Running back Stephen Davis and wide receiver Albert Connell won't play for the Washington Redskins in Sunday's regular season finale against the Miami Dolphins at FedEx Field, Coach Norv Turner said yesterday.
Davis was placed on the early inactive list yesterday. The NFC's leading rusher also was on the inactive list for last Sunday's victory at San Francisco because of a sprained left ankle suffered the previous week at Indianapolis. Connell likely will be placed on the inactive list Sunday because of his ailing left shoulder, Turner said.
Turner said he hopes Davis will resume practicing Wednesday, and both Turner and Davis indicated they expect Davis to be ready for the playoffs.
"It's feeling okay," Davis said. "It should be good next week."
The Redskins clinched the NFC East title--and at least one playoff game at home--with their victory over the 49ers. But Turner said that putting Davis on the inactive list was a necessary move, not a precautionary one.
"I don't think Stephen Davis could play this week under any circumstances," Turner said.
Davis finishes his first regular season as a starting tailback in the NFL with 1,405 rushing yards, a team record, and 17 rushing touchdowns. He led the NFL in rushing until being passed by the Colts' Edgerrin James last weekend. He is 103 yards ahead of the St. Louis Rams' Marshall Faulk and 130 yards in front of the Dallas Cowboys' Emmitt Smith for the NFC rushing lead.
Skip Hicks is scheduled to make his second straight start in place of Davis. Veteran wide receiver Irving Fryar has been penciled in to make his first Redskins start in Connell's place. Fryar is five catches shy of Henry Ellard for sixth place on the NFL's all-time list, and 10 away from Steve Largent for fifth.
Connell apparently will finish his first regular season as a starter with 62 catches for 1,132 yards and seven touchdowns. He has been playing with a sore shoulder for weeks, and aggravated the injury at San Francisco. Tests this week revealed no serious damage. Redskins officials say he has a sprained shoulder and a pinched nerve and should be ready for the playoffs.
Reserve safety Matt Stevens, who has a pinched nerve in his shoulder, didn't practice yesterday and might not play Sunday, Turner said. The Redskins also placed guard Brad Badger, offensive tackle Jamie Brown and defensive tackle Barron Tanner on their early inactive list.
The Redskins (9-6) can secure a first-round bye in the playoffs if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings lose in 1 p.m. games Sunday and they beat the Dolphins in their 4:15 contest. If Tampa Bay or Minnesota wins, the Redskins can't help their playoff situation by winning Sunday--they would be locked into hosting a first-round game next weekend--and Turner would have the option of resting other key players.