Redskins

Falcons hope to have Weatherspoon, Jerry this week

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Falcons hope to have Weatherspoon, Jerry this week

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) The Atlanta Falcons could be closer to full strength on defense the next time they take the field.

Coach Mike Smith said Monday linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and defensive tackle Peria Jerry could return to practice late this week, increasing their chances to play Sunday at New Orleans.

Weatherspoon, one of the team's leading tacklers, missed Sunday night's 19-13 win over Dallas with a sprained right ankle. A first-half knee injury knocked Jerry out of the game.

The Falcons (8-0) remain the NFL's only unbeaten team.

The loss of Weatherspoon robbed the defense of one of its big-play leaders. He has 60 tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery and had 10 or more tackles in four of the team's first seven games.

Smith said Weatherspoon is making progress in his recovery.

``This is basically his eighth day of intensive treatment and we're hoping we're going to be able to get him out,'' Smith said. ``He progressed well through the first week and we're just going to have to see. I think like last week we'll know where he's at by Wednesday or Thursday.''

Though Weatherspoon didn't play, he caught Smith's attention on the sideline.

``I saw him moving up and down the sideline, helping us and assisting us with making sure everybody knew what the calls were,'' Smith said. ``He was doing a very nice job.''

Jerry, a first-round pick in 2009, hurt his left knee in his second game of his rookie season. Jerry made a slow recovery, making no starts in 2010 and only four starts in 2011. He has started every game this season.

Smith said Jerry's injury is not serious.

``It's more of a swelling situation and we've got to get the swelling down,'' Smith said. ``There are no ligaments or cartilage issues. ... We're hoping we'll get him a few days rest and let him get a lot of treatment and he'll be back out there with us.''

Corey Peters, in only his second game since his return from a left foot injury, was on the field for 36 snaps. Much of Peters' playing time came after Jerry's injury.

``Corey got more snaps than actually we wanted him to play simply because of the injury to Peria,'' Smith said. ``I think in another week or two he'll be ready to get back to his normal snap count that he was at last year when we were using him as a starter.''

Smith said he spoke with Peters shortly before meeting with reporters on Monday.

``I said `I think you've still got some rust on you,''' Smith said. ``He said `Yeah I know.' ... Actually he said `You don't need to tell me that.' I said `Yes I do.'''

Linebacker Akeem Dent helped replace Weatherspoon. Dent and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux shared the team lead with seven tackles. Dent had a pass deflection.

``I think Akeem Dent played his best game of the season by far,'' Smith said. ``The thing I'm most proud of is the way he handled the huddle.

``That's not easy to really play your first full game at the mike linebacker position on a Sunday night game.''

Even short-handed, the defense played well in the win over Dallas. The Cowboys were successful on only three of 10 third-down plays and were held to 65 yards rushing.

``They played us as tough as any team we played so far this season,'' said defensive end John Abraham. ``In spite of that, we still found a way to win. I think this win will only help us to continue to build momentum.''

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After viral 2018 scuffle, Taylor Lewan offers to make peace with Josh Norman

After viral 2018 scuffle, Taylor Lewan offers to make peace with Josh Norman

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and Titans tackle Taylor Lewan got into a widely-discussed altercation after Washington's Week 16 loss to Tennesse last season.

But on Thursday, Lewan said he's finally ready to let bygones be bygones. 

Lewan tweeted he wants Norman to come on the "Bussin' With The Boys" podcast he co-hosts with former Redskins linebacker Will Compton to "settle our differences."

Judging by what happened last December, there are plenty of differences: Norman threw his helmet at Lewan after the latter approached him, Lewan later accusing Norman of trying to hurt Titans running back Derrick Henry.

"I'm not worried about Josh Norman, man," Lewan told reporters after the incident. "I'm an offensive lineman, he's a [defensive back]. I don't know who that is."

"I was pissed. He was trying to hurt Derrick [Henry]. That's BS. That’s not the way football’s supposed to be played, man. It’s not our fault you’re not relevant anymore."

"Why would you come to another man's sideline?" Norman said of the dust-up. "And then after you won a game, you pick fun at the player that is relevant. You go out of your way to come to his bench, his sideline, to go at him in that kind of way."

"We're not having it. We will not tolerate disrespect. That's zero tolerance for that. That was the ultimate disrespect. You just don't do that."

The incident happened months ago, so it's about time the pair made peace. And as an ex-Redskin and ex-Titan, perhaps Compton can help mend the fences. But if Norman does accept Lewan's invitation to come on the podcast, we might be in for even more verbal fireworks. 

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Keldon Johnson

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Keldon Johnson

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Keldon Johnson

School: Kentucky
Position: Guard
Age: 19 (turns 21 in October)
Height: 6-6
Weight: 216
Wingspan: 6-9
Max vertical: N/A

2018/19 stats: 13.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.2 bpg, 46.1 FG% (4.6/10.1), 38.1 3PT% (1.2/3.2), 70.3 FT%

Player comparison: Gary Harris, Jerome Robinson

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 19th, NBADraft.net 15th, Bleacher Report 8th, Sports Illustrated 23rd, Ringer 21st

5 things to know:

*Johnson is considered the best NBA prospect in this year's class from the University of Kentucky. Though the Wildcats usually churn out top-10 picks, he is projected to go somewhere in the back end of the lottery or in the 20s. His teammates Tyler Herro and P.J. Washington are expected to go late in the first round.

*Johnson is an athletic, slashing wing who is quick up and down the floor. His highlights are filled with fastbreak dunks and agile plays around the basket. Johnson, though, didn't participate in the vertical leap measurement at the combine, so there is some mystery there.

*He has a solid outside shot. Johnson made 38.2 percent of his threes on 3.2 attempts per game, which is impressive especially for a freshman. He appears to have smooth mechanics on his jumper and a quick release. Johnson, though, like most young players has to develop his ability to shoot off the dribble.

*Johnson plays with a lot of passion and is known for wearing his emotions on his sleeve. He brings tons of energy to both ends of the floor and that is a good sign for his potential at the next level.

*Johnson has a few local connections. He is from Chesterfield, VA, just south of Richmond. He went to high school at Oak Hill Academy in southwestern Virginia. His brother, Kaleb, plays basketball for Georgetown University. And his other brother, Kyle, played at Old Dominion.

Fit with Wizards: Johnson happens to play the one position the Wizards have solidified, at least in their starting lineup with Bradley Beal. However, they could use more guard depth in general and Beal needs some help behind him.

The Wizards thought they had solved that with Austin Rivers this past season and that didn't work out. The result was Beal leading the NBA in minutes played in the second straight year he appeared in all 82 games.

Iron Man streaks are great, but not ideal for a guy who has a history of leg injuries and a long career ahead of him. Johnson is the type of player who could take some pressure off of Beal and possibly play with him at the three-spot. He would also add shooting, which the Wizards need.

The question would be if he is good enough to pick ninth overall and if that need is enough to justify at that spot. The answer is probably not, but Johnson seems like a guy who could soar up draft boards once workouts begin.

Best highlight video:

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