Redskins

Appendectomy puts LT Michael Roos' streak at risk

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Appendectomy puts LT Michael Roos' streak at risk

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Michael Roos has started every single game for the Tennessee Titans since being drafted in the second round back in 2005, a streak now in peril of ending at 119 straight - even NFL players have to heal after emergency appendectomies.

On Monday the left tackle had his appendix removed.

He played through discomfort in last week's 35-34 win at Buffalo. When Roos returned home, he couldn't sleep and finally headed to the hospital at 4 a.m. where he met a team doctor. Roos watched practice Wednesday and Thursday and is being checked daily by a doctor before the Titans (3-4) play the Colts (3-3) on Sunday.

Roos said his streak, which is second among active offensive tackles to Jeff Backus of Detroit (181), is a source of pride.

``Always want to keep something like that going, but can't do anything too disastrous to my health going forward,'' Roos said. ``If it means sitting out a week or two to be ready for the rest of the season, that's something I'll have to do. We'll just see each day.''

The 6-foot-7, 320-pound Roos is believed to be the first NFL player born in Estonia, and he stepped right into the starting lineup for Tennessee after coming out of Eastern Washington in 2005. He played his first game at right tackle before switching to the left side where he's been ever since. He's a key reason why the Titans rank second only Indianapolis and New Orleans giving up 168 sacks since 2005.

But Roos hasn't been challenged with having surgery on a Monday and trying to play that Sunday. Looking at how other NFL players have recovered from appendectomies before returning to play is no guide either.

``We'll see,'' Roos said. ``Obviously, I've never done it before. It's been different amounts of time for different people. All I can do is take it day by day and see how it goes ...''

Titans coach Mike Munchak, who coached Roos before being promoted to head coach in February 2011, knows the tackle has a high tolerance for pain. For now, the Titans are planning on Mike Otto, a lineman in his fifth NFL season, starting at left tackle in his first action in a game this season.

``If something changes with Mike, great,'' Munchak said of Roos.

Matt Hasselbeck said he would never count out Roos from what he's seen of the left tackle, though nobody is pressuring him. Hasselbeck did joke that no one cared when Otto went down in practice last week and it was big news when the lineman went down Wednesday. The veteran quarterback said the Titans re-signed Otto for a reason for just these situations.

``He's a tough player, a smart player and obviously just like all of us who are in a backup job at a point, your whole job is to be ready when called upon,'' said Hasselbeck, making his fourth start with Jake Locker recovering from a shoulder injury. ``If he's called upon, which it looks like he might be, he's got to be ready. And he will.''

The 6-5, 310-pound Otto was a seventh-round draft pick by Tennessee out of Purdue in 2007, and he has played mostly on special teams in 41 games. Otto has two starts to his credit. He was an extra tight end Nov. 21, 200, against Washington to open the game, and he started at right tackle when David Stewart was hurt Nov. 27, 2011 against Tampa Bay.

Otto hasn't played yet this season after having knee surgery then, surgery to fix his right ring finger this preseason. Munchak said they likely will help Otto out with an extra blocker to get him comfortable.

``That's the role, the reserve, the backup, that he's got to step into,'' Munchak said. ``Unfortunately, it's a game where he'd be going against Dwight Freeney, which is another tough draw. To me, he's one of the best defensive ends in football, has been for a long time. So that's another issue on top of just playing, you're playing against a guy that's pretty darn good in a game that we have to win.''

Otto grew up in Kokomo, Ind., rooting for the Colts and watched plenty of Freeney harassing quarterbacks.

``If I get the chance to go out and play against him, that's what I'll do,'' Otto said.

Notes: TE Craig Stevens (concussion) practiced for a second day along with Chris Johnson (ankle). S Jordan Babineaux (wrist) also practiced fully with WR Kenny Britt (knee). Locker was limited again. LB Colin McCarthy (right ankle) did not work after practicing Wednesday, and Munchak said they expect him to play Sunday.

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Need to Know: What’s the outlook for the Redskins’ secondary in 2018?

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Need to Know: What’s the outlook for the Redskins’ secondary in 2018?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 25, 31 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Fan questions—The secondary

To be sure, there are reasons to be concerned about the secondary and we’ll get into those in a bit. But the popular notion that the secondary struggled last year is not accurate.

Do you want to go standard stats? They were ninth in the league in passing yards allowed and 10th in opponent passer rating last year.

Do you prefer more advanced analytics? They were sixth in defensive passing DVOA and 11th in adjusted net yards per attempt.

That’s not a great pass defense but it was a pretty good one. It should be noted that they also benefited from a solid pass rush; they were seventh in the league in sack percentage. Still, you don’t finish in the top third of the league in pass defense without at least a competent secondary.

