- The Washington Times - Monday, November 12, 2012

Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon practiced Monday afternoon for the first time in a month. It’s the first indication in weeks that he might play again this year instead of opting for season-ending surgery to repair his sprained right foot.

Garcon, however, was only cautiously optimistic about his chances of playing because his right foot still hurts.

“Walking, running, cutting — it’s a pain all the time,” Garcon said. “I’m trying to take the positive out of being out there and give my team some energy.”

Garcon was limited in practice, as the Redskins returned from their bye week and began practicing for Sunday’s home game against the Philadelphia Eagles. In the portion of practice open to reporters, he participated in receiver drills and ran pass patterns.

“It was good to get back out there and run a little bit,” he said. “I’ve been sitting around for a long time. It’s not 100 percent, but when I’m out there, I’m going all out and giving everything I got.”

Garcon wouldn’t speculate on his status for Sunday’s game, saying the decision is up to coach Mike Shanahan.

“He looked like he did some good things,” Shanahan said. “I’m just hoping there’s no setback. We’ll find out over the next few days exactly where he’s at.”

Garcon has a plantar plate tear in his right foot. The plantar plate is a soft tissue structure that connects the base of the toe and the metatarsal, the long bone that goes to the toe. It cushions the bottom of the metatarsal head, which is why the tear causes Garcon significant pain when he pushes off and sprints. Garcon’s right shoe has been fitted for orthotics to help ease the pain.

“I really don’t want to get surgery,” Garcon said. “That’s where I stand on that.”

Meriweather may finally play

Strong safety Brandon Meriweather is optimistic he will make his Redskins debut on Sunday. He practiced on Monday as part of his ongoing return from a sprained left knee.

“I’m feeling good about it right now,” Meriweather said. “We’ve still got a whole week ahead of us, but as of right now, after working out today I feel good.”

The Redskins signed Meriweather, a two-time Pro Bowler, to a two-year contract last offseason and hoped he would be their first-string strong safety. However, he sprained his knee during the second preseason game and suffered a setback six weeks later during a freak pre-game collision.

Meriweather was coy with reporters Monday when asked when he’ll know if he’ll play against the Eagles.

“I’m going to let you guys know Sunday at about 12:50 when everybody running out of the tunnel,” he said with a smile.

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