Capitals

Full-go for Redskins' RG3, bad haircut for Cousins

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Full-go for Redskins' RG3, bad haircut for Cousins

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Robert Griffin III had a full practice and looked pretty good. Kirk Cousins had a full haircut that looked so bad he had to apologize for it.

The Washington Redskins quarterbacks were back to their regular pecking order Wednesday. Griffin went through a regular full practice with first-team receivers for the first time since spraining his right knee, while Cousins was an affable undercard whose hilariously hairy moment was more interesting than anything he had to say about football.

Griffin said he ran plays at full-speed, hoping to persuade doctors to clear him for this week's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has made known his unhappiness over sitting out Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns, and he's clearly frustrated that the final say is out of his control.

``I'm ready to play whenever they want me to play,'' Griffin said. ``So if it's this week, next week, next couple of weeks. Whatever they say goes, so I'll be ready.''

Coach Mike Shanahan said doctors will see how Griffin's knee responds to the practice, particularly as to whether there's any swelling when the rookie shows up at work Thursday.

``Hopefully they'll look at it tomorrow and tell us it is full-go,'' Shanahan said.

Still, the signs are much more positive for Griffin than last week, when the Redskins sent out mixed signals in an effort to the keep Browns guessing. Griffin moved relatively well during the portions of practice open to reporters throughout the week, but then Cousins would take the first-team snaps once the session was closed.

Wednesday didn't have the same smoke-screen feel. After playing decoy for a week, Griffin talked about throwing passes to receiver Pierre Garcon with an arm that was ``a little bit more juiced up and ready to go.''

Griffin said his relationship with Shanahan hasn't been strained by having to sit out a game - and that it was important not to let personal emotions bring down the team.

``You don't take those things to the field and try to become a cancer or a distraction to the team,'' Griffin said. ``You support the team. ... You can be unhappy about something, but you've still got to learn, and that's what I did. I was upset, but I never let that show on the field and just watched and was able to see it from a different perspective.''

Griffin, the No. 2 overall draft pick and No. 2 in the league in passer rating, was hurt late in the fourth quarter of the win over the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 9. Fellow rookie Cousins led the Redskins to victory in relief, then threw for 329 yards in the 38-21 victory over the Browns.

The win (8-6) put the Redskins in control of their playoff fate. Their five-game winning streak has them tied with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants atop the NFC East, and Washington holds the tiebreaker over both clubs.

The victory also gave Cousins a chance to bask in the glow of being a winning starting NFL quarterback. His run of fame continued Wednesday when he showed up for a session with reporters with his mop of hair gone, replaced by a close-cut `do that - from the eyebrows up - made him look at least 45 years old.

``I have to apologize to my family and friends back home,'' he said. ``I think I'm embarrassing them. I try to represent them well, and my haircut's not doing it.''

He then explained that when he went to get a haircut on Monday, he had a ``communication breakdown'' with a female barber whose English wasn't the best. She also took off his glasses, so he couldn't see what she was doing.

``She wheels me back around,'' Cousins said. ``I look at the mirror and I realized I had a Mohawk. So I tell her, `Just shave it off. I don't know what to tell you.' So she just buzzed it off, and I have to live with this for the next couple of weeks until it grows back. ... The tough thing was that I didn't realize until that moment that I do have a receding hairline. That was tough to take. My dad is more-or-less completely bald, and I was hoping I wasn't going to get his genes.''

Cousins' remarks were televised live on national television, and soon he was trending on Twitter. Griffin called the haircut ``bad.'' Shortly afterward, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was looking at a photo of the haircut on the Internet and discussing it on the phone with Redskins writers.

``Wow,'' Foles said. ``I'm going to have to do that to mine - cut it all off.''

