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Redskins' London Fletcher named NFC defensive player of the month

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

Lichtensteiger sits out for second day in a row

Ashburn -- Linebacker London Fletcher was named the NFC defensive player of the month for December after recording three interceptions and two sacks during a five-win stretch. He did so while nursing -- and playing with -- a sprained ankle.

"I wouldn't say I'm impressed with myself," Fletcher said. "Everybody's dealing with injuries, banged up, especially this time of year. ... I feel great on Sunday."

The last Redskins player to win player of the month award was running back Clinton Portis in 2008.

Notes » Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger did not practice for a second consecutive day because of a sprained left ankle. Lichtensteiger said his ankle feels better, but he's not sure whether he will practice Friday. Earlier in the week Lichtensteiger said he likely would be a game-time decision. If he can't play, then rookie Josh LeRibeus would make his first career start. ...

Receiver Aldrick Robinson hasn't caught a pass in the last five games -- his last catch was the 68-yard touchdown grab vs. Dallas on Thanksgiving Day. Robinson said last week that he's still playing five to 10 snaps a game.

However, he hasn't been targeted on any throws since that game either. Pierre Garcon's return to health has limited the chances for Robinson. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said Robinson's deep catches (he had a 49-yard touchdown catch vs. Philadelphia in November, too) have caught the attention of defensive backs.

"It opens up stuff for people underneath," Shanahan said. ...

Tight end Chris Cooley, who has one catch since he rejoined the team for the final nine games, said this is as much fun as he has had since entering the NFL in 2004.

"I'd be devastated if I was at home and not a part of this team," he said. "Or if I had been somewhere else. This is an experience I'll always remember."

That doesn't mean he doesn't want to play more. He has served as the third tight end behind Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul.

"It's been OK to accept it," Cooley said. "I can't say I don't want to play. I can't tell you I don't want to be on the field. I do want to be on the field. What's easy to accept for me is I'm in a place I want to be."

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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