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Fletcher: 'We're Not Going To Make Excuses'


Redskins linebacker London Fletcher played his 232nd straight regular season game this afternoon, despite hamstring and balance issues that kept him out of practice until Friday.

Fletcher told the media after Sunday's game that he felt his hamstring injury during the game, but felt confident enough to play all 60 minutes.

"It held up pretty good.  Not 100 percent, but good enough to go out there and make some plays," he said.  "Overall, I was happy I was able to get through the game and I don't feel like I set myself back at all."

He led a unit that has been rattled by injuries, sliding to the bottom of the league after the loss of five defensive players this season, including Adam Carriker, Brian Orakpo and Brandon Meriweather.

But after a 27-12 loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Fletcher refused to make excuses for the team's first sound defeat of the season.

"At the end of the day, this is the NFL and injuries happen," he said in the locker room.  "You're one play away in the NFL, and we're not going to make excuses about who isn't here.

"[Orakpo]'s not coming back this year, Adam's not coming back this year, we'd love to have Brandon come back this year.  The guys that are in those positions starting, they have to play. We expect them to play well."

The Redskins defense has struggled in recent weeks, unable to stop opposing offenses on third downs and late in the game.

Where the Redskins' secondary has been burned by the downfield passing attack, the Steelers employed a short-yardage passing game that kept the defense off balance.

The Redskins defense also yielded the first 100-yard individual rushing performance since yielding 126 to LeSean McCoy in Week 6 of the 2011 season, a span of 18 games.

"Really, I thought their passing game was more of an issue coming into this game," he explained. "They had a back go over 100 yards, but I don't think that was the reason they won the game today.

"They had a big play in the run game, 30-some yards, and you can't give up a gainer like that.  Then we had a couple missed tackles. They had some quick passes, screens, rocket screens, tight end delays, stuff like that."

Given the success of the Redskins' offense throughout the season, the Redskins have remained close in every game until Sunday, when the offense managed just 12 points.

"Today, we had opportunities to make the game close," he explained.  "Somebody needed to make a play, whether it was on defense, offense or special teams.  We just never had that big play happen for us, to put us where we needed to be on the scoreboard.

"It just never really happened for us today."




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