Dana Stubblefield's little stumble on the steps will probably cost him two to four weeks.
Last year's NFL defensive player of the year -- and now part of a defense ranked last in the league in scoring -- will undergo surgery after twisting his knee while walking down some steps at his home.
The mishap occurred Sunday, during the Redskins bye, and was not originally thought to be serious. But X-rays, an MRI and three days of movement tests at Redskin Park showed only modest improvement.
"There are certain things, when he moves, he feels pain," trainer Bubba Tyer said Thursday. "It's a classic symptom of a meniscus injury. We don't think, from our experience, that it's going to hold up, that it's something he can play with and play at the level he needs to play."
Stubblefield will travel to Colorado for the procedure, which will take place Monday. Such an injury usually sidelines a player for two to four weeks.
Stubblefield said he twisted the right knee at his home, but that it was already bothering him after back-to-back games on artificial turf in Philadelphia and Minnesota.
"I just think it's the two turf games and then me twisting the wrong way and aggravating it," said Stubblefield, who signed a six-year, $36 million contract as a free agent from the 49ers. "I'm very disappointed personally, coming into a new program, not wanting things to happen like it is. It's just not the way you want to start off putting on a new uniform, coming to a new home, starting off with all these disasters."
The news just adds to he misery of an 0-7 team. Stubblefield missed only three games in five years in San Francisco. Now that he's out, and with backup Marc Boutte limping around with a sprained ankle, Doug Brown could get his first NFL start Sunday when the Redskins play host to the New York Giants.
"I definitely have to be ready," Brown said. "They're going to run the ball and test me. It's to be expected. You look for a weakness and try to exploit it. So you got to make sure that you're not the weak link."
Brown's first goal in life is to be a rugby star, and he dreams of playing for his native Canada in the World Cup. First, however, the Redskins will need him to become a half-decent defensive tackle in a big hurry.
"He has worked hard, and he's got a ways to go," defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said. "But who doesn't? He'll have the same responsibilities. If you rob from one position to pay another, you have to be careful. He's got to do what's asked of him at that position."
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