Capitals

Buffalo Bills C Wood out with knee injury

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Buffalo Bills C Wood out with knee injury

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Bills will have to continue their late-season playoff push with a limping leading receiver Stevie Johnson and a banged-up offensive line.

Starting center Eric Wood said Monday he expects to miss between two and four weeks with a partially torn ligament in his left knee. Coach Chan Gailey said starting right tackle Chris Hairston is unlikely to play against St. Louis on Sunday because of a deeply bruised right ankle.

As for Johnson, he's still experiencing tightness in his left hamstring. He's expected to miss practice time this week, though Johnson remains confident he can play through the injury.

``I'm not worried too much,'' said Johnson, who has five touchdowns and leads the team with 55 catches and 705 yards. ``I know I'll be out there on Sunday, even if it was worse than what it is now.''

Johnson, who's also been bothered by a nagging groin injury, felt his hamstring stiffen after scoring on a 13-yard catch early in the third quarter in a 34-18 win over Jacksonville on Sunday.

Wood and Hairston were also hurt during the game.

On the bright side, No. 2 receiver Donald Jones is expected to return after being held out Sunday with a calf injury.

The Bills (5-7) remain on the fringes of the AFC playoff hunt in preparing to host the Rams (5-6-1).

The injuries to Wood and Hairston leave the Bills with one backup lineman, tackle Thomas Welch. The team is expected to sign another lineman before returning to practice on Wednesday.

Shortly after Gailey said the Bills were preparing to free up a roster spot to add a lineman, the team announced it had released veteran linebacker Kirk Morrison. The eighth-year player had proven to be the odd-man out after being listed inactive for all 12 games this season.

The Bills re-signed Morrison to a two-year, $4 million contract in March to provide them an experienced backup behind starter Nick Barnett. It was a disappointing finish to Morrison's two years in Buffalo. After spending five seasons as a starter in Oakland and one in Jacksonville, Morrison appeared in just 14 games - all as a backup - with the Bills.

Buffalo's re-shuffled offensive line will feature Sam Young taking over for Hairston, and right guard Kraig Urbik expected to shift to center. That means David Snow is expected to take over at right guard. Snow is an undrafted rookie out of Texas who opened this season on Buffalo's practice squad.

For Wood, the knee injury is the latest setback for the second of Buffalo's two 2009 first-round draft picks.

He missed the final seven games of last season after requiring surgery to repair a torn right knee ligament. Wood also missed the final six games of his rookie season after breaking two bones in his left leg.

Wood said he won't require surgery because the injury is to his MCL. And he hasn't ruled out the possibility of returning to play in the final two games of the season.

Wood was hurt with under 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. He was blocking a Jaguars player, when defensive lineman Jeremy Mincey dived into his leg while attempting to tackle running back Fred Jackson.

Knowing that he was hurt, Wood was so frustrated by being injured yet again that he stayed in for one more play before alerting the trainers.

``I was in disbelief,'' Wood said. ``I was in denial that I got hurt. So I just kept paying because I was like, `There's no way I'm staying down on this field. There's no way this is happening again.'''

He credited the knee brace he now wears as preventing what could have been a more serious injury.

Wood was relieved to know the injury wasn't major, because he wasn't looking forward to spending yet another long offseason recuperating as he did last year. Wood wasn't fully cleared for practice at the start of training camp, and was eventually eased in at center.

``It's just stupid stuff that keeps happening. I played 49 straight games in college and never got banged up,'' said Wood, who played at Louisville.

``Maybe my luck ran out then.''

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NOTES: Gailey said CB/return specialist Leodis McKelvin's stiff back is feeling better after he was forced to leave Sunday's game in the first quarter. ... Gailey said there's a fear veteran DE Chris Kelsay's neck injury could be season-ending. Kelsay has missed three of the past four games since tearing a ligament. He was spotted wearing a neck brace on Monday. ... CB Aaron Williams (right knee) has a chance to return this week after missing four games.

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Game 61: Capitals at Panthers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 61: Capitals at Panthers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers

Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Fla.

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Panthers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Panthers game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME?

The Capitals (34-19-7) take on the Panthers (26-25-6) Tuesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Florida.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Panthers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:30 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:30 p.m. — Capitals at Panthers
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:30 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Panthers game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Michal Kempny - Brooks Orpik

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME?

The Capitals-Panthers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

CAPITALS-PANTHERS OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 22, 20 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The underrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/29/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Here, in no particular order, are three underrated events from 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at three events that were overrated at the time they happened.  

Beating the Rams in Week 2—Nobody got particularly excited when the Redskins went to the LA Memorial Coliseum and beat a Rams team that had gone 4-12 in 2016. Sure, there was a belief that they were in good hands with Sean McVay but nobody saw them as anything better than a middle of the pack team. The win looks much more impressive now as the 11-4 Rams have locked up their division with a playoff game in their future.

Drafting safety Montae Nicholson—He was a fourth-round pick who had a shoulder injury and appeared to be a reach. But once he got on the field, the reasons the Redskins drafted him became apparent. His range and hard hitting had an immediate impact on the game. Nicholson had problems staying on the field and he will finish the year on IR so his impact this year was diminished. Regardless, he has a good chance of being part of the solution to a position with which the Redskins have had issues for years.

Ty Nsekhe’s injury—Against the Raiders in Week 3, Shawn Lauvao’s facemask had an issue and he had to leave the game for a play. In came Nsekhe without an opportunity to warm up. He suffered a core muscle injury and he had to undergo surgery. His absence didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Trent Williams suffered a knee injury the next week and other offensive linemen were sidelined with injuries over the next several weeks. Nsekhe was inactive until the Week 10 game against the Vikings and he didn’t start a game until the Thanksgiving game against the Giants. He sure would have been useful to have in the lineup instead of T.J. Clemmings or Tyler Catalina.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 7
—NFL Draft (4/26) 63
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 199