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Falcons' Abraham, Robinson hurt in loss to Bucs

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Falcons' Abraham, Robinson hurt in loss to Bucs

The Atlanta Falcons hope they won't be without a few key defensive stars in the playoffs.

Defensive end John Abraham, the Falcons' top pass rusher, left the game with an apparent left ankle injury in the fourth quarter of Atlanta's 22-17 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday. Abraham couldn't put his weight on the ankle as he was helped off the field.

Abraham's injury came after starting cornerback Dunta Robinson suffered a head injury in the first quarter and did not return. His helmet hit Doug Martin on the running back's 3-yard gain. Robinson walked off the field and was escorted to the locker room.

Despite the Falcons (13-3) already having clinched home-field advantage, coach Mike Smith chose to stick with his starters all the way. Smith, who didn't think the injuries to Abraham and Robinson were serious, wanted his team to gain momentum since it will have a first-round bye in the playoffs next week.

``You want to go out and play your best,'' Smith said. ``To go out there and not play your best is counterintuitive to guys in that locker room and it's counterintuitive to us as football coaches.''

Smith said he never considered removing his starters after Abraham's injury.

``Absolutely not,'' he said. ``We've said from the very beginning that we were going to continue to play this game to win.''

In other injuries around the league, Indianapolis lost starting guard Joe Reitz in the first half of the Colts' 28-16 win against Houston with a head injury. Texans linebacker Daryl Sharpton left with a hip injury, while fellow linebacker Tim Dobbins left in the second half with what coach Gary Kubiak thought was a shoulder injury.

In New Orleans, Carolina quarterback Cam Newton appeared to injure his lower left leg in the fourth quarter of the Panthers' 44-38 win. Newton's leg was caught awkwardly under defensive end Turk McBride on a hit shortly after Newton had thrown. Newton returned after missing several plays to complete a touchdown drive.

Cincinnati safety Chris Crocker hurt his right thigh while trying to make a tackle in the first quarter of the Bengals' 23-17 win over Baltimore and didn't return. He said the injury wasn't serious.

Chicago tight end Matt Spaeth left the Bears' 26-24 win over Detroit with a concussion.

Miami tight end Anthony Fasano and linebacker Kevin Burnett left the Dolphins' 28-0 loss to New England in the third quarter and were evaluated for concussions. No results were announced.

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Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

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Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

Leaving the Georgetown Hoyas a season early is initially paying off for Marcus Derrickson. 

Less than a month before what would have been his senior season at Georgetown, the 6-7 forward has signed a two-way contract with the Golden State Warriors. 

Derrickson nabbed the second two-way position on the Warriors after an outstanding Summer League translated to a solid preseason.

Fitting right into the Warriors deep-ball oriented scheme, Derrickson was 6-16 from three point range during the five-game preseason. He's a versatile stretch-four that continues to develop and improve on his outside game. 

By signing a two-way contract, the former All-Big East Second teamer will have a chance to get called up to the two-time defending NBA champions at any point this season for up to 45 days. The remaining time will be with the Warriors' G-league affiliate the Santa Cruz Warriors

This arrangement will earn Derrickson a contract of $75,000 and a prorated amount for however much time he is practicing/ playing with Golden State. 

If he is called up to the NBA for more than the allotted 45 days, then the Warriors are obligated to give him a minimum rookie contract. 

Derrickson continues to prove himself as the list of aspiring players dwindles. As each contract begins to near its end, the Warriors time after time offer another opportunity.

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Trading Jodie Meeks gives Washington Wizards much-needed salary cap relief

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Trading Jodie Meeks gives Washington Wizards much-needed salary cap relief

With a luxury tax bill of approximately $19 million on the way, the Washington Wizards gave themselves some salary relief on Monday by trading veteran guard Jodie Meeks to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Wizards attached a future second round pick and cash to the deal and in exchange received a future second round pick of their own, NBC Sports Washington has confirmed. ESPN first reported the news.

Though Meeks, 31, was due to make $3.45 million this season, his departure saves the Wizards about $7 million because of projected tax penalties. That's a lot of savings in a deal that got rid of a player who had become expendable.

Meeks had fallen out of favor with the Wizards for a variety of reasons. He was due to serve a 19-game suspension to begin the season due to performance-enhancing drugs. The ban was announced the day before their first round playoff series against the Raptors was set to begin in April.

Meeks also underperformed last season in the first year of his contract with the Wizards and requested a trade in February. This summer, Meeks exercised his player option to remain with the team.

The Wizards were not likely to count on Meeks much at all this season because they traded for Austin Rivers in June to add depth at the shooting guard position. Meeks' role was made clear by the fact he did not appear in any of the Wizards' four preseason games against NBA opponents.

Meeks' tenure in Washington was a significant disappointment. The Wizards signed him last summer in hopes he could shore up the shooting guard spot on their bench. 

Though he stayed healthy for the first time in years, he never earned the trust of his coaching staff. The Wizards opted to rely more heavily on starter Bradley Beal, who logged the fourth-most minutes of any NBA player last season.

Now, they are moving on.

Meeks leaving the organization should have little effect on the Wizards, though it does leave them with a hole on their roster that needs to be filled. They currently have 13 players, one below the league minimum. The Wizards now have 14 days to add a 14th player.

They could sign a free agent, convert one of their players on two-way contracts (Devin Robinson and Jordan McRae) or make a trade. The Meeks deal gives them a $3.45 million trade exception.

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