- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2005

When Washington met Dallas on “Monday Night Football” last September, an injured LaVar Arrington agonized about not being able to help his team avert defeat. When the Redskins beat the Cowboys on “Monday Night Football” three days ago, Arrington was in uniform but mostly was a bystander again to his surprise and dismay.

“As long as we’re winning, I guess I can’t complain too much,” said the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker, who started but played just a handful of snaps. “You know how I am. I want to be out there trying to make a difference. I want to help. I thought the whole plan was to ease me back in, but that hasn’t turned out to be true.”

Arrington, who missed 12 games and 14 starts after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last September, finally returned to the field Aug. 15 and saw increasing action in the three subsequent preseason games. Arrington didn’t start but played more in the opener against Chicago than he did at Dallas, in part because fellow outside backer Chris Clemons had returned from injury.

Assistant head coach for defense Gregg Williams isn’t speaking to the media this week. Linebackers coach Dale Lindsey isn’t convinced that Arrington, who says he feels fine, is 100 percent.

“LaVar needs more work [in practice],” Lindsey said. “On top of that, he has to feel confident that his knee is OK and that he understands what the [defensive] system asks him to do and then can go out and do that to the best of his ability, and we have to feel the same way about him.”

Coach Joe Gibbs, who generally leaves the defense in Williams’ hands, doesn’t believe Arrington’s limited role behind Warrick Holdman is permanent.

“We want LaVar to be an impact guy,” Gibbs said. “We want to get him in there. [The defensive coaches] consider everybody a starter. They try to use most of the guys at some point in different packages. It so happens this week that some of the things we used the most LaVar wasn’t in on.”

Arrington, who previously has expressed unhappiness with this coaching staff, is too proud to ask why he’s not playing more.

“This is my sixth year here,” he explained. “I’ve done an overwhelming amount to at least deserve an explanation. I don’t feel I should have to go to ask why I’m not playing. If it’s important enough to them to communicate with me, then that’s what they’ll do. However they’re going to use me, they’re going to use me.”

Moss gets award

Receiver Santana Moss, who rallied the Redskins to the 14-13 victory in Dallas with late touchdown catches of 39 and 70 yards, was named the NFC’s offensive player of the week. Moss, who set a career-high with 159 receiving yards, was previously honored as a player of the week on special teams for the New York Jets in 2002.

“It’s something to build on,” said Moss, who also won one of the parking spaces next to the front door of Redskin Park as one of the three Redskins of the week along with cornerback Walt Harris (defense) and Mike Sellers (special teams).

Injury update

Safeties Pierson Prioleau (strained hamstring) and Sean Taylor (bruised shoulder), linebacker Lemar Marshall (strained groin), tight end Robert Royal (bruised leg), kicker John Hall (quadriceps) and defensive tackle Brandon Noble (knee surgery) didn’t practice.

Practice squad change

The Redskins made their second practice squad move in a week, cutting running back Jonathan Combs and signing guard Jason Nerys, who played at Delaware and spent part of 2004 on the Jets’ practice squad.

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