Redskins' Fletcher practices; streak might go on

Associated Press Modified: October 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm •  Published: October 26, 2012
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ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — London Fletcher walked off the practice field with a slight limp and some upbeat news: He doesn't have a concussion, and his streak of never missing a game over 15 NFL seasons might remain intact after all.

The Redskins said Fletcher took part in the full workout Friday, one day after undergoing some six hours of tests for what coach Mike Shanahan has called a "balance issue." The 37-year-old linebacker is officially listed as questionable with head and hamstring injuries ahead of Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"I was encouraged by today," Fletcher said. "It felt good to get out there and run around. ... We've got 48 hours before the game. The body has a great way of healing, and just hopefully over the next couple of days I'll continue to improve."

Fletcher has never missed a game since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams in 1998, a remarkable run considering he has more tackles (1,865 including assists, according to STATS) than anyone else in the league during that span. His 231-game streak is the longest among active players, having moved one ahead of Tampa Bay defensive back Ronde Barber when the Buccaneers had their bye week earlier this month.

Fletcher injured his right hamstring in the second half of last week's loss to the New York Giants, and he told the team about his balance problem on Monday.

"I've been dealing with it for a couple of weeks now," Fletcher said. "But finally decided to tell them about it and kind of see if we could figure out what's going on."

While the tests ruled out a concussion, more will be needed to diagnose the cause of the balance problem. Shanahan mentioned the inner ear as a possible source.