Washington Redskins defensive tackle Brandon Noble will miss four to six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee yesterday, director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said.
Noble missed Sunday's 9-7 win over Chicago after getting hurt in practice; he missed all of 2003 after having reconstructive surgery on the knee, and missed almost all of the 2005 preseason because of a staph infection in his right knee.
Noble, 31, overcame steep odds to play last season, starting seven games, and is respected by teammates and coaches for his work ethic. Noble had just worked himself back into game shape when this latest injury occurred, and he underwent surgery to correct a cartilage injury with an underlying bone bruise, Tyer said.
"He's certainly a hard worker," Coach Joe Gibbs said, "a real classy guy, as everybody knows. Certainly, he was comeback person of the year to be able to bounce back and play the next year [after reconstructive surgery] and play well, so you hate to get a setback on something like that. You just have to see to what extent. Our first thought is always to protect him and what's best for him."
Kicker John Hall (quadriceps strain) also missed practice and is listed as questionable for Monday's game. His replacement, rookie Nick Novak (Maryland), said he was told to prepare as if he will kick against the Cowboys. Linebacker Chris Clemons (hamstring) and safety Ryan Clark (knee) also missed the Week 1 victory, but returned to practice yesterday and are expected to be healthy enough to play Monday, Tyer said. Starting right tackle Jon Jansen is listed as questionable because of two broken thumbs, but he will play.
Hall has suffered repeated hamstring and quadriceps injuries since the start of the 2004 season, and last season the Redskins suffered by keeping an extra roster spot for a second kicker much of the season, and getting limited production out of those backups. Gibbs wants to avoid such a scenario this season, and noted that Hall's quadriceps problem this season is not as severe as last.
"You hate to see him go through something like this," Gibbs said, "and we have to go through it, so it's a tough deal. But I think we've just got to deal with it. His injury this time, they said if last year was a 10, this year is a 2. It's not nearly as bad."
Father and Son, Doing Fine
Safety Ryan Clark, a native of New Orleans, spoke to his father recently on a rare off day for father and son. Clark's dad is a levee foreman and finally had a respite after working to repair the damage from Hurricane Katrina. "I got to talk to him and everything's fine," Clark said. "They're starting to patch things up down there. It's starting to look good." . . . Wide receiver Taylor Jacobs, who missed almost all of the preseason with a toe injury, continues to increase his work in practice, and is listed on the injury report, but is not yet in game shape. Gibbs said it is too early to determine if Jacobs will be activated for the Dallas game. Jacobs is one of only four receivers on the 53-man roster, so if he is unable to play the team may have to add a receiver (rookie Rich Parson is on the practice squad) or perhaps use safety Sean Taylor more extensively on offense. . . . Gibbs said the decision to release struggling return specialist Antonio Brown was difficult, and did not rule out re-signing the player should the need to do so arise and the Redskins' have a roster spot available. Gibbs said: "I would do anything for him personally. . . . Certainly, he'd be under consideration [to return]."