- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 9, 2004

LaVar Arrington received good reviews in his first practice in 11 weeks yesterday, but it’s too soon to count on Washington’s Pro Bowl linebacker for Sunday’s game with NFC East champion Philadelphia.

“LaVar did well,” coach Joe Gibbs said. “He moved around well. The first impressions were good. You don’t want to say never, but it would be hard [for Arrington to play against the Eagles].”

Arrington, who left practice early to get his surgically repaired right knee iced, was more upbeat about his return.

“I don’t know. We’ll see what happens,” said Arrington, who noted that today’s full-pads practice will be more indicative. “I’m just trying to get back so I can do my part. I couldn’t sleep well last night, knowing that I was going to have my opportunity out here. I was nervous. It felt like I was in high school.”

Arrington, who was supposed to miss just two-to-four weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Sept.23, suffered a major setback when he fell during a running drill on Oct.25. Yesterday, with the bone bruise finally having faded, Arrington worked with the scout team defense. And loved it.

“It was cool,” Arrington said. “I’ve got to work my way back up the ladder of success again. I felt pretty good out there. I don’t think the coaches thought I’d do as well as I did. It was a start, something to build on. I’m banking on being able to go … play. The mind’s a powerful thing. You can will yourself to a certain point.”

Daniels officially done

As expected, defensive end Phillip Daniels was placed on injured reserve with a dislocated bone in his left wrist. By season’s end, the 31-year-old will have missed 11 games in his first year in Washington, two more than he did in eight years with Seattle and Chicago.

“I knew it was dislocated as soon as it happened,” Daniels said of the injury he suffered in Sunday’s 31-7 victory over the New York Giants. “I’ve never had a year like this. All I can do is have the surgery tomorrow and come back strong next year.”

The Redskins signed defensive lineman Cedric Killings to replace Daniels. Killings, 26, had been in training camp with Washington after playing with San Francisco in 2000 and Carolina in 2001 but hasn’t been in an NFL game since.

Demetric Evans started the last three games Daniels missed with an injured groin, but Evans is out Sunday with a fractured bone in his right ankle, so Ron Warner will get the nod.

Receiver Laveranues Coles (toe), tight end Robert Royal (knee), cornerback Walt Harris (hamstring) and guard Randy Thomas (hamstring) didn’t practice, but all are probable. Offensive tackle Mark Wilson (knee) took some work but is less certain to play after being sidelined last week. Arrington is the only player listed as questionable.

Rypien visits

Mark Rypien, who was the quarterback for Gibbs’ last Super Bowl champion in 1991, was at practice and said he was correctly calling the plays as offensive coordinator Don Breaux signaled them in to Patrick Ramsey. Rypien, a Redskin from 1986 to 1993, finished up with Indianapolis in 2001 and now broadcasts games at his alma mater, Washington State.

Known as the player who best understood Gibbs’ offense, Rypien said quarterback Patrick Ramsey — who has his old No. 11 — joked about being sick of watching film of him executing plays.

Special recognition

A new Redskins tradition has been born. The players of the game from the offense (running back Clinton Portis), defense (linebacker Antonio Pierce) and special teams (Harris) were welcomed back to work yesterday with reserved parking spaces marked with their numbers. Gibbs said players will continue to be honored after future victories.



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