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Cassel to start at QB for Chiefs vs Bengals

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Cassel to start at QB for Chiefs vs Bengals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Matt Cassel is getting another start at quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Brady Quinn still has not been cleared to participate in a game following his concussion, so Cassel will be back under center when the Chiefs play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

``Brady does feel better. I'm glad he's feeling better. But he hasn't been cleared to play yet,'' Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said during what's become a weekly Wednesday ritual of addressing the QB spot. ``I can't take the chance on practicing the guy and not having him ready.''

Cassel will start his third consecutive game. He was the starter earlier this year before sustaining his own concussion against Baltimore. Quinn was the fill-in starter for a game, and then got the permanent job, only to be knocked out of his second start against Oakland.

Quinn has been practicing, but Crennel said he's not been cleared for full contact.

``He's feeling a lot better, doing a lot better,'' Crennel said. ``He went to the doctor and he told him he's doing a lot better. The doctor also told him he was going to monitor him this week, and if he makes it through this week without incident, he could be cleared for the weekend. But he's got to make it through the week.''

Quinn admitted last week that he tried to play through the latest concussion, which he believes happened when an Oakland defender's knee collided with the back of his helmet while he was scrambling early in the game. Quinn was later sacked, and then threw an interception during which he recalled having ``tunnel vision,'' before he was removed from the game.

Quinn has been consulting with Dr. Micky Collins, the executive director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program in Pittsburgh, one of the leading experts in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of athletes who have suffered concussions.

Collins helped design the ImPACT test now used by many professional sports leagues, including the NFL, to assess concussions and determine when an injured athlete can safely return to play.

Crennel said that the Chiefs training staff has been relaying information to Collins, and together they'll make a determination by Sunday whether Quinn is available.

``If there are any complications, they will not clear him,'' Crennel said.

The alternative is to stick with Cassel, who is having one of the worst seasons of his career.

He's completing 58 percent of his throws with a quarterback rating of 66.6, and has only thrown six touchdown passes with 12 interceptions. The most recent pick, early in overtime Monday night, gave the Steelers a chip-shot field goal to win the game.

It was the Chiefs' sixth straight defeat.

``Without a doubt, you look at where we are, we're 1-8, and that's always difficult, because you have to remind yourself we have more football to play,'' Cassel said. ``Sometimes that becomes difficult, but at the same time, I have the mentality that we can be better.''

In other injury news, Crennel said that wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin is being examined for head and neck injuries sustained when he landed on his head while trying to make a catch.

Crennel said Baldwin, the Chiefs' first-round pick last year, was undergoing ``base-line testing'' to determine whether he has a concussion. Along with both of the Chiefs' quarterbacks, tight end Kevin Boss and fullback Nate Eachus have also sustained concussions this season.

Tight end Jake O'Connell (ankle) and right guard Jon Asamoah (thumb) were held out of practice Wednesday. Defensive tackle Dontari Poe (knee), tight end Steve Maneri (ankle) and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (thigh) were among those who were limited.

``We need to build on the effort, energy and attitude we played with Monday night,'' Crennel said. ``Nobody is happy with our record. We have to improve on Monday's performance, and I feel like the second half of the season can be much better.''

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4 prospects Baltimore Ravens fans should be keeping an eye on in 2019 NFL Draft

4 prospects Baltimore Ravens fans should be keeping an eye on in 2019 NFL Draft

The Baltimore Ravens will add to their historic franchise this weekend during the 2019 NFL Draft. All eyes will be set on who they take with their first pick, whether that's at No. 22 or beyond. 

With a handful of needs, which prospects should you be aware of? Here are four players projected to possibly land with the Ravens Thursday night.

WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi

Metcalf grabbed the attention of the football world during the NFL Combine, running a 4.33 40-yard dash and posting a 40.5 vertical jump. The jury is still out, however, on how he'll pan out in the NFL. Metcalf missed part of the 2018 season with a neck injury and a foot injury derailed his 2016 season after just two games. Metcalf admitted that his history of injuries was brought up often when meeting with NFL teams, and his apparent 1.9% body fat simply isn't healthy, according to a combine trainer. Nonetheless, draft experts have the receiver as a top option for the Ravens. 

DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

The Ravens are going to need some help on defense after losing Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and Za'Darius Smith in free agency. Ferrell had 38 tackles for loss and 21 sacks over the last two seasons with the National Champions. Standing at 6'4", 264 pounds, the defensive end's combine profile describes him as having "prototypical size, length and strength to offer early help against both the run and pass."

C/G Erik McCoy, Texas A&M

The Ravens could be looking for their center of the future. McCoy earned a starting role with the Aggies during the 2016 season, starting all 16 games after redshirting his freshman season. In his sophomore season, McCoy helped Texas A&M average 406.8 yards per game. From 2016-19, the center helped his team rush for over 2,000 yards. A talent like that could be extremely helpful with Lamar Jackson under center. 

WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

Another wide receiver in the mix, Brown averaged more than 18 yards per reception over two years at Oklahoma, racking up 1,300 yards with 10 touchdowns on 75 receptions in 2018 alone. Nicknamed "Hollywood," the 21-year-old's speed and ability to threaten deep "gives him a chance to become the most impactful wideout in this draft."

The 2019 NFL schedule is set!  See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

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Report: Dwayne Haskins is the Redskins' 'target' for solving QB issue

Report: Dwayne Haskins is the Redskins' 'target' for solving QB issue

It'd be borderline shocking if the Redskins didn't add a quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft, and with the first round coming Thursday, one report suggests the team is interested in doing so with a top pick.

ESPN's Dianna Russini tweeted Wednesday that "sources have indicated Dwayne Haskins is [Washington's] target despite multiple holes at several positions on this roster." She then added that the 'Skins aren't talking to the Cardinals about Josh Rosen.

Now, the question for the Redskins becomes: If Haskins is their target, will they have to move up in the order to get him?

Insider JP Finlay wrote Wednesday the franchise could be willing to make a big leap up to pick No. 3 if Kyler Murray isn't taken first overall. So, you'd think they'd be willing to do the same for Haskins, whether that means swapping with the Jets to get the Ohio State passer third or with another organization if Haskins slips lower.

There's also a chance he lasts until the 15th pick, but that's far from certain. The front office may not feel comfortable enough to wait for him to fall.

A combination of Colt McCoy and Case Keenum could get the Redskins through the 2019 season, but neither sets the squad up for long-term success under center. Haskins could, although he started just one year for the Buckeyes and Jay Gruden has said this offseason how valuable experience is for signal callers entering the pros. 

There should be plenty of appealing prospects available for Washington when it's their turn on the clock. However, landing a QB on a rookie deal would be the most impactful acquisition if that guy pans out. So, if Haskins really is the "target" as reported, look for them to be aggressive in chasing him.

For an in-depth look at Haskins' development and life, check out NBC Sports Washington's "I am The Prospect: Dwayne Haskins."

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