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To knee, or not to knee, that is ...


Not a good time to be an ex-Skin these days. My long-held thoughts that LaVar Arrington's career will never be the same because of his knee problems - unfortunate as this is - seem to be holding true this training camp, while another long-beloved teammate, running back Stephen Davis, is shopping himself around at a time when he should probably resting his knees for good.

It was kind of assumed that Davis would retire and his career seemed over after being released by Carolina. I understand any athlete's desire to prove one last time that he can still play the game, but at that position, with what Davis has been through and considering how late in training camp we are, it's a tough sell. I don't see the Redskins being in the mix at all, but actually think Davis's chances of getting a look-see would be better in the regular season should injuries arise. Clinton Portis looks to be headed back sooner rather than later, but I'm not sure he can go 16 games with that shoulder. Ladell Betts has been banged up and I could see the team taking a chance on a veteran in a pinch midseason if need be, but for now they have good depth and this is a time to see what Betts and Cartwright can do while Portis sits.

LaVar is having essentially another lost training camp, this time with the Giants. I know he busted his butt to get in great shape as soon as 2005 ended, knowing he would playing elsewhere and needing to make a good impression. He burns to show the NFL he is still an elite playmaker, but just hasn't been able to get on the field with any regularity since 2003. That's eons ago in the NFL. Hard for me to imagine him being the force he once was. Been wrong before and I'll be wrong again, but if your knees let you down it's hard to do much in this league.

The Redskins got a sweetheart deal when LaVar left this offseason, not having to pay him the final chunks of deferred money, and, who knows, they might not even have to face him this regular season if the injuries persist. I like LaVar a ton and think he is a thoughtful, engaging personality - even if sometimes his emotions get the better of his tongue. I wish him all the best, but don't have a great feeling about this one.

By Jason La Canfora  |  August 22, 2006; 11:37 AM ET
 
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