Questions swirl No. 3 K-State after Klein's injury


Questions swirl No. 3 K-State after Klein's injury

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein spent the final 25 minutes of Saturday night's win over Oklahoma State watching from the sideline, the coaching staff having taken away his helmet to keep him from trying to get back in the game.

The Heisman Trophy frontrunner and undisputed catalyst for the third-ranked Wildcats had just sustained an undisclosed injury in the third quarter of a 44-30 victory.

Even his teammates weren't sure how badly he was hurt - or how long he'll be out.

``Nobody knows what's going to happen. We're going to have to prepare like we do every week,'' said wide receiver Tyler Lockett. ``I think he's going to be able to play, we just don't know.''

Longtime coach Bill Snyder deftly sidestepped every question posed about the Wildcats' most indispensable player. He at first joked he was trying to give backup Daniel Sams some experience, and then conceded that Klein had been hurt at some point during the third quarter.

When that happened, and what happened, remain a mystery.

Klein scampered up the middle on a designed run for a short gain when he was tackled by the Cowboys' Alex Elkins. Klein got up shaking his right wrist but remained in the game.

Later on the drive, Klein completed three straight passes to get the Wildcats (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) into scoring position, leading most to believe his wrist was fine, and that three straight runs to get into the end zone may have resulted in some kind of head injury.

Klein bounced the first carry outside for a big gain, but slammed his head to the turf while he was getting tackled. Klein then scooted around the outside for 10 more yards, this time getting shoved out of bounds as he tried to score. He capped off the drive with his 50th career rushing TD, a quarterback sneak, but took an extra moment before rising to his feet and jogging off.

The first indication that anything was wrong came on the sideline, when Klein sat on a bench next to a trainer. They spoke for several minutes before Klein's helmet was taken away.

``He obviously was injured or we wouldn't have taken him out,'' Snyder said.

Few coaches in the country are more guarded when it comes to injuries, which could lead to a week's worth of speculation heading into Saturday's game at rapidly-improving TCU.

Klein never went to the locker room after leaving the game. Instead, he gathered with a few teammates to pray and then spent the rest of the time standing beside assistant coach Michael Smith, giving Sams some guidance between series and clapping whenever things were going well - certainly a good sign that his throwing hand and wrist were OK.

``I didn't even realize he had left the game,'' said defensive lineman Travis Britz. ``We just kept trying to do our job and keep working.''

Sams certainly played well running what appeared to be a condensed version of Kansas State's complex offense, going 5 of 6 for 45 yards and running seven times for 20 yards.

But the fact remains that Kansas State's prolific offense piled up 38 points while Klein was in the game against a defense that had allowed that many total the previous three games, but only managed six more points the final 25 minutes with Sams under center.

Klein finished 16 of 22 for 245 yards passing, and he had 64 yards rushing.

``Collin was still a leader. He was on the sideline getting us going, especially when things weren't going our way,'' Lockett said. ``That's what I like about him, on and off the field. He's always a leader. Collin is someone you can always look up to.''

That bodes particularly well if Sams is pressed into service next Saturday.

The redshirt freshman from Slidell, La., may be even more electrifying on the move than Klein, who earned his reputation as a run-first quarterback. He also throws a prettier ball, but he's not quite as accurate and is far less experienced than Kansas State's senior starter.

Sams has mostly played mop-up duty, when the Wildcats are keeping the ball on the ground and running out the clock. That's why he's just 6 of 8 for 55 yards. But he's also run for 243 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries, an average of 7.3 yards per attempt.

``Daniel did a great job,'' offensive lineman B.J. Finney said. ``He stepped right in and he knew what he needed to do. He was calling plays and checks, which were great checks. They were the same that Collin would have made.''

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens

Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Canadiens will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

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


The Capitals (43-24-7) take on the Canadiens (27-36-12) Saturday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Montreal.


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

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals at Canadiens
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime


You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


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 Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

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


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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