Washington Redskins wide receiver Anthony Armstrong said he plans to play on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers after missing the last 21 / 2 games with a pulled hamstring.

Armstrong, the team’s top deep threat and last season’s second-leading wide receiver, suffered the injury during the second quarter of the Week 3 loss at Dallas, and he missed the following game in St. Louis. Armstrong, who in 2010 ranked third in the NFL with 19.8 yards per catch, practiced on a limited basis all of last week, but was ruled inactive on Sunday against Philadelphia.

Armstrong tested out his hamstring extensively before the Eagles game, but the coaches decided that it was best to hold him out another week and play Donte Stallworth as the third wide receiver instead.

“It felt real good,” Armstrong said when asked how his hamstring felt during the pregame warmups. “Just one of those things. Just kind of monitor it, do what you can, and at the end of the day, I hope to be out there. I always plan to play, just kind of react to whatever equipment they put in my locker.”

Armstrong, who this season has recorded four catches for 38 yards and a touchdown, said he will approach this week as if he is going to play, but deferred the ultimate decision to Coach Mike Shanahan. When asked if he expected Armstrong to return this week, Shanahan expressed optimism about the second-year pro’s chances.

“I’m hoping he can. He was much improved last week …85 or 90 percent,” Shanahan said of Armstrong. “I’m hoping that there is no setback and he’s ready to go on Wednesday, but I won’t know until we practice.”