The Washington Times - December 24, 2013, 02:13PM

Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo was limited in practice on Tuesday after straining his groin muscle in the Washington Redskins’ 24-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, but he said it’s too early in the week to determine whether he’ll play in the team’s finale against the New York Giants in five days.

“I’m not gonna be stupid, but we’ll see how the week progresses and see how it feels,” Orakpo said. “If I feel good, I’m gonna try to give it a go. If not, it’s been a good season so far, so we’ll see.”


Orakpo was engaged with Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith with 13:40 remaining when his right leg buckled. He fell to the ground and was writhing in pain before being helped to the sidelines by the team’s athletic training staff, and he sat out the final 21 plays.

A free agent after this season, Orakpo has a team-high 10 sacks and has 60 tackles. He has maintained often that he hopes to be able to sign a new deal to stay with the Redskins, and he gave his support to coach Mike Shanahan, who is under contract for next season but whose status remains uncertain.

“We all enjoy playing for coach,” said Orakpo, who was a rookie in 2009, Jim Zorn’s final year coaching the Redskins. “You know, we all admire him. We all respect him, and that’s why we’re all somewhat disappointed by the way the season went, because, you know, we don’t want any – we wanted this season to go well, because we know how much work we put in and we know how much work the coaches put in. Coach Shanahan is a hell of a coach to play for, and that’s one thing I’m very disappointed – that we just couldn’t go out there and perform well on Sundays to make everything a lot easier going into the next year.”

Should Shanahan return, Orakpo also doesn’t find a need for the organization to turn over the defense. The contracts of six other starters are set to expire, including all four starting defensive backs.

The Redskins enter Sunday’s game against the New York Giants with the 21st-ranked defense, allowing 359.1 yards per game, and have hovered in the bottom third of all teams statistically all season.

“I hope we can kind of hit the reset button and not break everything up,” Orakpo said. “Yeah, we can add a few pieces, and yeah, we can get some help, but as far as the foundation, I think we have a good foundation.  This was a down year for us, obviously, but I think we can pick it back up, man. The NFL – it’s all about parity in this game, and year after year, you see different teams up and down, up and down, so breaking it up, I’m really not a big fan of that, so we’ll see.”

Shanahan said outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan completed a full practice despite a wrist injury, while fullback Darrel Young did so as well despite a nagging hamstring strain.

Free safety Brandon Meriweather was not at practice on Tuesday because of a personal matter not related to injury, Shanahan said.