Punter Matt Turk probably will be sidelined again when the Washington Redskins face the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Redskins Stadium.
Turk had the stitches removed from his surgically repaired finger yesterday. He was fitted for a splint, and he's scheduled to be on the practice field at Redskin Park today to try to catch snaps. But Coach Norv Turner said following yesterday's practice that he expects to use fill-in punter Brian Hansen for a second straight game.
"We'll get [Turk] out here [today] and see if he can catch the ball," Turner said. "My gut feeling is, he's a week away."
Hansen, who was signed last Friday, struggled during Sunday's 38-20 loss at Dallas. He averaged 38.2 yards per punt and didn't get enough hang time, and one punt was returned 70 yards for a touchdown by the Cowboys' Deion Sanders.
Turk says he suffered his injury before or during the Redskins' win at Arizona 12 days ago. He reported the injury to the team the following day, then played recreational basketball at a Reston fitness center that night. Some Redskins officials suspect that Turk suffered or significantly worsened the injury on the basketball court. Turk underwent X-rays and surgery three days after the Cardinals game.
Turner declined to comment on the particulars of the matter yesterday, but said: "Amazing--that's a pretty good word for it. When you don't have your best punter, it affects your football team."
McMillian Will Be Active
Just-signed cornerback Mark McMillian will be on the Redskins' active roster Sunday, Turner said.
The Redskins signed McMillian and linebacker James Francis on Tuesday. McMillian, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers last week after starting the first six games of the season, was signed to replace Darryl Pounds as the third cornerback. Pounds was moved to safety. Turner said that he and his assistant coaches will evaluate how much McMillian grasped this week in his crash course on the team's defense, and decide how much to play him against the Bears in the five- and six-defensive-back packages. . . .
Pounds (sprained back) and reserve middle linebacker Kurt Gouveia (bruised thigh) sat out yesterday's practice, but trainer Bubba Tyer said both players could practice today.