The Washington Redskins won’t have the services of kicker John Hall and linebacker LaVar Arrington for tomorrow’s game in Chicago.
The Redskins declared both players out with injuries yesterday — Hall has a strained groin, and Arrington has not recovered fully from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Arrington’s absence wasn’t totally unexpected; he hasn’t played since having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee Sept. 21.
The loss of Hall, though, comes as a surprise. The veteran kicker was fine as recently as Thursday, but he felt a twinge in his right groin muscle when he attempted a kickoff during practice that afternoon. The club shut him down after that and instead of waiting to see how he progressed over the weekend chose to declare him out yesterday.
Washington has not yet made a roster move to replace Hall, but the club is expected to sign kicker Ola Kimrin this afternoon before the team charter departs for Chicago. Kimrin, who was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts with the Redskins during the preseason, never has kicked in a regular-season NFL game.
“We’re going to have to do something there,” coach Joe Gibbs said. “Right now, we’ve got a couple of alternatives. One of them is Ola. We’re working on all that.”
Hall’s groin injury is the latest in a series of mishaps for the 30-year-old kicker. He strained the hamstring on his kicking leg during the season-opener against Tampa Bay, then strained his other hamstring the following week against the New York Giants.
Hall still managed to play in each of the Redskins’ first five games, making seven of nine field goal attempts and all six of his extra points. The hamstring injuries may have been affecting him more than he let on, though, because he attempted just one kick of more than 31 yards the last four weeks (a 41-yarder off the upright Sept. 19 at New York).
Hall declined to speak to reporters yesterday.
“It’s one of those things you deal with,” Gibbs said. “I wish it hadn’t happened. He’s probably one of the most well-trained [kickers in the league]. He stretches, he does every single thing he could do. Now why that would happen, who knows? He’s had really three different things. It’s kind a wild set of circumstances. Hopefully, we’ll get through it and get him back here healthy pretty quick.”
Kimrin, 32, has shown promise in limited exposure. The native of Malmo, Sweden, spent the 2002 preseason with the Denver Broncos and connected on a 65-yard field goal in the thin air that would have broken Jason Elam and Tom Dempsey’s all-time record if the NFL recognized preseason stats.
Kimrin, who also kicked for the Dallas Cowboys during the 2003 preseason, is a seasoned NFL Europe veteran who spent three seasons between Frankfort and Cologne. The Redskins signed him this summer as insurance for Hall, and Kimrin responded by making all four extra-point attempts and all four field goal attempts (including a game-winning 39-yarder as time expired in the preseason opener against Denver).
Reeling from a four-game losing streak, Washington has a lengthy injury list entering tomorrow’s game at Soldier Field, topped by Arrington.
The All-Pro linebacker had hoped to return after missing the last three games, but he was unable to show enough during practice yesterday to convince the coaching staff he was ready to play.
Arrington left Redskin Park yesterday in obvious frustration over his inability to play for the fourth straight week.