Notes: Any Fire Behind Patten Trade Smoke?

When David Patten missed practice today, the speculation began. Especially because Atlanta needs a receiver.

And especially because the Falcons have a running back the Redskins supposedly are interested in.

But the rumor died quickly: Patten simply had a bruised thigh. That means another day passed without the Redskins making a deal for T.J. Duckett, the Falcons' back who is on the market. Washington is reportedly one of four teams interested in him.

However, coach Joe Gibbs said they've talked to numerous teams about various players.

''At this point, you have all kinds of names thrown around,'' Gibbs said.

The other question is this: what would a trade for Duckett suggest? That the Redskins are more worried about Clinton Portis' shoulder than they've let on? That they lack confidence in Ladell Betts as a short-yardage back?

All Gibbs would say is, ''We like our running backs.''


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