Marcus Washington hasn't missed a game since signing with the Redskins in 2004. In fact, Washington has played every game of his seven-year NFL career except for the 2002 finale and subsequent playoff loss, when he was with Indianapolis.
However, the 2004 Pro Bowl strong-side linebacker might not be in the lineup when the Redskins (5-9) visit St. Louis (6-8) on Sunday.
Washington was downgraded to doubtful on Thursday after missing a second straight day of practice with a sprained knee he suffered late in last Sunday's victory at New Orleans.
"It's better, but if we had a game tomorrow, I don't know if I could play," Washington said before meeting with the Redskins' medical staff.
Jeff Posey, who has started 76 games for San Francisco, Jacksonville, Houston and Buffalo, would likely start if Washington can't go. Second-round draft choice Rocky McIntosh would probably also play more than usual.
"It's the NFL," Posey said. "You always have to be ready."
Washington's likely absence could also mean more playing time for second-round draft pick Rocky McIntosh, who has seen little action on defense, because weak side starter Warrick Holdman has also been taking snaps on the strong side this week.
"Marcus is a tough player and a very inspirational leader, too, but it's always an opportunity for someone else to step up," said assistant head coach defense Gregg Williams.
Washington is second on the Redskins in tackles, sacks and passes defensed and fourth in quarterback pressures. He's the only member of the defense to start every game in each of the last two seasons.If Washington doesn't start, only defensive end Andre Carter, safety Sean Taylor and Holdman will have started every game on the Redskins' defense this year.