NFL officials decided not to fine Seattle Seahawks safety Marcus Robertson for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Washington Redskins wide receiver Darnerien McCants during the Redskins' 14-3 victory at Seattle last Sunday.
According to an NFL official, the league reviewed the play but decided that McCants was not in a defenseless position when he was hit because he already had both feet on the ground after making a touchdown catch. Robertson was penalized for a 15-yard personal foul that was assessed on the ensuing kickoff, and suffered a concussion on the play. McCants was not seriously injured.
McCants said after the game he expected Robertson to be fined because the league had issued a series of hefty fines in recent weeks for illegal hits, including a $75,000 fine of Dallas safety Darren Woodson and a $50,000 fine of Philadelphia safety Brian Dawkins. But McCants said yesterday he was not surprised by the verdict because he had heard that Robertson would not be fined.
Redskins Coach Steve Spurrier did not object, calling the hit borderline as to whether it merited a fine.
"If our player had done that, I would say it looked okay," Spurrier said.
Tailback Stephen Davis did not practice for a second straight day, and Spurrier said he did not expect Davis to work out today or play Sunday at Jacksonville.
Davis said he still hopes to play against the Jaguars but seemed resigned to being on the inactive list for a second straight game because of his injured right knee.
"I'm getting better every day," Davis said. "My thing is to try to get it better as much as I can before the game Sunday. It's better than last week. I'm taking it day by day."
Barring a last-minute improvement in the condition of Davis's knee, the Redskins plan to start Kenny Watson at tailback for a second straight game. He ran for 110 yards against the Seahawks in his first NFL start.
Many Redskins officials seem to be targeting their game on the road against the New York Giants in nine days for Davis's return.
The Redskins have won two straight games to even their record at 4-4 and face only one team that has a winning record in the season's second half. Davis said he wants to play as soon as he can but also wants to remain in the lineup once he returns.
"We put ourselves in good position for the second half of the season," Davis said. "I want to be healthy when I get back so I can help the team as much as I can."
Quarterback Danny Wuerffel has resumed light to moderate throwing but still has not been able to throw full speed since hurting his right shoulder on Oct. 6, one series into his lone start of the season. He remains the number three quarterback, behind starter Shane Matthews and rookie Patrick Ramsey.
"It's somewhat encouraging, somewhat frustrating," Wuerffel said. "I was hoping it'd be this week [that he'd be able to throw without restrictions], but not yet.'' . . .
Spurrier said he intends to have all six wide receivers -- Rod Gardner, Derrius Thompson, Chris Doering, Jacquez Green, Willie Jackson and McCants -- among his 45 active players Sunday if Davis is inactive. The Redskins used five-wideout formations on both their touchdown passes against the Seahawks.
Gardner is scheduled to play this week despite a sore shoulder, and McCants is slated to play even after hurting his ankle late in the Seattle game. The Redskins want to work Jackson more into the offensive mix in his second game with the club.
Spurrier poked at McCants yesterday for his practice habits, saying of the young receiver who has a touchdown catch in each of the past two games: "I hope all this publicity is not going to his head . . . He's not as quick out here as he is in games."
Staff writer Leonard Shapiro contributed to this report.