Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington was held out of practice yesterday with a left knee strain and was listed as probable for Sunday's game at the New York Giants. Linebacker Mike Barrow, a former Giant, has not made it through a full practice in more than a month because of tendinitis in his left knee and was listed as questionable for the game.

Arrington said the injury is unrelated to his previous knee strain and occurred in the season opener against Tampa Bay.

"It's a little sore," Arrington said, "but we have to work through it and push through it. . . . I just took a bad step and felt it in the first quarter and it tightened up on me but I was able to keep going and hopefully I'll be able to do it again this week."

Barrow could be inactive for the second straight week. Barrow has not practiced fully since Aug. 7, and though he is routinely in pads with the team, he is not taking part in many of the contact drills. Coach Joe Gibbs said he is unsure if Barrow will be able to take the field at Giants Stadium Sunday.

"We just continue to monitor that," Gibbs said. "We just kind of want him to step up little by little by little by little. We don't want to rush it, but at the same time we're anxious. We're trying to get him back, but we want him back obviously at full speed. So we'll just see."

Kicker John Hall missed practice to rest a sore right hamstring that became aggravated on his first kick of Sunday's game, Gibbs said. The coaches do not plan to bring in another kicker and expect Hall, listed as probable, to play. H-back Brian Kozlowski (strained calf) was listed as probable for the second week. He was inactive for the season opener.

Again, Taylor Might Not Start

Rookie safety Sean Taylor, who had a strong preseason, surprisingly did not start Sunday's season-opening game and he may not start this week at New York, either. Taylor was unhappy with his non-starting role after the Buccaneers game, but addressed the situation directly yesterday when asked about it by reporters.

"That's never up to me," Taylor said when asked of his reaction to playing in a more limited role. "I'm sure every player would like to play when they want to play and how they want to play, but the system is not set up like that. Coaches make decisions to better the team and that's the decision that was made."

Taylor, 21, the fifth overall pick from Miami, spent a fair amount of time on the sidelines Sunday, with Andre Lott starting at free safety. Coaches are not expected to change the starting lineup after a strong defensive performance against Tampa Bay.

"We've been super happy with Sean," Gibbs said, "and obviously he made a ton of great plays in preseason and I think he'll make a ton of them in the regular season. . . . We've got some real good players back there and it's a matter of how to mix and match to get the most out of them."

Hixon Encouraged

Receivers Coach Stan Hixon remains in Florida with his son, Drew, who suffered a head injury in a college football game Saturday. Hixon told Gibbs he was encouraged by his son's progress but is expected to stay in Tampa through the weekend. Drew Hixon, who plays wide receiver for Tennessee Tech, was hurt in a helmet-to-helmet collision during a game in Tampa.

Coughlin Plays Down Controversy

The Giants are the source of much turmoil, with players filing grievances against Coach Tom Coughlin for some of his fines and punishments against them. But Coughlin played down the situation during a conference call with reporters yesterday.

"Everyone wants to make it out to be like we have all these rules," Coughlin said. "The NFL has a lot of rules, in case anybody hasn't looked at the discipline schedule set by the commissioner, but we have certain things I believe in and that's the way it's going to be and one of them is obviously to be punctual."