Redskins lose top running back, WR

ASHBURN, Va. — From healthy, first-place surprise to battered and struggling, the Washington Redskins had their fortunes take another dive Monday when running back Tim Hightower was declared out for the season with a torn knee ligament and receiver Santana Moss underwent hand surgery that is expected to sideline him for 5-7 weeks.

That makes five starters lost to significant injuries over the last two weeks, coinciding with a two-game losing streak and a quarterback switch.

The Redskins (3-3), sitting so pretty after winning three of their first four, are on their heels. Little seems to be going right, and some of the misfortune is truly out of the norm. London Fletcher — who has never missed a game in his 14-year NFL career — has a hamstring injury that might finally get him off the field, and demoted quarterback Rex Grossman is in the hospital with pneumonia.

"We've got a lot of young players," coach Mike Shanahan said. "We're going to get a chance to see how much talent they do (have), and how quickly they can improve.

"And, hopefully, it's quick."

Hightower is the team's leading rusher. Moss is the top wideout. With the injury-induced shuffling along the offensive line, there are now only four offensive starters — tight end Fred Davis, receiver Jabar Gaffney, right guard Chris Chester and right tackle Jammal Brown — still manning their same positions from the beginning of the season.


At Detroit, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been listed as "day-to-day" after suffering an ankle injury, head coach Jim Schwartz said Monday.

The news was slightly reassuring after initial reports indicated Stafford suffered an injury to his ankle and knee during Detroit's last offensive play in Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

The Lions signal caller was scheduled to undergo an MRI Monday, but Schwartz refused to divulge details, saying only that Stafford's knee was not a problem.

"He went home yesterday in a boot for his ankle, and he's no more than day-to-day," Schwartz said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "We'll see where he is on Wednesday and, hopefully, we can get him out on the practice field. He's got an ankle; knee's not an issue."

In declining to expound on Stafford's MRI, Schwartz said, "If he had a broken bone or something like that, he'd be more than day-to-day."

Meanwhile, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh on Monday dismissed claims by two Falcons players that he taunted Atlanta's Matt Ryan while the quarterback was on the ground in pain.

Ryan fell awkwardly after tripping over his teammate, offensive tackle Will Svitek, with 10:13 left in the third quarter of the Falcons' 23-16 win at Detroit, and immediately grabbed his left knee in obvious pain.

Center Todd McClure and wide receiver Roddy White told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Suh and defensive end Cliff Avril trash-talked Ryan and kicked at his feet.

"I had respect for Suh before the game," said McClure. "But when Matt was on the ground, the things he was saying and the trash he was talking was definitely uncalled for. There are certain things you don't do. He said, 'Get the cart,' and several other things that I can't repeat."

Ryan did not turn out to be seriously hurt and only missed two plays.


At Eden Prairie, Minn., Vikings cornerback Chris Cook will remain behind bars for at least one more night after authorities in Minnesota failed to forward his pending assault case to the attorney's office, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Cook could be released today if police fail to file formal charges against the Vikings defensive back, who was booked Saturday on probable cause for felony domestic assault/strangulation and misdemeanor domestic assault.

Cook, 24, was arrested around 2:10 a.m. local time Saturday after a neighbor called 911 to report screaming coming from Cook's home in Eden Prairie, Minn.

The identity and condition of the victim were yet to be released.

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