- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 25, 2012

Linebacker London Fletcher did not attend Thursday’s practice in order to undergo extensive neurological testing to diagnose the cause of his balance problem. Fletcher was subjected to about six hours of testing, coach Mike Shanahan said.

His status for Sunday is in extreme doubt because of head and hamstring injuries.

Fletcher on Monday informed Redskins head athletic trainer Larry Hess that he was experiencing balance problems, Shanahan said. The Redskins expected to learn results of the neurological testing Thursday night.

Shanahan was asked if Fletcher is subject to the NFL’s concussion protocol.

“He’s being evaluated so we can find out if he should go in,” Shanahan said. “We don’t know. It’s a balance issue, and we’re doing everything we can to find out where he’s at.”

Even if the cause of Fletcher’s balance problems is not serious enough to sideline him, he still has to contend with a strained hamstring he suffered last Sunday.

“I know the hamstring needed some rest,” Shanahan said. “You can’t do a lot with hamstrings if you can’t run. I’m sure his hamstring is getting better. Could he play? I can’t tell you that for sure until we go out on the field. And until we find out what the problem is with his balance, we can’t do that, as well.”

Fletcher has played in 231 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NFL. Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber was expected to move into a tie with Fletcher by playing Thursday night against Minnesota.

Plenty to fix in secondary

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett recognizes the good things the defense has done — stop the run, force turnovers, score points — and in the next breath acknowledges those positives are being spoiled by too many big plays surrendered by the secondary.

It’s a bit baffling, really. The Redskins brought back cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson and strong safeties Reed Doughty and DeJon Gomes from last year’s defense that ranked 11th in the NFL in allowing 222 passing yards per game.

Through seven games this season, though, the Redskins are giving up 328, which ranks last — and that despite running the same scheme as last year.

“We’ve got to execute it, and we’ve got to be on the same page as the coaching staff with the players,” Haslett said. “We’ll get all that fixed.”

Although Haslett said everyone involved must do better — coaches and players — he believes eliminating big plays comes down to execution.