Punter Matt Turk was on the Washington Redskins' inactive list for a second straight game after suffering muscle spasms in his back prior to yesterday's 48-22 win over the Chicago Bears at Redskins Stadium.
Turk was sidelined for the Redskins' loss at Dallas eight days ago because of a broken finger on his left hand. The finger was bandaged yesterday in hopes that Turk could play, but, according to Redskins officials, he suffered back spasms after leaning over to pick up something in the team's locker room before the game. Turk, who also suffered from back spasms a few years ago, left the stadium around the time the game started, club officials said.
Brian Hansen was the Redskins' punter for a second straight game.
Hansen's day didn't begin well. On his first punt of the game, he had to leap to field a high snap from Dan Turk. His 45-yard punt was returned 39 yards by the Bears' Glyn Milburn, and Hansen sprained his left shoulder when he was blocked by Chicago's Walt Harris.
Hansen left the field in obvious pain but returned to punt twice more. He had a 49-yarder in the second quarter that was downed at the Chicago 3-yard line by Tito Paul, and he had a 39-yard punt for a touchback in the fourth quarter.
Place kicker Brett Conway would have been the Redskins' emergency punter if Hansen had been unable to continue, although Coach Norv Turner joked: "We were going to hold tryouts at halftime."
Among quarterback Brad Johnson's big plays in yesterday's victory was saving a possible turnover by falling on the ball when the Bears' special teams unit blocked a 53-yard field goal attempt by Conway.
Several Bears then piled on Johnson, who was Conway's holder, and the sight of his quarterback being exposed to possible injury clearly made Turner uncomfortable. It's the second week Johnson has held in place of Matt Turk.
"I don't want him to hold on field goals," Turner said of Johnson. "Right now, he's the best guy we've got. We're going to work on that and see if we can solve that problem. But right now, we don't have a solution."
Johnson, however, said after the game that he intends to keep the job.
"To be honest with you, I'll probably hold the rest of the season unless Norv pulls me," Johnson said. "I feel comfortable holding."
The Redskins lost starting free safety Leomont Evans in the second quarter when he suffered a concussion by banging helmets with defensive end Kenard Lang on a tackle. Trainer Bubba Tyer said that Evans was unconscious for a few seconds. Evans didn't return to the game, and Tyer said his condition will be re-evaluated today.
Johnson explained his apparent showboating as he scooted into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown in the second quarter on a busted play to give the Redskins a 24-0 lead.
The play called for running back Stephen Davis to carry the ball around the left-hand side. But on the snap, it popped in the air. Johnson caught it and ran to the right, faking a safety on the way in. Then he posed with his left hand on the back of his helmet.
"Usually I don't react like that," Johnson said, "but I am a very emotional player. . . . And that's a special play I'll remember for the rest of my life. But by no means was I trying to show up any player or any team. If that shows up any player or any team, I'm sorry about that."