Battered Rypien only has praise for makeshift line

MINNEAPOLIS — MINNEAPOLIS -- If it had been a prize fight, Mark Rypien would have lost by a TKO.

The Washington Redskins quarterback hit the deck at least 10 times even though he was sacked only twice yesterday in the 15-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.


After the game, he limped to his locker with a bandage around his knee and his elbow.

But Rypien isn't the type to criticize the offensive linemen, who had all kinds of problems handling the Minnesota defensive linemen.


The linemen didn't criticize Rypien for the two passes that were run back for touchdowns in the fourth quarter in Phoenix and he returned the favor.

"It was tough on our guys," Rypien said. "They played their hearts out and you're going against some of the best pass rush guys in the game. We're banged up pretty bad right now [three starters out], as bad as I've seen since I've been here, but we've got to keep on plugging."

Rypien hurt his knee in the second period, but he said he got it wrapped tightly by trainer Bubba Tyer.

Rypien also was dazed when he scrambled for a first down that set up Chip Lohmiller's game-winning field goal, but he said that's part of the game. "I had to try to get a first down to give us some breathing room. You've got to sell out in a situation like that," he said.

It was a critical victory because it was the Redskins' first on the road, boosted them to 5-2 and kept them one game behind the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East.

"We were just lucky to come away with a victory, very fortunate," Rypien said. "We got a group of guys who hung together during the tough times and got it done."

Despite all of the offense's woes, Rypien liked the fact the Redskins were able to run the ball.

"We're still doing the physical things well. We've just got to eliminate mistakes," he said.


Jacoby unsure about return

Offensive guard Joe Jacoby, who went out at the end of the first quarter with a pinched nerve in his neck, isn't sure how long he'll be out.

"I don't think it's that bad," he said. "We'll have to wait and see. It's too early to make a judgment."

Linebacker Andre Collins went out after the first series with back spasms and hopes rest will help.

Linebackers share praise

Linebacker Wilber Marshall continued to play well as he caused a fumble that Fred Stokes recovered and had seven tackles and a sack.


Marshall doesn't want to hear that he's playing better.

"I'm doing the same thing I always do. I'm just having fun," he said. "You need to talk to him [Kurt Gouveia]. He's the man who's playing well. There's no better middle linebacker in the league. Give him the credit."

Gouveia intercepted a pass, caused a fumble and had five tackles. On the interception, Rich Gannon threw the ball toward him when Terry Allen stopped on a pattern.

"I anticipated he would keep going," Gannon said.

Gouveia said, "I was just reading the quarterback's eyes. I think it was a miscue on Gannon's part.

Brown not too sick to help


Ray Brown, who replaced Jacoby at left guard despite an attack of the flu Saturday night, said he was still happy to get a shot.

"I welcome these opportunities. I think I did OK," he said. "In some instances, my game is still a story of peaks and valleys. I made some mistakes when I wasn't consistent. But I know I can work on them."

79 more for Byner

Earnest Byner remained on his 1,000-yard pace as he rushed 17 times for 79 yards to boost his season total to 510 yards.

"Obviously, we had to try to neutralize their rush and the only way to do it was to get some running," he said.

Byner said the Redskins were able to find the holes in the Vikings' aggressive defense. "I like to cut back if I see a crack," he said.


Green blames turnovers

Vikings coach Dennis Green said turnovers were a critical factor.

"Anybody who appreciates football would appreciate that one today. We were chasing them most of the day, but we didn't get it done. We played well enough to win against most teams. It was one of those games that wasn't quite there. When you turn the ball over, it's not going to help you," he said.

There's no place like dome

Even though the Redskins rarely play in domed stadiums, they have a knack for playing well in them under coach Joe Gibbs. They're 11-2 in domes under Gibbs and 4-0 in the Metrodome.