He was the last man on the field, and the first to sprint off it as the final seconds ran down in yesterday's 27-24 Washington victory over Cincinnati. But there was no indication whether running back John Riggins was indeed making his last home appearance as a Redskin.
Riggins did not play a down, although he was the final Washington player introduced with the starting lineup. As if both he and the RFK Stadium crowd knew this could be the farewell for the 36-year-old former all-pro, he walked between a funnel of teammates -- jacket still on and without his helmet -- blowing kisses in every direction.
Inspiring a pregame roar was the only time Riggins was a factor yesterday. Washington's all-time leading rusher was reduced to occasional 15-yard sprints, stretching exercises and playing receiver for backup quarterback Babe Laufenberg.
"I'm not disappointed or sad," Riggins said on his postgame radio show. "Joe (Gibbs) and I talked about this off and on. George (Rogers) is the guy now. The thing right now is to get into the playoffs."
Riggins later refused to speak with reporters.
"I think it would have been very hard for a guy to come into the game stiff, especially in this weather," said Gibbs. "There were still five minutes to go (when Riggins was told to warm up), but Art (Monk) made a big play and Keith (Griffin) was making yards. We had talked that out. He didn't want to just make a token appearance.