The Washington Redskins are awaiting the results of a precautionary MRI exam on cornerback Shawn Springs and a second opinion on injured place kicker John Hall.
The team is optimistic that Springs, who left Sunday's loss in Denver with a shin injury, and fellow starting cornerback Walt Harris, who has missed two games with a quadriceps injury, will play this weekend in Kansas City, while Hall remains week-to-week.
X-rays revealed no breaks in Springs's bruised shin, head athletic trainer John Burrell said; the MRI exam was ordered to ascertain the severity of the injury.
Hall exercised his right to a second opinion to verify his condition. Hall, who has been out since straining his quad late in the Redskins' Week 1 win over Chicago, has been able to increase his number of practice kicks in recent weeks, but has not been able to kick as much as he normally would.
Harris will return to practice tomorrow in a limited role, Burrell said, and then build through the week. "We really feel good about his participation this weekend," Burrell said. "But it's day-to-day."
The Redskins suffered no other significant injuries this week, with tackle Joe Salave'a and running back Clinton Portis playing through minor ailments. Offensive lineman Jon Jansen, who has been playing with two broken thumbs, will not need a cast on his left hand this weekend, Burrell said.
Coach Joe Gibbs said he hopes linebacker LaVar Arrington, who did not participate in a single play Sunday, will play more in the future, but he did not figure into the game plan for Denver, a team that runs deceptive cutback plays and throws often outside the pocket. Arrington, a three-time Pro Bowler, has played in just seven plays over the past three games after missing most of last season and training camp with knee injuries.
"We've gradually tried to work him back in there," Gibbs said. "But the point is in a game like this where you're leaving your starters in there and going after it hard, and with what they did on offense we were nervous about doing a lot of substitution, and as a consequence he didn't play much. Right now, hey, it's a coach's decision. So I guess you can blame that on us."
Gibbs also pointed out that several other media outlets misconstrued a conversation he had with Arrington coming off the field after a practice last week, in which the coach pointed his finger in Arrington's chest. Gibbs said that had the meeting been confrontational at all, it would have taken place privately in his office, and apologized to Arrington for the situation, nonetheless.
"Everybody who made a big deal out of that conversation," Gibbs said, "that was the most congenial conversation I think I've ever had with anybody, and what I was saying to him in there was, 'You can help the football team.' That's when my finger came out."
Gibbs Bemused by Calls
Gibbs was still fuming during yesterday's news conference about several calls from Sunday's loss, including a safety that was overturned, a touchdown negated by offensive pass interference and a holding penalty that curtailed a long run. While pointing out that those decisions did not cost the team the game, he bemoaned the lack of consistency from the referees and is sending several plays to the NFL to be reviewed. "There's some mystery stuff going on," Gibbs said. "We can't find it. So we'll turn it in [to the league]. . . . But that's part of life, and you've got to move on." . . .
Quarterback Mark Brunell attempted 53 passes Sunday, most in his career. . . .
Gibbs said that the Redskins' streak of six straight games decided by three points or less is an NFL record. . . .
Washington protected well against the pass Sunday, and has done so the last two weeks in particular. "We did a great job communicating up front," tackle Chris Samuels said, "and directing traffic in whatever was coming on the blitz." . . .
The team will hold its annual "Fourth and Life" forum for 500 local high school football players at FedEx Field today, with Springs and tight end Robert Royal among those emphasizing the importance of college and education.