With Pierson Prioleau missing practice due to a sore hamstring and Ryan Clark just returning from a knee injury, Matt Bowen is expected to see plenty of playing time in this Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.
The seventh-year safety said he feels 100 percent healthy following last year's knee injury that sidelined him most of the season.
With Clark sidelined the first two weeks of the regular season, Bowen was listed as the backup to Prioleau on the team's depth chart. But Prioleau pulled his hamstring early in the game at Dallas and had to watch most of the Monday night affair.
Bowen stepped up and played most of the game, helping to shut down Keyshawn Johnson, the wide receiver Drew Bledsoe likes to pick out when things are going tough.
On Week 1, when the Cowboys outscored San Diego 28-24, Johnson had five catches, 65 yards and two touchdowns. This past weekend, he totaled five catches for 74 yards and a score.
It was a totally different picture for Johnson, though, in the Cowboys' Week 2 loss to the Redskins. With Bowen chasing him all over Texas Stadium, Johnson was limited to just two catches and 26 yards.
"Being able to keep Keyshawn under control was a real key for our defense," Bowen said. "He's Drew's go-to guy. You take away that combination, you have a good chance to beat the Cowboys."
This Sunday, Bowen will key on Seahawks' running back Shaun Alexander in run defense and wide receivers Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram in the passing game. Alexander had four touchdowns last week against Arizona and was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Regarding Alexander, Bowen said: "He doesn't get talked about a lot by fans or the media, but his peers in the league talk about him. We know what he can do."
-- INJURY UPDATE
Kicker John Hall, also listed as questionable, kicked some footballs under the guidance of athletic trainers, but he did not participate in practice either.
Asked how he felt after his workout, Hall said: "It felt good. I didn't feel any problems--no twinges or anything like that. It was good for my confidence, too, to know that I can go out there and swing my leg again and make contact."
Hall said he expects to progress every day. Head coach Joe Gibbs said that he wants Hall at 100 percent before permitting him to kick on game day.
"Obviously he's not in a position where we think he could kick for us right now, but he is kicking," Gibbs said. "Hopefully what he will do is increase his work and improve."
Added Hall: "I need to get out there--that's a given. But I don't want a setback either."
If Hall is unable to play, Nick Novak would kick on Sunday. He converted two extra points in his first NFL game, the Sept. 19 Monday nighter at Dallas.
Cornerback Walt Harris sat out Wednesday's practice with a calf injury and is listed as questionable for this Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Said Gibbs: "Walt feels like he's going to be okay."
Prioleau is also listed as questionable for the Seattle game.
Listed as probable for Sunday's game: Jon Jansen (thumbs), Sean Taylor (shoulder) and Lemar Marshall (groin).
-- TRADE RUMOR
Gibbs confirmed a news report that the Redskins had been approached by the New York Jets about obtaining quarterback Patrick Ramsey in a trade.
"There was no interest," Gibbs said.
-- PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE
The Redskins signed wide receiver Steven Harris and defensive back Curry Burns to the team's practice squad on Wednesday.
Harris, an undrafted rookie out of Arkansas, spent time with the Redskins during training camp but was released in preseason.
Burns is in his second NFL season. He played in nine games with the New York Giants last season, starting twice at free safety. He recorded 20 tackles and one interception. The Louisville product also played on special teams.
To make room for Harris and Burns on the practice squad, the Redskins released offensive lineman Jason Nerys and defensive back Charles Byrd.