Washington Redskins tight ends Stephen Alexander and James Jenkins and right guard Tre Johnson may spend some time this week on the sideline, although for Jenkins it could be longer. Jenkins underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee late yesterday and had a small tear of the medial meniscus repaired. Alexander suffered a badly bruised lower back in Sunday's victory over Carolina, and Johnson has a mild sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

Redskins officials say they're confident that Alexander and Johnson will be ready to play against the Arizona Cardinals in 12 days. They're less certain about Jenkins's status. Reserve linebacker Malcolm Hamilton received a second epidural for a herniated disk in his back. Running back Larry Bowie began a rehabilitation program yesterday as he works his way back from the broken ankle he suffered during the preseason.

B. Johnson to Rest

Coach Norv Turner gave quarterback Brad Johnson occasional days off during the preseason to rest his surgically repaired left knee, and the approach has paid huge dividends for the offense.

With the Redskins off this weekend, Turner said yesterday that he will give Johnson some down time again this week. The Redskins are scheduled to practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and Turner indicated that most of the snaps will go to backups Rodney Peete and Casey Weldon.

"We did a good job of resting him during the preseason," Turner said. "His knee has responded awfully well because of it. This week of rest, I think, will really help him."

The soundness of Johnson's knee was an issue during training camp. Thanks to his play, it hasn't been an issue recently.

"My knee is fine," Johnson said yesterday. "I don't think twice about my knee nowadays. I'm probably one of the healthier players out there now."

Johnson has fallen from first to second in the NFL's quarterback ratings, behind the St. Louis Rams' Kurt Warner. Johnson had four touchdown passes in Sunday's 38-36 triumph over the Carolina Panthers, and has nine touchdowns and no interceptions this season. All of that, and there still are portions of the playbook that Turner hasn't introduced to Johnson. That could come this week, Turner said.

"How much Brad does [this week] will depend on how many new things we're going to look at offensively," Turner said. "There are some things we've held off on a little bit with Brad because I wanted to get him comfortable with our base [offense]. There are some things we feel can help us over the next 12 games that we feel we need to expand on. We're definitely going to look a little harder at our three-wide-receiver package."

Right on Replay

The Redskins have made all the right moves this season when it comes to instant replay. Not only have they had a pair of reversals go in their favor the past two games, but Turner also consulted with the league yesterday and found that he was right not to challenge an incomplete-pass call on a fourth-quarter pass Sunday from the Panthers' Steve Beuerlein to Muhsin Muhammad.

The Redskins originally tried to challenge, believing that the play should have been ruled a catch and fumble, but reconsidered after Turner had trouble with the buzzer signaling a challenge. Turner said league officials told him yesterday the play had been called properly. . . .

Running back Stephen Davis's nine rushing touchdowns are tied for the NFL's second-best total four games into a season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Jim Brown had 10 touchdowns through four games in 1958, and Emmitt Smith had nine in '95.