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Arrington's Decline Continues In Denver

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By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 10, 2005

DENVER, Oct. 9 -- The steady decline of linebacker LaVar Arrington's playing time -- and perhaps his career in Washington -- continued Sunday as the three-time Pro Bowl pick failed to get on the field for the Redskins' 21-19 loss at Invesco Field at Mile High. Arrington played fairly regularly in Week 1, then got five plays against Dallas, two plays against Seattle and none against the Denver Broncos.

Even with Washington trailing by 11 points late and coaches funneling in depth players such as defensive lineman Ryan Boschetti, Arrington was an afterthought. Most of the game he stood alone at one end or the other of the sideline and was quick to congratulate teammates as they came off the field. He sat draped in a coat on the bench for much of the second half, benched entirely for the first time.

"I didn't play," Arrington said. "There ain't nothing to talk about."

Arrington is a natural playmaker but has not won over this staff. He missed virtually all of last season to knee injuries, returned midway through the preseason and is stuck down the depth chart. Arrington carries a $12 million salary cap figure for 2006, leading many to believe the Redskins will trade or release him in the offseason.

Bailey Inactive

The much ballyhooed confrontation between Champ Bailey and Clinton Portis never materialized, with the Pro Bowl cornerback not in uniform for the game. Bailey, who was traded from Washington to Denver for Portis, was inactive with a hamstring injury, forcing Denver to start two rookie corners. Domonique Foxworth (University of Maryland) was one of them, and he broke up a potential touchdown pass to Santana Moss in the second half. Bailey was selected seventh overall in the 1999 draft but was dealt for Portis, a Pro Bowl running back, prior to the 2004 season, with both players seeking new deals.

Portis stuffed a blitz by linebacker Al Wilson late in the game, throwing his body in front of the much bigger player and allowing time for Mark Brunell to throw the ball. Portis writhed in pain on the sidelines for several minutes but returned for the key fourth-quarter drives.

News & Notes

The Redskins defense has now gone three straight games without forcing a turnover. . . .

Portis's six-game rushing touchdown drought is one shy of last year's career high. He never went more than three games without a rushing score in Denver. . . .

Moss (eight catches for 116 yards) had a reception of at least 30 yards for the fourth straight game, something Washington could not do as a team in 2004. Moss has seven such catches this season; the Redskins had nine all of last season, and no player had more than three receptions of at least 30 yards. Moss also returned two punts. . . .

Place kicker John Hall was out again with a lingering quadriceps problem and may have trouble playing next week in Kansas City. Rookie Nick Novak has kicked the last three games in his absence. . . .

Running back Nehemiah Broughton, Washington's seventh-round pick, was inactive again, as was rookie linebacker Zak Keasey and rookie defensive tackle Aki Jones. Offensive lineman Jim Molinaro and defense end Nic Clemons were not in uniform either. . . .

Former Redskin defensive lineman Marco Coleman was inactive for the Broncos, but former tight end Stephen Alexander started. Defensive lineman Courtney Brown, who chose Denver over Washington in free agency, had one tackle.

Staff writer Leonard Shapiro contributed to this report


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