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Mild sprain has Redskins' RG3 uncertain for Sunday

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Mild sprain has Redskins' RG3 uncertain for Sunday

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) All the medical terms associated with Robert Griffin III's knee injury can be boiled down to one simple message: It's not too bad.

Beyond that, there are still some very important unknowns.

The NFL's top-rated quarterback might or might not play Sunday when the Washington Redskins visit the Cleveland Browns. Coach Mike Shanahan, knowing full well that it makes the other team work extra to prepare for two quarterbacks, will no doubt wait as long as possible to publicly commit one way or the other to Griffin or fellow rookie Kirk Cousins.

``Both of them will have a game plan,'' Shanahan said Monday.

The interior of Griffin's right knee was the subject of intense scrutiny during Shanahan's weekly news conference, when it was shown that an injury to a franchise player like RG3 can flummox even a seasoned coach. Shanahan initially said Griffin had a ``strain of the ACL'' before later correcting the diagnosis to a sprained LCL, with the coach stepping away from the podium to demonstrate the location of the ligament involved.

The upshot: Griffin has a mild, or Grade 1, sprain of the lateral collateral ligament located on the outside of the knee, caused when he was hit by defensive tackle Haloti Ngata at the end of a 13-yard scramble late in regulation of the 31-28 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens.

``When I looked at it on film,'' Shanahan said, ``I thought it would be worse than it was.''

The LCL is one of four ligaments in the knee. A Grade 1 sprain typically means the ligament is stretched or has some minor tears and usually doesn't require surgery. Griffin will get multiple treatments daily and will probably have to wear a brace for several weeks.

The next major benchmark is whether Griffin will able to take part when practice resumes on Wednesday.

``You're hoping with rehab it gets better very quickly,'' Shanahan said. ``But we don't know for sure. ... He's definitely not ruled out for the Cleveland game.''

Griffin's father, Robert Griffin Jr., said in a text message that his son was ``feeling good'' and that ``we will know by Thursday'' whether Griffin III will be able to suit up against the Browns.

The most severe knee injury usually associated with sports is a season-ending torn ACL, the anterior cruciate ligament. Griffin tore the ACL in his right knee while playing for Baylor in 2009, but Shanahan said Griffin's reconstructed ACL ``looks great'' and that there's ``no problem there.''

``He's doing good. He's in high spirits,'' left tackle Trent Williams said after speaking with Griffin on Monday. ``It was a pretty nasty, awkward hit, and for him not to be seriously injured is a blessing.''

No. 2 overall pick Griffin has become a phenomenon in his debut NFL season, leading the Redskins - a team that went 5-11 last year - to four straight victories to put the record at 7-6, one game behind the first-place New York Giants in the NFC East. His performance Sunday put him atop the league with a 104.2 passer rating, better than Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and everyone else.

Fourth-rounder Cousins might not be much of a drop-off, especially after his super-sub performance against the Ravens. When Griffin left for one play, Cousins converted a third-and-6 with a pass to Pierre Garcon that drew a pass interference penalty on Chris Johnson.

When Griffin left for good later in the drive, Cousins completed two passes in two plays, and his nice pump fake allowed Garcon to get open for an 11-yard touchdown with 29 seconds left in regulation.

Cousins then did his best RG3 impersonation, running the quarterback draw on the 2-point conversion to tie the game.

``You're running the scout team the majority of the time, and you're expected to go in there and perform,'' Shanahan said. ``So there's a lot of pressure on people. Some people can handle it; other people can't. But when you prepare yourself like he has, it didn't surprise me that he was flawless in what he did.''

Shanahan defended the decision to have Griffin return to the game for four plays after the injury, saying he left the decision in the hands of Dr. James Andrews, the renowned sports physician who is on the sidelines for most Redskins games.

``He's the one that gives me that information,'' Shanahan said. ``It's way over my head.''

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Ravens make stadium lights red, white and blue to honor front-line workers

Ravens make stadium lights red, white and blue to honor front-line workers

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Ravens shifted from their signature purple stadium lights to show the front-line workers how much they appreciate what they're doing.

The incredible gesture is just one of many by the organization.

The Ravens and The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation combined to support four non-profits and have donated $1 million to help aid the fight against coronavirus, the team revealed in a statement on March 20. 

The four organizations are the Fund for Educational Excellence, the United Way of Central Maryland, the Baltimore Community Foundation and the Maryland Food Bank.

"We want to help those in our community who are most affected by the COVID-19 crisis," Ravens president Dick Cass said, according to a statement through the team. "We chose to donate through these four organizations because we are confident they will apply our funds quickly and directly to people in need.”

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Derek Wolfe always wanted to be a Raven — now he gets his chance

Derek Wolfe always wanted to be a Raven — now he gets his chance

New Ravens defensive lineman Derek Wolfe has wanted to be a Raven at three separate times during his career. 

The first time was before he was drafted in 2012 when he thought the Ravens might pick him. The second time was before the trade deadline in the 2019 season, when he debated asking Broncos general manager John Elway for a trade to Baltimore. 

The third time was the charm. After the Ravens’ signing of Michael Brockers fell through, they moved quickly to sign Wolfe to a one-year contract. 

“I'm extremely happy,” Wolfe said. “Everything happens for a reason. When things are supposed to happen, they do, and I always felt like I would fit into that organization really well.”

Wolfe thought he’d missed his chance to be a Raven when the signing of Brocks was announced at the beginning of free agency. After the deal wasn’t completed, though, he and his agent moved quickly to get him to Baltimore. 

Once a deal looked possible with the Ravens, Wolfe’s only focus was to get to Baltimore by any means necessary.

“I said, ‘I really don't care about the money,’” Wolfe said he told his agent. “‘At this point, I just want to get on that team. That's the team I want to get on, I want to be on.’

Wolfe’s contract is worth $3 million guaranteed, though he’s eying a bit longer of a stay in Baltimore.

“I feel like if I can come in there and prove myself, then they'll extend me for a few years, and I could be a part of the organization for more than just one year,” Wolfe said. “I'm just going to stick to the plan and trust the process and hope that it all works out for me,” Wolfe said. “I really would love to bring another ring to the city – help bring a ring to the city.”

He’s coming off a career season in Denver where he registered seven sacks in 12 games — a year that was cut short because of a dislocated elbow. 

Injuries have been a bit of a bugaboo for Wolfe, who has played 16 games in a season just three times in his eight-year career and just once in the last five years. While the past isn’t kind to Wolfe’s injury history, he’s confident he’s turned a corner when it comes to health. 

“It's been a bumpy road, but for the most part I've actually been pretty healthy,” Wolfe explained. “These injuries just come...It was the same injury that was nagging, and I finally got that surgery that cleared it up. I dislocated my elbow, obviously, having the best season of my career, showing that I have a ton of football left, and then I go out there and dislocate my elbow. And I think that hurt me.”

Not only confident about his health, but he’s also got high hopes for his new defensive line, too. 

“It was just like, ‘You know what, man? I think we can have the best defensive line in the league, for sure, and we could break records,” Wolfe said. “We could break the rushing record – yards per rush, stuff like that.’ Those are the kind of goals that I like to set.”

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