Injury doesn't worry Donovan McNabb

ASHBURN, Va. -- If Albert Haynesworth can use air quotes to describe his injury, so can Donovan McNabb.

The Washington Redskins quarterback poked a little fun at the disgruntled defensive tackle Wednesday. McNabb twice mimicked Haynesworth while talking about the sprained left ankle that will keep him out of Friday's game against the New York Jets.

"They told me it was just a 'sprain,'" said McNabb, slowing down to emphasize the word while holding fingers in the air to simulate quotation marks.

Haynesworth, while making critical remarks of coach Mike Shanahan, used air quotes Saturday to describe the "headaches" he had supposedly been having a few days earlier.

Haynesworth said he had been suffering from more than just headaches but that the organization wanted to make him look bad.

McNabb, known for his playful nature in the locker room, was having fun with it.

"I want to make sure I do the 'right things' to get myself healthy," said McNabb, using the air quotes again.

As for the state of his ankle, McNabb said it feels much better and that he would "possibly have a chance" to play next week against Arizona. Shanahan, however, said the chances of McNabb playing in that game are "slim" because the coach usually doesn't like to use his starting quarterback in the final preseason game.

This week's game is the dress rehearsal for the regular season, but Shanahan and McNabb said they didn't think the injury would be much of a setback for a quarterback learning a new offense.

"We'd like him to have as many reps as he possibly could to feel comfortable with the system," Shanahan said. "A lot of it has to do with terminology, when it becomes second nature for him, where he can think and not react. But he can still work on that and not play."

Rex Grossman will start the game and play the first half, possibly into the third quarter.

As for Haynesworth, he remains with the backups after missing numerous practices because of a failed conditioning test, a sore knee and then the illness he had last week. Haynesworth has made it through all three practices this week.

Shanahan said Haynesworth will play more at defensive end this week, rather than nose tackle.

"He likes to play that position," Shanahan said. "We'll get to see him in action."