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Redskins' RG3 practices, feeling 'really good'


Redskins' RG3 practices, feeling 'really good'

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Three days after spraining his knee, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was just a little gimpy on the practice field and very cagey behind the microphone

He likes his chances of playing Sunday, but he and coach Mike Shanahan want to keep the Cleveland Browns guessing as long as possible.

Wearing his No. 10 jersey and a black knee brace underneath his sweatpants on a chilly day, Griffin high-stepped and moved laterally with barely a hitch as he stretched, then favored his right leg during throwing drills as the Redskins began on-field preparations for this week's game.

``Sunday night, I thought there was probably no chance that I could play the next week,'' Griffin said. ``And then Monday morning, I felt better about it. Yesterday, I felt better about it. And today I feel really good about it, so it just depends on if I continue to progress the way I am.''

So, to cut to the case, Griffin was asked if he expects to play Sunday.

``I can't tell you all that,'' he answered. ``First, I don't want to give the Cleveland Browns a competitive advantage. And I don't want to let anybody down, so I don't want to say that I'll be playing and end up not playing.''

Griffin has a mild sprain of the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee, a favorable diagnosis considering the scary hit to his leg from defensive tackle Haloti Ngata at the end of a scramble late in regulation in Washington's 31-28 overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

``I was the happiest guy in the world on Monday to be blessed with the injury that I did have,'' Griffin said, ``after looking at it so many times.''

Still, the Redskins (7-6), who have won four straight to move within a game of the first-place New York Giants in the NFC East, are trying their best to keep Griffin's status shrouded in mystery. They closed practice to the media after 20 minutes, in compliance with NFL rules. And even Griffin - who at one point waved to reporters watching his every move - admitted that there was a public relations aspect to his participation.

``Coming out here and doing what I did in practice, it's kind of a showcase for you guys to see me move around, and that I'm not on crutches or limping or anything like that,'' Griffin said. ``But it's also for (my teammates) to see that I'm OK, and if I do step out there between those lines that they don't have to worry about me.''

Griffin was officially listed as ``limited'' in practice, and neither he nor backup Kirk Cousins would say who took most of the work with the starting offense.

``I was advised not to comment on the rep distribution,'' Cousins said. ``So I'm sorry, but I'm not going to say anything along those lines, just to protect my team and give us the best chance to win on Sunday.''

Shanahan was also naturally vague about his No. 2 overall draft pick.

``I was impressed with how he worked and what he did,'' the coach said. ``We'll see at the end of the week if he's full-speed and ready to go. And if he is, he'll play.''

Shanahan was asked if he plans to string out the announcement as long as possible, even if he already knows who will start.

``Probably,'' he said with a smile. ``Why did you ask that silly question?''

Griffin did offer some insight into the factors that will help determine whether he will play. He said he wants to be able to make ``instinctive moves without thinking about it'' and that he was able to accomplish that to some extent Wednesday.

Griffin also said planting and throwing is ``not a problem'' and that it has become much easier to walk up and down steps as the leg loosens up and the swelling goes down.

``If I can give the team the best chance to win, then I'll play,'' Griffin said. ``And if I can ensure my safety out there and my health and my career, then I'll go out there and play. And if not, then I won't.''


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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed WR Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Shefter.

After being released by the Raiders Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers WR Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

The most obvious move in the NFL this offseason was the Ravens signing a new wide receiver (or three). It was less obvious why the team decided to commit so much money to former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.

Grant has long been beloved by his coaches and teammates, but the results have never been there on game day. He has some potential to improve if given a larger role in a team's offense, which he likely would have had in Baltimore, but it never made much sense to offer him a 4-year contract worth nearly 30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

Thankfully for fans who were uninspired by the reported agreement, Grant was unable to pass his physical and will not be joining the team.


At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over. 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Grant is recovering from a Grade 2 sprained ankle that would need two months rest.

You have to feel for Grant, who by all accounts has worked his tail off for many years just waiting for his chance. It's never easy missing out on nearly $15 million dollars guaranteed, but Grant should be able to find work with another team.

The timing of this news, coming so soon after former Raider Michael Crabtree became available, seemed fishy to some.

At Friday's press conference, Newsome also said the team would have still pursued Crabtree if they signed Grant. 

It's probably not fair to suggest that an NFL franchise would actually so publicly back out of a deal just because another option came along, as any team with that reputation would struggle to attract future free agents. That said, it could end up working out splendidly for the team.

Besides, if all else is equal, shouldn't a team located in Baltimore be going after a guy named CRABtree?