Joe Salave'a walked off the Redskins Park practice fields on Wednesday evening, right into the arms of his wife and young daughter Katalina. It had been a trying week for Salave'a, whose mother passed away in American Samoa last week.
Salave'a said he was glad to be back with his teammates.
"Considering the circumstances with my mother passing, I think I need these guys more than they need me," he said. "I'm glad to be back and hopefully I'll be practicing tomorrow."
Salave'a said he caught several red-eye flights from Samoa because he wanted to make it to Redskins Park in time for Wednesday night's practice.
Salave'a did some light running on Wednesday, but he did not participate in any drills.
"Joe did a little work, but he's coming back from a pretty traumatic thing," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "I think the coaches want to start him off easy. I'm sure Joe is chomping at the bit. He'll be ready to go, I would think, tomorrow and certainly for the scrimmage."
Added Salave'a: "Just to be back here and going through it with the guys, makes it easier to cope. I'm glad I have a second family to come to. It helps a lot."
-- KENNEDY AT REDSKINS PARK
#### -- NIGHT TIME IN ASHBURN
Team officials worked overtime to get overhead lights to Redskins Park in time for Wednesday night's practice. The lights initially weren't due to arrive until Thursday's practice, but Joe Gibbs wanted to move Wednesday's practice to the night due to the excessively hot conditions.
"I'm glad we switched to a night practice," Joe Gibbs said. "By our calculations, it was about 10 degrees cooler when we started. So I think we always have great work at night. Our players had great enthusiasm."
Added quarterback Mark Brunell: "It was different. It was fun--kind of like a high school football game. I think guys appreciated the change, not to mention that it was about 10-15 degrees cooler. We worked real well in it."
On Thursday, the team is scheduled to have its second of three two-a-day practice sessions. Both practices are closed to the public.
"Tomorrow morning's practice--we'll back off some," Gibbs said. "We'll take a big break in the middle of the day and get caught up on some film. We'll get everybody rested and then we'll practice again tomorrow night."
-- PATTEN IMPROVING
Wide receiver David Patten remains hospitalized with viral meningitis, team officials said.
Joe Gibbs spoke with Patten on Wednesday morning. Gibbs said the receiver was improving.
"I talked to him this morning and he's feeling much better," Gibbs said. "I would hope that he's coming out of it and that he would be back here after the weekend."