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News & Notes: Griffin's Status Uncertain

Cornelius Griffin is expected to test his injured hip on Wednesday, but his availability for this weekend's game against Tampa Bay remains uncertain, team officials said.

Griffin, whose status is day-to-day, will likely not participate in practice on Wednesday but will instead start light running under the supervision of athletic trainers, head coach Joe Gibbs said.

A decision on whether he can play against Tampa Bay won't be made until later this week or possibly on game day.

Griffin sat out Sunday's win over the Eagles. Defensive coaches used an assortment of lineman to replace him, from shifting defensive end Demetric Evans over to tackle to giving untested rookie Aki Jones a chance to make an impact.

Meantime, the Redskins emerged from the Philadelphia game without any new injuries, aside from some bumps and bruises. "First time in a long time that's happened," head athletic trainer John Burrell said on Monday.

Tight end Robert Royal also sat out the Eagles game due to a calf injury, but it is expected that he will participate in practice this week.

Left tackle Chris Samuels and defensive tackle Joe Salave'a made it through the game without aggravating prior injuries. Samuels had a knee injury while Salave'a continues to play through a lingering heel injury.

For their efforts in getting the injured players ready for the Eagles game, Burrell and the athletic trainers were given a game ball by Gibbs.

"We had about 10 guys on our team bounce back from injuries, come in the game and play extremely well for us," Gibbs said on Monday. "We thought that was a real plus for us. It says a lot about the physical nature of our team and the character of our team.

-- WINNING THE CLOSE ONES

The Redskins are at the mid-point of the NFL season, holding a 5-3 record. The team is in second place in the NFC East by virtue of the team's Week 2 win over the Dallas Cowboys, who are also 5-3.

With the exception of a two-week span in which the Redskins outscored San Francisco 52-17 and then lost to the New York Giants 36-0, six of the Redskins' eight games this year have been decided by a touchdown or less. That trend seems to follow last year, when 10 of the Redskins' games were decided by a touchdown or less.

The difference this season? The Redskins are winning the close games. Washington is 4-2 in games decided by a touchdown or less.

"I would hope it is because of some of the players we added," head coach Joe Gibbs explained. "They are making key plays. When you start winning some close ones, it seems like the momentum swings. You start feeling like you're going to win them."

Added quarterback Mark Brunell: "When the other teams score and start building momentum, we don't get down. We keep fighting and we stay focused. We learned some tough lessons last year after some really difficult losses in tight games. We fought hard every week. This year, we're finding a way to win."

-- UNBEATEN AT FEDEXFIELD

The Redskins are 4-0 at FedExField so far this season and more people are becoming convinced that the 9-year-old stadium has developed into a bona fide home field advantage.

Count the Redskins players among them.

"This has been the loudest stadium I've been in all year," linebacker LaVar Arrington said. "Kansas City was loud and New York was loud, but it doesn't even compare to how loud our fans have been all year. When our fans are that loud, it really makes a difference."

Added Jansen, who has played seven seasons at FedExField: "We're trying to make it the toughest place to play in the NFL. The fans have been a huge part of that. If we can get eight wins at home and then win a couple on the road, you're talking about at least 10 wins. You're talking about the playoffs."

-- KEASEY BACK

The Redskins brought back linebacker Zak Keasey to the team's practice squad, signing the Princeton rookie on Monday.

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