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News & Notes: Fletcher Plays Despite Foot Injury

One by one, the Redskins' injured starters headed out onto the playing field to work out for team officials.

It was pre-game on Sunday, hours before the Redskins-New York Giants game at FedExField. Time to find out if they would be available for the critical NFC East contest.

First it was defensive end Andre Carter, struggling with a foot injury.

Later it was middle linebacker London Fletcher, who also has a foot injury.

On the field, they both showed the ability to make cuts and change direction quickly. And they both suited up and played in Sunday's game against the NFC East-leading Giants.

Fletcher drew the start. He kept his consecutive games streak intact--he has now played in 131 consecutive NFL games

His presence in the lineup was considered vital to the Redskins' chances of stopping the Giants' top-ranked run game. He led the defense with 14 tackles.

Carter came in off the bench in a supporting role, recording two tackles and a sack of Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

Defensive end Jason Taylor started in place of Carter on the defensive line, opposite Demetric Evans.

Both Fletcher and Carter had entered the game listed as questionable for the Giants game.

The only Redskins starter inactive for the game was defensive tackle Kedric Golston, slowed by bone spurs in both of his ankles. He entered the game listed as questionable.

Anthony Montgomery started in place of Golston and had a solid game, recording five tackles and a sack.

Left tackle Chris Samuels and running back Clinton Portis were also available for Sunday's game.

Samuels continues to play through a knee injury that forced him to miss all three days of practice last week.

Portis, the NFL's leading rusher heading into Sunday's games, started despite a myriad of injuries, including a sprained knee and an oblique injury.

Portis struggled against a stout Giants defense, with 11 carries for 22 yards. He also caught a screen pass and picked up 15 yards.

He suffered a neck injury in the game, but was able to return. His status will be updated on Monday.

Portis has been a regular absentee from practice the last few weeks as he rehabs injuries.

He has been able to suit up and play each of the last three games, though.

Zorn said last week that he wants Portis to participate in practice, but understands that his top running back has to rest his assorted injuries late in the season.

"When you have your starters participating, practices go smoother," Zorn said. "Clinton is the guy who needs to read the seams, read the holes, read the play, get the timing down with the quarterback, run the routes and block the protections.

"He has been doing a very good job on the run part and he has been doing a great job on the pass protection part, but there is more involved than just having him play on Sunday."

The Redskins' complete list of inactive players was as follows: linebacker Marcus Washington, Golston, offensive linemen Jason Fabini and Chad Rinehart, defensive ends Erasmus James and Rob Jackson and tight end Fred Davis.


The Giants entered Sunday's game at FedExField with some controversy.

Wide receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself with a gun while in a nightclub on Friday night. Former Redskins linebacker Antonio Pierce was reportedly with him at the time.

Burress was already declared out for Sunday's game due to a hamstring injury.

Burress was joined by backup kicker Lawrence Tynes, cornerback Sam Madison, running back Ahmad Bradshaw, linebacker Jonathan Goff, offensive lineman Adam Koets and defensive linemen Jerome McDougle and Fred Robbins.

Robbins misses the game due to a shoulder injury. Second-year defensive lineman Jay Alford replaces him in the starting lineup.

With Tynes out, John Carney handled the place kicking duties for the Giants.


H.B. Blades had a tough assignment in the days leading up to the Giants game. He had to prepare to play either the middle or strong-side linebacker positions.

With London Fletcher able to play through a foot injury, Blades ended up starting at strong-side linebacker in place of injured Marcus Washington.

It was Blades' second consecutive start and third in his career. He finished with four tackles in the game.

Last week, Blades earned more praise from defensive coordinator Greg Blache.

"H.B. is a guy who does what everybody tells him that he can't do," Blache said. They tell him he is not big enough, not fast enough, not good looking enough, but yet he gets it done. He's a guy that plays tough and that's the good thing about him. He goes out and does exactly what we ask him to do."

Washington remained sidelined with a high ankle sprain.

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