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Wycheck heads backs to practice NFL TRAINING CAMP REPORT


CARLISLE, Pa. -- Armed with a new helmet, Frank Wycheck returned to the practice field yesterday eager to resume his quest for a starting job with the Washington Redskins.

Although he won't be allowed to participate in contact work until Monday after suffering a concussion last Friday, the former University of Maryland player isn't worried about the latest injury.

"It was just a fluke thing" he said. "They did every test possible you could do for it. I think I'll be fine in a couple of days. It's nothing real serious."

Since Wycheck suffered a concussion at the start of last season and missed the first six games, the Redskins were concerned when he was dinged again last Friday and became ill that night.

When he reported to the training room Saturday morning with a severe headache, the Redskins decided to send him to the hospital.

Although he was allowed to return to practice yesterday, the doctors decided he should wear a helmet with more padding as a precaution and be limited to non-contact work until Monday.

"It's a thicker shell. It'll help, I guess," Wycheck said of the new helmet.

Wycheck stresses that he wasn't really sidelined with a concussion for six weeks last year. He said the concussion cleared up in a week, but the Redskins didn't activate him until the seventh week.

As long as he doesn't get another concussion this year, he won't worry about the problem.

"If I get drilled the same way and it happens again, then there are some serious questions," he said.

Meanwhile, he's more concerned about trying to win the starting fullback job in coach Norv Turner's offense. His main competition is Brian Mitchell for the role of being the Redskins' version of the Dallas Cowboys' Daryl Johnston.

"When you're mentioned as possibly the next Daryl Johnston, you sort of lick your chops and are thankful for the opportunity," he said.

Colts: Alberts deal on hold

Linebacker Trev Alberts, the fifth overall pick in the draft, signed a six-year deal with Indianapolis on Monday, but the NFL rejected the contract yesterday because of a questionable clause.

Alberts was the player who got caught in the cross fire between ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. and Indianapolis Colts director of football operations Bill Tobin.

When the Colts traded up from the seventh to the fifth spot and drafted Alberts, Kiper criticized the Colts for not taking quarterback Trent Dilfer, who went to Tampa Bay with the next pick.

Once the contract is settled, it will be up to Alberts to vindicate Tobin. Coach Ted Marchibroda has penciled him in as the starter at left linebacker, replacing Duane Bickett, who was released.

"He's a 60-minute football player who plays sideline to sideline," Marchibroda said of Alberts.

Seahawks: Ex-Bills jinxed?

It may be a while before Seattle signs another free agent from the Buffalo Bills.

They signed two Bills cornerbacks this year, Nate Odomes and Kirby Jackson, and they're both out for the season with knee injuries. Odomes went down in an off-season basketball game and Jackson tore a knee ligament in practice Friday.

Last season, the Seahawks signed guard Mitch Frerotte from Buffalo and he missed the year with a bone spur in his back, but he's back this year competing for a job.

The other Bills player Seattle signed, offensive tackle Howard Ballard, is sidelined with a left ankle injury, but is expected to return soon.

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