For the first time in 24 days, the real Washington Redskins solemnly arrived for work yesterday morning at Redskin Park, held an emotional 2 1/2-hour meeting with Coach Joe Gibbs and then angrily left, saying they were told they could not play or get paid their regular season salary this week.

Later in the day, after the replacement team practiced, the regular Redskins again began to assemble at Redskin Park for another meeting. Gibbs called the meeting, he said, to smooth over any bad feelings from the heated, divisive nature of the earlier meeting. When players left last night, "things were straightened out," said center Russ Grimm. "There were no hard feelings."

At the evening meeting, Gibbs told the players they will be paid their preseason salaries this week, a maximum of $700, as well as a per diem of $38. It also was decided that the regular team could use the weight room, locker room, practice fields and training facilities at Redskin Park in the morning until noon. The replacement team will come in after that, Gibbs said.

"That's easier for the coaches," said offensive tackle Mark May. "We want to make things as comfortable as possible."

When the Redskins first met yesterday morning, they apparently did not know that NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw was going to call off the strike and order all the players back to work. After he did that at 4:45 p.m., the team met again with Gibbs at Redskin Park at about 7:30 p.m.

Management announced again last night that the players who did not report by a 1 p.m. Wednesday deadline could not play in this week's game. The Redskins play Monday night at Dallas.

"The Management Council is trying to get us not to play," quarterback Jay Schroeder said as he arrived for the evening meeting. "I don't know if they're flat-out rubbing our faces in it, but they're fooling themselves if they think we cannot be ready to play {Monday}."

When asked about a management fear that the returning players might decide to strike again before this weekend's games, Schroeder said, "We're in now. We're not going to go back out. We forced Gene's hand into doing something he didn't want to do. We make a living playing football and we want to play."

"What happened today is a microcosm of what the whole strike's been about," said kicker Ali Haji-Sheikh. "They tell us whatever the hell they want to tell us and we have to abide by it."

General Manager Bobby Beathard and Gibbs both said they were under the impression that their replacement players would play the Cowboys. The regular players don't like that, but, by evening, after the union told its players to come back, tempers had cooled considerably after a turbulent morning at Redskin Park.

The Redskins made their decision to return to work at a stormy 20-minute team meeting at the Ramada Renaissance hotel near Redskin Park at 9 a.m. There, they reaffirmed an earlier position to return to work, in spite of the official union stance that the strike was still on. Their decision was reached during a debate that included teammates yelling obscenities, observers said.

At least two players reached later said they understood Upshaw was going to announce Wednesday night that all teams were to return to work yesterday morning. When Upshaw instead said that the strike was still on, the players said the team felt betrayed. Faced with a choice yesterday morning to return to work as they planned or to stick with Upshaw and stay out on strike, they chose to return.

"We decided then we didn't care what others think of us," one player said. "If they think of us as a scab team, that's fine."

Ironically, the Redskins were the only NFL team that did not have a player cross the picket line through Wednesday.

The players then got into their cars, drove a few blocks to Redskin Park, and filed into the building. They went into a second-floor meeting room and met with Gibbs for the first time in more than three weeks.

Players said many issues were discussed, among them their anger at Upshaw and the union, their desire to get paid and to play against Dallas, their concern about the league rule that prohibited players from returning to work after 1 p.m. Wednesday and their curiosity about what they actually should do once they got into the building.

Owner Jack Kent Cooke said he didn't believe he could pay his players their weekly salary because of the league's strong stand on its Wednesday reporting deadline.

"The league may say 'no' because you would be out of step with the 27 other clubs," Cooke said during a visit to Redskin Park.

May said the players were told by team officials that if Cooke "had his druthers, he would rather pay us full pay, but he can't do it."

When asked specifically if he wanted to pay his regular players, Cooke declined comment.

Cooke also said the executive committee of the Management Council was "very adamant" the striking players would not be eligible to play this week.

Some of the returning players said they wanted to practice and use the weight room yesterday morning, sources said, but most apparently realized they could or should not. For one, they did not have their shoes with them. For another, Gibbs said he wanted to minimize the disruptions for his replacement team this week as they prepared to face a Cowboys team with 14 veterans on the roster.

"We came to play, not to disrupt anything," said defensive tackle Dean Hamel. "If we couldn't play, the guys wanted to leave, but some guys wanted to disrupt, going on the field and disrupting."

May said the Redskins believe by being the first team to officially come in as a team, they "maybe did something positive" for the league. "If we just sat back for another week and another week, this could have dragged on," May said. "Maybe we were the innovators. Maybe we weren't. At least we did something today."