Redskins

Lions saddened to learn of Alex Karras' condition

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Lions saddened to learn of Alex Karras' condition

DETROIT (AP) Alex Karras' condition has deteriorated and the NFL team he played for is extending its sympathies.

The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News reported the former All-Pro defensive lineman and actor has been given only a few days to live because of recent kidney failure.

``The entire Detroit Lions family is deeply saddened to learn of the news regarding the condition of one of our all-time greats, Alex Karras,'' Lions president Tom Lewand said in a statement released by the team late Monday night. ``Perhaps no player in Lions history attained as much success and notoriety for what he did after his playing days as did Alex.

The 77-year-old Karras has been suffering from dementia. He is among the many former NFL players suing the league regarding the treatment of head injuries. Detroit drafted him 10th overall out of Iowa in 1958 and he was a standout for 12 seasons.

Karras may be even better well known for his work as an actor, including being a lovable father in the 1980s sitcom ``Webster.'' He also played the role of Mongo in the 1974 comedy classic ``Blazing Saddles,'' in which he said, ``Mongo only pawn in game of life,'' and punched out a horse.

Recently, his wife said his quality of life has been made worse because of head injuries sustained during his playing career.

Susan Clark said earlier this year that her husband couldn't drive after loving to get behind the wheel and he could no longer remember recipes for some of his favorite Italian and Greek dishes he used to cook.

Clark, who also played the wife of Karras' character on ``Webster,'' has said he was formally diagnosed with dementia several years ago and has had symptoms for more than a dozen years. She and Karras were among those who filed suit nearly six months ago in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

``This physical beating that he took as a football player has impacted his life, and therefore it has impacted his family life,'' Clark said earlier this year. ``He is interested in making the game of football safer and hoping that other families of retired players will have a healthier and happier retirement.''

The NFL has said it did not intentionally seek to mislead players and has taken action to better protect players and to advance the science of concussion management and treatment.

Karras played his entire NFL career with the Lions before retiring in 1970 at age 35. He was a first-team All-Pro in 1960, 1961 and 1965, and he made the Pro Bowl four times. He missed the 1963 season when he was suspended by NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle in a gambling probe. Karras was recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a defensive tackle on the All-Decade Team of the 1960s.

``We know Alex first and foremost as one of the cornerstones to our Fearsome Foursome defensive line of the 1960s and also as one of the greatest defensive linemen to ever play in the NFL,'' Lewand said. ``Many others across the country came to know Alex as an accomplished actor and as an announcer during the early years of `Monday Night Football.'

``We join his legions of fans from both sports and entertainment in prayer and support for Alex, his wife Susan, and his entire family during this most difficult time.''

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PROfiles Episode 2: Dwayne Haskins shines in minicamp, ready to compete for starting QB role

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PROfiles Episode 2: Dwayne Haskins shines in minicamp, ready to compete for starting QB role

This is the second episode of a three-part series. You can watch the first episode, remembering when Haskins fell to the Redskins in the 2019 NFL Draft, here.

The Redskins are less than three weeks away from traveling to Philadelphia to kick off their regular season on Sept. 8, but head coach Jay Gruden has yet to name a starting quarterback.

The reasons for that vary depending on who you ask. Veteran Case Keenum is the favorite to win the job, especially with recent injury developments to Colt McCoy.

The Redskins selected the Ohio State product No. 15 overall in this year's draft with the expectation Haskins would compete for the starting job but ultimately start the season on the bench. Now, he must be considered to start.

In the second episode of NBC Sports Washington's PROfiles: Dwayne Haskins, chronicling the signal-callers first offseason and training camp with the team, Haskins lights it up at minicamp, having many media members wonder if the rookie could be thrown into the fire quicker than initially thought.

During minicamp, head coach Jay Gruden said there would be an open competition for the job, including Haskins.

At the start of the episode, NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay said that "he should look good" in minicamp, and expected him to look good until he saw Haskins face a true NFL defense later on in the summer at training camp.

Brian Mitchell agreed with Finlay, and said that Haskins must not take any time off and continue to work every day during the time in between minicamp and training camp in order to best position himself to win the job. He also said that the Redskins don't need to rush Haskins, but "if he's the best quarterback out there, why not play him?"

"I'm not really worried about starting Week 1," Haskins said at minicamp. "I just want to be ready to play Week 1, whether that's this year, next year, or whenever my time may come. I just want to make sure that when I do play, I don't look bad." 

While Gruden acknowledged during minicamp that Haskins still has a long way to go, he was impressed with his rookie QB, saying he was pleased with where Haskins was at in terms of development and learning the system.

Whether Haskins does win the starting job or not, there are plenty of reasons for the Redskins to have high hopes in their young QB.

"I feel like the sky is the limit," Haskins said.

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Derrius Guice and two more Redskins worth watching against the Falcons

Derrius Guice and two more Redskins worth watching against the Falcons

If this were the regular season, you could probably call Thursday night's game against the Falcons a "must-win" for the 0-2 Redskins. It's August, though, so no one in the universe can call it that.

But it's still an important contest.

The third preseason matchup will be the one where the starters play the most, and also be another chance to shine for backups and fringe roster guys. That means everyone in Burgundy and Gold will be worth watching.

These three, however, will be particularly interesting to keep an eye on.

Derrius Guice

On Tuesday, Jay Gruden said he feels it's vital for Guice to "get a couple carries" and "get used to being taken to the ground, protecting the football." The head coach didn't commit to playing the running back in Atlanta, but those comments, plus some reports, indicate his long-awaited return should be coming.

Guice may be the offense's biggest X-factor for 2019. If he's healthy and able to handle a large workload, there's no telling how much of a boost he could be for Washington. Thursday looks like it'll be everyone's first chance to see how ready he is to assume that role.

Everything, from how he runs the ball to how he pass protects to how he catches the ball, will be closely examined. Let's see if he's playing confidently and with a burst in his first live-action since last August.

Greg Stroman

Fabian Moreau is going to miss the Atlanta game because of an ankle injury, which should mean an increased workload for Jimmy Moreland early on. Moreland, though, has already proven he deserves a spot on his team, so while it'll be a nice opportunity for him, Stroman's the one to monitor with Moreau out.

The second-year corner looks to be in a solid position to make the 53 behind Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Moreland. Adonis Alexander could've pushed Stroman for a spot, but he's been hurt as of late.

Still, Stroman could use a strong defensive effort in the secondary versus the Falcons. Plus, with Trey Quinn missing as well, he may be in line for some punt return reps.

Overall, he figures to see the field a lot. It's time for him to make a splash play.

Josh Harvey-Clemons

Shaun Dion Hamilton is dealing with a chest issue and won't be active for the second consecutive week. Last week, Josh Harvey-Clemons got the work in place of Hamilton, and he likely will pick up the slack there again this time.

JHC has put on a ton of muscle and weight since entering the league in 2017 and looks much more prepared to handle his linebacking duties than he was in his first two years. Hamilton and Jon Bostic appear to be the starters there as of now, but both Harvey-Clemons and Cole Holcomb have the potential to push those veterans for snaps.

Watch to see if Harvey-Clemons is making plays in both the run game and the pass game. Rob Ryan would love to see someone emerge at inside linebacker who can truly play three downs, and JHC has the tools to do so. Hopefully he puts them to use on Thursday.

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