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Thomas Is 'Much Closer' to Return

Randy Thomas is "much closer" in his return from a triceps injury, head coach Joe Gibbs said. It's possible that Thomas could play in Thursday's game against the Chicago Bears.

Asked if this was the week Thomas returns, Gibbs replied: ""I think it could be. We had a good talk and he feels good about it. We kind of let him come back on his own pace."

Thomas has been sidelined since Week 2 when he suffered a torn triceps injury in the Redskins' 20-12 win at Philadelphia.

Instead of placing Thomas on injured reserve, the team opted to wait 10-12 weeks and give him a chance at a comeback this season. Veteran lineman Jason Fabini took Thomas's spot in the lineup.

Thomas stopped short of saying he would definitely play on Thursday, but he admitted that he had "been waiting a long time for this."

"To not be placed on IR and still have a chance to help the team win a game, it's all you can ask for as a veteran," he said. "I'm just hoping to get on the field."

The rehab was long and hard, but worth it if he comes back.

"It's probably going to be emotional for me to step on that field and play," Thomas said.

Jason Campbell said he welcomes Thomas's leadership back in the huddle.

"He has that mentality, that attitude where he wants to be a force," Campbell said. "Getting Randy back is a total confidence builder for all the guys around him. We know he is going to play with a lot of excitement. We'll also have to help him out because he hasn't played in a long time."

-- GIBBS'S FUTURE

In the aftermath of a difficult week that included Sean Taylor's passing, Joe Gibbs was asked if it had made him think about how long he wanted to coach the Redskins.

His reply: "I haven't thought about it, and I don't think I have anything to add over what I've said in the past."

Gibbs has consistently said that he expects to coach all five years of the 5-year contract he signed in 2004.

Along with Taylor's funeral, the Redskins lost a tough 17-16 game to the Bills on Sunday.

Gibbs admitted that he made a crucial error late in the game when he called consecutive time outs to "freeze" kicker Rian Lindell. That's an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

The penalty gave Lindell an easier 36-yard game-winning field goal attempt, rather than a 51-yarder.

Said Gibbs: "What I'm focused on is everything here and my job and my responsibility. We've had four real bitter tough losses at the end of games, and it's hard to go through that. I think what we're all focused on is some way to make a play, find a way to win a game, or in my case make a good decision.

"We have to find a way to win a game, all of us together."

-- SELLERS IS BACK

Mike Sellers returned to the practice field on Tuesday after missing the last two games due to a back injury.

Sellers told reporters that he expects to be read against the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.

"[Sellers] was out going through everything, so we'll just have to see as the week goes along," Joe Gibbs said.

Sellers's absence has had an impact on the Redskins' running game. The ground game struggled against the Bills last Sunday, with Clinton Portis gaining just 50 yards on 25 carries.

-- SPRINGS NOT BACK

Shawn Springs was not at practice on Tuesday as he continues to rest a back injury suffered in the Bills game.

"He is going to get another look by the doctor, but we think it is just a sore back," Joe Gibbs said. "I think he is making preparations like he is going to play."

Springs sat out most of the second half of the Bills game. If Springs cannot play this Thursday, then Leigh Torrence would likely draw the start at cornerback opposite Fred Smoot.

Meantime, James Thrash sat out practice on Tuesday to rest a sprained ankle. He has missed the last two games. His status will be updated on Wednesday.

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