Pierre Garcon likely out this week

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon and safety Brandon Meriweather are unlikely to play again this week, postponing their return until after the bye.

Garcon did not practice Wednesday as the team began workouts ahead of Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. He has missed five of the last seven games with a torn toe ligament in his right foot.

"It's getting better with the time off," coach Mike Shanahan said. "But my mindset is probably after the Carolina game."

Meriweather, who has yet to play this season, was limited in practice with sprained ligaments in his left knee and is a "long shot" to take the field against the Panthers, according to Shanahan.

Meriweather's return can't come soon enough for the Redskins, who have the worst pass defense in the NFL.

"It's very hard to sit back and watch," Meriweather said, "knowing there's nothing I can do to help my team."

The Redskins have next week off before returning to host the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 18.

Shanahan said he has yet to hear from the NFL office concerning a possible punishment for DeAngelo Hall over the cornerback's tirade toward an official in the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The coach doesn't think Hall will be suspended for the Carolina game now that this week's practices are under way.

"They wouldn't let somebody practice a full practice if they're going to be suspended for this week's game," Shanahan said. "At least I don't believe it's ever happened before."

Shanahan said linebacker London Fletcher practiced without limitation, even though the team still isn't sure what caused the balance issues that prompted the team to order neurological testing last week. Doctors were able to rule out a concussion, allowing Fletcher to play against the Steelers in his 232nd consecutive game.

Fletcher also has a nagging right hamstring injury and says he wasn't 100 percent against Pittsburgh. He's not sure how much, if any, the balance issue affected his play.

"Any time you're dealing with something that's not just a muscle or something like that, with balance or things where you've got to take neurological tests, sure it's scary," he said. "So I would be lying if I said it wasn't on my mind. ... You never know. You try to block those things out when the ball is snapped."

Also at less than 100 percent is punter Sav Rocca, who has torn meniscus in his right knee. The right-footed Rocca says the injury has some effect on the power he puts behind the ball.

"It's not necessarily the punt itself, but more so the approach," Rocca said. "And any running or walking I do, I can feel it."

Rocca said the injury had nothing to do with the 12-yard punt in the first half that helped set up a Steelers field goal, but Shanahan suspects otherwise.

"Anytime you have a punt like he did, you know it's bothering him a little bit," Shanahan said. "But he had a good practice today."


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