LaVar Arrington is progressing in practices and will continue to be a part of defensive packages on game day, assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said on Thursday.
"LaVar has put together back-to-back good weeks in practice, not only from a mental standpoint, but from a physical standpoint, too," Williams said. "There's a pep to his step."
Arrington is coming off of a 49ers game in which he saw his most extensive playing time of the season. He recorded nine tackles, including two for a loss, in the Redskins' 52-17 win at FedExField.
Asked if Arrington would see as much playing time against the Giants this Sunday, Williams replied: "We sure hope so. He's practicing very well. It was nice to see him contribute. He did a very good job. He did a good enough job that we got some very significant plays out of him.
"He made some mistakes, but so did all of the defensive players. I did. Very seldom do we have an error-free ballgame. It was fun to see the energy, and more importantly, the burst. Those are the things I didn't see earlier in the year, especially during training camp.
"He'll be in as many packages as we can get him on the field against the Giants this Sunday. We'll see."
Arrington was held out most of training camp as he continued to rehabilitate from arthroscopic knee surgery last April. It was the same knee injury that sidelined him most of the 2004 season.
Last Sunday, Arrington sustained a mild hamstring injury. It is not considered serious and he is listed as probable for this week's game against the Giants.
Williams said Arrington was part of a 3-4 defensive alignment that he empoyed during the 49ers game. That allowed the Redskins to not only confuse the 49ers, but also rest some of the defense's injured defensive linemen, including Cornelius Griffin and Joe Salave'a.
"We put a tremendous emphasis on the 3-4 this past offseason," Williams said. "We have used it in part of all games this season. We used it quite a bit this past week because we had some injuries."
Added Williams: "Our guys are sharp enough--we've had a year together, going on our second year--and they should be comfortable to understand how we flip from package to package and the thought processes that go in trying to impact an offense. It's been a good fit for us."
-- CRAZY CLINTON
At first, it started as a means to lighten the mood surrounding Clinton Portis's Thursday media sessions. Portis would wear funky sunglasses as reporters peppered him with questions about his touchdown-scoring drought.
Last week, after his scoring drought had reached eight games, he donned a bleach-white wig and virtual reality sunglasses.
Fortunately, the scoring drought ended last Sunday, when Portis logged three touchdown runs. But with Halloween fast approaching, Portis's attire for his weekly media session seems to have taken on a life of its own.
On Thursday, Portis came to his media session wearing a black cape, a James Brown-style wig, a black mask and yellow sunglasses. The get-up drew laughter from the assembled reporters.
Coaches and teammates could only shake their head in amusement as they walked by on their way to the cafeteria.
And yet Portis went through his customary media session, patiently answering reporters' questions, even though his outfit created a sense of absurdity to the proceedings.
"We know this is going to be a tough game," Portis said of this Sunday's game against the Giants. "When we went there last year, I think we had seven turnovers. It was a hard-fought battle. This year, we're both playing better. We're both probably at the top of our games right now. Going in there won't be easy. We know this is for the division lead."
What will Clinton wear next week? Stay tuned.
-- LAVERANUES MOSS?
Santana Moss had to laugh. A reporter from Newsday was set to ask Moss a question during a Wednesday media session, and he inadvertently called Moss "Laveranues."
"Whoa," Moss said as other reporters chuckled.
Moss, of course, was traded from the New York Jets to Washington for Laveranues Coles last offseason.
Moss makes his return to Giants Stadium this Sunday. The Jets currently play all of their home games there.
"I know the stadium well," Moss said. "That's a nice thing. I know they have some pretty fast turf. I hope it's a good day, so we can go out there and be able to do the things that we do. It's pretty cool to go back there and be able to play the game."
-- NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS
With John Hall close to returning to kicking duties, Nick Novak knows his days with the Redskins may be numbered. For now, Novak is getting equal reps as Hall during practice. And until he's told otherwise, he's going to keep showing up to work each day and preparing for the next game, just as he's always done for the last six weeks.
"I'm going to prepare like I'm kicking this week and we'll see what happens," Novak said on Thursday.
Gibbs said the team would likely make a decision on the kicking situation later this week. Hall is listed as probable on the team's injury report and has continued to progress from the quad injury he suffered in Week 1.
"We'll give John a real good look on Thursday, because that's when we do most of our field goal and kickoff work, and we'll just monitor it," Gibbs said. "Last week, John felt like he could go, but we wanted to wait one more week. We'll just look at it towards the end of this week and then make a decision."
It's possible that the Redskins could keep both Hall and Novak on the roster, primarily as a precaution in case Hall re-aggravates the injury. But that would be an unusual move by NFL standards.