Fletcher sprained his foot in last week's 20-17 victory over the Seahawks and is wearing a walking boot. He hasn't missed a start since 2000 and has never missed a game in his 11-year career (171 games).
Defensive end Andre Carter (plantar fasciitis) and defensive tackle Kedric Golston (bone spurs) were also absent. Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin also didn't practice because of a sore shoulder, but he was on the field in sweats.
"It's very scary with our front four, and I don't know who's going to make it back ... I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they have this sudden change of healing," Zorn said.
If Fletcher can't play, H.B. Blades would play middle linebacker and wear the helmet headset that receives defensive coordinator Greg Blache's calls. Alfred Fincher would make his first Redskins start at strongside linebacker.
Blache tried not to fret about his injuries.
"Me worrying's not going to make them get well faster," Blache said. "All it's going to do is make me take more Zantac."
The line should get a boost with the return of defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery, who has missed two games with an Achilles' tendon injury. Defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti was signed on Tuesday as insurance.
Running back Clinton Portis again was a spectator because of his sore knee, which had sidelined him from practice for two weeks but hasn't kept him out of a game. Portis also pulled a muscle in his ribs against the Seahawks, but the knee remains the bigger concern.
"I think he's a little bit better overall," Zorn said.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press