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Arrington hurt in crash of cycle; surgery required

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 19, 2007

THE WASHINGTON TIMES Former Washington Redskins star LaVar Arrington was seriously hurt yesterday when he crashed his motorcycle into a guardrail, breaking at least one bone and adding another setback to a once brilliant career beset by injuries and hard luck.

Arrington, who turns 29 tomorrow, apparently lost control of his high-powered, 2007 Kawasaki ZX-14 motorcycle at about 1 p.m. when it skidded on gravel and crashed on the ramp that leads from westbound Route 50 to northbound Interstate 495.

He was taken by ambulance to Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly where he is being treated for injuries not considered life threatening, Maryland State Police said.

Carl Poston, an agent for Arrington, said his client was being treated for a broken arm and possibly other broken bones. He went into surgery at about 6 p.m.

"It's always lucky when you can survive a motorcycle accident," said Mr. Poston. "I'm just glad to know the doctors are very upbeat about his condition."

Arrington was joined at the hospital by family members, including a female cousin who said he was "in good spirits."

Mr. Poston said he didn't know Arrington even had a motorcycle until receiving word about the accident.

"This is my first knowledge of him even having" one, he said.

Arrington was wearing a helmet, and no alcohol was involved, police said. He was issued two citations — one for operating a motorcycle without the proper license, and one for the accident. Police have not said how fast Arrington was going.

The location of the crash is close to FedEx Field, where Arrington, taken second overall by Washington in the 2000 college draft, played for the Redskins for the first six years of his career.

For three seasons, 2001 to 2003, Arrington was the Redskins' biggest star, a three-time Pro Bowl performer whose No. 56 jersey can still be seen on people around the Washington area.

But Arrington injured his knee in 2004, his playing time decreased, and he bought out his contract after the 2005 season.

Arrington then joined the New York Giants for the 2006-07 season but tore his Achilles tendon in October and played only six games. New York released Arrington in February as part of a salary-cap purge under new general manager Jerry Reese, leaving him to rehabilitate his injury while looking for another team.

While with the Redskins, Arrington became the team's most popular player and signed an eight-year, $68 million contract extension near the end of the 2003 season.

But Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs returned to the team with a new coaching staff in 2004, and Arrington's relationship with Washington began to sour. He hurt his knee early in the 2004 season and played in only four games.

In April 2005, after a second knee operation, Arrington criticized team officials for failing to support him during his injury. He also became involved in a dispute with Redskins owner Dan Snyder over a $6.5 million bonus Arrington said was missing from the final version of his contract.

The contract dispute was eventually settled, but Arrington had a hard time getting time on the field. He was used sparingly in the first six games of 2005 and didn't play at all in a loss against Denver. There was a sense that Arrington didn't fit well with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' disciplined schemes.

Arrington returned to the starting lineup, yet still was not an every-down player and did not have the impact of years past. He finished 2005 without a sack.

Mr. Poston told The Washington Times that Arrington's Achilles tendon rehabilitation was coming along well.

"We were talking often about it and the progress he was making, [but] he was really waiting to get healthy and play out his rehab before looking at our options," he said.

Arrington and wife Trishia have three children and live in Anne Arundel County. He also has a son from a previous relationship.

The news that Arrington was again hurt was disheartening to area fans.

"I'm not just sorry for him because he's LaVar Arrington, but for anybody it's a tragic situation," said Steve Smith, 40, of Bowie. I also feel sorry for "his children, family and the people who love and support him."

Said Geoff Williams, 37, of Northwest: "I'm just hoping he pulls through. I'm hoping it doesn't end his career."

{bullet} Regina Lee and Ryan O'Halloran contributed to this article, which is based in part on wire service reports.