ASHBURN, Va. -- Mark Rypien apparently passed his first practice test yesterday, but Redskins coach Richie Petitbon still appears worried about his quarterback situation.
Petitbon closed practice to reporters so they couldn't watch Rypien practice with a custom-designed brace on his right leg for the first time since he injured his knee in Week 2 against Phoenix.
Rypien said he has a "reasonably good shot" of starting Sunday against the New York Giants and added yesterday, "Thursday will be a better indication of how the recovery is. Today, I was a little hesitant. Tonight, hopefully, there won't be any swelling. I'll push it a little bit more tomorrow and I think it'll work itself out."
Petitbon opened his post-practice news conference by saying he wasn't going to answer any questions about the quarterbacks.
His only attempt at humor came when asked if it might give the team more incentive to play a division rival such as the Giants.
"If I could pick the schedule, I think I'd pick Maryland right now," he said. The Terps lost to Penn State, 70-7, last Saturday.
When asked about how he thought Rypien looked, Petitbon said: "He took snaps and we're happy with that. I don't know if it means anything. We just want to find out whether his knee holds up. Obviously, if he's ready, he's going to play.
When asked which quarterback worked out as the backup, he said, "Let me say this again: I'm not going to make any comment on the quarterbacks. If you want to talk about anything else, we're open, OK?"
Why did he close practice? "I think we need more focus. I think it's a way to get away from distractions. I think it helps our concentration."
He then added, "Besides that, you don't like practice anyway. It gives you something to complain about."
When told it gave the impression that he was uptight about the situation, Petitbon said, "If that's the case, I'm just trying to do you a favor."
He also dodged a question on whether there was a lot of pressure on Rypien if he plays. "I'm not going to get into that," he said.
Cary Conklin, who was benched Monday night against the Miami Dolphins and demoted to third string, worked only with the scout team on the Giants' plays while Rypien and Gannon took the offensive snaps.
When Petitbon was asked if he was leery of young quarterbacks in general or just unhappy with Conklin, he said, "That's a philosophical question. I don't see any point in answering that."
Conklin admitted he was unhappy with the situation, but added, "Hey, everybody in this room is probably not happy about their situation. A lot of guys want to play more."
Conklin knew he was out of favor when the Redskins traded for Gannon in August.
"I'm not stupid. When something like that happens, it doesn't look too favorable for you. It's a long year. I'm going to keep a good attitude," he said.
Conklin will be a free agent at the end of the season, but wouldn't discuss whether he'll try to leave.
"I think it's too early to talk about that. A lot of things could happen. I'm not going to comment on that, but you have to be aware of those things [free agency] and look to the future, too," he said.
NOTES: Four of the Redskins' nine defensive linemen -- Charles Mann (knee), Eric Williams (knee, hip), Shane Collins (foot) and Bobby Wilson (knee) -- didn't practice, and only Wilson has a good chance of playing Sunday. TE Ron Middleton (back) and WR Tim McGee (heel) also didn't practice, but may return today.