Hurting Brunell: 'I've got a ways to go'

Updated: September 21, 2004, 8:38 PM ET
Associated Press

ASHBURN, Va. -- Struggling quarterback Patrick Ramsey will probably start next week for the Washington Redskins in place of Mark Brunell, who has a strained hamstring.

Patrick Ramsey
Washington Redskins
Att Comp PaTD RuTD Int Rat
18 9 1 0 3 55.6

And, defensive end Phillip Daniels is out at least two weeks with a strained groin.

The Redskins were counting injuries and miscues Monday, a day after committing seven turnovers a 20-14 loss to the New York Giants.

"You can't make those kind of mistakes," coach Joe Gibbs said. "We're so inconsistent over there. We make real good plays, and we come right back and throw the ball someplace where you just can't throw it."

Brunell and Ramsey accounted for five turnovers Sunday. Brunell lost a fumble and threw an interception before leaving the game with the hamstring injury in the third quarter, continuing a streak of uninspiring play that dates to the beginning of training camp.

Ramsey, meanwhile, threw three interceptions and continued to look as if he's been put totally out of kilter by the switch from departed coach Steve Spurrier's Fun 'n' Gun offense to Gibbs' more conservative approach.

But Brunell's injury makes Ramsey the likely starter next Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys. Gibbs said he would have to see Brunell "look real good in practice" this week to decide otherwise.

"We'll see how everything goes with Mark," Gibbs said. "If you had to guess right now, I'd say (Ramsey's) probably going to be playing Monday night."

Brunell said he felt better after receiving treatment Monday morning, but he added: "I've got a ways to go."

An already thin defensive line was dealt a blow with another injury to Daniels. The free agent signing from Chicago played in only one exhibition game because of an abdominal strain, and now he is off to see a specialist because of the groin injury.

Daniels is expected to miss two to four weeks.

"I've got to be smart and realize that the teams winning in November and December are the ones going to the playoffs, so they need me for the long haul," said Daniels, who walked gingerly out the front door of Redskins Park. "Hopefully I can get back soon."

The news was better for kicker John Hall, who has the rare of distinction of having two strained hamstrings at the same time. He hurt the hamstring in his non-kicking leg Sunday to match the injury in his other leg suffered in the opener against Tampa Bay, but Gibbs said neither injury would probably keep Hall from playing.

Despite Ramsey's struggles, Gibbs said he would not consider starting third-stringer Tim Hasselbeck against the Cowboys.

The quarterbacks certainly weren't the only players to blame. The entire team sputtered with sacks, penalties, drops and turnovers. It spoiled another good performance by the defense, which held the Giants to one touchdown and didn't commit a penalty.

Receiver Rod Gardner is in danger of re-earning his old nickname of "50-50," as in someone who alternates fantastic catches with careless drops. Running back Clinton Portis had gone 10 games without losing a fumble, but he lost two against the Giants.

"We've got to understand that we've got to be so much smarter," Gibbs said.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press