Phillip Daniels marched out to practice all this week determined to prove his groin injury is fully healed. The 6-5, 285-pound defensive lineman is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the New York Giants.
If Daniels is able to play, it would mark his fifth appearance in a game this season. He started the first two games of the regular season, then injured his groin in the Week 2 matchup against the Giants. He returned to face the Green Bay Packers, then re-aggravated his groin in the Week 8 game against Detroit.
He has been sidelined since.
With just five games remaining, Daniels hopes to play as much as possible to salvage what for him has become a lost season.
"If I can play, I'm going to go out and make the most of it," he said. "I want to finish strong and as soon as this season is over, I want to forget it."
Assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams hopes to see Williams back in action on Sunday. Daniels would likely join a defensive line rotation that includes young players Ron Warner and Demetric Evans.
"The flexibility in that group is something we're built for," Williams said. "We just hope we can get X number of snaps when Phillip's out there because we're better when he's out there. He can be a solid defensive end in this league."
Daniels signed with the Redskins last offseason after spending the previous four seasons with Chicago. The ninth-year veteran also played for Seattle from 1996-99 and has recorded 44.5 sacks in his career.
When Daniels signed with the Redskins, he was expected to provide versatility at the defensive end and tackle positions. He ended up starting at left defensive end in the season opener against Tampa Bay.
When Daniels was injured, the Redskins turned to Warner and Evans, both of whom alternated in starting at defensive end. Renaldo Wynn started the other side.
Said Daniels: "I set high standards for myself and if you can't get out there on the field, it's frustrating. This has been one of the toughest years I've ever been through. But I have to keep my head up and stay strong, be a leader for this team, and go from there.
"My teammates are fighting as hard as they can-they're still ranked No. 2 on defense. That says a lot about our coaches. No matter who's in there, they can do the job."
Through rehabilitating from his injury, Daniels has been supportive of his teammates throughout the course of the season, attending the defensive line meetings and helping out any way he can.
"I'm always talking to the younger guys about what to expect here or there," he said. "I've helped out in other ways."
Daniels hopes to help on the field this Sunday.
"I tried to get in last week [against Pittsburgh] as a backup, but they deactivated me," Daniels said. "This week, we'll see how it feels. I'm practicing and I'll make sure there's no soreness or swelling. If not, I'll be in there on Sunday."