Starting defensive end Phillip Daniels said he did not re-tear his groin muscle, as he feared after Sunday's 17-10 victory in Detroit, but he likely will miss several weeks because of the problem.
Daniels, who missed most of the preseason and four games with a groin tear, left the game in the second quarter and did not return, but he said he expects to play again this season.
Washington likely will rotate Demetric Evans and Ron Warner in Daniels's spot Sunday against Cincinnati at FedEx Field, although Daniels would not completely rule out being able to get on the field by then. Head athletic trainer John Burrell still awaited MRI exam results on Daniels last night and the team should know how long he will be out today. Daniels was enthused by the fact the injury is not too severe and said doctors told him the pop he felt on Sunday was probably scar tissue and not muscle.
"It's sore, but I'm lucky it's just a strain," Daniels said. "I'll be back. I probably should have took a few more weeks [recovering from the initial tear], but I'm a guy who wants to be on the field. I just want to be out there and now I'll just take a little more time and I'll come back stronger again. . . . It didn't feel as bad as I felt the first time, that's why I was kind of positive about the injury, but the thing is I've got to be smart and realize if we get on a roll here they might need me for the playoffs." . . .
Defensive lineman Renaldo Wynn is wearing a boot because of an ankle sprain but should be out of it by tomorrow, Burrell said. Linebacker LaVar Arrington will be out at least a few more weeks with a knee injury and visited specialist James Andrews in Birmingham yesterday. Linebacker Mike Barrow, who has yet to play this season because of a knee injury, will return in a limited role for practice tomorrow, Burrell said. Place kicker John Hall continues to nurse a groin strain and could require another two to three weeks before he can play again, Burrell said.
Gibbs Sticks With Brunell
Coach Joe Gibbs continues to stand behind starting quarterback Mark Brunell despite his awful first half of the season. Brunell is having the worst season by a Redskins starter since Heath Shuler's rookie season -- 1994 -- and has completed just 51.1 percent of his passes, by far the worst ratio in the NFL. Brunell's 67.4 passer rating is the second lowest in the NFC and no Washington starting quarterback has had a worse rating in a season since Shuler.
Brunell, who has not completed a pass longer than 23 yards since Week 4 and will start again Sunday, has been held under 10 completions in two of the past three games -- he was 8 for 22 at Chicago and 6 for 17 Sunday -- something no Redskins quarterback has done since 1981, when Gibbs began his first tenure with the team. The Redskins have not had a quarterback complete fewer than 10 passes twice in a season between then and now and Brunell attempted only two passes in the second half Sunday.
"It's hard to judge off [Sunday's game]," Gibbs said, "because in the second half we didn't throw the ball."
Gibbs is known for being loyal to his starters and went through a similar time with Joe Theismann in 1985. Theismann was completing 55.5 percent of his passes through 10 games that season, with eight touchdowns and 16 interceptions and a 59.6 rating. The Redskins were 5-5 and Theismann suffered a career-ending leg injury in Week 11. Washington won five of its last six games under Jay Schroeder but missed the playoffs at 10-6. That is the only season a starting quarterback finished with a rating below 70 under Gibbs.
An Empty Feeling
Wide receiver Rod Gardner did not catch a pass Sunday, the first time in his career he has been activated and failed to do so -- 56 games over four seasons. . . . Clinton Portis, on pace for a 400-carry/1,600-yard season, will face the NFL's worst run defense Sunday. The Bengals rank 32nd and are allowing 150 yards rushing per game. Portis has only two rushing touchdowns this season, however, after scoring 29 in 29 games with Denver. . . .
Several players will participate in the annual "4th and Life" charity event today, speaking to 850 local high school football players in Landover.