Ex-'Skin Davis in Philly for workout

Eagles don't offer deal

Redskins could be in mix

Pro football

August 22, 2006|By DON MARKUS | DON MARKUS,SUN REPORTER

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles won't meet until the 10th week of the NFL season, but the two NFC East teams could be going head-to-head for the services of former Redskins running back Stephen Davis.

Davis, who was cut by the Carolina Panthers in March, was in Philadelphia yesterday taking a physical and, according to ESPN.com, participating in a workout. Davis told former teammate Brian Mitchell on Mitchell's Washington radio show that he had been contacted by the Eagles and Redskins about a possible backup role.

The interest by the Eagles was spurred by the recent injury to Brian Westbrook, who suffered a sprained left foot in the team's preseason opener. The Redskins could be looking at Davis as insurance if Clinton Portis is slow to come back from a partially separated left shoulder.

Davis is a curious candidate for a team looking for a healthy tailback.

His career took a noticeable downturn after he suffered a knee injury in 2004 that required microfracture surgery. Davis gained 549 yards on 180 carries and scored 12 touchdowns last year for the Panthers, but played sparingly with the development of DeShaun Foster and spent the last three weeks on injured reserve.

Davis was cut by the Panthers on March 1, his 32nd birthday.

"He's been very productive in this league," said Eagles coach Andy Reid, who confirmed that Davis was in town but didn't know the outcome of the physical. "We just want to investigate it."

According to ESPN.com, Davis left his meeting with the Eagles without an offer, and one didn't seem imminent.

Vinny Cerrato, vice president of football operations for the Redskins, told Comcast SportsNet through a spokesman that the club was contacted by a representative for Davis but was currently evaluating the running backs on its roster.

Ladell Betts has assumed the No. 1 role in Portis' absence. Portis is expected to miss the rest of the preseason, and his status for the team's Sept. 11 season opener is in the air.

Since Davis was cut by the Panthers and a settlement was reached on his contract, the team would not be liable to pay him if he tried out for another team and was later cut. That means Davis likely would have to seek more than a one-year deal or one laden with incentives.

Davis spent the first seven years of his 10-year career with the Redskins, rushing for more than 1,300 yards in three straight seasons (1999 to 2001) and scoring 33 touchdowns in that span, including 17 in 1999. For his career, the 6-foot, 230-pound tailback has rushed for 7,875 yards and 65 touchdowns.

A three-time Pro Bowl player, Davis last had a productive year in 2003, when he rushed for 1,444 yards and helped lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl.

don.markus@baltsun.com

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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