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Monday's Sports in Brief

Monday's Sports in Brief

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. The rookie has a Grade 1 sprain of the lateral collateral ligament on the outside of his right knee, caused when he was hit at the end of a scramble late in regulation in the Redskins' 31-28 overtime win Sunday over the Baltimore Ravens.

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.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Cam Cameron was fired as offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, who have lost two straight and are still striving for consistency in the running and passing game.

Cameron ran the Baltimore offense since the start of the 2008 season for coach John Harbaugh. Since that time, the Ravens' attack has repeatedly taken a back seat to the team's defense, and this year the offense ranks 18th with 344.4 yards per game.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - The San Francisco 49ers suspended running back Brandon Jacobs for the final three games following a series of posts on social media sites addressing his lack of playing time, including one during the weekend saying he was ``on this team rotting away.''

The 49ers made the announcement about two hours after coach Jim Harbaugh's news conference, but provided no explanation for why Jacobs had been disciplined. It is doubtful he would return for the playoffs.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler says he expects to play this week against Green Bay.

Cutler says ``unless something drastic happens, absolutely'' he will be ready to play against the Packers after leaving Sunday's loss at Minnesota with a sore neck. He says he got treatment and ``should be ready to go later in the week.''

ATLANTA (AP) - After about two years of discussions, the Atlanta Falcons are a step closer to getting a new downtown stadium.

The state agency that owns the 20-year-old Georgia Dome approved the framework for a deal with the Falcons to build a roughly $1 billion stadium with a retractable roof. There are still several key steps ahead, including exactly how much the government will have to contribute and where it will be built.

The deal calls for the Falcons to pay about 70 percent of the total cost, and the government will pay for the rest with a hotel tax. The Fulton County Commission and the city of Atlanta still must approve using the revenue from the tax to build the new stadium. Mayor Kasim Reed has thrown his support behind the deal.

BASEBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Flush with cash after the team's sale this year, the Los Angeles Dodgers are busy spending it on starting pitching.

The team introduced left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin (Ree-YOO He-YUN jin) of South Korea, making him the first player to go directly from the Korean league to the major leagues.

And he was just the setup man.

The Dodgers finalized a $147 million, six-year deal with free agent right-hander Zack Greinke later in the day.

The deals for Greinke and Ryu give the Dodgers eight starting pitchers under contract for next season, joining 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang.

CHICAGO (AP) - Major League Baseball Advanced Media and StubHub.com announced a new five-year deal that continues the website's role as the official secondary ticket market for the sport while eliminating the cheap listings that had become an eyesore for some clubs.

The minimum price for baseball tickets on StubHub in 2013 will be $6, a far more appealing number for the league after some seats were listed for pocket change during the first five-year deal that expired after this past season.

COLL

PRO HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - The NHL eliminated 16 more days from the regular-season schedule, and if a deal with the players' association isn't reached soon the whole season could be lost.

The league wiped out all games through Dec. 30 in its latest round of cancellations.

Already, 422 regular-season games had been called off through Dec. 14 because of the lockout, and the latest cuts on Day 86 of the NHL shutdown claimed 104 more. The New Year's Day Winter Classic and the All-Star game were canceled earlier.

In all, the 526 lost games account for nearly 43 percent of the regular season that was scheduled to begin Oct. 11.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Western Kentucky announced that it has hired Bobby Petrino as the new Hilltoppers' football coach.

WKU athletic director said in a release that Petrino will be introduced at a Monday afternoon news conference.

DENVER (AP) - Mike MacIntyre is leaving San Jose State to coach the University of Colorado football team.

The school announced that MacIntyre signed a five-year deal.

His hiring ends a two-week search by Colorado that included a rejection by its first choice, Butch Jones.

The 51-year-old Petrino replaces Willie Taggart, who left WKU Saturday to become South Florida's coach. Petrino had a 34-17 record at Arkansas and is 75-26 overall in eight seasons as a college head coach.

He was fired by Arkansas in April for a ``pattern of misleading'' behavior following a motorcycle accident. Petrino had an affair with former Razorback volleyball player Jessica Dorrell, whom he later hired as a football assistant and gave $20,000 in gifts.

AUTO RACING

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Tony Eury Jr. will return to the Sprint Cup Series as crew chief for David Stremme at upstart Swan Racing.

The hiring was part of new owner Brandon Davis' plan to use the offseason to make the team competitive.

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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Ravens D-coordinator Don Martindale puts personal stamp on unit

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Ravens D-coordinator Don Martindale puts personal stamp on unit

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- There are no dreary work days for Don Martindale, who has overwhelmingly embraced his new role as defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens.

After serving for five seasons as the team's linebackers coach, Martindale was promoted to coordinator in January after Dean Pees left the post.

Enthusiastic doesn't even begin to describe Martindale's attitude about being in charge of the defense.

"Ever since we've made this transition, it's been a joy to just come through those gates every day. I love it," Martindale said after Wednesday's mandatory minicamp practice.

This isn't the first time Martindale has been put in charge of molding a defense. In 2010, he watched over a unit in Denver that was the worst in the NFL in both yards and points allowed per game.

Given a second chance, the 55-year-old Martindale is putting together a defense that will rely heavily on the instinct of several of its most proven players, most notably safety Eric Weddle and linebackers Terrell Suggs and C.J. Mosley.

"He's just putting his personal fix on our defense and expanding it, giving the guys confidence to play fast," Weddle said. "The idea is to do what's best for the defense, not what's best the individual."

Martindale called Mosley "the quarterback" of a fluid unit that can make a snap-change from drop-back coverage to an all-out blitz. In that regard, Mosley believes this defense is superior to the one that in 2017 yielded 18.9 points per game, sixth-best in the NFL.

"The way we're able to use our core guys, put them in different spots and do some of the same things just from different positions, it's more creative, I would say, than where we were last year," Mosley said.

Baltimore coach John Harbaugh promoted Martindale rather than go outside the organization because he wanted to extend his vision of a defense that has evolved since his arrival in 2008.

"All we're doing is forwarding John's plan," Martindale said. "We're remodeling the package. It's still Ravens football, it's still Ravens defense, but we've streamlined it. It's the elegant simplicity. Guys are playing really fast."

Asked for his take on Martindale's defense, Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg replied, "They're fast and they're furious."

Sure, things might be different once the pads go on at training camp, but at this point, Martindale's boss likes what he sees.

"We're doing a lot of neat things on defense, things that are really good," Harbaugh said. "More than ever, we're putting it on our players to make decisions in real time."

Martindale has a new title, but old habits die hard.

"For the most part, it's been the same," Mosley said. "He always comes in and says, `I have to lead the linebacker room,' and sits down and gets to talking like he's back at linebacker coach."

Told of Mosley's disclosure, Martindale smiled and said, "I've been trying to stay out of there, but you can't help but go in. That's home. I have a good time in the secondary room as well."

And just about everywhere else.

"Where we're going with this thing is really exciting to me," Martindale said, "and I know it's exciting to the players."

In other training camp news, cornerback Jimmy Smith was a surprise participant at practice, going through a light regimen of individual drills just six months after tearing his left Achilles tendon.

"I don't know if Jimmy's like half Wolverine, but he's healed up in half the time of regular human beings," Weddle said, referring to the amazing recuperative powers of the Marvel super hero.

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