Arrington set to return to practice, Gibbs says

Linebacker will test knee for first time tomorrow

Redskins notebook

Pro Football

December 07, 2004|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said LaVar Arrington will return to practice tomorrow for the first time in almost three months, and the mobility on his surgically repaired right knee will determine whether the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker will play the rest of this season.

Arrington, who has missed 10 straight games since straining the lateral meniscus in the knee against the New York Giants on Sept. 19, had appeared set to return Oct. 31 against the Green Bay Packers.

But a slip on a patch of wet grass at Redskins Park forced Arrington to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam, which revealed a bone bruise on the same knee.

Gibbs said Arrington, who has been running on his own, would practice with the scout team tomorrow and partake in individual drills in preparation for Sunday night's game against the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles (11-1) at FedEx Field.

"We're going to get him back on the field, and then I think those next three days will have a lot to say about how he feels," Gibbs said, adding that the coaching staff could shelve Arrington for the rest of the season if the knee does not hold up during practice.

"Does he feel like he's back to where he's really feeling good and makes rapid progress, or is it something that looks like it's going to continue to bother him?"

In other injury news, defensive end Phillip Daniels dislocated a bone in his left wrist, but director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said it was too early to say if the injury would sideline Daniels for the rest of the season.

Daniels, who had missed the previous three weeks with a strained groin, sacked Giants quarterback Eli Manning on the opening series of Sunday's 31-7 victory, but missed the second half with the injury. Washington (4-8) has not placed Daniels on the injured reserve list yet.

Tyer said wide receiver Laveranues Coles (toe) won't practice until Friday, but should be ready for Sunday. Tight end Robert Royal (knee) also should play, Tyer said.

A favor from Snyder

Gibbs and middle linebacker Antonio Pierce confirmed Sunday that owner Daniel Snyder allowed Pierce, Royal and safety Ryan Clark to use his private jet to fly to Oregon last week to console former teammate Rashad Bauman after the death of his 5-month-old son.

Bauman, a third-round pick by Washington in 2002, spent two seasons playing cornerback for the Redskins before being released in September.

Pierce said when the team learned of Bauman's son's death due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome on Thanksgiving, the trio bought airline tickets to leave the Washington area on Monday night, attend the funeral Tuesday, and return Tuesday night.

Upon hearing of the plan, Snyder told the players they could use his plane.

"Mr. Snyder was generous enough to let us use his jet so that we could fly back in time," said Pierce, a father of three. "I don't know what I would do if that happened to me. So I just went out there to support [Bauman]."

Snyder doesn't speak to the media during the regular season, but Gibbs praised the owner's generosity.

"There's not many people that do things like that," he said.

Playing in pain

Cornerback Walt Harris and wide receiver James Thrash played through hamstring injuries and made significant contributions to the Redskins' win Sunday.

Harris blocked a punt late in the second quarter that led to a 9-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Ramsey to Royal. Thrash returned a punt 5 yards and grabbed two passes for 27 yards -- both of which extended scoring drives.

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