Mark Rypien is giving Coach Joe Gibbs plenty to think about with Doug Williams eligible to return to the Washington Redskins’ lineup next week.
Rypien put in his bid to remain as the Redskin starter by passing for 303 yards and 4 touchdowns Sunday in a 33-17 victory that snapped the Phoenix Cardinals’ 4-game winning streak.
“Right now, I don’t know if I can answer that,” Gibbs said of his quarterback decision. “I know both of them are going to be nicked somewhat. One of them’s coming back off surgery and hasn’t been practicing and the other one got hurt today.
“I think they’ve both done about all you can ask.”
Rypien picked apart Phoenix (4-3) with 15-of-27 passing in his fourth strong performance in place of Williams, who had an emergency appendectomy last month.
Rypien threw scoring passes of 19 yards to Art Monk in the first quarter, 19 yards to Gary Clark and 46 yards to Monk in the second quarter, and 60 yards to Clark in the third quarter.
“That decision is Coach Gibbs’ and whatever he decides, I’ve got to go with,” Rypien said.
Rypien, a third-year veteran who never played in the NFL before starting in a 30-21 loss to Phoenix 3 weeks ago, has 7 touchdown passes in the past 2 games and 12 in his 4 games.
He sat out the final 7 minutes of the game with bruised ribs in favor of David Archer after leading Washington (4-3) to a 33-10 lead. X-rays taken after the game were negative.
“We’re really proud of him,” Monk said of Rypien. “I don’t know we’re so much surprised because we always knew he had the ability to play.”
Washington knocked Phoenix out of sole possession of first place in the NFC East and into a 3-way tie that also includes the New York Giants. The Cardinals lost for the 10th straight time in Washington, last winning at RFK Stadium on Nov. 19, 1978.
Williams, who watched the game from the sideline in street clothes, in eligible to come off injured reserve this week.
“Mentally, I feel good, but until you get into the action, the actual practice and run some games, you never know,” Williams said.
Phoenix quarterback Neil Lomax completed 26 of 44 passes for 332 yards, with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Roy Green on Phoenix’s first possession and a 41-yard scoring pass to Jay Novacek with 7:29 left.
Phoenix’s Al Del Greco kicked a 38-yard second-quarter field goal.
“They wanted it more than we did, obviously,” Lomax said. “Their defense knocked us around pretty good.”
Washington linebacker Ravin Caldwell blitzed up the middle and hurdled a block from Stump Mitchell to sack Lomax in the end zone for a first-quarter safety.
Running back Kelvin Bryant, in his first start of the season for the Redskins, gained 141 total yards (73 rushing, 68 receiving) after gaining 200 total yards last week against Dallas.