The Washington Redskins' game on Sunday at Detroit will be a trip home for wide receiver Michael Westbrook. It comes at a good time for him. Westbrook said yesterday the broken bone in his right wrist has healed to the point that he thinks the Redskins are ready to be more daring in their plans for including him in the passing game.
"We didn't change our game plan totally, but we shied away from some things because we didn't want to put my wrist in jeopardy," Westbrook said. "I think we're going to take more risks now."
Westbrook has remained in the lineup since suffering his wrist injury during a loss at Philadelphia 18 days ago. He had only one catch in a victory over the New York Giants, but had four receptions during Sunday's triumph over the Eagles. He still wears a cast to prevent the wrist from being bent backward, but the size of his cast has been pared down repeatedly.
"It doesn't hurt as much as it did two weeks ago," Westbrook said. "I trust it a little more than I did the first game."
Westbrook was born and raised in Detroit, and still spends most of his offseason time there. He plans to have a large contingent of family members and friends at Sunday's game. He said yesterday he was a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, not the Lions, growing up, but he indicated he was upset when Detroit running back Barry Sanders retired prior to this season.
"I was just sad to see him retire because I wanted to see him play another couple years," Westbrook said. "I was always a Barry Sanders fan."
He wasn't as kind to Gus Frerotte, the former Redskins quarterback who has played well for the Lions this season filling in for the injured Charlie Batch.
Asked about seeing Frerotte in a Lions uniform, Westbrook said: "Gus didn't like to throw me the ball, so I don't care. It was obvious to me he didn't like throwing me the ball."
Batch or Frerotte?
Lions Coach Bobby Ross said during a conference call with Washington area reporters that he won't make a decision until pregame warmups Sunday about whether Batch or Frerotte will start at quarterback. Batch apparently will get the nod if he's healthy.
Batch took most of the snaps during Detroit's practice yesterday and looked fine, Lions officials said.
Frerotte told WJLA-TV-7: "I'd love to play against the Redskins. Everybody's making a big deal out of it, but I just want to show people I can still play . . . and who better to do it against than the team that cut you." . . .
Redskins linebacker Greg Jones sat out practice because of a sprained lower back suffered during Sunday's game. Jones indicated he intends to play at Detroit.
He underwent surgery following last season to have a herniated disk in his back repaired. He said doctors told him this week they don't think this injury is related to that one. He has played this season with a hernia that will require surgery, which he hopes to postpone until the offseason.
The Redskins would start James Francis in Jones's place if Jones is unable to play, but Coach Norv Turner said he expects Jones to practice on Friday and play Sunday. . . .
Members of the Redskins' offense spent part of their morning walk-through running plays in a tiny gym at Redskin Park with crowd noise blaring from two giant speakers to simulate the conditions at the Silverdome.
Staff writer Liz Clarke contributed to this report.