The lack of proven tackles prompted assistant head coach Gregg Williams to joke that three-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker LaVar Arrington would finally return to the starting lineup for Sunday's critical NFC East showdown against Philadelphia ... at tackle.
Despite the likely absence of Griffin with a hip flexor and the tenuous health of the right foot of Salave'a, Arrington won't start inside, but he could well replace Warrick Holdman on the weak side or be the fourth linebacker in a 3-4 alignment.
Arrington took over for Holdman in the second half of last week's stunning 36-0 loss to the New York Giants. Williams expects Salave'a and Daniels, who sprained his left ankle in last week's 36-0 loss to the New York Giants, to practice on Friday and face the Eagles.
While Arrington won't play tackle, Daniels, Wynn and backup end Demetric Evans might. When Griffin and Salavea went down at New York and with backup tackles Cedric Killings (ankle) and Aki Jones (hamstring) inactive, Evans, who hadn't played more than 18 snaps in any previous game this year, played more than that at the unfamiliar inside spot alone and responded with eight tackles and a sack. Evans, who was solid in seven starts at end when Daniels was hurt last year, hadn't even seen practice time at tackle this fall before last week.
"That's why the off-season practices are so important," Williams said. "Demetric took a lot of snaps (at tackle then). Those are snaps that will come back to help us when we're throwing him into the heat of battle. I was really pleased with how Demetric did last week."
Evans, who jump-started his career in NFL Europe in the winter of 2004, knows that versatility makes him more valuable.
"It makes me have to study more and watch more film, but hopefully I'm showing the coaches I can play more than one position," Evans said. "In this game, you never know when your opportunity is going to come so you have to be ready."
--DT Cornelius Griffin didn't practice for a second straight day because of a strained hip flexor and likely won't play Sunday against Philadelphia.
--DT Joe Salave'a didn't practice for a second straight day because of an ailing right foot but could return on Friday and start against the Eagles.
--T Chris Samuels didn't practice for a second straight day because of a sprained right knee but expects to start against Philadelphia.
--DE Phillip Daniels didn't practice for a second straight day because of a sprained ankle but is expected to practice Friday and play Sunday.
--TE Robert Royal didn't practice for a second straight day because of two strained calves but is expected to be ready for Sunday.
--FS Sean Taylor didn't practice because of an ailing ankle but is expected to work on Friday and play on Sunday.