Tight end Stephen Alexander participated in yesterday's practice and said he plans to start the Washington Redskins' game Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field. But Alexander continues to be bothered by a hip flexor, and Coach Norv Turner said he's worried Alexander's playing time and productivity again will be limited.
"I'm concerned about Stephen," Turner said. "With two more days of rest he should be all right, but it's a concern. He'll go. He went last week, but he couldn't go very long. Hopefully with two more days, he'll be closer to 100 percent."
Alexander played with the injury last Sunday and didn't have a catch in the Redskins' 23-13 triumph over the New York Giants. He sat out Wednesday's practice.
The Redskins' other two tight ends, Mike Sellers and James Jenkins, are better blockers than receivers, although Jenkins had a key catch Sunday for a 30-yard gain late in the game. It was his first reception since 1997 and the longest gain of his nine-year NFL career.
Alexander said he doesn't think his effectiveness will be affected Sunday by the injury.
"It's all right," said Alexander, the Redskins' fourth-leading receiver this season with 22 catches. "It's a little tight, but it was a lot worse last week than it is now. I couldn't really open it up last week. I couldn't get to full speed. It felt better [yesterday]. With a few more days to get it warmed up, it'll be fine."
Guard Keith Sims passed another test during yesterday's practice and appears set to return to the starting lineup Sunday.
He has missed the past two games because of a sprained knee ligament. He returned to practice Wednesday and limped into Redskin Park yesterday morning. But that was only a joke aimed at trainer Bubba Tyer, and Sims said all went well during yesterday's practice.
"It felt good," Sims said. "There were no problems. I'm fine."
Tyer said tailback Stephen Davis's bruised thigh muscle is far better than it was last week.
Davis was bothered by the injury Sunday but still had 183 rushing yards against the Giants.
No Thoughts of Payback
The Redskins committed six turnovers and lost 12 days ago in Philadelphia, 35-28, on an afternoon when Eagles rookie quarterback Donovan McNabb had only 60 passing yards in his first NFL start.
Virtually to a man, the Redskins say they believe they should have won that game. Still, they insist they aren't treating the rematch as a revenge game.
"You've got to let it go," quarterback Brad Johnson said. "You can't get into a revenge-type game."
The Redskins listened last week as the Giants vowed to get revenge for their Week 2 loss to Washington and used what the Giants players said as motivation.
The Redskins were on the opposite end of the equation last month, making midweek comments that riled the Cowboys and then losing at Dallas.
"We don't need to talk trash," Redskins guard Tre Johnson said. "We just need to go play ball."
Said fullback Larry Centers: "The feeling in the locker room after that game [in Philadelphia] is what sticks out in my mind, the disappointment. If we keep that in mind, it will be easy to focus on the things we need to focus on."
This and That
The Redskins dropped linebacker Ron Warner from their five-man practice squad and added linebacker Myron Smith, formerly of the Oakland Raiders and Cowboys. . . .
Fullback Larry Bowie is recovered from the broken leg he suffered during the preseason and is available to play Sunday, but he likely will be on the Redskins' inactive list again. Reserve defensive tackle Marc Boutte is recovered from his strained abdominal muscle, but Turner said it will be a week-to-week decision about whether to have Boutte or Doug Brown on the team's active list. . . .
Turner indicated Brian Mitchell and James Thrash will continue to share kickoff-return duties but declined to give a more specific breakdown.