The question is, will it remain competent? Kendall Fuller was indeed a key player, one of the best slot corners in the league. Bashaud Breeland was inconsistent, but he did shine on occasion. But the fact that he is still available as a free agent indicates what the league thinks of him, problems passing the physical notwithstanding. Those two will have to be replaced.

It is likely that Quinton Dunbar will take Breeland’s spot on the outside. That is at worst a lateral exchange if not an improvement. Dunbar has been working for three years to get this opportunity and there is confidence among the coaches and, perhaps more importantly, the players that he is ready.

Orlando Scandrick is the probable starter at slot. He is a downgrade from Fuller, no question about it. If he is healthy—a big if—Scandrick is good enough to get the job done. Don’t let the star he wore on the side of his helmet for so many years blind you to the fact that he’s a solid player.

The depth at slot consists of second-year player Josh Holsey, who played all of nine snaps on defense last year, and rookie Greg Stroman. That’s not ideal but most of the other teams in the NFL have a similar depth chart.

The wild card who could be the difference between this secondary being better than last year or worse is Fabian Moreau. He played only 59 defensive snaps as a rookie but he did show off his speed and hard-hitting style on some of his 349 special teams snaps. During the offseason practices that were open to the media, Moreau was mostly Josh Norman’s backup at left cornerback. The feeling is that he won’t remain a reserve. We will have to see how things sort out during training camp.

There should be some improvement at safety if Montae Nicholson figures out how to stay on the field in his second year. If he struggles with injuries again and Deshazor Everett has to line up alongside D.J. Swearinger for a good chunk of the season, the safeties are no worse off because that's what happened last year. 

The bottom line is that a secondary that was good last year may take a step down in 2018 but the decline should not be steep. And if Moreau can be the player the organization thought he could be when they used a third-round pick for him, it could be just as good if not better.

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 and on Instagram @RichTandler.

Tandler on Twitter

I tweeted this in response to a discussion about the relative popularity of the NFL and NBA. Albert Breer’s tweet on the TV ratings for the leagues’ respective drafts was the nexus of the discussion.

Timeline  

Redskins cornerback Josh Holsey was born on this date in 1994.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 31
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 45
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 59

The Redskins last played a game 176 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 76 days.

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Nationals power through rain delay, come back against Phillies

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USA Today

Nationals power through rain delay, come back against Phillies

WASHINGTON -- Daniel Murphy's two-run single drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals rallied past the Philadelphia Phillies 8-6 on Sunday night to salvage the finale of the three-game series.

Anthony Rendon homered and doubled, Bryce Harper tied a career high with three doubles and Michael A. Taylor and Murphy each had three singles in a game that was delayed 38 minutes by rain in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams homered for the Phillies, who had won three straight.

Pinch hitter Brian Goodwin led off the eighth with a walk against Victor Arano. With one out, right-hander Seranthony Dominguez (1-2) came on to face Harper, who doubled to right, with Goodwin stopping at third.

After Rendon grounded out, Juan Soto was intentionally walked and Murphy lined a 1-2 pitch to shallow right. Taylor's single made it 8-6.

Ryan Madson (2-3) pitched the eighth inning, and Sean Doolittle finished it for his 21st save.

The Phillies took a 6-2 lead in the fifth on a two-run triple by Odubel Herrera and a two-run homer by Williams.

Washington pulled within a run at 6-5 in the sixth with four two-out hits, including an RBI triple by Trea Turner and RBI doubles by Harper and Rendon.

Nick Pivetta went five innings and allowed two runs on eight hits for the Phillies.

Washington starter Jefry Rodriguez was charged with four runs and five hits in four-plus innings.

The Phillies broke on top on Hoskins's two-run homer in the third.

Rendon made it 2-1 with a solo homer in the fourth. The next three hitters singled, tying the game, but with the rain intensifying, out came the tarp. When play resumed, Pivetta struck out three straight to end the inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: C Andrew Knapp left in the seventh with a right knee contusion. ... 3B Maikel Franco slipped on first base and fell hard in the eighth. He stayed in to run, but left after the half-inning. ... INF Jesmuel Valent?n was placed on the paternity leave list and OF Dylan Cozens (left quadriceps strain) was reinstated from the 10-day DL.

Nationals: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (right hamstring strain) allowed 11 runs in 4 2/3 innings of a rehab start at Class A Potomac on Sunday. "I'm more concerned with the way he feels," manager Dave Martinez said, downplaying the results. "We'll go from there." ... RH reliever Brandon Kintzler (right forearm flexor strain) threw a scoreless inning at Potomac. ... RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) played catch on the field again. "We'll keep doing his throwing progression and figure out when he can actually throw from the mound," Martinez said.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.82) starts the opener of a series against the Yankees on Monday. He is 0-0 with a 3.24 ERA in two games vs. New York.

Nationals: RHP Gio Gonzalez (6-4, 3.08) opens a series at Tampa Bay on Monday. He is 2-2 with a 5.54 ERA in six games against the Rays.