The Washington Redskins defense has endured its share of injuries during the preseason but will have three key players participate in their first workouts of training camp: linebacker LaVar Arrington, rookie cornerback Carlos Rogers and nose tackle Brandon Noble.
The Redskins announced today that those three have been removed form the physically unable to perform list after passing their physicals. Although participation is expected to be limited, the players will be in pads for today's practice, scheduled from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
A bone bruise forced Arrington to miss 12 games last season, and he underwent two knee surgeries. Washington's defense finished first in the NFC and third overall as Lemar Marshall filled in for Arrington. Warrick Holdman has taken Arrington's place at weakside linebacker, and the Redskins are expected to bring Arrington along slowly.
Off the field, Arrington is undergoing discussions with the Redskins to settle a grievance initially filed March 2004, contending the Redskins omitted $6.5 million in bonuses agreed upon for the 2006 season. (If an agreement falls through, another arbitration date is expected to be set for late September.) Arrington hasn't given an interview to the media since April when he groused about the club's handling of his injury, then later admonished reporters for how his comments were construed.
Rogers, the ninth overall pick in April's draft, hasn't practiced since the first day of minicamp on June 17 after suffering from a first-degree sprain of his right ankle. Rogers originally sprained his ankle in May during an offseason working out at Auburn, and he aggravated it at minicamp.
Although an old stress fracture was discovered during treatment of the ankle, the Redskins have said their main concern is a bone bruise.
Rogers is expected eventually to replace Fred Smoot, who departed for the Minnesota Vikings via free agency, as the starter opposite Shawn Springs. Walt Harris, who played nickelback last season, is the starter now. And after the injury setback, Rogers will have lots of catching up to do to unseat Harris. Rogers, a teammate of rookie quarterback Jason Campbell, won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back, allowing 18 completions in 65 passes thrown in his direction.
Noble has been recuperating from a staph infection after arthroscopic surgery in April. Noble missed the 2003 season after tearing three knee ligaments during preseason that year. Noble played every game last season, including seven starts. He won the Ed Block Courage Award, given annually by the NFL to one player on each team who overcomes serious injury.
Noble was set back by a staph infection during the first week of team conditioning in late March. Noble's knee started swelling, so he opted for minor surgery on April 26 in advance of organized team activities in May. The staph infection caused Noble to be placed on an IV for six weeks until the end of June. The medication remained in Noble's system for another two weeks -- causing considerable weight loss -- before Noble was allowed to exercise in late June.
Wide receiver Taylor Jacobs remains on the physically unable to perform list with a toe injury.
The Redskins also announced they waived offensive lineman Adrian Gonzalez.