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Reports: RG3's shoulder injury could be serious, sideline him vs. Ravens and beyond

Reports: RG3's shoulder injury could be serious, sideline him vs. Ravens and beyond

New Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III can't seem to shake his old injury patterns. He suffered a shoulder sprain in Cleveland's season opener against the Eagles on Sunday and will require an MRI today. 

Now, reports out of Cleveland have suggested that the injury is serious and could force him out of the Week 2 matchup against the Ravens. Or potentially a lot longer. 

Cabot's postgame story on Griffin will be a familiar read for Redskins fans. It has all the classic elements. 

The play where he was injured:

Griffin said he decided to run out of bounds there instead of sliding.

"I feel like I did a decent job of protecting myself recently and wanted to continue that,'' he said. "But in the heat of that moment it kind of just surprised me."

The decision to return to the game:

Griffin had to talk the team doctors into letting him go back in for the final 1:12, during which he handed the ball off three straight times to Isaiah Crowell. ... While Griffin was talking to the doctors on the sideline, McCown put on his helmet and started warming up. But Griffin would have none it.

His parents' concern for his health: 

Robert Griffin III's cell phone went off at the start of his post-game press conference and he promptly apologized.

"It's my mother,'' he said. "She's very worried about me.''

Griffin's mom had reason to be concerned. Her son suffered a sprained left shoulder late in the game and almost couldn't finish the game. As it is, he'll undergo an MRI Monday and might not be able to play next week against the Ravens.

It's all there, but this time in Cleveland. 

If history is any teacher, RG3 sitting out against his now-division rival Ravens is a smart idea. 

Washington and Baltimore fans will remember the Haloti Ngata tackle that crumpled Griffin's knee in Week 14 of the 2012 season. It was called a sprain at the time, but ultimately proved the beginning of the end of his Redskins career. 

Though Griffin returned for Week 16 and the first round of the playoffs, he reinjured the knee in a loss to the Seahawks. This time, he needed surgery to repair a torn LCL and MCL. The 2012 NFC Rookie of the Year was never the same. 

If Griffin does sit out next Sunday, the Ravens defense will face Josh McCown instead.

A prolonged absence will impact the AFC North picture to some degree, but Griffin's play wasn't inspiring before the injury. He finished the day completing 12 of 16 passes for 190 yards and an interception. It's possible that backup McCown isn't much of a downgrade. 

In fact, McCown threw for 457 yards and scored three touchdowns in the Browns' overtime victory at M&T Bank Stadium last year. 

***

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: Browns place RG3 on IR with shoulder fracture

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As money skyrockets, don't expect Kirk Cousins to give discounts on open market

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USA TODAY Sports

As money skyrockets, don't expect Kirk Cousins to give discounts on open market

Kirk Cousins repeatedly said his free agent decision will not be just about money. Be clear, however, that money will be a huge factor in this decision. 

After the Redskins traded with Kansas City to acquire Alex Smith before the Super Bowl, it became obvious Washington will move on from Cousins. Whether that means the quarterback simply walks away in free agency or the organization attempts a highly risky tag-and-trade scenario, regardless, Cousins will throw footballs for another franchise in 2018.

Cousins wants to choose where he will play via free agency, and might even file a grievance if the Redskins do deploy a third franchise tag to control his rights.

Assuming Cousins hits free agency, a new report out of New York suggests the Jets will pay "whatever it takes" to land the passer. That could even include a fully guaranteed contract, and will certainly get close to a $30 million a year price tag. 

A notion exists too that Cousins might take less to go to a winner, and many think that could be the Broncos. Denver won five games in 2017, same as the Jets, though the Broncos have a strong defense and have been getting particularly awful QB play. 

The important thing to remember for curious Redskins fans watching the Cousins saga unfold: Don't expect much, if any, discount. 

The quarterback himself made that clear. 

"There’s other quarterbacks that come after you and it would be almost a selfish move to hurt future quarterbacks who get in a position to have a contract," Cousins said last year on 106.7 the Fan.

The quotes came after the 2016 season but before the Redskins again used a franchise tag with Cousins for the 2017 season. Washington wanted to attempt a long-term deal with Cousins at that point, though the quarterback decided to not negotiate and instead play on the tag.

The point remains that Cousins, and his representatives, believe the quarterback has a duty to other players to maximize his earnings. 

"If you don’t take a deal that’s fair to you, then you’re also taking a deal that’s not fair to them and you’re setting them back as well. So there’s different reasons. You just do the best you can."

If he hits free agency, Cousins will likely sign the richest contract in NFL history. Those opportunities don't come around often, and the quarterback should take full advantage. 

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 19, 23 days before NFL free agency starts.

Monday musings

—One possible solution to the left guard spot is perhaps being overlooked. Ty Nsekhe played there some last year, starting the game in Dallas and playing there until Morgan Moses got injured, forcing him to move to right tackle. Nsekhe is slated to be a restricted free agent but his return is likely. In December I asked Jay Gruden if Nsekhe might move to guard in 2018. “I think Ty is a big man and a very good tackle, but in the offseason when we have more time, maybe we can feature him at some guard when we’ve got all our guys back,” he said. “Feature him some” doesn’t mean that they will make him a starter; perhaps they want him to be the top option to fill in at four of the five OL positions. But it’s something to keep an eye on if they don’t land a left guard solution in free agency or the draft.

—When I posted about Albert Breer’s report that Kirk Cousins would file a grievance if the Redskins put the franchise tag on him in an effort to trade him, I pulled up a copy of the CBA to see the language on which Cousins could base his case. I read through the Article 10, which deals with the franchise tag twice and I saw nothing of it. But Mike Florio found it in Article 4, the one that deals with player contracts. “A Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.” Since the Redskins clearly have no intention of employing Cousins after the Alex Smith trade, this seems to be a fairly simple case. In reality, it never is.

—I tweeted this last week:

However, possible cap casualties from other teams are not included in that group. That won’t turn the pool of players who will become available to sign into a bunch of potential franchise changers. Still, there could be a number of players in whom the Redskins could be interested in like RB DeMarco Murray, WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Torrey Smith, edge rusher Elvis Dumervil, and DL Brandon Mebane. A plus to signing players who have been waived is that they don’t count in the formula that determines compensatory draft picks. The Redskins have never really paid attention to that in the past but with potential high comp picks at stake if they lose both Kirk Cousins and Bashaud Breeland, this could be a good year to start.

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) 10
—NFL Draft (4/26) 66
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 202

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