Simmons joins downed linemen Redskins tackle sidelined 2-4 weeks

November 03, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

The Washington Redskins sent out an SOS for offensive linemen yesterday.

With right tackle Ed Simmons the latest victim of the rash of knee injuries that has crippled the line, the Redskins are likely to bring back guard Paul Siever, who was cut at the start of the season.

Siever, who was drafted on the third round out of Penn State in 1992 and spent last season on the physically unable to perform list, would give them more depth in the offensive line.

Simmons was the latest victim, falling in the first quarter of C Monday night's 24-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills. The knee injury will sideline him two to four weeks.

They got through the game when Jeff Bostic, who suffered a knee injury last week and was supposed to play only in an emergency, played the rest of the game at center. That enabled center Raleigh McKenzie to move to left guard and Ray Brown to switch to right tackle.

On top of that, Moe Elewonibi, the left tackle, suffered a knee injury running with a fumble late in the game, but the Redskins hope he can go Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. The Redskins lost Jim Lachey for the year with a knee injury during training camp, and veteran Joe Jacoby is out with back problems.

Redskins coach Richie Petitbon praised Bostic for doing such a good job in relief.

"A lot of credit has to go to Jeff Bostic. We didn't know at 4 o'clock whether we were going to dress Jeff. Little did he know he was going to play almost the whole game," Petitbon said.

Bostic, a 14-year veteran, said, "We didn't have a whole lot of options. It's not real functional to go with a four-man line. Progressively during the game, it [the knee] kept getting weaker. I hadn't done anything since I stretched it in practice [last week]."

If Bostic had been forced out, the Redskins would have had to go with rookie Greg Huntington.

Bostic's determination to play set the tone for the Redskins. Even though they dropped to 1-6, they refused to give up.

"I thought we played one of our best games since Dallas," Petitbon said.

The players echoed his sentiments. Cornerback Darrell Green said: "It was a very positive feeling out there. I'm very pleased with the way the team played."

Petitbon was even insisting the playoffs "aren't out of the realm of possibility." He said 8-8 might make it and 9-7 would get a team in.

What the Redskins have going for them now is the schedule. They play the 3-4 Colts on Sunday and also have the Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons left to play.

Petitbon doesn't want to look ahead, though. "We can't look at the overall picture," he said.

He said he feels if the team can get one victory, it can start a streak.

"We'll do everything in our power to get that victory," he said.

Petitbon even praised quarterback Mark Rypien, who was intercepted on four consecutive possessions.

"He's playing with a lot of heart. I don't know what else you can say."

Rypien took the blame for "letting the team down," particularly when he tried to throw to Ricky Sanders in the end zone even though there were four Bills surrounding him.

Petitbon also lauded wide receiver Desmond Howard, who ran the wrong routes on two of the four interceptions Rypien threw. It was the first time Howard has gotten extensive playing time.

"I thought Desmond played well," Petitbon said. "He made some nice catches. He did a lot of good things."

Rod Dowhower, the offensive coordinator, said that Howard was simply a victim of inexperience.

"He's going to get better out there," Dowhower said.

Howard caught two passes for 38 yards.

Petitbon can only hope there's time for Howard to help the Redskins salvage something out of this season.

NOTES: Rookie TE Frank Wycheck (Maryland) caught his first pass -- an 11- yarder -- and got good reviews in his debut. . . . SS Danny Copeland may miss the Indianapolis game with a neck injury. He'd be replaced by Todd Bowles. . . . DL Charles Mann tried to come back from his knee injury, but it still hampered him. "I don't really feel like I helped the team. I didn't play very well, either," Mann said.

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