During the week, Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs promised a long injury report for tomorrow's critical game against the Chargers, and he did not disappoint, what with 11 names on the list, all important players.
Yet there were a few twists yesterday. Cornelius Griffin, the defensive tackle who has missed the past three games with a hip flexor injury, said during the week that he did not expect to play against San Diego despite making some progress. But Griffin practiced Thursday and Friday and was listed on the injury report as questionable, which by the NFL's definition is a 50-50 proposition.
The Redskins were cryptic about Griffin's prospects, but Griffin himself said he was more likely to miss the game than participate. "It just day by day. Each week it gets a little better," Griffin said, adding that if he feels tomorrow the way he felt yesterday he'd do "probably nothing."
The loss of Griffin has been the difference between a Redskins pass rush and a team forced to blitz linebackers and the secondary to bring pressure. That blitz has left them vulnerable to deep passes, and his return is much needed by the Redskins. That said, Griffin sounded doubtful for anything before the Dec. 4 game at St. Louis.
Backup running back Ladell Betts, meanwhile, also was listed as questionable on the injury report even though he did not practice all week. Betts missed Sunday's game against the Raiders with a sore knee and said Wednesday he did not expect to play against San Diego.
In his last game, at Tampa Bay, Betts ran back a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown. Without him, Gibbs said yesterday that he expected newly signed Antonio Brown to handle kickoff duties. . . .
Mark Brunell wore a bandage around his right thumb and was nursing a groin problem during the week, yet did not appear on the injury report.
Left tackle Chris Samuels (knee) did not practice Wednesday or yesterday but was listed as probable. LaVar Arrington (thigh), Joe Salave'a (foot), Sean Taylor (ankle), Ryan Clark (ankle) and Nic Clemons (knee) are all listed as probable.
Mike Sellers (back/ribs) and James Thrash (hamstring) are out. . . .
Running back Clinton Portis is fighting a stomach illness. Portis practiced yesterday, but there was some confusion about his status during the week. The team said he did not practice on Thursday, but Portis said that he did. He is probable for tomorrow.
Portis in Holding Pattern
Portis realizes the reason that he carried the ball just five times for 22 yards in the second half on Sunday may have been because of his two fumbles.
"If it were my team, I'd run all the plays for myself," Portis said. "But I'm not the offensive coordinator, and I probably put us in that situation by fumbling. I don't know if that was definitely the reason, but I put us in that situation."
Portis was not used much in the second half, even though the Redskins had a 10-point third-quarter lead on the Raiders.
"I just feel when we're in our game plan, the running game has been there," Portis said. "Unfortunately, we've always been behind. We just want to play solid and not be one-dimensional. We get one-dimensional, we get in trouble."