- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 6, 2001

Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington no longer thinks a "cheap shot" caused his high ankle sprain against the Seattle Seahawks. However, his concerns about the painful injury were justified yesterday.
"It didn't hurt too bad [Sunday, but now] it's killing me," Arrington said, hobbling on crutches.
Arrington is expected to miss up to three games when the Redskins return against the Denver Broncos Nov. 18. The Redskins are idle Sunday. However, Arrington was a quick healer during two previous injuries; he missed one game with a sprained knee earlier this season when expected to miss at least two, and returned against Carolina Oct. 21 after suffering an apparent concussion early in the first quarter.
"If I can run, I'll be out there," Arrington said. "I have a whole extra week to get healthy. I wouldn't have made it back [on Sunday]."
Arrington thought a Seahawk player chop blocked him from behind when chasing running back Shaun Alexander on the first play of the third quarter of the Redskins' 27-14 victory. Teammates offered conflicting versions of whether Arrington was hit intentionally after stumbling over a Seattle player on the ground. However, Arrington said he now believed contact was incidental.
Still, it has been a frustrating season for the second-year player. While his interception for a touchdown against Carolina is considered the impetus of the team's current three-game winning streak, Arrington has no sacks and 54 tackles.
"It seems as soon as I'm about to hit overdrive, something happens. I've never been injured like this," he said.
Linebacker Antonio Pierce will start until Arrington returns, while Robert Jones remains the weakside linebacker after bolstering the run defense.
Meanwhile, tight end Stephen Alexander expects to return against Denver after missing three games with a high ankle sprain. Alexander was uncertain whether he could have returned if the team played Sunday, but felt two weeks should be enough rest.
The Redskins continued throwing to tight ends during Alexander's absence. Zeron Flemister caught four passes in two games while Walter Rasby grabbed a 7-yard touchdown against Seattle. The Redskins threw to nine receivers against the Seahawks as offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye expanded the offense.
"I was joking to Jimmy, 'Keep this stuff when I get back,'" Alexander said.

Smoot back
Coach Marty Schottenheimer wouldn't confirm if cornerback Fred Smoot will start against Denver after returning against Seattle. Smoot missed two games with a bruised leg and was worked into passing situations with cornerbacks Darrell Green and Champ Bailey.
Schottenheimer has long said Smoot would start over Green when healthy. However, he has consistently refused to signal changes to opposing teams so Smoot probably won't be named until shortly before the game.
"Darrell played well again while Fred played like a guy who hadn't played in awhile, but I think we'll wait and see what the next 10 or 12 days bring," Schottenheimer said. "No sense playing our cards right now."

Light week
The Redskins will prepare for the Broncos when practicing Wednesday through Friday before taking three days off. However, the full game plan won't be installed until Nov. 13 when practice resumes.
"This is probably an appropriate time for us to get well and step back and evaluate," Schottenheimer said of the bye week. "The focus is on things we've been doing and how we can improve those things."

Davis No. 2
Running back Stephen Davis' 666 yards rushing are second in the NFC to Green Bay's Ahman Green (681). Along with 100 yards receiving, Davis' 766 yards are fourth in total yardage. The Redskins' offense is 30th overall and passing, but 16th rushing behind Davis.
"Stephen has one-step acceleration," Schottenheimer said. "When a crease shows he can take one step and be at full speed."


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