Temperatures at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe reached 101 degrees last Sunday and are expected to reach 91 this Sunday, when the Washington Redskins play the Arizona Cardinals.
Although the game's 5:20 p.m. start Arizona time should help keep conditions on the field tolerable, Redskins officials have spent much of this week talking to their players about the importance of staying hydrated, mindful of the debilitating cramps that afflicted five players--including three of their four starting defensive backs--in the season-opening loss to Dallas.
"We've done everything in our power in terms of education, in terms of implementation," Coach Norv Turner said.
Turner met with trainer Bubba Tyer about potential heat-related problems last week and asked Tyer to address the players on Monday. He reminded them to drink plenty of fluids throughout the week and to tell him if they got sick, as many illnesses can exacerbate dehydration. He also warned them about dietary supplements that can contribute to dehydration.
In addition, the Redskins' charter flight to Phoenix on Saturday will be stocked with water, Gatorade and bananas, as will the players' hotel rooms and meeting rooms. Tyer also ordered extra fans for the sideline.
"We're doing everything we can do to be on top of it," Tyer said.
Jenkins May Be Ready to Go
Tight end James Jenkins, who underwent knee surgery Oct. 4, practiced yesterday and did well in the workout, which was conducted without pads. Turner won't decide on his status for the Cardinals game until Sunday morning, but said at this point it looked more likely than not that he would play.
"Based on what he did today, I believe he'd be a go," Turner said. "We're prepared to play the game without him; if we get him, it's a bonus."
Harvey: Will He or Won't He?
Turner has invited retired linebacker Ken Harvey to join the Redskins for the trip to Arizona, but it's not clear whether Harvey will make the trip. It is still possible that Harvey, who retired during training camp, may rejoin the team at some point this season, but there have been no new developments. . . .
Defensive specialist Bill Arnsparger, who was hired last week to help improve the Redskins' 31st-ranked defense, will watch the game from the coaches' box. Turner said his contribution so far may not be apparent to fans, but it is there. "Never in the history of football are you going to see major changes in four days," Turner said. "But he has brought some thoughts that we said, 'Hey, that can help us.' " . . .
Inactive for Sunday: tackle Jamie Brown, guard Rod Milstead, defensive tackle Barron Tanner and fullback Larry Bowie.