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Cartwright Is Questionable vs. Patriots

Kick return specialist Rock Cartwright, still recovering from a quad injury, is listed as questionable heading into this Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.

Cartwright did not sound optimistic about playing after sitting out Friday's practice, but he may warm up pre-game to get a better feel whether he can go.

"I'm not able to do what I normally do," Cartwright said. "As of right now, I don't know."

Cartwright suffered the injury last Sunday in the Redskins' 21-19 win over the Arizona Cardinals. He returned the second-half kickoff 80 yards but was tackled hard out of bounds.

Cartwright missed practice all this week. If he can't play, then the Redskins could use Ladell Betts and James Thrash on kick returns.

"He's questionable," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "We might warm him up on Sunday."

-- RABACH EXPECTS TO PLAY

Center Casey Rabach is expected back in the starting lineup this Sunday after missing the Cardinals game due to a groin injury. Officially, he is listed as probable.

Rabach will work against New England Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork, a 6-2, 325-pounder who 81 tackles last year. He has 4.5 career sacks.

"I've played against him before and he's a real good player," Rabach said. "He does what he needs to do in the run game and he keeps the linebackers free to make tackles."

Rabach expects an aggressive Patriots defense on Sunday.

"The way their offense is playing, their defense can just pin their ears back and rush the passer," he said. "We'll have to control the ball on offense to keep that explosive offense off the field. If we do that, we should be okay."

-- LOOKING AHEAD?

This week, some media have speculated that the New England Patriots might overlook the Redskins and look ahead to their Week 9 opponent, the undefeated Indianapolis Colts.

Chris Samuels hopes that's not the case.

"To be honest, I think we're good enough to beat anybody as long as we take care of our business," Samuels said. "So I hope they prepare for us and don't overlook us. I want them to bring their best game, and we're going to bring ours."

-- SMOOT, ROGERS BACK

The Redskins will need a healthy group of cornerbacks for Sunday's game against the high-powered Patriots.

So it was a positive development that both Fred Smoot and Carlos Rogers practiced fully on Friday. Smoot has a hamstring injury, while Rogers has a knee injury.

Both are listed as probable on the team's injury report.

One of the pre-game storylines will be how many defensive backs the Redskins activate for the Patriots. Coaches typically use five safeties and four cornerbacks, but they could add a fifth cornerback--David Macklin--for New England.

-- PATRIOTS INJURIES

Tom Brady has a shoulder injury. Any chance he'll sit ou Sunday's game? No. He is listed as probable on New England's injury report.

Of greater concern for the Patriots is the status of tight end Ben Watson, who has 18 catches and five touchdown catches this season.

Watson has an ankle injury that kept him from practicing with the Patriots this week. His status is questionable.

If Watson can't play, then veteran Kyle Brady will take his place in the lineup.

-- WET WEATHER

The Redskins practiced outside in steady rain all three days this week. The weather conditions for Sunday in Foxboro, Mass.? Sunny skies with a high of 60 degrees.

Joe Gibbs was asked if rainy practices made him wish for an indoor practice facility?

"No," he said. "You need to be outside. Football is an outdoor game."

Gibbs added: "I just think if we're out in it every day, we'll be better prepared no matter what the weather is."

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