- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 3, 2003

Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington and cornerback Fred Smoot were both back at practice yesterday after their respective bouts with a mild concussion and heat illness lasted longer than expected.

Arrington suffered the fourth concussion of his NFL career Thursday. Although it was mild, he felt ill Friday afternoon and underwent further evaluations.

Feeling better yesterday, he was in uniform for the 9 a.m. practice. He arrived late for the afternoon’s scrimmage but announced his presence on the first play with a big hit on running back Trung Canidate. A few plays later, he bowled over Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels on a blitz.

“I don’t think it was [another] concussion,” Arrington said of sitting out Friday. “They don’t think it was a concussion. They think I might have been heading towards one. So they gave me some time so I could get my head together, get some rest. My stomach was really feeling kind of bad.”

Smoot was back yesterday after returning Friday morning and then sitting out the afternoon session. He had one of the scrimmage’s highlights, breaking up a deep pass to Cliff Russell.

Although Smoot hasn’t succumbed to heat-related cramps on the field — as two players in Jacksonville did, triggering a rash of media attention — he confirmed that he cramped up in the shower the other day. He described the pain as “terrible.”

“I had a full body cramp,” Smoot said. “You can’t control your muscles because they’re all knotted up. That’s something that’ll hurt you, now.”

Linebacker Kevin Mitchell was the only Redskin to go down on the field this week. Smoot, though, ended up missing the most time to heat illness.

“I’m a big sweater,” Smoot said. “I’ve got [low] body fat. It’s hard to hold water. So I’m eating a lot more salt now, something to help keep the water in there.”

Smoot said his body fat percentage is 2 percent, but club officials put it at closer to 4 or 5 percent — about as low as it gets for football players.

Six Redskins have missed practice time to heat-related issues this camp, and all were back at practice by yesterday afternoon.

Walls update

The Redskins had not gotten an answer by early evening in their pursuit of tight end Wesley Walls.

After Walls worked out Thursday, Washington tried to sign him on the spot. Instead, he made a scheduled trip to Green Bay and now is weighing offers from Tampa Bay, the Redskins and the Packers. All the offers, so far, appear to be minimum-salary.

Washington did make a couple moves on the offensive line, signing Brandon Winey and cutting Patrick Downey. Winey was among several players who worked out after the morning session. Another was defensive tackle James Cannida, who played in Indianapolis last season, but there were no immediate plans to sign him.

The Redskins continue to experiment with the defensive line as they wait for potential reinforcements. Young tackle Bernard Jackson continues to look good, while Regan Upshaw, signed to replace Bruce Smith at right end, is seeing some time at left end with Renaldo Wynn pushed inside. Although that is a likely third-down setup, it appears it could be a first- or second-down combination, too.

Ramsey up, Johnson down

Quarterback Patrick Ramsey played well during the scrimmage, completing six of eight throws after a rough first series. He did not guide a touchdown drive, throwing an interception on his first series and being sacked on third-and-3 on the second.

“Patrick did well,” Spurrier said. “He had one errant throw, but other than that he hit most everything.”

Backup Rob Johnson didn’t look good. He completed just one throw, to fullback Rock Cartwright in the right flat. Spurrier, however, said it wasn’t all Johnson’s fault.

“The way you judge quarterbacks, if a guy gets wide open, and he’s got protection, can he hit them?” Spurrier said. “We didn’t have a lot of guys open as much as we’d like at times, and he had a little pressure at times. … He does fine. He’s a good player.”

Extra points

Adorning the cover of the Redskins’ media guide is just one player: second-year quarterback Patrick Ramsey. Joining him in the montage of pictures are FedEx Field on game day, the Iwo Jima memorial, the Jefferson Memorial and the Capitol building. … Owner Dan Snyder and Spurrier were the hosts of a reception for Redskins alumni last night at Redskin Park.

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