Washington Football

Gore, Brown set to play Sunday for 49ers

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Gore, Brown set to play Sunday for 49ers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Frank Gore carries a heavy load every week for the 49ers and it will be more of the same when San Francisco hosts the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

``Frank is one of the best, if not the best, back in the league,'' 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday. ``So, he's going to run and he's feeling good. He had a good week at practice.''

Gore, who gained 58 yards on 23 carries last Sunday against the Rams, and cornerback Tarell Brown took a little time off to heal nagging injuries this week - but both insisted they will be ready for the Dolphins.

``I could play right now,'' Gore said. ``I feel all right.''

Gore is nursing a wrist problem, while Brown's hamstring has been problematic.

``I'll be fine, I just have to listen to the trainers,'' Brown said. ``I just needed a day to let it rest.''

San Francisco will be trying to rebound from a 16-13 overtime loss to St. Louis.

``We've responded well,'' Brown said. ``You never want to lose, but at the same time it's part of the game. You just have to stay focused.''

Harbaugh said there were two ways to respond after a loss.

``You're ticked off, and when you're ticked off you're going to do one of two things: You're going to come back and do something about it, or you go cower in the corner and shrivel up in the fetal position,'' he said. ``I haven't seen any of the latter around here. You come back, chest somebody up and let's do something about it.''

Wide receiver Mario Manningham remains doubtful with a shoulder injury, and several other players are listed as probable.

Manningham's absence could clear the way for rookie A.J. Jenkins to make an impact.

``Yes, I've seen progress from A.J.,'' Harbaugh said. ``He's been on his assignments. He's executed well when he's been out there. He's given great effort and football rewards that effort.''

Gore, who went to the University of Miami, needs 28 yards rushing against the Dolphins to reach 1,000 for the sixth time. Only the Rams' Steven Jackson has more 1,000-yard seasons (seven) among active players.

Gore also needs one touchdown to match Roger Craig and Joe Perry (50) for most in franchise history.

``Whatever it takes,'' Gore said. ``If there's a successful play and we win, and I'm part of it, I'm good.''

Harbaugh did say the coaching staff has been talking about ways to share the load at running back.

``It's part of the game plan,'' he said. ``We have some other backs that we feel confident with.''

The 49ers have won nine consecutive home games in December, second only to the New England Patriots (19). The Dolphins have won the past two meetings between the teams, the last on Dec. 14, 2008, in Miami. The Dolphins also won in San Francisco in 2004.

The 49ers last beat Miami at home in 2001.

NOTES: Dolphins OT Jonathan Martin played for Harbaugh at Stanford. ... The 49ers' defense has allowed 23 opposing drives to reach the red zone, the fewest in the NFL.

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Burning Questions: Which Washington Football Team player should we be talking more about?

Burning Questions: Which Washington Football Team player should we be talking more about?

As training camp continues to build, JP Finlay and Pete Hailey will answer burning questions related to the Washington Football Team.

Up next: Which player should we be talking more about as the season nears?

JP's pick: Landon Collins

This might seem odd, but one of Washington’s most expensive players is flying under the radar during the transition to the Ron Rivera era. 

That would be Landon Collins. 

An All Pro in 2016 with the Giants, Washington signed him to a long-term deal last year that included $45 million guaranteed. He was good last season, but not great, and he’s being paid to be great. 

When Rivera or Jack Del Rio get questions about their defense this fall, most center around a stocked defensive front or questions about cornerback depth. 

To break through and be a dominant defensive unit, Washington needs more out of Collins, too.

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Pete's pick: Montez Sweat

Thanks to being drafted alongside a prolific college quarterback, Montez Sweat was overlooked heading into his debut season. Now, because of Chase Young's presence, he's similarly sneaking into Year 2.

That doesn't lessen his importance to the defense, however.

For Washington's unit to be as ferocious as many hope it will be, all three of their pass rushers — Young, Ryan Kerrigan and Sweat — need to do damage.

Despite not having taken an NFL snap yet, it's almost expected that Young will feast right away. Kerrigan, meanwhile, is aging and coming off of his first experience with injuries as a pro, but his track record speaks for itself. Sweat is the one who feels like the X-factor in that trio.

He's very quiet, he's amongst the organization's deepest position and he's got a ways to go before justifying his 2019 draft position. But Sweat came on in the second half of the schedule as a rookie and if he keeps that up, he'll start drawing more attention  — both from fans and opponents.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo says he has no problem with Moe Wagner after headbutt

Giannis Antetokounmpo says he has no problem with Moe Wagner after headbutt

Despite seeking him out after the whistle and headbutting him with force to earn an ejection from Tuesday night's game, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo says he has no problem with Wizards big man Moe Wagner. He explained the move as general frustration boiling over.

"I don’t have nothing against Wagner, it wasn’t just him. It was just, like, in my mind all these games I’ve played guys hitting me so I lost it for a second," Antetokounmpo told reporters. 

He went on to express regret over the incident, which is certain to result in a fine and possibly a suspension. His explanation, though, runs a bit counter to how the Wizards saw it all.

Wagner was not made available to the media, but his teammates weighed in and all seemed to believe it stemmed from something that happened between them earlier this season.

"They have something in the past, I don't even know," Rui Hachimura said.

"That was just some blood from back then," Ish Smith said. 

They seemed to be referencing the Feb. 24 meeting between the teams when Antetokounmpo fouled out in only 25 minutes, and with some help from Wagner. That night, Wagner gave a quote that could also have been said after this game: "He’s a really good player. I want him out of the game, obviously."

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On Tuesday, Antetokounmpo again exited early against the Wizards, and again the Bucks held on for the win, just like they did in February. Still, him leaving gave the Wizards a bit of a break. 

The reigning MVP had been dominating with 12 points and nine rebounds in 10 minutes.

"I'm not saying he's a dirty player, but he's good at those little things," Hachimura said of Wagner. "Giannis was actually out for the game. It was really big [for] us. He changed the whole game, actually. Moe's a great guy."

RELATED: GIANNIS EJECTED FOR HEADBUTTING MOE WAGNER

Wagner has a tendency to get under the skin of his opponents. He has had run-ins with other big men, most notably Joel Embiid.

He did his part, but the Bucks still had enough to beat the Wizards. Now the question is whether it was a pyrrhic victory with a potential suspension for Antetokounmpo coming next.

"There's no place for that. It's unfortunate," head coach Scott Brooks said. "It's unfortunate that it happened. I'm sure the league is going to look at it and make a decision. Fortunately for [the Bucks], it's not a playoff game [up next]. I'm sure he's probably going to miss a couple of games."

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