A day after skipping practice following his arrest on a drunken driving charge, Washington Redskins rookie safety Sean Taylor was granted an excused absence Friday. In fact, the team told him to stay away until Monday.
Taylor will be inactive for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers, the fallout from being charged with driving under the influence and refusing a breathalyzer test after being stopped by a Virginia trooper early Thursday.
Taylor was not at Redskins Park for Friday's practice. Coach Joe Gibbs said the No. 5 overall draft pick will not be at Saturday's walkthrough or Sunday's game.
"He's not going to play this weekend, so I think it's good for him from a standpoint of media attention for the team and all that kind of stuff," Gibbs said. "It'd be better for the rest of us to spend the rest of the week concentrating on Green Bay."
The Redskins have to handle Taylor's situation carefully because they can't directly punish him over the charges unless he admits to them or is found guilty. However, Gibbs can penalize Taylor for missing Thursday's practice and team meetings without notice.
TOMLINSON SHOULD START: Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson practiced Friday and is expected to start against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Tomlinson has been bothered by a strained groin the last three games and failed to gain more than 65 yards in any. Two of Tomlinson's five biggest games as a professional came against the Raiders in 2003. He had a career-high 243 yards in a home win in the season finale, and 187 yards in an overtime loss at Oakland on Sept. 28.
OTHER NEWS: Injuries again kept Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair and running back Chris Brown out of practice Friday, casting doubt on their availability Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals . . . Jacksonville running back Fred Taylor was upgraded to probable Friday and should start at Houston despite a leg injury . . . Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss was upgraded to probable for Sunday's game against the New York Giants after participating in an entire practice for the first time in nearly two weeks.