Redskins reshuffle deck again with Richardson, Wilson out

October 22, 1992|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

ASHBURN, Va. -- Here's a trivia question for the devoted football fan:

What do Tony Barker, John Brantley, Guy Bingham and Mike Haight have in common?

They're all members of the Washington Redskins active squad.

Barker, who was originally drafted on the 10th round by the Redskins and waived and put on the practice squad, was the latest obscure player to be added to fill a hole.

Barker replaces Huey Richardson, the linebacker who was obtained from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a seventh-round pick at the start of the season. Richardson, the Steelers' first-round pick in 1991, was waived yesterday.

The Redskins aren't done with their roster shuffling. They made a switch on their practice squad (signing guard Tom Myslinski and waiving offensive lineman Tom Fuhler) and they're also going to be forced to put defensive tackle Bobby Wilson on the injured reserve list.

Wilson has a herniated disk in his back and may have to undergo surgery. He's seen two specialists and will see two more before he makes his decision on surgery.

"I've never been under the knife," he said. "When you're dealing with the back, it's very, very delicate. I want to talk with my family first."

Wilson said he isn't sure how he suffered the injury, but he couldn't play last Sunday and the extent of the injury was determined after he was hospitalized.

Wilson, who'll probably miss the rest of the season, will become the 12th player to go on injured reserve since the start of the season.

The Redskins might not activate another player for this game, because they want to save their roster moves.

The Redskins don't need another defensive lineman right now, because they brought back Eric Williams last week to replace Wilson. Williams was the starter until he hurt his knee in August and Wilson stepped in for him.

They've already used two of their moves to bring back Mo Elewonibi and Williams, and they're only allowed five without putting a player on waivers. They want to save two of them for offensive lineman Jim Lachey and cornerback Darrell Green.

Green at first was feared lost for the season when he broke his forearm against the Atlanta Falcons in the second game, but he's now making fast progress and trainer Bubba Tyer said there's a chance he may be back by December.

Talking about all the injuries, Tyer said, "Sometimes, they come in waves. It's been terrible this year."

Last year, the Redskins had only five major injuries and only one player, defensive lineman Markus Koch, who was forced to retire, wasn't able to make it back before the end of the year. The other four -- Don Warren, Terry Hoage, Alvin Walton and A. J. Johnson -- returned.

This season, the Redskins have run out of depth because of injuries. Bingham was brought in when long snapper John Brandes went down. Brantley was signed when Ravin Caldwell was injured and Haight was signed when Lachey went out.

Now, it's Barker's turn to make the roster because the gamble on Richardson wasn't a success.

The Redskins figured it was worth a seventh-round pick to find out if Richardson could develop faster than he did at Pittsburgh. He's a smart player with a lot of athletic ability, but he didn't show good football instincts in Pittsburgh and had trouble making the adjustment from college ball in Florida to the pros.

He didn't improve with the Redskins and ran out of time to show any signs of potential.

"The big thing is that Huey wasn't making a contribution on special teams," said linebackers coach Larry Peccatiello. "The sixth linebacker needs to fill a role in that area. We felt like we needed to upgrade that spot."

"We took a look at him for several weeks and tried him at several things and we wanted to give Tony Barker a chance," coach Joe Gibbs said.

Richardson's agent, Ralph Cindrich, said Richardson had problems because he wasn't with the team in training camp, but conceded he may be a classic "tweener" who, at 6 feet 5 and 233 pounds, is not big enough to play on the defensive line, but doesn't have the instincts to play linebacker.

Cindrich said Richardson was demoralized by the move, but said he thinks he may get another chance in the league.

"I think he'll be able to regroup and prepare for another shot," Cindrich said. "The crux of problem lies with him and his desire to gain weight and strength."

In any case, he's already made $1.7 million. He made $1.575 million last year, including a $1.25 million signing bonus. This year, he made $164,705 of his $400,000 salary before he was cut.

"It sounds like he had a good agent," Cindrich said.

NOTES: LB Wilber Marshall was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his play Sunday. . . . The Redskins will be playing their first indoor game this season, against the Minnesota Vikings. They're 10-2 in domes under Gibbs, including their Super Bowl win in their last appearance in the Metrodome.

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