Gibbs turns to Rypien vs. Saints Redskins continue musical QBs game

November 14, 1990|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Correspondent

HERNDON,VA. — HERNDON, Va. -- Quarterbacks Mark Rypien and Stan Humphries will cross paths coming and going from the Washington Redskins' injured reserve list this week.

The Redskins, who were pro football's version of "M*A*S*H" Monday night, when nine players were injured during a 28-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, plan to activate Rypien and start him against the New Orleans Saints Sunday.

Coach Joe Gibbs said Rypien will play if his knee holds up in practice this week, because Humphries is going on the injured reserve list with a knee injury and Jeff Rutledge's status is up in the air with a thumb injury.

If Rypien has any problems with his knee and Rutledge's thumb hasn't healed, Gary Hogeboom, who has yet to throw a pass in a Washington uniform, will start.

This will be the 16th starting quarterback change that Gibbs has made since Joe Theismann suffered a broken leg in 1985 and the fifth time he's elevated Rypien to the starting lineup. Rypien's been knocked out twice with injuries and been benched twice.

Rypien will try to take the team to the playoffs and end all the switching. The Redskins haven't had a quarterback start more than eight straight games in a season since Jay Schroeder went all the way in 1986.

"I think the playoffs are a guiding tool to how they judge you. The good ones have been able to do it on a year-in, year-out basis. That's my idea right now, to find a way to get us into the playoffs," Rypien said.

He is likely to have some trouble with his timing, because he hasn't practiced since his knee was injured Sept. 23 against the Dallas Cowboys, but the Redskins hope he'll be more on target than Rutledge and Humphries were Monday night.

Rutledge completed only six of 19 passes and missed several open receivers. When Humphries replaced Rutledge in the third period, he overthrew Gary Clark, who was open for a touchdown pass that would have cut the deficit to 21-14.

Two plays later, Byron Evans tipped a pass that Reggie White intercepted to set up the touchdown that made it 28-7 and decided the issue.

Despite the layoff, Rypien said he's ready to go.

"I hope they're not thinking I am [limited]. Going into it, I'm going to tell them don't limit things just because of what's happened. I feel comfortable with whatever we put in there," he said.

Humphries will be one of three players who'll go on the four-week injured reserve list this week. The other two are running back Gerald Riggs (arch) and kick-returner Walter Stanley (knee). Stanley charged that an Eagle deliberately twisted his knee when he was under the pile Monday night.

The Redskins also cut long snapper Randy Kirk, who was with the team one week.

Joining Rypien on the roster will be running back Reggie Dupard, cut earlier this season, defensive back Johnny Thomas and wide receiver Stephen Hobbs, who both will be activated from injured reserve.

Kick returner Joe Howard will be held out of Sunday's game because of a concussion.

The status of linebacker Greg Manusky (knee), offensive tackle Ed Simmons (knee) cornerback Darrel Green (sore calf) and punter Ralf Mojsiejenko (ankle) is uncertain for Sunday's game.

"Do you want me to start at the top of my list or the bottom?" trainer Bubba Tyer said. "I don't remember a Sunday any worse [for injuries]."

Tyer said six trainers from around the league called him to inquire about the team's injuries.

"This is almost as beat up as we've ever been," Gibbs said. "Hey, we've got major problems."

Tyer said there was no easy explanation for all the injuries. "They hit us hard, they hit us often and we got hurt," he said.

It doesn't help that the Redskins are in the middle of a stretch of three games in nine days and 22 hours, because they play the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, after the New Orleans game.

If there was any good news for the Redskins yesterday, it was that Humphries' injury wasn't as serious as they thought it was.

Tyer and Humphries thought he was done for the season when White dragged him down as he was trying to scramble on a fourth-down play.

"I heard it pop and felt the numbness and the tingling," Humphries said.

But it turns out the Redskins don't even think surgery will be necessary, although he'll wear a splint for a week to 10 days. It's listed as a four-week injury, so he hopes he can return before the playoffs.

Riggs' injury may be even more troublesome in the long run. It's the same arch injury that sidelined him for much of last year.

His departure puts the burden of the running game on Earnest Byner, although rookie Brian Mitchell, who filled in as the emergency quarterback, will get some carries.

One of the frustrating things for the Redskins was that the loss to the Eagles came after the comeback victory over the Detroit Lions.

"You go from a tremendous exhilarating high. . . That's the biggest swing I've had in coaching. . . from feeling great, having a fantastic win to a terrible loss with a lot of injuries," Gibbs said.

NOTES: The Eagles were gloating after the game. Defensive lineman Jerome Brown said: "They acted like they didn't want to play us anymore, if you ask me. It was like, after we got up, 28-7, they just said, 'Let's get out of here.'

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