Quarterback gamble proves to be big loser

Redskins notes

September 24, 1990|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Redskins lost their quarterback gamble yesterday.

When they put Jeff Rutledge on the injured-reserve list with a sore shoulder at the start of the season, they were gambling that Mark Rypien would stay healthy for four games.

If Rypien was injured after the fourth game, they planned to just activate Rutledge the following week to back up Stan Humphries.

But they're in the market for a quarterback after Rypien was injured yesterday in the third game, a 19-15 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

General manager Charley Casserly said the Redskins would sign a quarterback who was in a training camp this year, which rules out the return of Doug Williams, who was cut in April and wasn't signed by another team.

Casserly said the Redskins will wait until Rypien's left knee is evaluated today to make their decision. They have to decide whether they think he'll miss four weeks, which would mean he would go on the injured reserve list. If not, they would have to cut another player when the new quarterback is signed.

Casserly said there are about 10 quarterbacks who were in camps who are available. They include Pat Ryan, who was cut by the Cleveland Browns this year, David Archer, who was cut by the San Diego Chargers, and Gary Hogeboom, who was cut by the Phoenix Cardinals.

Rypien refused to count himself out this week. "What I'm hoping is that I can go out and play with some soreness, I'll do it," he said.

The Redskins, though, think he has little chance of making it back this week.

* If Humphries had been injured during the game, running back Brian Mitchell, who was a quarterback in college, would have gone in at quarterback.

"I know that something may go wrong. You make sure you're just mentally prepared if it happens," he said.

Mitchell could have been the goat of the game when he fumbled the second-half kickoff and Ray Horton recovered on the Washington 8.

But the Redskins forced the Cowboys to settle for a 41-yard field goal by Ken Willis.

Mitchell argued that he was down before he lost the ball, but the call wasn't reversed and the replay seemed to indicate he fumbled.

* Despite the setback, Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson was upbeat.

"Like I told the players after the game, I like this football team. I like the people because I can see this team getting better. I think we're going to end up being a good football team," he said.

* After Humphries was sacked on the Washington 2 with 1 minute, 51 seconds left in the game, the Redskins took a safety and punted from the 20.

Gibbs said they had decided to take the safety on the previous play when they were on their 14.

He said special teams coach Wayne Sevier is responsible for coming up with suggestions for special plays.

* Sevier may need to work on his team's onside kick defense. The Cowboys recovered an onside kick with the game tied at 6 in the third period, but it was nullified by a Cowboys offside penalty.

"We had been studying the film and it looked like it was there," Johnson said.

* When Darrell Green made his 18-yard touchdown run for an interception in the fourth period to give the Redskins a 19-6 lead, he made a circle as he cut inside and then went back to the sidelines and found a hole.

"You don't set something like that up. It's instinctive. I try to get out in the open so I can see what's ahead of me and make my own choices. I got a block from Wilber [Marshall], and that basically got me going," he said.

* Rypien was one of seven Redskins injured in the game. The others were defensive tackle Eric Williams (shoulder sprain), Earnest Byner (knee sprain), Fred Stokes (dislocated middle finger), Kurt Gouveia (sprained wrist), Andre Collins (left quadriceps contusion) and John Brandeis (sprained cervical spine).

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