Redskins Park Update: Thursday

Left guard Dave Fiore continues to say he feels OK and is improving. But he still can't practice and he also underwent an MRI on his right knee to determine if there was any damage, possibly explaining his inability to play. Fiore injured his knee a year ago, but hasn't practiced in three weeks.

Fiore said the MRI showed no structural damage and still says he hopes to play Sunday.

But today he was walking with a slight limp as he entered the building, not the walk of someone who is improving. That means rookie Derrick Dockery likely would start against the Eagles.

Fiore's condition also leaves one to wonder: if the rookie keeps playing well, why not leave him in and have Fiore as the primary backup? That way he could get healthy and there's not a constant change at left guard.

. . . Corner Rashad Bauman practiced and should be fine for Sunday. End Renaldo Wynn returned to practice after missing one day for personal reasons.

. . . Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter was the subject of much attention yesterday for obvious reasons. He'll play at Philly for the first time since leaving there as a free agent following the 2001 season. Trotter was hurt when Washington played at Philly last December.

But Trotter said playing there holds nothing special for him.

``Washington is my home,'' he said. ``I'm happy here.''

Trotter, though, admitted that he hasn't fully recovered from his knee surgery late last year.

``I'm 75 to 80 percent,'' Trotter said, ``if that. You just have to keep fighting through it. I know things will get better. That's all I can do. You never know if it'll come back this year. It's always different and it's all about how smart you are. I hope it does. But it's getting better.''

He notices certain plays he once made are hard to make. For now.

``It's just my explosion,'' he said. ``It's not there. And when your explosion isn't there it takes away from your athletic ability a little bit.''

. . . Redskins coach Steve Spurrier said he'll probably keep five receivers active again. But here's the thing: Taylor Jacobs was No. 5 last week and doesn't do anything on special teams. The Redskins can't afford that. They have one of the smallest coverage units in the NFL because they have only one linebacker (Antonio Pierce) in kick coverage. They need to have either Orantes Grant or Lemar Marshall active (or Kevin Mitchell fully healthy; he has a hamstring injury).

. . . Bad timing award: To the aforementioned Orantes Grant. Here's what he wore to Redskins Park today: a throwback Phillies jacket and baseball cap. It's a different sport, but . . .

. . . Cubs fan Matt Bowen was peeved that his baseball team blew it against the Braves Wednesday night. He was also irked (not in a bad way, no controversy here) that teammate Renaldo Wynn was jumping on the Cubs' bandwagon. Wynn showed up in a Cubs jersey the other day. Thing is, Wynn attended high school across the field from Comiskey Park. Bowen grew up a Cubs fan and said, ``I hate the White Sox.''

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