The Washington Redskins likely will be without two defensive starters for Sunday's NFC East game against the Philadelphia Eagles: Shawn Springs and Jason Taylor.

Cornerback Springs didn't practice Thursday because of a strained calf muscle. He joined defensive end Taylor as players receiving a pessimistic assessment from coach Jim Zorn.

"Just with his calf, it's not responding well yet," Zorn said. "The light is fading if we're expecting him to play on Sunday."

Springs contained Terrell Owens in last week's victory over the Cowboys before leaving in the second half. Carlos Rogers and Fred Smoot would be the starters if Springs can't play.

Zorn all but ruled out Taylor on Wednesday. Taylor, who underwent emergency surgery to drain blood near his ankle last week, had a checkup Thursday.

"I'm ahead in some things, and not where I want to be in other things," said Taylor, whose consecutive games streak ended at 133 when he missed last week's win over Dallas. "But it's a day-to-day thing. I would have liked to have practiced today a little bit, but they've got to hold me back."

Another player with uncertain status is right tackle Stephon Heyer, sidelined with a sprained shoulder. Jon Jansen will get his second consecutive start if Heyer is unable to play.

Zorn was optimistic that linebacker Marcus Washington (hamstring) and guard Randy Thomas (toe) will play.

Defensive end Andre Carter was excused for the second straight day for personal reasons.