WASHINGTON -- After three weeks of bliss at RFK Stadium, the other shoe dropped on the Washington Redskins' defense yesterday.
In a 42-17 victory over the Cleveland Browns, the Redskins lost three safeties -- one of them, Terry Hoage -- for perhaps the rest of the season.
Hoage suffered a broken left arm late in the fourth quarter after replacing free safety Brad Edwards (bruised shoulder). He is expected to miss at least eight weeks. Strong safety Danny Copeland suffered a bruised shoulder as well and was replaced by Clarence Vaughn.
The silver lining was that the Redskins get next week off before an Oct. 27, Sunday night date in the Meadowlands against the New York Giants.
"It couldn't come at a better time," Edwards said of the scheduled bye next week. "I'll be able to play by then."
The Redskins surrendered their first points of the season at home in the first quarter when the Browns stung them with a fake field goal.
Cleveland was within the rules when it snuck wide receiver Webster Slaughter out to the right sideline from field goal formation. Holder Brian Hansen threw quickly to Slaughter for an 11-yard touchdown.
Slaughter had been on the field the play before. When the Browns broke the huddle, he appeared to go off the field, but stopped at the sideline and was uncovered by the Redskins.