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News & Notes: Bowen Improving

Safety Matt Bowen is improving after suffering a chest injury during Friday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Bowen suffered the injury while trying to tackle Steelers running back Jerome Bettis in the first quarter. He was transported to a local hospital and remained there overnight.

It is expected that Bowen will be released from the hospital on Sunday morning.

"He's going to stay in the hospital one more night, but they feel comfortable he's going to bounce back from it pretty quick," head coach Joe Gibbs said on Saturday. "It's not something serious--that's what they think right now."

Bowen had started Friday night's game in place of Ryan Clark, who is nursing a knee injury.

Bowen had just returned from a knee injury that forced him to sit out the Aug. 19 preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

His availability for the preseason finale against Baltimore on Thursday, Sept. 1, is "hard to say right now," Gibbs said.

It seems likely that team officials will hold the five-year veteran out as a precautionary measure.

Ladell Betts sustained a calf injury in the second half of the Pittsburgh game. The injury is not considered serious.

The Redskins reported no other injuries following Friday's 17-10 preseason win over Pittsburgh.

Gibbs said that the team could be close to 100 percent for the Baltimore preseason finale. Safety Ryan Clark (knee), cornerback Walt Harris (calf), tight end Robert Royal (shoulder), punter Tom Tupa (back) and wide receiver Taylor Jacobs (toe injury) sat out the Steelers game.

-- TUPA'S STATUS

Tupa missed his second consecutive game with a back injury. The 17-year veteran suffered the injury during pre-game warm-ups of the Aug. 19 game against Cincinnati.

Gibbs indicated the team could be forced to keep two punters on the roster if Tupa is not ready to start the regular season. Tupa was one of the league's best punters in 2004 and releasing him could be risky.

"[Special teams coordinator] Danny Smith and I have talked our way through that and I don't think I can give a definite answer," Gibbs said. "We're just waiting to see how Tom feels. We're looking at all options there.

"That's a critical deal for us there because Tom is a punter and holder. We'll consider everything there while we're waiting on Tom to get back."

Andy Groom, a first-year punter out of Ohio State, has replaced Tupa in both preseason games. On Friday, Groom punted seven times for a 39.3-yard average. He had a long of 52 yards.

"Andy has punted well," Gibbs said.

-- HAWKINS RELEASED

As expected, the Redskins came to an injury settlement with cornerback Artrell Hawkins and officially released the 7-year veteran on Saturday.

Hawkins missed most of training camp and all three preseason games with a hamstring injury.

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