Smoot has broken, not sprained, sternum

Updated: October 15, 2003, 8:09 PM ET
Associated Press

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot will be sidelined two to three weeks with a broken sternum, while running back Trung Canidate and guard Dave Fiore are also expected to miss Sunday's game against Buffalo.

Smoot's injury was initially diagnosed as a sprained joint next to the collarbone, but the fracture was detected Wednesday. Smoot also has a deep chest bruise, the result of his tackle on receiver Keyshawn Johnson in last weekend's loss to Tampa Bay.

The Redskins have a bye following the Buffalo game, giving Smoot and the other injured players extra time to recover for a Nov. 2 game at Dallas.

Rashad Bauman will make his first NFL start in Smoot's place.

Canidate, the team's leading rusher, has a severe ankle sprain. He is listed as doubtful and sounded pessimistic about his chances of playing.

"It's one of those things where you definitely need time," Canidate said.

Ladell Betts will start at running back Sunday, and rookie Sultan McCullough could be active for the first time this season as the backup.

Fiore said he might have surgery later this week to clean up his knee, which is still sore from season-ending surgery a year ago. He has missed three straight games and is doubtful for Sunday, but he sounded confident he could return for the Dallas game.

"We want to try to take advantage of this time with the bye coming up," Fiore said.

Meanwhile, defensive tackle Jermaine Haley was also contemplating surgery after his sprained thumb was aggravated in the Tampa Bay game. Haley is listed as questionable.

"It kind of flared up on me," Haley said.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press