HERNDON, Va. -- The Washington Redskins found out yesterday that quarterback Mark Rypien will miss the make-or-break part of their season.
Dr. Charles Jackson, the team's orthopedic physician, performed arthroscopic surgery on Rypien's left knee and found out the injury is worse than the Redskins originally had thought.
He suffered damage to two ligaments and the posterior capsule of the knee, was declared out for six to eight weeks and will go on the injured-reserve list.
"That's a tough break," said coach Joe Gibbs, who would comment only briefly because he usually works on his game plans on Tuesdays and doesn't schedule time for interviews.
Gibbs said the unfortunate thing is that Rypien wasn't hit often in the 10 quarters he played -- he was sacked only once. Rypien was knocked out Sunday when the Dallas Cowboys' Dean Hamel, who was being blocked by Mark Schlereth, rolled into him in the second quarter.
Rypien is expected to miss the five-game stretch between Oct. 14 and Nov. 12, when the Redskins play both the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles twice.
The Redskins probably will have to gain at least a split of those four games if they're to have a realistic chance to make the playoffs. Last year, they went 1-3 in those four games and missed the playoffs by a game.
The season is now in the hands of quarterback Stan Humphries, who has thrown a total of just 10 passes in brief appearances in two regular-season games and will make his first regular-season start against the Phoenix Cardinals on Sunday.
The Redskins signed Gary Hogeboom as the team's new backupquarterback. They'll be able to bring Jeff Rutledge back from injured reserve next week.
Gibbs declined to speculate on how many quarterbacks he'll keep on his roster, but it's likely that Hogeboom will be with the team the rest of the year since Rypien will be out for so long.
Hogeboom arrived at Redskin Park yesterday.
It was at RFK Stadium in Washington that the most significant event of Hogeboom's career happened. When Danny White was knocked out of the 1982 National Football Conference title game late in the first half against the Redskins, Hogeboom came on in the second half and played well in a losing cause.
That started a quarterback controversy that divided Dallas for three years until Rod Dowhower -- now a Redskins assistant -- traded for Hogeboom when Dowhower was Indianapolis Colts coach in 1986. Hogeboom spent three years with the Colts before he was signed as a Plan B free agent by Phoenix last year. He was cut in training camp this year.
"It's a small world," Hogeboom said of his arrival in Washington.
Hogeboom said it shouldn't take him long to learn the Redskins system because coach Joe Bugel, a former Redskins assistant, runs a similar one-back offense in Phoenix.
He ducked questions about whether he'll compete for the No. 1 job.
"I'm here to help the Redskins in whatever role that turns out to be," he said.
NOTES: Quarterback Doug Williams, who's working as a television commentator on the Black Entertainment Network doing black college games, said he didn't want to comment on Gibbs' contention Monday that he cut Williams because he was concerned about his health. "I don't need to get in any confrontation," he said. But he noted that in his book, "Quarterblack," he said that teams don't want to pay a black quarterback to be a backup. "A lot of people can't live with the truth," Williams said.