Notes: The injury news was good all-around for the Redskins. In addition to Griffin, C Will Montgomery (Grade 2 sprain of left MCL) took part in the full practice, while RT Tyler Polumbus (concussion) was able to participate in the walk-through and said he expects to be cleared to play. ... DE Stephen Bowen was limited with an upper biceps tear, but Shanahan said it won't keep Bowen from playing. ... LB Lorenzo Alexander wore a non-contact jersey at practice because of a shoulder injury. ... The Redskins signed LB Vic So'oto to the active roster from the Green Bay Packers practice squad. Washington also signed G Pat Boyle to the practice squad and released LB Kourtnei Brown from the practice squad.

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How to watch Capitals vs. Maple Leafs NHL 20 simulation and Caps' chippy Nov. 18 win over Ducks

How to watch Capitals vs. Maple Leafs NHL 20 simulation and Caps' chippy Nov. 18 win over Ducks

The Capitals’ simulated season continues on Tuesday night when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs in NHL 20, aired on NBC Sports Washington. Real-life Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin will be on the call.

In a partnership with Monumental Sports Network, NBCSW is airing all Wizards and Capitals games in simulated NBA 2K20 and NHL 20 games, taking place on the dates and times according to each team's regular season schedule with commentary from NBCSW's experts surrounding the coverage.

After the game wraps up, NBCSW will reair the Caps’ physical Nov. 18 affair with the Anaheim Ducks. Richard Panik scored his first goal in a Washington uniform and Garnet Hathaway was ejected after exchanging more than just blows in a fight with several Ducks.

Here’s how you can catch both games Tuesday night.

Broadcast Schedule

7:00 PM – NHL 20: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Capitals (P)

8:00 PM – NHL Classics: Anaheim Ducks @ Capitals from Nov. 18, 2019 (R)

10:30 PM – NHL 20: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Capitals (R)

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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How Ben Olsen is coaching D.C. United during coronavirus quarantine

How Ben Olsen is coaching D.C. United during coronavirus quarantine

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the MLS season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen is working to find his way in the face of massive changes to the day-to-day life of so many around the world.

"The priority right now with the group that we have is to maintain a level of fitness," Olsen said on a conference call with local reporters this morning. "All we can do right now is follow the guidelines given by MLS."

Even though the team is not able to meet face-to-face like they normally would, Olsen and his staff have had to get creative in ways to continue to build team chemistry and make sure everyone is on the same page.

"We have a once-a-week call with everyone on a Zoom chat with the trainers," he said. "We talk about things like social media and how to stay connected to fans, the programs we are sending out and we get feedback from [the players] on what is going well."

Dealing with the pandemic has been especially challenging for players from overseas, who might not have the same support systems that those longtime MLS players have in the area. The club is making a particular point to reach out to those players.

D.C. United and its staff are also making sure that all of the club’s players are able to partake in individualized training to keep a level of fitness, even if that means getting some workout equipment to players who might not have it where they live.

As new challenges arise and are met, Olsen is trying to keep a positive mindset and joked that he now has the time to be a better husband and father than he normally would at the start of a new season.

"There’s this underlying positivity that again I feel very, very lucky because of the scenario I’m in," the head coach noted. "I’m also constantly thinking about others that are not in the situation I’m in. Whether it’s the EMTs, the firemen, the D.C. support system, our medical doctors, so many people on the frontlines that are doing so much and putting their lives in danger right now. I make sure we as a family are constantly reminding our children that there’s a lot of people out there doing some great things in a very, very tough time."

When asked what he misses most about what would be the end of the opening month of the MLS season, Olsen stated that he misses the locker room and being with his players.

"Dealing with the ups and downs of a season, dealing with the journey of the season," he said. "It’s a special thing that we have and I think in some ways you have to lose it to appreciate it. Right now I miss being in that locker room, I miss the guys, I miss my staff."

While no one knows yet when the season will return, Olsen is "very bullish and optimistic" that MLS will recover quickly.

"Of course the league will take a hit, just like every other league and every other business across this country," Olsen said. "This league will be just fine when we get through this, just like our country will be just fine."