Just 10 weeks ago, Nick Novak was the hero of FedExField, having kicked a 39-yard game-winning field goal to defeat the Seattle Seahawks in overtime on Oct. 2. Now, Novak is an Arizona Cardinal and set to face the Redskins this Sunday.
Novak signed with Arizona on Dec. 2 to replace injured kicker Neil Rackers, who has a calf injury. Novak played in the Cardinals' 17-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers. He kicked three field goals from 30, 35 and 19 yards.
"Nick did a good job for us last week," Arizona head coach Dennis Green said. "We will keep him the rest of the year regardless of how quickly Neil heals up."
Novak, a University of Maryland product, signed with the Redskins before Week 2. John Hall had injured his quad and would be sidelined for six games. Novak went about his business quietly. He viewed his time in Washington as an opportunity to audition for a permanent job in the NFL. He would often stand by himself at practice, waiting until it was time for him to work with special teams units.
Novak approached folk hero status by kicking a game-winning PAT against Dallas and the 39-yard game-winner against Seattle. It got to the point where Novak had to ask the team's public relations staff to limit his media availability so that he could concentrate on football.
Overall, Novak was 5-of-7 on field goals for the Redskins, with a long of 39.
"Nick did a good job for the Redskins when he was playing for Hall," Green added. "I think he will do a good job for us the rest of the year."
-- ARRINGTON, MOSS SIT OUT AGAIN
Linebacker LaVar Arrington and wide receiver Santana Moss sat out practice on Thursday.
Arrington has a thigh injury and is listed as questionable, while Moss has a mild hamstring injury and is listed as probable.
Regarding Arrington's availability for Sunday's game, assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said: "We make those decisions on Friday."
If Arrington is unable to play, Warrick Holdman would likely see increased playing time in his place.
Moss sustained his hamstring injury during Wednesday's practice.
Asked about the injury, Moss replied: "I just shut it down because I could have made it worse. It was my call. I think I've been around long enough to know that, when something is bothering you, you don't push it.
"As much as I like to be out there doing what I do, it doesn't make any sense to push through something when you only really need to push through it when it comes to game time. That's why I'm glad to have the coaches I have. They understand that. You have to be your best on Sunday."
-- PORTIS'S LATEST PERSONA
Clinton Portis dressed up as a character named "Bro Sweets," complete with yellow, curly hair, oversized heart-shaped glasses and an overcoat big enough to fit wide receiver Antonio Brown in it along with Portis.
Portis told reporters that he felt physically better prepared for the stretch run this year.
"From the beginning of the season, I've been preparing for this. We have four games left. Whatever is asked of me, I'm ready. That's the good thing about being healthy at the end of the season. My carries have been up the last few weeks and I'm ready for it."
-- HOT AND COLD
The Redskins are practicing in near-freezing temperatures this week--it was 33 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday afternoon at Redskins Park--even though on Sunday they will play in much warmer conditions in Tempe, Arizona.
The temperature in Phoenix on Thursday? Sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit.
Head coach Joe Gibbs said the difference in climate won't make much of a difference when the Redskins play in Arizona on Sunday.
"We joke about it and say this is Redskins weather," Gibbs said of the weather conditions in the northeast. "Playing or practicing in it is really just a matter of getting used to it. It is a mental thing. They've done all of the research and there is not a difference in players playing in hot or cold conditions."