Evans said. "I still had pain. After practice, it really set in. [But] I should be ready to play Sunday."
Evans and Redskins officials originally feared he had suffered a serious knee injury when he landed awkwardly during Wednesday's practice.
"I felt like it was worse than it was," Evans said. "I thought it was something bad. I was fortunate."
He conceded that his movements were restricted yesterday, but said he's hopeful that will change by Sunday.
"I don't have all my movement back," he said. "I couldn't put my foot on the ground and break on the ball like I usually do. But that will be there Sunday."
Meanwhile, middle linebacker Derek Smith has had a full week of practice after playing last Sunday with a weakened right arm and shoulder caused by a bruised nerve in his shoulder. The Redskins have had only one significant injury this season--the broken ankle suffered by fullback Larry Bowie during the preseason.
"You need a little luck," Coach Norv Turner said.
Bowie is scheduled to have his cast removed and be reexamined today. Redskins officials remain hopeful that he will be ready to play midway through the season.
Easy Transition The Redskins wondered how much their offense would suffer when they lost the run-blocking prowess of Bowie. It hasn't suffered at all, thanks in part to the play of Mike Sellers. Sellers has taken over Bowie's role and has done a nice job of helping to create running room for tailback Stephen Davis, the NFL's leading rusher and scorer.
"He's doing a great job," Davis said yesterday. "It started last year against Dallas [when Sellers played fullback and Davis played tailback in the Redskins' season-ending loss], and he's just carried on. He's a big guy. When he gets someone blocked, they stay blocked."
Sellers, who's listed at 6 feet 3 and 260 pounds, came to the Redskins last season after playing defensive end and fullback for the Canadian Football League's Edmonton Eskimos. The Redskins turned him into a tight end. But some of the responsibilities of the fullback and tight end overlap in the Redskins' system, and Sellers said yesterday he's had little trouble going back and forth.
He played down his contributions to the league's top-ranked offense, saying: "I'm my own worst critic. People tell me I'm playing well, but that doesn't matter to me. I still find flaws. I'm making quite a few mistakes." . . .
The Redskins could make the appointment of Steve Baldacci as their team president official today.
CAPTION: Redskin Mike Sellers, stepping in for injured Larry Bowie, has played a big role in the league's top offense.