Broncos CB seeking medical clearance for return


Broncos CB seeking medical clearance for return

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Denver Broncos cornerback Tracy Porter missed practice Thursday to see a doctor about symptoms he continues to experience following a seizure he suffered in August.

Porter is hoping to get medical clearance to play Sunday night against the New Orleans Saints, his former team.

Porter, who had no history of seizures, wasn't allowed to fly to the Broncos' last game, at San Diego on Oct. 15, after he began experiencing light-headedness and a racing heart - similar to the symptoms he felt before his seizure, team spokesman Patrick Smyth said.

Smyth emphasized Porter didn't suffer a second seizure but was left back in Denver as a precaution. Porter returned to practice on a limited basis this week.

Porter, whose seizure was first reported by the Denver Post on its website Thursday afternoon, wasn't in the locker room during the 45-minute media access period Thursday but later tweeted, ``I would like to thank EVERYONE for the prayers and wishes. It really means a lot to me.''

The last time Peyton Manning and Drew Brees squared off, in the 2010 Super Bowl, it was Porter who stole the spotlight, returning an interception 74 yards to seal the Saints' 24-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Porter had sidestepped questions about the nature of his illness earlier this week.

He also said earlier this week that he was eager to face his former teammates and optimistic he'd be cleared to play.

Porter, who was lifting weights with former Saints teammate Jeremy Shockey when Shockey had a seizure in May 2010, suffered his seizure in mid-August and was held out of a preseason game against Seattle that week. The cause of the seizure was undetermined and he returned to the field the following week.

Porter had a monster debut for Denver in the season opener, breaking up five passes, collecting eight solo tackles and returning an interception for a touchdown that sealed the Broncos' 31-19 win over Pittsburgh - his NFL-leading third career game-sealing score since 2009. That performance earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

He hadn't had any more symptoms until two weeks ago while preparing to leave for San Diego.

Porter returned to practice Monday for non-contact work following the Broncos' bye.

Asked if Porter's condition had worsened, coach John Fox noted Porter was ``limited'' Wednesday and then was absent Thursday, so ``you fill in the blanks.''

``Right now, Tracy is being evaluated,'' Fox said. ``When he's cleared to physically be able to practice, he'll be out there. I don't know all the symptoms. When we figure out how to deal with the illness, then he'll be out here.''

Champ Bailey said he was concerned about his fellow cornerback ``because it's a question mark. You don't really know what's going on. I try to help all the young players here, but in this situation, there's not much I can do. But we're all praying for him and hopefully he'll be back sooner rather than later.''

Safety David Bruton, whose locker is next to Porter's, said his teammates just want him healthy even if that means missing more games.

``That's one of our brothers. We're not just here as co-workers, we've built a friendship, a bond and we care about each other, so it extends beyond football,'' Bruton said. ``We care for him and wish him the best and we'd love to have him back with us some way, somehow.''

That said, ``it depends on how he feels and how the doctors feel,'' Bruton added. ``It's not our say. If he can go, that's great. If not, Chris and T.C. both stepped up big the last time when Tracy couldn't go.''

Chris Harris collected two interceptions at San Diego and Tony Carter picked off another pass as the Broncos overcame a 24-0 deficit for a 35-24 win that put them in a tie with the Chargers atop the AFC West at 3-3.

On Monday, Porter said he was his backups' biggest cheerleader two weeks ago.

``I was jumping up off the couch when those guys intercepted the ball. I wanted to be a part of it, but those guys are my teammates so I'm not mad that they did it and I didn't,'' Porter said.

Porter signed a one-year, $4 million free agent deal last spring with the Broncos, where he's trying to help Manning secure that second Super Bowl title that he denied him on Feb. 7, 2010, with his big play.

Now, he's hankering for a chance to pick off Brees.

``It will be great to intercept Drew, to make him mad and put my team closer to a victory,'' Porter said. ``But I still have to be in the right place at the right time like I was in the Super Bowl.''

In comments on a conference call before the nature of Porter's illness became public, Brees said it will be strange seeing Porter in a different uniform.

``I had four great years with Tracy, going against him in practice every day,'' Brees said. ``You know, he obviously was a big part of what we were able to accomplish here the last four years and it's always weird to see a guy like that who was such a big part of what you did and all of a sudden he's on the other side in a game.''

With the league's worst defense - they've allowed 2,793 yards over the first six games, most since 1950, the Saints (2-4) miss Porter's presence in their defensive backfield.

``Tracy plays the deep ball better than any corner I've seen,'' Saints safety Roman Harper said. ``He can run. He's very physical at the line and he's very smart. He's a very confident player. I love the dude to death. I know he misses us, and we miss him, too.''


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AP freelancer Guerry Smith contributed from New Orleans.


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New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

Alex Smith in, Kirk Cousins out.

That's certainly the headline, but there are plenty of other questions for the Redskins, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

For the last two seasons, most of the questions going into OTAs for Washington came from the defensive side of the ball. After consecutive drafts with a first-round defensive lineman selection, the defense should be much improved. 

On offense, however, there are a lot of new parts. 

  1. The headliner - No position in sports is as important as NFL quarterback. This will be Alex Smith's first action in a Redskins uniform with media present. The 34-year-old veteran is coming off the best season of his career, and if he can continue that level of accuracy and play-making, the Redskins could be poised for an explosive year.
  2. The speedster - Washington's wideouts lacked separation in 2017. It was apparent through much of the year, and likely played a roll in some of Kirk Cousins' reluctance to make tough throws. Free agent addition Paul Richardson is supposed to help, immediately. He has elite deep speed and the 'Skins brass hopes he can bring a similar element to the offense that DeSean Jackson provided a few years back. Time to prove it Paul. 
  3. The injuries - There are big reasons for concern, namely two very large men in Jordan Reed and Trent Williams. Reed will not participate in OTAs, and has been dealing with a foot/toe injury for the better part of a year. Williams, who seems highly unlikely to attend OTAs, underwent knee surgery in January. Beyond Smith, Reed and Williams are probably the two most important offensive players on the Redskins. OTAs aren't important, Reed and Williams participating, or even attending, OTAs is not important. Both men being healthy and ready to go in September is quite important. 
  4. The Rookie - Has Derrius Guice become the most popular player on the Redskins? Maybe. The dynamic rookie running back, with an interesting draft weekend slide, has the charisma and ability to be a star. The "off-field concerns" that hurt his draft status seem like myths at this point, but there was some injury concern his junior season at LSU (see video above). Guice has an opportunity to be a huge part of the Redskins offense, and all eyes will be watching the rookie. 
  5. The leap? - In 2017, Josh Doctson showed flashes of the player that warranted a first-round pick in 2016. Will 2018 be the year he proves it, week after week, game after game? Getting off to a good start with Smith should help, and even more important would be an injury-free offseason. 

There are questions for the defense too, particularly at cornerback after Josh Norman, but this year, the offense has more new parts. 


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Don't forget to subscribe to the #RedskinsTalk podcast, hosted by JP Finlay.

Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line


Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

The Eastern Conference Final is going the distance!

After losing three straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals won Game 6 to force a Game 7 in Tampa Bay. Can the Caps beat the Lightning one more time and advance to the Stanley Cup Final?

JJ Regan, Tarik El-Bashir and special guest cameraman Mike D break it all down.


PLEASE NOTE: Due to schedule and time constraints, this podcast was recorded by phone and the audio quality is not up to our usual standards.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.