Redskins

Ex-players reply to NFL's motion to dismiss cases

Ex-players reply to NFL's motion to dismiss cases

Arguing that ``football has become the site of perhaps the gravest health crisis in the history of sports,'' lawyers for thousands of former NFL players asked a judge to reject the league's bid to dismiss their lawsuits about concussions.

In a brief filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, the players dispute the league's framing of the cases as a labor issue that should be governed by the sport's collective bargaining agreements instead of the legal system.

Among the players' arguments: Relevant CBAs did not address long-term brain injuries, the NFL committed fraud by concealing risks of repeated head trauma, and the league has a common-law duty to protect players.

``The NFL knew that players were exposed to risks of severe neurological injuries, yet did nothing to prevent them,'' the brief says, adding that the league ``failed to warn players about the dangers of concussive and sub-concussive impacts,'' did not advocate preventative rule changes and did not ``implement equipment standards adapted for head trauma.''

The league filed its motion to dismiss the lawsuits in August and now will have the chance to respond to the players' reply. The NFL repeatedly has stated publicly it did not intentionally mislead players and has tried to better protect their health.

More than 100 concussion lawsuits against the NFL have been brought together before U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody. Unless Brody agrees to dismiss them, or an umbrella settlement is reached, she probably would decide what evidence can be used at trial, whether a class can be certified for medical monitoring and other pretrial issues. The cases might then return to their home districts for trial.

In its motion two months ago, the NFL argued that the CBAs cover safety and health rules - while delegating to individual teams and their doctors the decisions about players' conditions and when they should return to play. The league also said the former players' suits lack specific proof that medical links between concussions and brain disease were concealed.

The players' response Wednesday says ``a party cannot shirk its own duty by pointing to the duties of others'' and that the ``NFL deceived club doctors (as well as players) by insisting repeatedly that head trauma carried little long-term risk for football players.''

Wednesday's brief argues that the NFL ``orchestrated a disinformation campaign'' and says: ``On the NFL's watch, football has become the site of perhaps the gravest health crisis in the history of sports.''

According to an Associated Press analysis, a total of more than 3,500 former players - including at least 26 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame - have sued the NFL, saying not enough was done to inform them about the dangers of concussions in the past, and not enough is being done today to take care of them. The complete number of plaintiffs in those cases tops 5,000, counting spouses and other relatives or representatives.

The lead plaintiff in one of the earliest concussion lawsuits filed against the NFL last year, former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling, committed suicide in April at age 62. An autopsy found he had the degenerative brain disease CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy. His widow remains a plaintiff.

Other players have told the AP they returned to play after hits that left them with concussions and regularly were given painkillers by team doctors before games.

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Need to Know: The best running backs the Redskins will face in 2018

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Need to Know: The best running backs the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 18, eight days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best running backs the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the running backs are up. They are roughly ranked 2017 rushing yards, although I did some juggling based on offseason moves and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teamsreceivers, and quarterbacks

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys—He actually finished 10thin the league in rushing yards behind two backs who will face the Redskins. Elliott gets boosted up the list because he was suspended for six games last year. He averaged 98 yards per game played and had he been able to play in 16 games he would have led the league in rushing yards with over 300 yards to spare. In three games against the Redskins, he has averaged 110 yards per game and he has five touchdowns. The Redskins’ revamped rushing defense will be tested twice.

Mark Ingram, Saints—He will be coming off of a four-game suspension for Redskins vs. Saints in Week 5. Will he be rested or rusty? If he’s in any kind of form, the Redskins defense will have to be on its game. Last year against Washington in the Superdome Ingram rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries. 

Leonard Fournette, Jaguars—The rookie did surpass the thousand-yard mark, posting 1,040. Some pointed out that it wasn’t a consistent effort as he gained 310 yards, almost 30 percent of his total, in two back-to-back games in Weeks 5 and 6. That’s fine but he still is a difficult opponent with his combination of size and speed. I look for him to have a big breakout this year. 

Dion Lewis/Derrick Henry, Titans—Lewis averaged 5.0 yards per carry with the Patriots last year and Henry gained 744 yards while sharing time with the now-retired DeMarco Murray. Lewis will play a lot of third downs and will spell Henry sometimes early in games. That will leave the 6-3, 247-pound Henry fresh to grind up the clock if the Titans have a late lead. 

Jay Ajayi, Eagles—Nobody has quite figured out why the Dolphins dealt him to the Eagles in midseason, but Philly was more than happy to add him to the offense. Ajayi became a workhorse in the postseason with 42 rushing attempts and six receptions in three games. 

I do need to mention Giants rookie Saquan Barkley here. I have to think that the second overall pick of the draft will rank somewhere on this list but without seeing him in an NFL uniform yet it’s hard to rank him. He will be dangerous, no doubt. 

Best of the rest: Lamar Miller, Texans, Alvin Kamara, Saints, Ronald Jones, Bucs

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline 

Former Redskins offensive tackle Geroge Starke, one of the original Hogs, was born on this date in 1948.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 8
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 22
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 45

The Redskins last played a game 199 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 53 days. 

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A quick recap of Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, including how your Nats did

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A quick recap of Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, including how your Nats did

Tuesday evening's All-Star game was fairly uneventful until its later innings. The American League triumphed over the National League, 8 - 6, for their sixth straight All-Star game victory.

Despite fears of potential rain and inclement weather delaying the game, there were no unexpected stops in play. 

The AL started very strong offensively, with runs from Aaron Judge and Mike Trout in the top of the second and third innings, respectively. Jean Segura's three-run homer in the top of the eighth made victory look inevitable for the AL by the fifth. 

Max Scherzer, unsurprisingly, was well received among fans at Nationals Park. The Nats starter pitched the first two innings, giving up four hits. One was Judge's second-inning homer, but Scherzer remained unfazed and lighthearted. Four strikeouts made his performance commendable.

Bryce Harper did not get on as well, striking out in both of his at-bats. After Harper's Home Run Derby Win last night, there was chatter of him going for the MVP title as well. 

It didn't work out, but given Harper's consistent presence at the All-Star game, there's always another chance.

Elsewhere in the dugout for the NL, who rallied back from the three-run deficit, the kids were all right. Willson Contreras of the Cubs had a solo homer at the bottom of the third, the Rockies' Trevor Story had one in the seventh, and Christian Yelich added another in the eighth. A two-run homer by Scooter Gennett in the bottom of the ninth brought the game back to a 5-5 tie.

Jesus Aguilar struck out for the NL, and extra innings began.

In the top of the tenth, Alex Bregman and George Springer, both of the Astros, hit home runs almost immediately off of Dodgers pitcher Ross Stipling. Stop us if you've heard that one before.

With no outs, Michael Brantley took a sacrifice flyout to right field, and Jean Segura got in one more run to put the score at 8-5.

Though Joey Votto (Reds) hit one last home run in the bottom of the tenth, the NL couldn't quite make up the deficit.

After a late night, the American League will be going home happy.

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