Redskins Report

Corner Fred Smoot will need a ''miracle'' to feel better by Sunday, Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said, making him doubtful for the season finale.

Smoot left Redskins Park early and is still feeling the effects of the kidney injury suffered against Dallas on Sunday. But the real surprise is linebacker Marcus Washington, who is questionable with a knee injury. He hurt the knee against Dallas, but was not included on the injury report until Wednesday. Also, corner Shawn Springs (foot) and tackle Chris Samuels (ankle) are probable. Springs did not practice today.

If Smoot and Washington can't play, they would join the list of other starters already out, including running back Clinton Portis. He, linebacker LaVar Arrington and corner Ade Jimoh were placed on injured reserve today.

. . . Gibbs is already laying the groundwork for next season, having a long talk with one unnamed player two weeks ago. The message? He told the player he had Pro Bowl ability, but was not coming close to living up to it. This was not a new message, but this player had better take heed of the words because his career could be cut short otherwise.

Though Gibbs would not say who it was, there's only a couple guys he could be talking about -- Rod Gardner or Derrick Dockery. Our guess is it's the latter. They were high on him before the season, but Dockery remains inconsistent, looking like a first-round pick one play and a fifth-round pick the next.

. . . Gibbs also will be clear what he expects from the players this offseason. He wants them in town and working out.

''If they're not here in the times that we recommend for them to be here, I don't care who it is, they're making a statement,'' Gibbs said. ''If they make that statement, we'll act accordingly. I can't count on someone who's not around here.''

. . . The Redskins' coaching staff figured Ladell Betts was only capable of playing on third downs. They've changed their opinion after watching him play. Betts will start ahead of Clinton Portis against the Vikings on Sunday.

Gibbs started changing his mind after a preseason game in which Betts ran hard on several 40 Gut calls.

''I look at him going good and that sucker slammed it in there,'' Gibbs said. ''Then I look at him on special teams and he was our personal protector, making calls. Then you see him running back kicks. You want to see someone test their intestinal fortitude, run back a kick in the NFL. You've got a chance to get hit by someone running 50 yards. And now you see him slamming it. Last week when Clinton Portis went out, in my opinion Ladell was slamming it. He's already shown me a completely different side of what I thought I would see.''

Gibbs also said Rock Cartwright might get a few carries Sunday.

. . . For Minnesota, CB Ralph Brown (eye) is out; CB Antoine Winfield (ankle), QB Daunte Culpepper (illness) and TE Jermaine Wiggins (illness) are probable. The latter three did not practice today.


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