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Fletcher Practices, Questionable For Sunday

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After leaving last Sunday's game with a hamstring injury and missing the first two days of practice with balance concerns, Fletcher was back on the field Friday and is questionable to play Sunday.

"I did what I could. I was encouraged by today," Fletcher said after practice. "It felt good to get out there and run around.  It's still another 48 hours until game day, so hopefully I keep improving."

Fletcher told the media that he has been experiencing issues with his balance for several weeks, but finally decided to see a specialist this week.

Tests were inconclusive at to a cause, but doctors were able to rule out a concussion.

"That is why he went to see a doctor, so he could find out," head coach Mike Shanahan reported.  "They are going to keep on testing him. Sometimes people think it's in their ear when they talk about balance issues and that is one of the reasons I said yesterday I'm not really sure if it is a concussion when you are talking about balance.

"Good thing about it is he is feeling a lot better. Why that occurred, I don't think anybody knows for sure.  But at least the test showed it was not a concussion."

Fletcher currently leads the Redskins with 89 tackles and three forced fumbles, both ranking in the top-10 for the NFL.

If he is unable to suit up Sunday, it will be the first time in 232 games that Fletcher has not played, tied for the longest active streak in the NFL. 

Friday, Fletcher downplayed the importance of the streak as compared to his career and long-term health.

"I don't really think about [the streak], but a lot until people talk about it," he said. "I always take it as the mindset of if I'm ready to play a game, I'm ready to play a game. That's just really how it's been.

"I love being out there with my teammates, love being out there on the field playing football. That's really just how I approach it."

Shanahan credited the toughness of his defensive captain and didn't doubt that the streak would be a factor in whether or not No. 59 played.

"For a guy to play that many games, you can guarantee it means something to him," Shanahan said.  "That is one of the biggest compliments you can give somebody: to be able to play as consistently as he has, because everybody is hurting."

With a travel day Saturday and a 1 p.m. kickoff on Sunday, Fletcher will have two days of rest to prepare him for Pittsburgh.  Shanahan said the team's medical staff will continue to monitor him for the next 48 hours to determine if he's ready to go.

"We're going to keep on testing him," he said of Fletcher.  "Watching him practice, he looked pretty good. He takes a lot of pride in himself. Good thing about it is, he's feeling a lot better."

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