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Redskins say RG3 doesn't have major knee injury

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Redskins say RG3 doesn't have major knee injury

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Robert Griffin III sprained his right knee in the Washington Redskins' win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, but a team spokesman said an MRI revealed that ``everything is clear'' in terms of significant ligament damage.

Spokesman Tony Wyllie said Griffin does not have a major knee injury and specifically ruled out a season-ending torn ACL as a result of a hit on the rookie quarterback in the final minutes of regulation in the 31-28 overtime victory.

At about the same time as Wyllie's announcement, Griffin tweeted: ``Your positive vibes and prayers worked people!!!! To God be the Glory!''

By medical definition, a sprained knee means that Griffin has some damage in at least one of the several ligaments in his knee. Wyllie said coach Mike Shanahan will give more information about Griffin's status Monday.

Griffin was limping and wearing a big black brace on his knee in the locker room after the game. Instead of taking the big step onto the podium for his postgame news conference, he had to walk around the platform and use the smaller steps to get to the microphone.

He had an X-ray at the stadium, and he said doctors poking at his knee told him that his ligaments ``felt good.'' The worst-case scenario would have been an ACL tear, like the one he had on the same knee while playing for Baylor in 2009.

``I'm not a doctor, but I know what an ACL feels like,'' Griffin said before leaving to have MRI. ``And it doesn't feel like an ACL. ... If I felt that, I'd be pretty nervous. But we won the game, everybody's praying for me, I feel pretty good right now about the whole situation.''

Last year's Heisman Trophy winner was hurt during Washington's final drive of regulation when was tackled by Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata at the end of a 13-yard scramble.

``I knew as soon as I got hit. I screamed. Like a man, of course,'' Griffin added with a laugh. ``It hurt really bad.''

Griffin sat out one play, then returned for four more, completing two passes to get the Redskins deep into Ravens territory. But he was also hopping on one leg and eventually fell to the turf, no longer able to continue.

``I knew I needed to get out at that point,'' Griffin said. ``I couldn't move. At some point, you have to do what's right for the team. And if I'm playing the rest of that game, I probably would have hurt myself even more.''

While Griffin was getting treatment on the sideline, Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon with 29 seconds left. Cousins then ran in a 2-point conversion to tie the score 28-28, and the teams headed to overtime. Kai Forbath's 34-yard field goal won the game in the extra period.

Griffin completed 15 of 26 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown. He also ran seven times for 34 yards.

It was the second game this season that the No. 2 overall draft pick has been unable to finish because of an injury. He left the Oct. 7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons because of a concussion, but returned the following week.

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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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