- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 15, 2004

John Hall’s injury-plagued season with the Washington Redskins ended abruptly yesterday when coach Joe Gibbs announced the kicker will be placed on injured reserve with a torn quadricep.

“You can’t imagine [a kicker] having three different injuries,” Gibbs lamented.

Hall, who missed just one game in his previous seven seasons with the New York Jets and the Redskins, actually suffered four injuries this year: a strained right hamstring in the opener against Tampa Bay, a strained left hamstring the next week, a pulled groin in practice Oct.14 and the quadricep last Sunday against Philadelphia.

Gibbs said he learned in warmups before the game that Hall wasn’t feeling 100 percent. But although Hall was wide right on a 43-yard field goal try just before halftime, the coach said concerns about the kicker didn’t affect his decision to go for the end zone on first-and-10 at the Philadelphia 27 with 1:54 left, trailing 17-14.

The Redskins had planned to re-sign Ola Kimrin, their kicker during the five games Hall missed. However, Kimrin, after staying with friends in Massachusetts for a couple of weeks following his Nov.26 release, returned to Sweden and can’t get back into the United States without the time-consuming process of having his visa renewed.

So Washington will replace Hall with Jeff Chandler, 25. Although Chandler missed a 38-yarder and had another from that distance blocked for Carolina three weeks ago in his only field goal attempt this season, he was 14-for-19 for San Francisco over the previous two seasons.

Springs recovering

Cornerback Shawn Springs won’t play Saturday against the 49ers after suffering a concussion, a sprained shoulder and a bruised sternum on a crunching hit by Eagles fullback Josh Parry. However, Springs, who was briefly hospitalized, said he’s feeling better.

“Things are just a little slower than normal,” said Springs, 29, who had never before been knocked unconscious. “You know the first 10 minutes after you wake up from a nap? That’s how I’m walking around right now. It’s like I’ve been sleeping for a while.”

Arrington questionable

Linebacker LaVar Arrington, who returned to practice last Wednesday with the scout team, was back on the field and took a couple of snaps with the starting defense for the first time since he was hurt in Week 2. Arrington has missed the last 11 games.

As he was last week, Arrington is listed as questionable, but Gibbs said, “It would be awfully hard to take a guy who has been out that long, put him back in and say he was going to take a lot of the action.”

Said Arrington: “I’m not going to be selfish. If [the coaches] feel like I’m healthy enough to go and I can help the team, then that’s what I’ll do.”

Griffin honored

Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, a big factor in Washington having the NFC’s top run defense, was chosen as Redskin of the Year by the Quarterback Club in balloting of local media. Griffin’s 83 tackles are third on the team and 31 more than any other lineman.

“I’m honored, but this award is about 11 guys playing defense together,” Griffin said.

Crashing down

San Francisco had the NFL’s best franchise for more than a decade. From 1981 to ‘98, the 49ers went 229-83-1 — by far the best in the league — and they won five Super Bowls while going to the playoffs 16 times. They also went to the playoffs in 2001 and 2002.

But, San Francisco is just 4-15 since a 5-5 start last year under coach Dennis Erickson, beating fellow lightweight Arizona three times and somehow shocking powerful Philadelphia last Dec. 21.

“It’s miserable for everybody,” said Erickson, whose team blew a 28-3 lead before pulling out a 31-28 overtime victory over the Cardinals last weekend. “To see them come back like that, you’re thinking to yourself, ‘Is it going to happen again?’ I was figuring that if I had a heart attack on the sideline that would take care of it all.”

At 2-11 and with surging Buffalo and 12-1 New England on tap after Washington, San Francisco is destined for its worst record since a 2-14 finish in 1979.

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