Redskins make federal case of their injury situation Would-be FBI agent joins depleted roster

September 12, 1991|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Correspondent

HERNDON, VA — HERNDON, Va. -- The Washington Redskins virtually called in the FBI for help on this case.

Safety Clarence Vaughn, who was cut two weeks ago and was preparing his application to become an FBI agent, was signed by the Redskins yesterday along with offensive lineman Ralph Tamm.

They replaced offensive tackle Ed Simmons (sprained knee) and safety Alvin Walton (sprained shoulder), who were placed on the four-week injured reserve list after being injured in Monday night's 33-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

The two moves created a logjam on the team's injured reserve list by swelling it to eight, three more than the team is allowed to bring back during the season without putting the players on waivers.

"It's a precarious situation," said general manager Charley Casserly.

"It's a blow," Gibbs said of the loss of Vaughn and Simmons.

Both players are expected to miss at least a month, and Gibbs said he couldn't afford to play two players short for that amount of time.

"You're making a run," Gibbs said. "Every week is critical. You do what you have to do now and face the consequences down the road if it comes to that. We've got a crunch, but we'll have to see what happens. We couldn't wait [to put the players on IR]. We're faced with the situation where we've got guys who are gone for at least four weeks. We had to make those moves."

The consequences are that at least three players will miss the entire regular season on the IR list.

The three players most likely to wind up the odd men out are running back John Settle and offensive linemen Ray Brown and Mo Elewonibi.

The first two players likely to come back will be cornerback A.J. Johnson, who is expected to return for the fifth game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 30.

Tight end Don Warren will return a few weeks later, and Simmons and Walton figure to return when they're eligible for the seventh game against the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 13 if they're healthy by then.

The Redskins also have to save a roster spot for quarterback Cary Conklin if they get a quarterback injury and he's needed.

Although Gibbs wouldn't designate Settle, Brown and Elewonibi as the players who won't be brought back during the regular season, he said: "I think those guys [who won't play] understand that. They may not like it."

Elewonibi spent his rookie season last year on the IR list, and Brown spent the regular season on the IR list before being activated for the San Francisco playoff game.

A team is allowed to activate one player for each playoff game, so they could be brought back then.

The logjam also means that if the Redskins get any more four week injuries, they may have to keep those players on the active roster and play short-handed.

The next injured player could be one of the two designated inactive players each week. After that, they'd have to play short-handed because quarterback Stan Humphries has the other designated spot as the third quarterback.

Joe Jacoby, who was playing left guard, will move to right tackle in Simmons' place. He has recovered from the back spasms that knocked him out of the Monday night game. Danny Copeland will start this week at Walton's spot.

The Redskins' misfortune was good news for Vaughn and Tamm, who were unemployed when the Redskins called.

Vaughn said he was hoping he'd still get a chance to play, but was going ahead with plans to become an FBI agent.

"I started processing application for the FBI. [That's] my goal for a second career," he said.

"I majored in criminal justice. I always wanted to get in law enforcement. I think the FBI is a uncorruptible organization to work for."

Vaughn said he had an interview last April with FBI director William Sessions after meeting him at the screening at an anti-drug film.

"He came in playing the Redskins fight song. That kind of broke the ice," he said.

Vaughn said being a former Redskin wouldn't get him an automatic post. "It's not that easy. You have to pass the tests," he said.

Vaughn, who was drafted on the eighth round in 1987, played in one game last year before going on the IR list.

Tamm signed with the Redskins as a Plan B free agent in 1989, spent the year on the IR list and then signed with the Browns last year as a Plan B free agent. He started 12 games at left guard, but was moved to backup center by new coach Bill Belichick and was cut last week.

"It was shocking. . . . I felt unwanted and rejected," Tamm said, describing his reaction to being cut.

Of the Browns' 3-13 season last year, Tamm said: "It was murder. I just put the hard hat on and let the building fall in around me. I just tried to take care of my job."

NOTES: K Chip Lohmiller was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after kicking 4 field goals of 45 yards or longer against the Cowboys on Monday night. He may have been the first player to do that, but the league still is trying to research it because field-goal records are incomplete. He did tie the record of 2 of 50 yards or more in 1 game, a feat he'd performed once before.

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