The gamesmanship in D.C. already has hit high gear in advance of Sunday night’s Cowboys-Redskins game, which in case you didn’t know it (and even if you did) will be televised by NBC.
Though quarterback Donovan McNabb widely is expected to play despite an ankle injury, coach Mike Shanahan officially has listed him as questionable, which means there’s a 50-percent chance McNabb will play, and a 50-percent chance that he won’t play.
McNabb obtained the designation despite fully participating in practice all week. Ordinarily, players who fully participate in practice despite an injury are listed as probable.
To make the situation even more confusing, coach Mike Shanahan declared on Wednesday that McNabb will play, two days before essentially telling the football-following world to flip a coin. “Yeah, he’s ready to go,” Shanahan said in comments distributed by the team. “He’s had two good days under his belt. I
think he feels a lot better. Again, those two days in. He was able to
get a little workout with that ankle. He had a good practice today.”
None of the injured Redskins have received the “probable” designation in Week One; tackle Jammal Brown (hip), linebacker Andre Carter (illness), linebacker Perry Riley (foot), running back Mike Sellers (knee), and McNabb are all questionable, and safety Kareem Moore (knee) is doubtful.
For the Cowboys, three players are out: tackle Marc Colombo (knee), guard Kyle Kosier (knee), and tackle Sam Young (knee). Safety Gerald Sensabaugh (shoulder) is probable.
In the end, it will be a major surprise if McNabb doesn’t play. But if for some reason he doesn’t, if Shanahan’s comments from Wednesday were aimed solely at making the Cowboys think that he’ll be on the field when in fact he won’t, the Redskins apparently have protected themselves by listing him as questionable.