For the first time since mid-October, Shawn Springs was full-go in practice on Wednesday as he returns from a calf injury.
It's a positive sign that Springs should be available for this Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Springs has missed the last four games--and six of 10 games this season--due to a series of injuries to his calf.
Head coach Jim Zorn joked that the Redskins had a "new defensive back" at practice on Wednesday, referring to Springs.
"He held up well," Zorn said. "What has been great about Shawn is even when he has not participated in practice, he has been very attentive on the sidelines, by the coach. He has not been kicking back.
"When he walked out there and started going through it, his communication and the way he played was just right. He was very ready for practice, very ready to make the calls and just run well. He looked great."
With Springs back in the fold, the Redskins' depth at cornerback is among the best in the league. Carlos Rogers, Fred Smoot and DeAngelo Hall are all expected to see playing time against the Seahawks.
Springs began his NFL career with the Seahawks. He was the Seahawks' first-round draft choice in 1997 and he played seven seasons in Seattle before signing with the Redskins in 2004.
Springs earned his only Pro Bowl berth as a member of the Seahawks in 1998.
-- THE 'PLACK' GOES BACK
In Week 1 this season, Ryan Plackemeier was the punter for the Seattle Seahawks. He had 11 punts for a 40.9-yard average as the Seahawks lost to the Buffalo Bills 34-10.
Plackemeier was released the following week to make way for free agent Jon Ryan.
The Redskins picked up Plackemeier in mid-October to improve their struggling punting game. He has a 41.3 punting average for the season.
This week, Plackemeier said he is excited to return to Seattle, where he began his NFL career as a sixth-round draft pick in 2006.
"I have a lot of great friends there still there," he said. "They are having a tough year there, but I root for the guys. It was the team I was drafted by and I'm excited to go back and play there."
Asked if he felt he had something to prove to Seattle, Plackemeier replied: "I don't ever feel like I have to prove anything to anybody. They made their decision, the Redskins made their decision, and I'm just excited to play."
-- PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE
The Redskins signed linebacker Steve Octavien to the practice squad on Wednesday. He fills the spot vacated by Curtis Gatewood, who was signed to the Kansas City Chiefs active roster.
Octavien stands at 6-0, 238 pounds. He was with Kansas City in training camp after signing with the club as an undrafted rookie free agent last April.
Octavien played in 22 games, with 10 starts, at Nebraska from 2005-07.
As a senior, he started eight of 12 games and recorded 92 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss and two sacks. He earned honorable mention All-Big 12 and was named the team's defensive most valuable player.
Octavien hails from Belle Glade, Fla.
-- RANDLE EL RESTS
Antwaan Randle El could miss several days of practice this week as he recovers from a low ankle sprain.
Randle El is expected to be available for Sunday's game against Seattle.
"I don't think he'll miss a beat," Jim Zorn said, "but he has to continue to improve."
Chris Samuels and Pete Kendall also sat out practice on Wednesday to rest sore knees.
-- MONTGOMERY 'COMING ON'
Anthony Montgomery is close to returning to practice, Jim Zorn said.
Montgomery ran on the sidelines on Wednesday, testing an Achilles injury that he suffered in the Nov. 3 game against Pittsburgh.
Zorn called his work "encouraging," but his status for Sunday's game at Seattle remains uncertain.