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Samuels, Springs suffer multiple injuries...


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Samuels, Springs suffer multiple injuries

By Mark Zuckerman and Ryan O'Halloran


December 12, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A pair of key Washington Redskins starters suffered multiple injuries during yesterday's 17-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Tackle Chris Samuels sprained both the MCL in his right knee and his ankle on the same play, while cornerback Shawn Springs "wrenched" his back and strained his groin on consecutive series in the fourth quarter.

Springs' injuries were serious enough to leave him on the sideline for the game's final three defensive series, forcing him to serve as a cheerleader while replacement Ade Jimoh tried to pick up the slack.

Asked how his groin felt, Springs replied: "Not good."

And his back? "Not good."

Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said the veteran cornerback will be re-evaluated today.

Samuels, too, will be re-evaluated today after re-injuring the same knee that has bothered him for some time. Though the diagnosis of a sprained medial collateral ligament -- not to mention the way Samuels limped around the Redskins' locker room afterward -- wouldn't seem to bode well for the immediate future, Samuels insisted he would be ready for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.

"It's just a little sprain," he said. "I'll be fine, though, and I'll be back for the Dallas game. If I can run on it, I'll be out there."

Samuels sprained his right ankle on the same play.

"I blocked the guy, and once I fell on the ground, somebody else just came and fell on top of my leg. It just put pressure on my knee and my ankle at the same time."

The Redskins reported no other injuries from yesterday's game. But linebacker LaVar Arrington, as expected, sat out because of a bruised thigh sustained last week at St. Louis. Warrick Holdman started in Arrington's place and made three tackles.

Also listed as inactive because of injury were receiver James Thrash (hamstring), cornerback Walt Harris (ankle), defensive tackles Joe Salave'a (foot) and Cedric Killings (groin).

Six defensive backs start

The Redskins' defense, aiming to blanket Cardinals receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, started in the always-popular 2-3-6 alignment.

Shawn Springs and Carlos Rogers started at cornerback, and safeties Ryan Clark, Sean Taylor, Matt Bowen and Pierson Prioleau also started.

"It was something we had seen in the game plan from the past couple [Arizona] games," defensive end Renaldo Wynn said. "We knew that they were going to send a lot of receivers out, so we thought why not maximize our opportunities by putting more defensive backs out there and rushing only three."

Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner finished 25-for-41 for 255 yards and was intercepted by Taylor on the game's opening drive.

"Today was about coverage," Clark said. "They spread it out, and we had to get a lot of guys out there to cover them up."

The Redskins, already playing without Walt Harris, inserted Ade Jimoh as the third cornerback when Springs was injured in the second half.

Boldin caught nine passes for 114 yards, and Fitzgerald was limited to four catches for 23 yards.

One good drive

The Redskins won despite producing only one offensive drive that gained more than 43 yards. They opened the second half with a 13-play, 80-yard march to tie the score at 10-10 on Clinton Portis' 15-yard touchdown run.

"Huge. The best drive we've had all year," H-back Chris Cooley said. "We went back to what we do well, running the ball."

The Redskins called only three pass plays on that drive, and Portis ran seven times for 39 yards.

"We talked about some things, and the Cardinals did a really good job in the first half of doing some things they hadn't been doing," coach Joe Gibbs said. "We tried to adjust as best we could at halftime, but it took a mind-set and a few simple things to put that drive together and give us the momentum back."

Fired-up kickers

Both teams' kickers were involved in some unusual sideline tussles.

It started on a Redskins punt midway through the second quarter. Following the return, Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers surprisingly crossed the sideline and got into a shoving match with Washington linebacker Khary Campbell.

Nobody was penalized, but Campbell was stunned to find Rackers in his face.

"I was running down to cover the punt, and I got pushed in the back," Campbell said. "So I'm trying to avoid my own guy ... and the next thing you know, [Rackers] pushed me from the side. I thought it was a guy who was on the field at first. ... I was like, 'What's the deal?' I guess he was trying to protect his guys. But it was uncalled for, and it should have been a flag."

Even stranger was the announcement at the start of the third quarter that the Redskins had been penalized 15 yards for a personal foul on kicker John Hall on the final play of the first half (also a Redskins punt).

According to Hall, who was on the sideline during the play, Redskins long snapper Ethan Albright was taken down by a Cardinals player, and the two came crashing into Hall's legs.

Hall was told he was flagged for "jumping and spearing him," though he insisted he didn't nothing wrong.

"They fell at my feet," Hall said. "It's not like they took me out."

One more oddity: Offensive tackle Jon Jansen was flagged for what he said was the first personal foul of his NFL career after delivering a late hit on Adrian Wilson's second-quarter interception return.

Betts returns to action

Redskins running back Ladell Betts returned following a three-game absence because of a sprained medial collateral ligament. He carried five times for 6 yards, including a key fourth-and-2 conversion during the Redskins' only touchdown drive.

"I knew I had a double-team on the left side behind the big boys," Betts said. "It was a crucial call, but they had enough faith to call the same play twice, only to the opposite side."

Betts said after the game his knee felt fine.

"Once you get a couple of hits, you get used to it," he said. "It's not quite like the other knee, but you learn how to deal with it."

Brunell so-so

Mark Brunell produced his second-worst game of the season in terms of quarterback rating, recording a 34.2 after going 18-for-28 for 122 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions.

Brunell entered the game with an 87.8 rating. His three interceptions were a season high.

Brunell's first interception came on the Redskins' first drive when, on third-and-2 from the Arizona 20, his throw to Chris Cooley was a little long. Cooley got a hand on it, but the deflected pass was picked off by Antrel Rolle.

David Macklin later intercepted Brunell in the end zone, and Adrian Wilson cut in front of Cooley near the goal line and also picked off Brunell.

"The decision in the end zone I wasn't pleased with," Brunell said. "Sometimes, it happens. What's important is that we cleaned things up and bounced back."

Said Gibbs: "A couple of things bounced out of our hands, and I'm sure Mark would like to have a couple of things back. But he kept working when it would have been easy to get discouraged."

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Lets hope all goes well this week in terms of rehabbing these injuries. This is must win time, these guys have to play. Dallas' pash rush is no joke, and I dont think our secondary minus Springs can cover Glenn all game.

The last part about the flags is hilarious....what a joke that was. Guy comes from the SIDELINE and pushes one of our players in the back and no flag is thrown. I love it!

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