Spurrier hopeful Davis will play

But Redskins coach ready to start Watson in case

Redskins notebook

October 29, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

ASHBURN, Va. - Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier said yesterday that he is optimistic that running back Stephen Davis' sprained right knee won't keep him out of Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

But Spurrier also said that if Davis can't go, Kenny Watson could make his first career start at running back.

On a day when many players stayed home after they were told they weren't required to come to Redskin Park after closing out a 26-21 victory over the Indianapolis Colts late Sunday night, Spurrier was the only source who could comment on Davis' latest injury.

"He probably should be OK to play this week," Spurrier said of Davis, who aggravated a right knee that he originally injured three weeks ago against the Tennessee Titans. "Kenny is next in line and Ladell [Betts] after him."

Davis, who is listed as day-to-day, is the team's leading rusher with 528 yards on 123 carries and three rushing touchdowns.

But Spurrier said he would not hesitate to turn to Watson, who is second on the team with 151 yards on 29 carries and would be meeting a Seattle defense that is ranked last in the league against the run.

The second-year pro from Penn State earned a game ball from Spurrier by churning out 42 yards on 10 carries to help Washington grind out a 14-play, 66-yard march for a field goal that gave the Redskins the five-point cushion.

Consistency

After kicking just two field goals in four games, James Tuthill has become Washington's most consistent point-producer over the last two contests.

Tuthill, a second-year player out of Cal Poly, has kicked seven field goals against Indianapolis and Green Bay.

Against the Packers, Tuthill converted three of four attempts, including a 53-yarder in the second quarter. He was perfect against the Colts, hitting all four of his tries.

Tuthill was signed by the Redskins after incumbent Brett Conway tore his quadriceps muscle in a Week 1 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

"Going out there, you really have to know that you're going to make the kick before you even kick it," Tuthill said. "I feel like the things we've been working on in practice are coming out in the games."

Impressive debut

His name is Nigerian for "nothing surpasses God." Ifeanyi Eberechuku Ohalete is hoping he can make a name for himself in the NFL.

So far, the second-year safety out of Southern California-who goes by "Ife" - is doing just that.

Ohalete, an undrafted free agent who signed with Washington in April 2001, marked his first career start by intercepting a Peyton Manning pass, knocking down another, and making three tackles against the Colts.

"I give myself about a B or B-minus. There are some things I need to work on," said Ohalete, who also returned an interception 78 yards for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago. "I never really expected it to go this well. ... Hopefully, it just continues on."

Injury update

Spurrier said offensive tackle Chris Samuels will try to practice on a sprained left ankle that ended his streak of 38 consecutive starts. Right guard Brenden Stai also will continue to rehab his left knee tendinitis. If both cannot play against the Seahawks, Alex Sulfsted will start again at left tackle, while Wilbert Brown will play a majority of snaps at right guard. Tre Johnson also will play some at that position. ... The league changed the kickoff time of the Redskins' Nov. 24 game against the St. Louis Rams at FedEx Field from 4:15 to 1 p.m.

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