H-back Mike Sellers, Washington's leader in touchdowns, spent last night in the hospital with a fractured rib that forced him out of the Redskins' 16-13 loss to Oakland at FedEx Field yesterday, but he avoided more serious injury. Team officials were concerned Sellers may have suffered a kidney problem after absorbing a powerful blow to his back, side and midsection covering a punt in the fourth quarter.
Bubba Tyer, Washington's director of sports medicine, said last night a CT Scan revealed the fractured rib after X-rays taken at the stadium indicated no breaks. Tests were also conducted on Sellers's kidneys, but those showed no problems. Tyer said he expected Sellers to remain at Washington Hospital Center overnight and anticipated his release today.
Sellers required oxygen and pain medication after the game, and the scene outside the locker room was frantic. Owner Daniel Snyder, a security detail and several emergency personnel raced into a medical room where Sellers was being examined. Tyer and others accompanied him to the hospital, and the injury appeared serious even at the time, as Sellers was on the ground for several minutes while surrounded by numerous athletic trainers.
Sellers, one of the league's premier special teams performers, never saw linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba fly into him -- Ekejiuba was assessed an illegal block above the waist penalty on the play -- but returned to throw Ekejiuba to the ground and picked up a penalty when Oakland punted on the ensuing possession.
"He got up and wanted to keep playing, and he played," said Tyer. "And afterwards he had pain in his left lower side and chest."
Tyer said Sellers would almost certainly miss Sunday's game against San Diego. "After that I guess we'd have to see how much pain he was in and go from there," he said.
The Redskins also lost special teams stalwart and kick returner James Thrash to a pulled hamstring, depleting an already thin wide receiver corps after starter David Patten required season-ending knee surgery last week. Ladell Betts, their other primary returner, missed the game, leaving rookie Nehemiah Broughton, a seventh-round pick, and Rich Parson (Maryland), playing his first NFL game, to handle kicks. . . .
Top defensive lineman Cornelius Griffin (hip flexor) missed his third straight game.
Defense Grows on Moss
Washington's struggling secondary nearly shut out Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss, holding him to three catches for 40 yards after limiting him to 66 yards in the final regular season game of 2004. The Redskins did not keep top cornerback Shawn Springs on Moss every play, but had a safety watching him much of the game.
"They were concentrating on Randy throughout the game," said Oakland Coach Norv Turner, who once coached the Redskins.
Carry the Day
Washington attempted only eight rushes in the second half -- despite Clinton Portis running 17 times for 70 yards in the first half and the team leading 13-3 -- and finished with 32 passes to 27 rushing attempts. The Redskins are 1-15 when throwing more than running the past two seasons, and 10-0 when they run at least as many times as they throw. . . .
The Redskins are 0-7 against the AFC the last two years and will host San Diego on Sunday in their non-conference finale. The Chargers are coached by Marty Schottenheimer, who replaced Turner on a full-time basis in Washington. . . .
Santana Moss has 988 receiving yards in 10 games; Laveranues Coles led Washington with 950 yards last season. . . . Portis, who had 144 yards rushing in Tampa, still does not have consecutive 100-yard days with Washington (22 carries for 92 yards yesterday).