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NFL

Redskins tell rookie safety to stay away

By wire services
Published October 30, 2004

WASHINGTON - A day after skipping practice following his arrest on a drunken driving charge, Redskins rookie safety Sean Taylor was granted an excused absence Friday. In fact, the team told him to stay away until Monday.

Taylor will be inactive for Sunday's game against the Packers, the fallout from being charged with driving under the influence and refusing a Breathalyzer test after being stopped by a Virginia trooper early Thursday.

Taylor was not at Redskins Park for Friday's practice. Coach Joe Gibbs said the No. 5 overall draft pick will not be at today's walkthrough or Sunday's game.

"He's not going to play this weekend, so I think it's good for him from a standpoint of media attention for the team and all that kind of stuff," Gibbs said. "It'd be better for the rest of us to spend the rest of the week concentrating on Green Bay."

The Redskins have to handle Taylor's situation carefully because they can't directly punish him over the charges unless he admits to them or is found guilty. However, Gibbs can penalize Taylor for missing Thursday's practice and team meetings without notice.

Taylor was stopped by a state trooper around 2:45 a.m. Thursday. The whole episode violated the No. 1 rule Gibbs gave his players at the beginning of the season: Don't embarrass the Redskins.

"I realize we're dealing with young guys," Gibbs said. "They make mistakes. In general, we trust them. They're real professional. You've got to be smart. You've got a lot of time to vacation, be with your family or whatever. During the season it's the time when you're trying to be focused on football."

TITANS QUESTIONABLE: Injuries again kept quarterback Steve McNair and running back Chris Brown out of practice, casting doubt on their availability Sunday against the Bengals.

McNair, who has a bruised chest, and Brown, who has turf toe, had been expected to participate on a limited basis after being held out of practice the previous two days.

Both are listed as questionable on the official injury report, though coach Jeff Fisher said both had improved.

"We had hoped to have (McNair) soft toss and had hoped to get Chris out there. It just didn't work out," Fisher said.

McNair has missed one game this season and failed to finish two others because of chest pain.

Brown, the AFC's third-leading rusher with 663 yards on 134 attempts, has failed to finish three games this season because of a problem with his left ankle. He was diagnosed with turf toe after Sunday's loss at Minnesota.

CARDINALS: Offensive line coach Bob Wylie was reassigned to scouting duties and first-year assistant Everett Lindsay was promoted. There was no immediate word Friday from Cardinals head coach Dennis Green on why the switch was made heading into Sunday's game at Buffalo.

CHARGERS: Running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who has been bothered by a strained groin the last three games and failed to gain more than 65 yards in any, practiced and is expected to start against the Raiders on Sunday.

JAGUARS: Running back Fred Taylor was upgraded to probable and should start at Houston despite a leg injury. Taylor returned to practice Thursday after sitting out a day with a strained quadriceps muscle.

SEAHAWKS: Punter Tom Rouen, who has not played since injuring his right hamstring in Seattle's 33-27 loss to the Rams on Oct. 10, was placed on injured reserve.

VIKINGS: Receiver Randy Moss was upgraded to probable for Sunday's game against the Giants after participating in an entire practice for the first time in nearly two weeks. "That's big," coach Mike Tice said.

[Last modified October 30, 2004, 01:58:19]


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