ASHBURN, Va. -- There's nothing like some injuries to key starters to put a damper on a training camp that had featured almost nonstop talk about the Super Bowl. Defensive end Phillip Daniels is the last Washington Redskins casualty, out for a week or so with a sprained back.
Trainer Bubba Tyer, who was in Alabama on Monday for Clinton Portis' shoulder exam and in North Carolina on Tuesday for Shawn Springs' abdominal surgery, was back at Redskins Park on Wednesday, and he had a daunting list of patients to discuss with coach Joe Gibbs.
"There's a lot going on the last couple of days," said Gibbs, whose team has also made 10 roster moves plus a trade in the last 72 hours.
Tyer said Daniels was hurt in Tuesday's practice and was sent to a specialist for an MRI. Daniels will miss Saturday's game against the New York Jets and will be re-evaluated next week. The good news is that Daniels should recover in plenty of time for the season opener Sept. 11 against Minnesota.
"He's probably going to rest for a week or two, and he should be fine," Gibbs said.
Tyer's updates on Springs and Portis offered mixed news. Tyer indicated Springs, who had an operation to repair a torn abdominal muscle, would have only an outside chance of playing in the opener. He also said Springs' injury was related to the discomfort the cornerback felt at the end of last season, but it wasn't treated during the offseason because Springs seemed to have fully recovered during conditioning work in the spring.
Tyer was slightly more optimistic that Portis, recovering from a partially dislocated shoulder, would play against the Vikings.
"I think we've got a shot to get him back," Tyer said.
The first two weeks of camp had been flush with optimism, with no significant injuries and players openly talking about challenging for a championship. This week has been a whirlwind, beginning with Sunday's 19-3 loss to Cincinnati in the exhibition opener and followed by the news of injuries, cuts and signings. Secondary coach Jerry Gray, for example, had to arrive at 4:15 a.m. Wednesday to prepare to tutor the players the team acquired to shore up the thinning cornerbacks corps.
Springs is hurt, and backup Ade Jimoh has been sidelined for much of camp with a chest injury. To help compensate, the team traded for San Francisco cornerback Mike Rumph on Monday and signed free agent defensive backs Julian Battle and Antuan Edwards on Wednesday.
Rumph was one of the players who joined Gray for the dawn catch-up session on the defense. Then, in the afternoon, he had to do 40 "up-downs" -- a cruel version of push-ups required by assistant coach Gregg Williams of every new player.
"That had me kind of nervous," Rumph said. "When I was with the 49ders, I heard about them, so I thought I had missed out of them. But I get in the meeting and coach says, 'You've got those up-downs,' so I had to get my mind right and sit down and focus on them."
If Springs can't play in the opener, Rumph could be competing with Kenny Wright to start opposite Carlos Rogers. Wright had a miserable debut Sunday, giving up two big completions and committing a pass interference penalty. He knows he'll be under a microscope against the Jets.
"I got off to a shaky start in my first game as a Redskin," said Wright, who was signed as a free agent from Jacksonville, "and I just want to bounce back and show the coaches that they can count on me."
The Redskins figure to have better insurance at running back behind Portis. Ladell Betts, who ran for 338 yards last year, could probably start for many teams, although he's been slowed by a nagging hamstring injury.
"My role is to be the starter" while Portis is injured, Betts said. "So whatever they ask me to do, I will do. I have to carry the ball the majority of the time and step up."