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News & Notes: Novak Expected to Play

Nick Novak will likely serve as the Redskins' kicker in this Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers, head coach Joe Gibbs said.

If Novak plays, it's expected that John Hall would be deactivated for the game.

"We'll probably stay the same way we are with kicking," Gibbs said.

Hall has been sidelined the last five games with a quad injury. He returned to practice earlier this week and he remains listed as probable.

It would be the fifth consecutive game that Novak has been the place kicker for the Redskins. The Redskins have been carrying two kickers on the roster as the team waits for Hall to get healthy.

Novak, a rookie out of Maryland, has been solid as Hall's replacement, connecting on 4-of-6 field goal attempts, including a 39-yard game-winner in Week 4 against Seattle.

Hall is a 9-year veteran who kicked three field goals in the Redskins' 9-7 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 1.

-- BRUNELL LIMITED IN PRACTICE

Quarterback Mark Brunell was limited in Friday's practice as a precautionary measure due to his strained calf injury. He is listed as probable for Sunday's game.

"We kept Mark out as a precautionary measure," Gibbs said. "He looked good this morning. We don't anticipate any problems."

Asked if Brunell would play Sunday, Gibbs replied: "He's fine."

Brunell sustained the injury late in Thursday's practice as he was dropping back to pass.

Brunell said on Friday that he felt better.

"It's Coach Gibbs' decision as to whether I'll play," he said. "I didn't get much work today. I dropped back a little bit and I was able to plant and throw, so that's good. I feel better."

Meantime, running back Clinton Portis returned to practice after missing the last two days due to a calf injury. He remains listed as probable.

-- CLARK UPGRADED

Safety Ryan Clark, who missed last week's game due to a bruised spleen injury, has been upgraded to probable for this Sunday. Clark participated in practice all week.

Also on defense, tackles Joe Salave'a (foot injury), Cedric Killings (ankle sprain) and Aki Jones (hamstring) sat out practice on Friday.

Gibbs said that Salave'a should be available to play on Sunday. Salave'a and Jones are listed as probable, while Killings is listed as questionable.

It's possible that third-year defensive lineman Nic Clemons could see his first NFL action on Sunday. Clemons, who is 6-7 and 278 pounds, can play both end and tackle. He has been a member of the Redskins' practice squad each of the last two years. He has been inactive for the team's first five games this season.

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