- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Washington Redskins safety Matt Bowen will miss the rest of the season after an MRI yesterday revealed a torn ACL in his right knee.

“I’m disappointed, but you go day-by-day and try to get better,” said Bowen, who will be placed on injured reserve. “That’s all I can do right now.”

The sixth-year veteran went down early in the first quarter of Sunday night’s 17-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. His right leg buckled as he tried to chase down punt returner B.J. Sams. He managed to walk off the field under his own power but did not return to the game.

Yesterday morning’s MRI confirmed the torn ligament. Though it has not been scheduled yet, Bowen will undergo season-ending surgery later in the week.

“He’s a great worker,” Redskins trainer Bubba Tyer said. “He’ll get a good repair, and we expect an uneventful recovery.”

Bowen started the 2004 season strong, recording the first two sacks of his career in Washington’s season-opening win over Tampa Bay. He was seen as a key veteran presence in the defensive backfield — the perfect complement to rookie safety Sean Taylor. Now, Bowen will be forced to mentor the first-round draft pick from the sideline.

“Sometimes in this league, freak things happen,” Bowen said. “I’m not going to be the type of player that sits around and says, ‘Why did this happen?’ It happened. We’ve got great trainers and great doctors, so I’ll try to get better and get ready for the next time I can get on the field. …

“I really don’t have any other options but to help out the other guys, talk to Sean throughout the season and help him out as much as possible.”

Third-year safety Andre Lott, who started the Redskins’ first two games ahead of Taylor, is expected to be Bowen’s primary replacement. Lott is recovering from a hamstring strain that kept him out of Sunday’s game. Backups Ryan Clark and Todd Franz also are likely to see action.

LaVar aims to return

Injured linebacker LaVar Arrington did some light running for the first time since undergoing knee surgery Sept. 21 and remains optimistic he will play Sunday at Chicago.

With the Redskins mired in a four-game losing streak and a bye week after the Bears game, it might seem wise for Arrington to push back his return.

The linebacker doesn’t buy it.

“I’m not waiting for anything,” he said. “I know my body, man. We’re working together. There’s no wait-and-see. I’ll make a very responsible decision.”

Arrington, who has missed the last three games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, said it has been agonizing watching from the sideline as the Redskins continue to struggle. Sunday’s loss to Baltimore caused him stay up all night thinking about it.

He was back at Redskin Park by 8:15 a.m. yesterday, ready to offer encouragement to his teammates.

“I think this is a special team, and I really don’t understand why we’re losing,” Arrington said. “I didn’t sleep last night.”

Extra points

Several players suffered minor injuries against Baltimore. Cornerback Shawn Springs has tendinitis in his ankle and will be limited in practice this week. Nose tackle Joe Salave’a strained the back of his knee and is day-to-day. Clark has a mild ankle sprain but is expected to practice and play. …

Defensive end Phillip Daniels, out since Week 2 with a pulled groin, is participating in some agility drills. A decision on his status will be made later in the week. Linebacker Mike Barrow, who has yet to play this season with an injured left knee, is improving, according to Tyer. The trainer said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Barrow playing this week. …

Stat of the day: The Redskins have outscored their opponents in both the first and fourth quarters and are tied in second-quarter scoring. However, they have been outscored 35-7 in the third quarter this season.

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