- The Washington Times - Monday, October 21, 2002

GREEN BAY, Wis. Washington linebacker LaVar Arrington has a thing for hurting star quarterbacks.
Two years ago, Arrington ended the career of Dallas Cowboy and future Hall of Famer Troy Aikman with a crunching sideline tackle. This summer, Arrington knocked the Pittsburgh Steelers' Pro Bowl passer, Kordell Stewart, woozy. Yesterday, it was Brett Favre's turn to feel the wrath of Arrington.
Green Bay's three-time NFL Most Valuable Player was sandwiched by Arrington and linebacker Jeremiah Trotter early in the third quarter as he rolled to his right with the Packers leading the Redskins 17-9. Favre went down hard and stayed down for a while with a sprained left knee that sent him to the sideline for the rest of the day in what proved to be a 30-9 Green Bay triumph. The hope for momentum didn't materialize even though a hush came over Lambeau Field as the Packers faced the possible loss of their longtime franchise player.
"I guess Brett booted right into the blitz," Arrington said. "He gave us an opportunity to get hold of him. He had been getting rid of the ball so quick all game. I was so into the moment of getting a sack and trying to make a difference in the game. I jumped up. I was kind of pumped up. I didn't even know he was hurt. I didn't get a flush hit on him like I did with Troy. I just got a hold of Brett and tried not to let him go. I hope he's OK. Does anybody have any word on him?"
The postgame report was that Favre has sprained the lateral collateral ligament and with the Packers off next week, there was optimism that he might not miss a game pending an MRI on the knee today.
"I'm not familiar with knees, but from where I stand, [the LCL sprain] is something I could play with," a pale Favre said. "I expect to play [against Miami on Nov. 4]."
Arrington and Co. certainly played much better in the second half, even before Favre went out. Washington's defense spent much of the second half pushing the Packers backward.
For the first time this year, the Redskins' heralded trio of Pro Bowl linebackers topped the tackle chart with Trotter leading the way with 11, Arrington with nine and Jessie Armstead seven.
Green Bay managed only 100 yards after halftime with Pro Bowl halfback Ahman Green rushing for just 17 on 14 carries. Ten plays went for zero or negative yards, 15 if the five incomplete passes are included.
"Guys are tired of losing and we felt we could fight our way back out of the hole we were in," Arrington said. "We did everything we could possibly do. It was very evident that we weren't out there to just lay down. I was hoping the momentum had changed when we got the fumble."
That happened on the series before Favre's injury when Arrington punched the ball out of Green's grasp from behind and free safety David Terrell recovered at the Washington 47. The Redskins drove to the Green Bay 6, but wound up with kicker James Tuthill banging a 30-yard field goal attempt off the left upright.
"The way we were playing, it didn't matter if Brett stayed in or not," Arrington said. "I thought we had a good chance, but it didn't materialize that way."
Green Bay had put together scoring drives of 37, 69 and 73 yards in building a 17-6 halftime lead. Green ran past strong safety Sam Shade and Arrington for a 24-yard touchdown on the Packers' first series. Two possessions later, Green blew past Arrington again en route to the end zone.
"Ahman can run that ball," Arrington said of Green, who gained 88 yards on 24 carries while scoring three touchdowns for the first time. "He made the plays he needed to make. That's what clutch running backs do. He runs with the lowest center of gravity that I've ever seen so even when you get a big hit on him, his momentum still carries him forward most of the time. Usually when I hit a running back, he falls backward."
Despite the solid second half by the defense, the Redskins are still going backward, having lost two straight games for the second time this year to fall to 2-4.
"I felt like we were going to turn the corner today," Arrington said. "I hope that some way, somewhere we can find a way to turn it. I don't know why we're not turning it. If we can to get a point where we can turn a corner, there'll be no turning back."

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