Redskins report

December 10, 1996|By Bill Free

Highlight: Wide receiver Henry Ellard moved into fourth place in NFL career receptions with five catches for 93 yards and one touchdown in Washington's 24-10 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday. Ellard has 765 receptions, passing James Lofton (764). Jerry Rice (1,037), Art Monk (940) and Steve Largent (819) are the top three.

Lowlights: There were major breakdowns in all phases for the Redskins, who played without six injured starters. The final straw came with 2: 49 remaining, when Washington attempted an onside kick and didn't have one player within 8 yards of recovering it.

The Redskins' last-place defense continued its lethargic play, allowing the Bucs 209 rushing yards on 45 attempts, led by running backs Errict Rhett (97) and Mike Alstott (67).

Redskins running back Terry Allen failed to score a touchdown for the fourth straight game and has gained only 70 yards in the past two games.

What's new: The Redskins (8-6) no longer control their playoff destiny. Washington is tied with Philadelphia and Minnesota (both 8-6) and is one game behind Dallas (9-5) in a battle for the final three NFC playoff berths. Green Bay, San Francisco and Carolina have clinched NFC spots.

Even if the Redskins win their final games against Arizona and Dallas and force a possible four-way tie at 10-6 with the Cowboys, Eagles and Vikings, Washington would lose the tie-breaker with all three teams based on conference records.

Next game: Boomer Esiason and the Arizona Cardinals (6-8) have lost two straight since being the toast of the NFL for three weeks with wins over the Redskins, Eagles and New York Giants.

Injuries: Washington has lost half of its starting defensive line for the rest of the season. Left tackle Marc Boutte underwent arthroscopic surgery last night to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee, and left end Sterling Palmer had arthroscopic surgery to repair posterior cruciate ligament damage in his left knee. Wide receiver Michael Westbrook (floating cartilage in left knee) did some running yesterday and might play Sunday.

Pub Date: 12/10/96

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