The Washington Redskins likely will add veteran linebacker Kurt Gouveia to their roster today, sources close to the situation said yesterday.
The team plans to place reserve linebacker Malcolm Hamilton on the injured reserve list because of a herniated disk in his back, sources said.
Gouveia, 35, was a member of the Redskins between 1986 and '94. He played for their Super Bowl championship teams in 1987 and '91, and was the club's starting middle linebacker in 1992 and '93. He spent the 1995 season with the Philadelphia Eagles, then played for the San Diego Chargers between 1996 and '98.
Redskins officials hope he will help on special teams and bolster the depth of the NFL's last-ranked defense. He likely will be the team's backup middle linebacker behind starter Derek Smith. Veteran Fred Strickland probably will be moved from middle to outside linebacker on the second-string defense.
Gouveia worked out for Redskins officials on Thursday, and the team's decision-makers used the weekend to make their determination about whether to sign him. Hamilton tried to endure the pain in his back and continue playing. But cortisone injections failed to alleviate the discomfort, and he may have to undergo surgery. His season officially would be ended if he's placed on the injured reserve list.
The Redskins did not consider re-signing linebacker Ken Harvey to replace Hamilton on the roster, sources said. Harvey, 34, retired from the Redskins during training camp but said on Friday he has contemplated a comeback and would be willing to play for the team this season if club officials think he could help as a role player.
According to sources, Redskins officials might be receptive to a comeback by the four-time Pro Bowler under the proper circumstances.
But club officials did not contact him over the weekend, sources said. Harvey said on Friday he had not discussed the possibility of a comeback with anyone in the organization but he'd be happy to listen if the team contacts him.
Redskins players are scheduled to return to work today to prepare for Sunday night's game at Arizona. They were given the weekend off after practicing three days last week during the team's bye week.
The Redskins are hopeful that their injured players who sat out last week's light practices, including guard Tre Johnson and tight end Stephen Alexander, will resume practicing today or Wednesday.
Yesterday's loss by the Dallas Cowboys in Philadelphia left the Redskins and Cowboys tied for first place in the NFC East with records of 3-1.