Rypien arrives, with Humphries hot on trail Redskins notebook

July 25, 1991|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Evening Sun Staff

CARLISLE, Pa. -- A day that began with a key loss for the Washington Redskins finished with a flourish last night when quarterback Mark Rypien ended his holdout and backup Stan Humphries sizzled in a scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rypien agreed to contract terms before last night's scrimmage and was expected to join the team today. Because both sides agreed to a confidentiality clause, no terms were disclosed. But it's believed Rypien settled for a one-year deal worth $1.2 million. He had been seeking $1.67 million.

"It was time to get a deal done and we got it done," said Redskins general manager Charley Casserly. "I never felt like it got personal."

When Rypien arrives, the five-year veteran may be met by a friendly challenge for his job. Humphries completed 14 of 15 passes for 95 yards, playing the first two series of 10 plays each. Both series resulted in Chip Lohmiller field goals.

Humphries seemed eager to engage Rypien in a battle for the position. "Now there will be competition between us," he said, "and it will make both of us better."

The Redskins, who played the Steelers to a 19-19 tie in the scrimmage at Carlisle High, lost tight end Donnie Warren for eight to 10 weeks with a broken right ankle during drills earlier in the day.

Warren, a 13-year veteran and team leader, suffered a displaced fracture of the distal fibula, the non-weight bearing bone, in his right ankle during a half-line drill against the Steelers. Warren had been pushed into a pile of players, where a Pittsburgh defender rolled up Warren's ankle.

The team announced that Warren would have surgery today and will be in a cast two to three weeks. The Redskins expect him to return to action in October.

This is the second time Warren has broken an ankle during his NFL career. He also did it in the final preseason game of 1980, his second year with the club.

The injury at first appeared to be worse than it is and shook several of his teammates.

"Donnie Warren's our leader, we look up to him," said Ron Middleton, a six-year vet who will replace Warren at the blocking position. "You never picture an iron man like that going down."

Warren caught only 15 passes last year, but is respected for his run-blocking ability.

"A guy like Ron Middleton is going to have to play great for us now," said coach Joe Gibbs.

Humphries and Lohmiller were the stars of last night's scrimmage, although Gibbs was not pleased with the club's performance.

Lohmiller kicked field goals of 48, 28, 39 and 46 yards, the last one on the final play of the scrimmage.

After Humphries worked the first two series, Jeff Rutledge played the next two. Although the Redskins scored a touchdown with Rutledge at quarterback, he was erratic, with two interceptions on poorly-thrown balls. He was 3-for- 10 for 22 yards.

Cary Conklin, who spent 1990 on injured reserve, played the final series and was 2-for-5 for 19 yards. Conklin is challenging Rutledge for the third quarterback spot.

Rookie Ricky Ervins scored the only Redskins touchdown, a 1-yard run after a pass interference call put Washington on the goal line. Ervins finished with 14 yards on nine carries.

Two other rookies came up with big plays on defense for the Redskins. Defensive tackle Bobby Wilson, the team's first-round draft choice, collected a sack, and cornerback Jimmy Spencer, an eighth-round pick, had an interception.

The Steelers' only touchdown was set up by a pass inference call against Redskins cornerback AJ Johnson. Leroy Thompson then scored on a 3-yard run on fourth down.

Gary Andreson kicked four field goals for the Stellers, including a 57-yarder at the end of their fifth and final offensive series.

*

Former Maryland quarterback Neil O'Donnell played two series for the Steelers, during which time Pittsburgh scored 10 points. He completed two passes.

O'Donnell was the third Steelers' quarterback to play, behind zTC starter Bubby Brister and backup Rick Strom. O'Donnell is pushing Strom for the No. 2 job, though.

A third-round draft pick in 1990, he made the roster as the team's third quarterback but was inactive for all but three games last season. He did not see any action in those three.

"I've had a good camp so far," he said. "I want to put the ball in the right place and not turn it over. I don't want to make stupid mistakes."

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