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American Football: Arrington could miss 2-4 weeks

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posted on Sep, 24 2004 @ 10:59 AM
Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington is expected to miss two to four weeks, including Monday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys, after a sudden flare-up forced him to have surgery on his right knee.

Arrington missed practice Thursday to fly to Birmingham, Ala., to see a team doctor, who repaired torn cartilage in the knee that has been bothering the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker since the opening-week victory over Tampa Bay.

Arrington will be on crutches for a least a week.

"It's just one of those things that happens and you've got to take care of," coach Joe Gibbs said. "He's somebody that we think is going to play for a long time, so we want to take good care of him."

Meanwhile, quarterback Mark Brunell was a spectator again during practice because of a strained hamstring. Gibbs stopped short of declaring Patrick Ramsey the starter for the Cowboys game, but the coach said that would be his expectation "from what we know today."

Arrington said he hurt his knee when he "took a bad step" during the win over the Buccaneers. He was limited in practice last week, but he played in Sunday's loss to the New York Giants and made seven tackles, although he wasn't the dominating presence that has perennially made him one of the league's top linebackers.

On Monday, Arrington was bent over as he slowly walked into Redskins Park, saying he was "banged up" but confident he could keep playing. On Wednesday, he seemed to be walking normally.

"LaVar's knee looked the best it has looked," Gibbs said. "Then last night, it kind of ballooned up on us."

The setbacks for Arrington and Brunell are latest injury blows for the Redskins. Defensive end Phillip Daniels is out at least two weeks with a strained groin, and middle linebacker Mike Barrow has yet to play this season because of tendinitis in his knee. Right tackle Jon Jansen was lost for the season when he ruptured an Achilles' tendon in the first exhibition game.

Arrington's likely replacement is Lemar Marshall, a third-year player who has never started an NFL game and has been used mostly on special teams. Marshall also played on short-yardage packages in the first two games, and last week he was on standby in case Arrington wasn't able to go.

"It's Dallas week, and it is on Monday night, so yeah it is a big game, but I'm not going out there nervous or anything like that," Marshall said. "I'm going out there studying the game plan and make sure I'm prepared.

"I can't go out there and try to play how LaVar plays; I've got to play how Lemar plays. It rhymes, but that's what I've got to do."

Gibbs said there's still a chance Barrow could return and start in Arrington's spot, but that possibility seemed remote when Barrow wasn't able to take part in Thursday's team drills.

Arrington has missed only two games in five seasons with the Redskins, both in 2001. His yearly accolades have come despite playing for a different defensive coordinator each year. This year he expected to have his best season yet because he's getting to play the weak side, as he did at Penn State.

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