While last week's audition of quarterback Rex Grossman did not get Washington a 'W,' it did give the offense a shot in the arm that they hope to build on.
Rex rolled up four touchdowns and 322 passing yards in last week's loss to Dallas. As impressive as his stat-line was Grossman's ability to engineer and maintain drives, something the Redskin's offense has struggled with the entire season.
The patchwork defensive unit may get a reprieve this Sunday, because the NFL's second-leading rusher was listed as doubtful on Friday. Maurice Jones-Drew, who has made mince-meat of many a stout defense, has been hampered by a knee injury that kepy him from practicing all week.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Redskins added a pair of free agents to plug hole in the secondary and on the line. Sha'reff Rashad, in his second year out of Central Florida, will come off the couch to play safety. With defensive end Kedric Gholston on injured reserve and gone for the year, the Skins also picked up rookie Joe Joseph to play on the defensive line. Both players spent time on the New York Giants practice squad.
If MJD does not play, Jacksonville's playoff hopes will ride on the arm of 9-year pro David Garrard. In 14 games, he has already piled up more touchdowns this year (22) than he has in any other season. London Fletcher and the Washington linebacker corps will hope to have better success against Marcedes Lewis than they did against Jason Witten last week. Lewis is one of Garrard's favorite targets, with nine touchdown catches this year.
Jacksonville needs to win their final two games and hope the Colts drop one of their final two games in order to get in to the postseason.
On the line for the Redskins? Jobs.
Injured running back Clinton Portis said in his weekly radio appearance on 106.7 that the McNabb benching had other veterans on the team scared.
The Washington Post reported that Coach Mike Shanahan responded after Wednesday's practice.
"We're going to play the best players regardless of how much money they make or where they're drafted," Shanahan said. "We're trying to evaluate the best players. I think Clinton better worry about his stomach and getting well."