When the Washington Redskins return to practice this afternoon, linebacker LaVar Arrington could find himself back with the starters. Arrington, who was benched for two games earlier this season and played sparingly the first six weeks, was on the field for most of the second half of Sunday's 36-0 loss in New York, replacing weak-side linebacker Warrick Holdman.
Arrington said he is unsure if his status will change for Sunday night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field, but he plans to make the most of any opportunity and spent his off-day yesterday reviewing film of the Eagles. Arrington, who made three straight Pro Bowls before missing most of 2004 with knee injuries, has not started a regular season game in the base package since Week 2 last season, Sept. 19 at New York, but given a slew of injuries and continued problems on the right side of the defense, that drought might end this weekend.
"I'm just working to get better, man," Arrington said, "and I'll let the coaches worry about that [who is starting], and I'll worry about doing better and making sure my body is okay and making sure I get a head start on getting to know the Eagles a little bit better. I just want to be ready if my number gets called -- that's it -- and do my part that way."
Arrington has earned praise from coaches for his practice habits and performance in a Week 6 thrashing of San Francisco. Few offensive or defensive players stood out Sunday in New York, and by the time Arrington began playing regularly in the primary 4-3 scheme, the result was basically decided.
Bubba Tyer, director of sports medicine, said that results from MRI exams on H-back Chris Cooley and defensive tackle Joe Salave'a showed no new problems and both players are day-to-day. Cooley has a sprained knee and a bruised hip, while Salave'a continues to fight a painful foot condition. Both players could be rested in practice this week, and are joined by a host of other questionable starters such as defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (hip flexor), offensive tackle Chris Samuels (knee) and end Phillip Daniels (sprained ankle). Coach Joe Gibbs anticipates the lack of healthy in bodies in practice today could force some reserves to play offense and defense in drills. . . .
The Redskins re-signed linebacker Nick McNeil to the practice squad and released linebacker Zak Keasey and defensive tackle Lynn McGruder from the practice squad. They also signed offensive lineman Ikechuku Ndukwe.