''I think we need that guy on the field, but I'm not the defensive coordinator,'' running back Clinton Portis said, ''so I can't put him out there. We all know he has talent. We all know he wants to be on the field. We all know he has a passion for the game. . . . [But] the defensive coordinator has something going on that he feels is successful. He doesn't want to interfere with that. So, we'll wait to see LaVar get back on the field.''
It may be a while. Though assistant head coach for defense Gregg Williams said Arrington is getting his reps in practice, sources have told us that Arrington is getting few reps in practice. Thursday, he did more work with special teams than he had in the past.
Williams said Arrington's absence from the field has nothing to do with protecting the chemistry of those on the field. Most likely, and perhaps the word should be definitely, Arrington isn't playing because the coaches don't trust him to play the defense the way they want.
''I play the people who give us the best chance to win games,'' Williams said.
Arrington's absence is being discussed in the locker room by his teammates, who now are taking notice of his benching. And, at this point, that's what it is because his knee appears sound. One veteran said it's a situation that needs to be addressed.
Williams has not spoken to Arrington about his role.
''You guys are making more of this [than anyone],'' Williams said to the media after practice. However, Arrington's situation was the primary topic Monday morning on talk radio -- before any stories had been written.
Arrington hasn't had much to say since Monday when he discussed his situation. To his credit, Arrington remains supportive of his teammates and is saying the right things.
''He has a really good team attitude,'' Williams said.
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