Coach Steve Spurrier said yesterday he expects the Washington Redskins to be without tailback Stephen Davis for a second straight game on Sunday at Jacksonville. Davis sat out yesterday's practice because of his injured right knee and, according to Spurrier, is not scheduled to practice today.
"It's unlikely he'd be ready to go, in my opinion," Spurrier said.
A decision on Davis's status probably won't be made before Saturday, Spurrier said. Davis has said all week he is hopeful but not certain of being ready to play, and he remained noncommittal yesterday.
"I'm still trying to get better," Davis said. "It's better than it was last week."
Davis was on the inactive list for last Sunday's 14-3 triumph at Seattle, missing his first game since the 2000 season. Kenny Watson made his first NFL start and rushed for 110 yards on 23 carries against the league's last-ranked run defense, and rookie Ladell Betts added 37 rushing yards on five carries. Jacksonville is 26th in the NFL in rushing defense.
"It'll go down to the weekend," Spurrier said. "Kenny and Ladell are doing fine. They're out there running around. . . . If Stephen can't go, those guys are very capable."
Meantime, guard Brenden Stai returned to the practice field yesterday but continued to be limited by his ailing left knee. Offensive line coach Kim Helton said he didn't think Stai will be ready to play this week. Wilbert Brown is penciled in to make a fourth straight start at right guard, Helton said, with Tre Johnson again slated to replace him on third downs.
"I think we need to keep doing exactly what we're doing," Helton said. "We have a nice little deal going right now."
Johnson has been a part-time fill-in for Brown in the two games since he signed with the Redskins after being out of the NFL since being released by the Cleveland Browns before the season. Johnson continues to digest the offense and work his way into game-playing shape. He said yesterday he is getting closer to being ready to be a full-time player but isn't there yet.
"I think I'm maybe another week away," Johnson said. "I could see me doing part-time duty again this week, but hopefully next week I'll have a little more time on the green. . . . I think you've got to give all praise to Kim Helton and his vision and wisdom as far as dealing with this situation. He's taking care of me and giving me the right tools and opportunity to maximize my return into football."