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News & Notes: Springs Coming Soon?

Cornerback Shawn Springs is expected to return to practice on Wednesday, but only participate in individual work and drills, team officials said.

If Springs shows progress with his groin injury, then his practice workload will increase later in the week.

"Our hope is to get him some work and see how he feels this week," head coach Joe Gibbs said.

Springs's status for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans remains uncertain, however.

Coaches expect to go slow with Springs as he continues to recover from abdominal surgery in August and a groin injury sustained three weeks ago in practice.

Springs has been running regularly and working out on his own. His return to the lineup would certainly help boost the Redskins' pass defense, which is ranked 28th in the NFL.

"It's tough not having Shawn in there," linebacker Marcus Washington said on Monday. "He's a leader back there and he's always capable of making a big play. Definitely we miss him, but we want to make sure he's healthy when he gets back."

Gibbs was asked on Monday if Springs' absence could be attributed to the team's low ranking in pass defense.

"I wouldn't say that at all," he replied. "We have a lot of good football players. From time to time you miss players. Football teams go for weeks without people all the time . That is why you work so hard as an organization to have depth, knowing that from time to time you are going to miss real good players.

"We miss Shawn but I don't think that is any excuse for anything that has happened to our defense. We would love to have him and we are hoping he gets back here pretty quick. Certainly it would be a lift for us, but I don't want to lay the blame there."

-- SALAVE'A INJURED

#### -- IMPORTANCE OF DIVISIONAL GAMES

One year after going 5-1 in NFC East games, the Redskins find themselves with a 0-2 in the division this season.

The good news? The Redskins still have four divisional games remaining and can turn it around in the NFC East.

"What I talked to the team about a long time today is that we still control everything," Joe Gibbs said. "We don't like being 0-2 or 2-3. We play Philly twice, and they are red hot right now. We have Dallas and the Giants here. All of those games are critical."

Added cornerback Carlos Rogers: "We don't want to be in a situation like last year where we have to pull out five wins in a row to make the playoffs. But we have to get on a winning streak here and it's going to take a whole team effort. We're going to have to make a big turnaround."

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