ASHBURN, Va. - The more Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier talks about Patrick Ramsey's sore right hand, the more pessimistic he becomes about Ramsey's status for Saturday's preseason game against the Ravens at FedEx Field.
Ramsey, who did not practice yesterday, bruised the knuckles on his throwing hand when he banged it against another player's helmet during Saturday's 20-13 loss to the New England Patriots.
Asked about the possibility of Ramsey starting against the Ravens, Spurrier at first painted a rosy picture, saying, "X-rays were negative. ... [It's] a little swollen, and he should be fine."
A few minutes later, Spurrier expressed reservations about Ramsey starting saying, "He couldn't even hold the ball today. So I doubt it."
Finally, Spurrier wrapped up his news conference by acknowledging that he won't be certain about Ramsey's status until the end of the week and that the offense may have to turn to backups Rob Johnson and Danny Wuerffel to split the snaps on Saturday.
For his part, Ramsey, who looked more comfortable in one half against New England, said he is optimistic about playing against the Ravens.
"We just decided that rather than making it worse, we were going to try to sit out and let it heal up today," said Ramsey, who has completed 15 of 30 passes for 206 yards and no touchdowns, been sacked three times and thrown one interception. "I'm hoping and expecting to play Saturday."
In other injury news, offensive tackle Chris Samuels skipped practice as he was still dealing with dizziness connected to the heat-related illness he suffered during the game against the Patriots.
Left guard Randy Thomas and middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter were held out to rest their surgically repaired knees. Running back Ladell Betts (elbow) and wide receiver Darnerien McCants (hamstring) returned to full-contact practice.
While team officials continue to talk to the Denver Broncos about a possible trade for defensive tackle and former Raven Lional Dalton, the search for Brandon Noble's replacement hit full stride.
Bernard Holsey, who spent last season as a member of the Patriots and the Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League before being signed by the Redskins last month, got a first look with a starting line of tackle Jermaine Haley and ends Regan Upshaw and Renaldo Wynn during yesterday's practice.
Later, Wynn moved inside and joined Peppi Zellner, while Upshaw and Bruce Smith manned the ends.
"We suffered a tough injury in there with Brandon Noble," defensive coordinator George Edwards said of the former Dallas Cowboys tackle, who was lost for the season after he suffered a dislocated kneecap and three torn ligaments in his left knee during the first quarter of Saturday's game.
"We've moved some guys around," Edwards said.
In another setback for the defensive line, backup Bernard Jackson will miss several weeks due to a high left ankle sprain suffered against New England.
NOTES: Ifeanyi Ohalete could move ahead of David Terrell for the starting free safety role Saturday. Terrell, who was picked by the Redskins in the seventh round of the 1998 draft, has started every game for the past two seasons but was burned for an 85-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to David Patten on Saturday. ... Spurrier said Lennie Friedman would start at center against the Ravens in place of Wilbert Brown. ... The team waived defensive back Rashidi Barnes and punter Brent Bartholomew.
St. Louis 26, Tampa Bay 16
Dallas at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.
New England at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Atlanta at Miami, 8 p.m.
Minnesota at Oakland, 9 p.m.
Chicago at Arizona, 10:30 p.m.
Ravens at Washington, 8 p.m.
St. Louis at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Cleveland at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Tennessee at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.
Carolina at Green Bay, 8 p.m.
Jacksonville at Tampa Bay, 8 p.m.
San Diego at Houston, 8:30 p.m.
New Orleans at San Francisco, 9 p.m.
Kansas City at Seattle, 10 p.m.