Receiver still hurting, so status for Sunday is uncertain

ASHBURN -- Pierre Garcon doesn't know whether he will play this week. He doesn't know whether his foot will improve even by Friday. He does know that it's time to find out.

So Garcon told the Redskins he wanted to practice for the first time since Oct. 12. He hasn't played since Oct. 7 and has missed six games overall because of a plantar plate issue in his right foot/toe. Garcon first noticed problems during training camp and then hurt it for good in the season opener.

Since then, his foot has been a constant source of pain and frustration.

"I'm still feeling a bit of pain, but I'm out there," Garcon said. "I can't tell you much of anything that's going on. It's not 100 percent, but when I'm out there, I'm just going all out.

"It's a pain every time I'm walking, running, cutting. It's a pain all the time."

If Garcon doesn't feel better by the end of the week after trying to practice, the next option could be surgery, which he's obviously trying to avoid.

"If I have a chance to play without surgery, I'll definitely do that," Garcon said. "Surgery is not guaranteed to fix it. That's another thing that's weighing my options. ... There will be pain regardless [whether I play]. We have to look at options every day and monitor. But I really don't want to get surgery.

"I'll probably have to deal with it the rest of my life."

Garcon returned for two games but struggled in Weeks 4 and 5, catching a combined four passes. He was unable to push off without pain, and his speed, perhaps his best asset, was not the same. The diagnosis of his foot never changed from the beginning, but after this point doctors told him they wanted to switch directions in his rehab and have him stay off his feet as much as possible, letting his foot rest.

Even a week ago Garcon said his foot was still painful and he wasn't sure how much improvement had been made.

The Redskins' offense could use the boost Garcon could provide. The offense scored a combined 25 points in the past two games. Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson have caught a combined 35 passes for two touchdowns at Garcon's spot. But neither has grabbed hold of the position. And Garcon is considered a much better blocker. His physical style mixed with speed helped on horizontal throws in picking up extra yards and on getting open downfield.

But unless he's healthy it doesn't matter.

"I'm hoping he's ready to go, and even though it's painful he's able to fight through it," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "But it's hard to say how painful it will be. I'm glad he was out there today trying to fight through it. That was a positive. I just don't know if tomorrow or the next day there's a big setback and if he can go or not."