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Broncos CB seeking medical clearance for return

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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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Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter:http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

While the rumors about the Redskins potentially trading for Marvin Jones from over the weekend were total nonsense, a reason they resonated so much with fans is because many believe Washington needs major help at wide receiver.

But during a segment of Monday's Redskins 100 show, analyst Trevor Matich assessed the position group and actually thinks that, as a whole, the team should be relatively pleased with the talent it has outside.

"I like it better than I have in recent years, especially if Paul Richardson stays healthy," Matich said.

His "especially" qualifier is a common one, and that's because Richardson is the most established wideout currently on the roster — and he still has just 1,564 career receiving yards to his name. However, a healthy Richardson (which the 'Skins never really saw in his first year, considering he got injured early in training camp and was never the same) provides Jay Gruden the field stretcher he loves to have.

Richardson isn't the only player Matich is anxious to see, though.

"Terry McLaurin, their draft choice from Ohio State, is legitimately a 4.3 guy," he said. "He gets deep down the field and catches the ball in space."

One of the biggest issues for the 2018 Redskins was a lack of speed at every single spot. In Richardson and McLaurin, the Burgundy and Gold now have a pair of pass catchers who can fly past corners, do damage 30-plus yards down the sideline and open things up for other targets as well.

Overall, in reacting to the Jones storyline, Matich really doesn't see a huge need for the organization to make any additions to that collection of pieces. 

"I think that when you take a look at all the other guys, Trey Quinn in the slot, things like that, this receiving corps is fine," he said. "It's not desperate. They don't need to invest resources to bring extra people in."

Now, is "fine" and "not desperate" the level the front office and coaches want their receivers to be? Of course not. But Matich's stance is intriguing, because he's content with who'll be lining up there while plenty of others absolutely don't see it that way and feel a trade would be prudent.

If you're in that second group, recent history indicates this is the dead zone for NFL deals. So try not to waste your time refreshing Twitter over and over and over.

Perhaps Washington gets to Richmond and, after a few weeks of practices and a couple of exhibition contests, realizes their depth chart could use another name. Or maybe an injury happens and forces their hand. But according to Matich, as of now, the offense can function with the parts it has in place.

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Ryan Zimmerman is ready to rejoin Nationals, but in what capacity?

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Ryan Zimmerman is ready to rejoin Nationals, but in what capacity?

Key for Ryan Zimmerman was the simplistic act of staying on his grumpy feet for nine innings. The idea had been elusive for weeks. Zimmerman last played a full baseball game on April 27. Plantar fasciitis sent him to this fate, and each time he progressed, an ache pulled him back.

Monday, Zimmerman played nine innings for Double-A Harrisburg. He picked up two hits, but more vital was the ability to play a full game his third time on the field in four days. Zimmerman played Friday and Saturday before taking Sunday off. Tuesday becomes decision day: is Zimmerman ready to join the team Wednesday or does he have to wait?

There's a benefit to waiting. Washington goes to Detroit for interleague play this weekend. That affords them a chance to use the designated hitter and a window to play both Howie Kendrick and Zimmerman throughout the series without greatly taxing either.

Bringing Zimmerman back sooner also has the benefit of putting his glove on the field and expanding bench options for manager Davey Martinez. The veteran can be protected in a rotation at first base. The Nationals have Brian Dozier hitting and fielding well. Kendrick hits line drives whenever he is in the lineup. Matt Adams provides a powerful matchup option. This is how things were supposed to work from the start of the season. But, they did not come to order until late June.

Zimmerman's injury has also decided the fate of his $18 million club option for next season. It has graduated from unlikely to no chance. Though, he appears open to coming back at a much lower price. Zimmerman's body has forced him into a position of being a part-time player only, at this stage. He said last week his body "felt great" outside of the plantar fasciitis issue in his foot. Don't be surprised if he and the Nationals work something out for one more season.

For now, the club has to decide when Zimmerman will be back on the field. If he felt good Tuesday following his rehabilitation game, he could be ready as soon as Wednesday. Which prompts another decision: Do they release spirit animal Gerardo Parra to make space? Would they entertain a change for Michael A. Taylor? Something has to give if Zimmerman is finally ready.

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