- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 8, 2005

Helping pave the way for a 1,000-yard rusher and giving the quarterback enough time to throw to a 1,000-yard receiver — while playing most of the season’s first half with two broken thumbs — certainly would allow Washington Redskins right tackle Jon Jansen to qualify 2005 as a success.

But in Jansen’s view, the Redskins (6-6) have too much work ahead of them in the next four weeks to place any kind of label on his or the team’s performance.

“It will be my most satisfying season if we can make the playoffs,” Jansen said. “Personally, it’s been satisfying because I’ve been able to play through some things. If you can play hurt and help your team attain a goal they haven’t reached in a while, it will be a success.”

Jansen sustained a broken left thumb in the practice before the season opener and broke his right thumb against Chicago on Sept.11. The soft casts have been off for several weeks, but Jansen saw a specialist Tuesday to examine the thumbs, and he sat out practice yesterday as a precaution. He will play Sunday at Arizona.

Jansen missed all of last season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, but he has started every game this year. He has teamed with guard Randy Thomas to form a solid right side of the offensive line that has cleared space for Clinton Portis (1,079 rushing yards) and has given Mark Brunell time to find Santana Moss (1,111 receiving yards).

Jansen’s only penalty this season was a false start against Denver in Week5.

“It was frustrating that I didn’t have the success I had early on because of the two clubs I had to wear, but you have to play the hand you’re dealt,” Jansen said. “There are guys playing hurt across the league, and they can excel in those situations, and you want them on your team. Hopefully I’ve proven that to the Redskins.”

The longest-tenured Redskin (1999), Jansen made the playoffs as a rookie but hasn’t been back since. The Redskins face a win-or-else game against the 4-8 Cardinals before facing the three other NFC East teams to finish the season.

“Every game you win makes the next one bigger,” Jansen said. “We know if we win this one, it makes the Dallas game huge. We have things in front of us that we can accomplish. If we do our jobs and play good football, there are going to be good things for us at the end of the year. Our fate can be in our hands, but we have to take care of Arizona first. If we don’t do that, our fate isn’t in our hands.”

Arrington questionable

Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game because of a thigh bruise, but Gibbs didn’t sound concerned Arrington would be unavailable. Moss sustained what Gibbs called a “mild strain” of his hamstring during practice and is probable.

James Thrash (hamstring) and defensive tackles Joe Salave’a (foot) and Cedric Killings (groin) are listed as questionable.

Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (hip) and left tackle Chris Samuels (knee) did not practice but are probable. Running back Ladell Betts (knee) practiced and is not listed on the injury report.

Brunell leads … barely

Brunell’s 1.4 percent interception rate — five in 370 attempts — leads the NFL but just barely. Brad Johnson’s 1.2 rate in Minnesota would lead the league, but he is five attempts short of qualifying. Johnson has two interceptions in 163 passes.

Brunell’s career-best interception percentage for a full season is 1.6 in 1997.

“Many times, guys are covered, and I would much rather throw it out of bounds than try to force it in there because it could get tipped and intercepted,” he said.

Brunell said his five interceptions were two bad decisions and three tipped passes.

Cooley, Thrash lead

Thrash (special teams) and Chris Cooley (fullback) remain the top vote-getters at their positions in the NFC Pro Bowl fan balloting. Cooley has gathered 372,012 votes and Thrash 61,676 votes.

Fan voting ends Tuesday and will count for one-third — along with coaches and players — in determining the Pro Bowl starters. The Pro Bowl squads will be announced Dec.21.

Extra points

Offensive lineman Lennie Friedman, released Nov.23 by the Redskins, has signed with the Chicago Bears. …

The Redskins signed receiver Richard Smith to the practice squad and released receiver Carl Kearney. Smith played four games for Kansas City last season.

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