- The Washington Times - Friday, November 12, 2004

The NFL yesterday informed the Washington Redskins they violated league roster rules by carrying an extra practice squad player this week, an action that could bring a fine against the club.

League officials contacted the Redskins upon learning that nine practice-squad players were dressed at Thursday’s practice, one more than NFL rules permit. Washington coach Joe Gibbs and his staff believed a loophole in those rules allowed the extra player, wide receiver Gari Scott, to practice so long as the club formally signed him and released another player, defensive back Omare Lowe, by 4 p.m.

The NFL management council disagreed and yesterday contacted Redskins vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato to inform him of the violation. Though NFL spokesman Greg Aiello would not comment on any possible punishment, an NFL source familiar with league disciplinary matters said the club likely would be fined.

“We’re looking into that, and we’ll discuss it with the Redskins,” Aiello said.

Gibbs yesterday declined to discuss specifics of the situation, saying only that “the league called, and it’s been handled.”

The issue arose Thursday, when several onlookers at Redskins practice saw Scott in uniform and working out two days after the club announced he had been released from the practice squad. That gave Washington nine active players on what is supposed to be an eight-man practice squad.

Scott also was spotted in the Redskins’ locker room Wednesday but was not on the practice field that afternoon.

Asked following Thursday’s practice about Scott’s presence, Gibbs and assistant head coach for defense Gregg Williams said the wide receiver was allowed to suit up because of a loophole they had discovered in league rules. Those rules state that all clubs must submit any daily changes to their 53-man active roster and eight-man practice squad by 4 p.m.

The Redskins believed the rules did not prevent them from using extra players during practice, which was held from 2 to 4 p.m., as long as they formally trimmed the practice squad roster to eight by the end of the business day. The club has used that tactic several times this season, often making multiple changes a week to its practice squad to keep as many players in uniform as possible.

Gibbs has been known in the past for taking advantage of the NFL’s roster rules. During his first stint with the Redskins, he had a habit of stashing young players on the injured reserve list, a practice that since has been quashed by the league.

Arrington returns

Linebacker LaVar Arrington was back at Redskin Park yesterday after spending four days in Birmingham, Ala., having his injured right knee examined by a team of specialists headed by Dr. James Andrews.

The doctors discovered no new ailments in Arrington’s knee — he originally had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus, then later discovered he also has a bone bruise — and the linebacker is optimistic he will be back on the field soon. The Redskins have said Arrington, who tomorrow will miss his seventh straight game, likely will be out another two weeks.

“I got some good reports back,” Arrington said. “So hopefully, I’ll be getting back soon.”

Arrington said he underwent about six hours a day of therapy in Birmingham, including rehab for his knee and deep-tissue massage that revealed just how aggravated his right leg has become.

“The lady couldn’t tell the difference from my IT band and my quad,” he said, referring to the tough group of fibers that runs along the outside of the thigh. “It was like a ZipLock Bag.”

Extra points

Linebacker Mike Barrow (knee) did not practice yesterday and was declared out for tomorrow’s game against Cincinnati. There remains no timetable on Barrow’s return from the acute tendinitis that has sidelined him all season. …

Cornerback Fred Smoot (shoulder), defensive end Renaldo Wynn (ankle), safety Ryan Clark (shoulder) and running back Rock Cartwright (thumb) all practiced and remain probable.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide