Redskins' Fryar out at least 2 weeks with bruised neck nerve

Thrash will start in his place Sunday against visiting Ravens

October 10, 2000|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

ASHBURN, Va. - Washington Redskins wide receiver Irving Fryar is expected to miss at least two weeks because of a bruised nerve in his neck suffered in the third quarter of the team's 17-14 win against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Fryar was injured after a helmet-to-helmet collision with Eagles safety Tim Hauck. He walked off the field but fell to his knees on the sideline.

The game was stopped, and Fryar was taken off the field on a cart to Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, where he stayed overnight. Redskins trainer Bubba Tyer said Fryar was scheduled to be released from the hospital last night. He will wear a neck brace the rest of this week.

"We will go through a period of just letting it calm down, then gradually, he'll start doing activity," Tyer said. "Then we'll see how he responds to it."

James Thrash will start in place of Fryar Sunday against the Ravens at FedEx Field. Thrash had a career-high five catches for 45 yards against the Eagles. Andre Reed will work as the third receiver and Derrius Thompson the fourth.

Coach Norv Turner said he would be hesitant to use cornerback Champ Bailey as a receiver because of how well he is playing on defense. Bailey played a few snaps on offense in the Dallas game. He played both ways at Georgia during his junior season.

Fryar's loss makes him the fourth key offensive player out with an injury. Guard Tre' Johnson, wide receiver Michael Westbrook and center Cory Raymer are all lost for the season with knee injuries.

"We've got some tough days ahead," fullback Larry Centers said. "We don't ever like to lose anybody, but this is a physical game, and there are casualties of war. Hopefully, we won't get hit too much harder."

Fryar was second on the team in catches (17) and third in yardage (206). He had one catch for 9 yards against the Eagles, but his biggest contribution came late in the first half, when receiver Albert Connell and passing game coordinator Terry Robiskie got into a shouting match.

Fryar stepped between the two, then talked with Connell at halftime, which settled down the young receiver. Connell was frustrated with his one catch for 5 yards in the first half. But he rebounded in the second with Fryar out, catching five passes for 78 yards.

Turner said he had a long meeting with Connell yesterday to make sure the situation was under control. Connell said he was fined for his actions.

"I just let that emotion get the best of me," Connell said. "I couldn't control myself. All coaches and all players get into it at times. Maybe not as bad as I was yesterday. ... But it being on television like it was, it looked bad for myself and for the team."

Turner took care of that problem with ease. His kicking situation is another story.

Michael Husted missed two field-goal attempts Sunday, prompting Turner to open the position. Doug Pelphrey, Jeff Hall, Chris Jacke and Chris Heppner will work out today at Redskin Park. Husted missed a 33-yard kick early in the second quarter that would have put the Redskins up 10-0.

Husted replaced Brett Conway, who strained his quadriceps muscle earlier in the season and was placed on injured reserve. Husted had made four of eight field-goal attempts in four games with the Redskins.

Turner said he will evaluate all the kickers today and make a decision.

"It has really been frustrating for me because. for one reason or another, we get a guy who we really feel good about, and it doesn't work out," Turner said. "We've struggled in that field. I would love to get a guy and have him be here for a long time.

"The way you get a lead on a team is to get up a little bit at a time. If you get up 7-0, then you make a kick and it's 10-0. Then something happens along the way and you get another play; pretty soon, the game is out of reach. Or it changes the way a team approaches it."

NOTES: Johnson will have reconstructive knee surgery and will miss the rest of the season. Johnson, who was placed on injured reserve, tore his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments against Tampa Bay. The Redskins signed former Cowboys guard Tony Hutson, a 6-foot-3, 315-pound player out of Northeast Oklahoma State, to fill Johnson's roster spot. ... Guard Keith Sims aggravated his Achilles' tendon injury Sunday. He will not practice tomorrow and Thursday, and there is a chance he could miss the Ravens game. Running back Stephen Davis, who missed a few plays with a knee injury, should practice tomorrow. Offensive tackle Chris Samuels bruised his knee but should practice later this week. "We're banged up pretty good," Turner said. "We're going to need a couple of days to get everyone back, but I think we're going to have everyone ready for next week's game."

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