London Fletcher entered the NFL in 1998 as an undrafted rookie with the St. Louis Rams. Ray Lewis entered the NFL two years earlier, as a first-round draft pick with the Baltimore Ravens.
Fletcher helped lead the Rams to a Super Bowl XXXIV championship. Lewis helped lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl XXXV championship.
When the Redskins take on the Ravens this Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium, two of the league's best middle linebackers will be on display.
Both are the unquestioned leaders of their defenses.
"Ray has been in this game a long period of time," Fletcher said. "He has a lot of experience. I'm anticipating a great defensive ball game [on Sunday] and Ray and I will be in the middle of it, going out there and trying to help our teams win."
This season, Fletcher leads the Redskins' defense with 106 tackles. He also has two forced fumbles.
It is the 10th consecutive season that Fletcher has reached 100 or more tackles in a season. He is ranked sixth in the NFL and third in the NFC in tackles.
Lewis leads the Ravens with 120 tackles, one sack and three interceptions. With the exception of injury plagued seasons in 2002 and 2005, Lewis has recorded 100 tackles every season of his career.
Fletcher has been slowed by a foot injury in recent weeks, but he was still able to play against the New York Giants last Sunday.
He is unlikely to practice this week, head coach Jim Zorn said, and he could be a game time decision for Sunday night.
"London is working his foot," Zorn said. "I think he's better than he was last week, but we have to rest him."
Said Fletcher: "I feel better than last week. It's still not totally 100 percent, but like I said last week, who is 100 percent at this point in time? We have a good plan in store as far as treatment and giving me the opportunity to play on Sunday."
-- PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE
The Redskins signed linebacker Brandon Archer to the practice squad on Wednesday. He fills the spot vacated by linebacker Steve Octavien, who signed with the Dallas Cowboys active roster this week.
It's the fourth time this season that a player on the Redskins' practice squad was signed by another club.
The 6-foot, 230-pound Archer spent most of 2007 alternating between Indianapolis's active roster and practice squad.
He played six games with the Colts last year, logging 10 tackles on defense and four on special teams. He also spent one week on Minnesota's practice squad after being released by the Colts at the end of training camp.
Archer, 25, originally signed with Indianapolis as an undrafted free agent following a four-year career at Kansas State. He hails from St. Paul, Minn.
-- ON TAYLOR
Jason Taylor has recorded 19 tackles and one sack this season, but he missed three games due to a calf injury.
Certainly, it is not the kind of impact he was hoping for when he joined the Redskins via trade on July 20.
Jim Zorn feels that Taylor has not "found a comfort level yet" this season as a result of the injury.
Meantime, Taylor has played some linebacker in recent weeks as the defense makes do without Marcus Washington, sidelined with an ankle injury.
"We ask Jason to play a lot of different roles," Zorn said. "Each week, as he is in different positions, would we like it to be seamless transition? Absolutely."
-- SPRINGS UPDATE
As expected, Shawn Springs sat out practice on Wednesday after he aggravated his calf injury in last Sunday's game against the Giants.
Coaches are being cautious with Springs.
"Shawn's okay, but we'll have to wait and see," Zorn said. "He is the kind of player who needs to feel very good about his calf. We don't want to mess it up again, so he's going to rest until we can get it better."
Springs is expected to be a game time decision.
"I think he'll go, but I would list him as questionable because I think it's going to be a matter of how he feels," Zorn said.