Bone bruise still limiting quarterback

Still limited by a deep bone bruise that has shown little improvement in recent days, Washington Redskins starting quarterback Patrick Ramsey had his right foot immobilized in a cast Wednesday, and is also wearing a protective "walking" boot.

Ramsey, who has started every game for the Redskins in his second year but was forced to exit last Sunday night's game at Miami in the second quarter, is officially listed as "doubtful" on the NFL injury report. But league sources told ESPN.com that, as Ramsey was insisting on Wednesday that he could play this Sunday against New Orleans even if he didn't practice, he almost certainly will miss one or two games.

"We're going to see how if feels at the end of the week," Ramsey said.

The second-year veteran, and the team's first-round choice in the 2002 draft, Ramsey did not practice in any "team" segments last week and still started. He intends to sit in on all the film sessions this week as well.

But the foot hasn't gotten any better and Ramsey is being advised, sources said, to take some time off.

That would mean Tim Hasselbeck, signed last month, will get his first regular-season start against the Saints. Hasselbeck completed 15 of 30 passes for 150 yards on Sunday night in the most extensive action of his career.

The former Boston College standout, signed as a free agent after an impressive workout for Redskins personnel department officials, led Washington on three straight scoring drives against the imposing Miami defense. Team officials were pleased with his poise, arm strength, and ability to read secondary coverages.

"I always felt I could move the ball," said Hasselbeck, who figures to be the Redskins' primary backup in 2004. "Playing on Sunday gave me some confidence and, hopefully, my teammates are a little more confident in me, too."

Ramsey has said that, as a young quarterback still learning his craft, he would be opposed to sitting out the rest of this season. But on Wednesday afternoon, he acknowledged for the first time that he will consider that option, if his foot does not improve.

"The only time I feel that's something I want to do is if we go a few weeks into this cast and things just don't get any better," Ramsey said. "Then you're looking at just a few weeks left in the season and how much longer it's going to take for me to get better."