Michigan expects Robinson to play at Minnesota


Michigan expects Robinson to play at Minnesota

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Michigan, it seems, got a scare and not a long-term problem when Denard Robinson injured a nerve in his right elbow against Nebraska.

``He should be fine,'' Wolverines coach Brady Hoke said Monday. ``He should be ready to go on Saturday.''

The unranked Wolverines (5-3, 3-1 Big Ten) will play their second straight road game this week at Minnesota (5-3, 1-3)

Michigan lost its one dimension on offense in a 23-9 loss Saturday to Nebraska when Robinson was running for a first down. He cut back for extra yards instead of going out of bounds and aggravating a nerve in his elbow that he injured earlier this month against Illinois.

``It gets numb and tingly,'' Hoke said.

The team's medical staff is working on protective equipment that Robinson can wear in an attempt to prevent his throwing arm from getting banged up again in the same spot.

Hoke fully expects Robinson to practice enough to be prepared to face the Golden Gophers. And unlike players at other positions, Hoke said Robinson has to practice to play.

Just in case, though, Hoke said converted receiver Devin Gardner will get more snaps during the week.

``We will do that as a precautionary thing,'' Hoke said.

And, because backup quarterback Russell Bellomy didn't make the most of his first chance to play a lot. The Cornhuskers' defense, and Michigan's inability to run if Robinson isn't carrying the ball, had a lot to do with it.

Bellomy, who started off with 10 straight incomplete passes, was 3 of 16 for 38 yards with three interceptions. His first 10 attempts were incomplete passes was sacked three times and lost as many yards rushing as he gained on five carries.

Wolverines offensive tackle Taylor Lewan was quick to defend the battered Bellomy, saying he has ``100-percent faith,'' in him get thrown into a road game against the blitz-happy Cornhuskers after playing sparingly in three games earlier in the year.

``It's a tough spot to be in,'' Lewan said. ``I really don't appreciate some of things I heard.''

Michigan trailed 7-3 late in the first half when Bellomy replaced Robinson and despite his problems, Hoke insisted that he didn't consider putting Gardner in during a game.

Gardner was recruited by former coach Rich Rodriguez to play quarterback. Gardner moved to receiver last spring to get on the field instead of spending another season watching Robinson from the sideline. He leads the team with four touchdown receptions and ranks second with 16 receptions for 266 yards.

Hoke said Gardner, who has been slowed but not kept out of games by ankle and shoulder injuries, has thrown ``enough'' when asked how much he has worked on his passing in practice this season.

Four Wolverines have attempted a pass this year and Gardner isn't one of them. He threw passes in seven games last season and finished 11 of 23 for 176 yards with a TD and an interception.

Hoke made it clear he hasn't lost hope in Bellomy, saying the offensive line and running backs could've helped him out by blocking better, and that all wasn't loss during his trial-by-blitz night at Nebraska.

``The experience that he gained going into that environment is a major help to anybody,'' Hoke said.


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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Roster competition, Brown vs. Pryor

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Roster competition, Brown vs. Pryor

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 23, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins  and NBC Sports Washington.

Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense—NFL coaches and others like to tell you that competition determines who wins roster spots in the league. And that may be true to an extent. But many roster spots are predetermined by a player’s contract situation and/or draft status. It is unlikely that an undrafted player like Fish Smithson will win a roster spot over Troy Apke even if the former outperforms the latter in every way during training camp. Apke was a fourth-round pick and they aren’t going to give up on him in favor of an undrafted player. It would cost $3.2 million in dead cap to cut Stacy McGee and only $150,000 to move on from Ziggy Hood so McGee will win a “competition” that is even remotely close. (Offensive projection here)

Redskins will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor at training camp—While this is something that could add a little spice to the Jets’ visit to Richmond, don’t look for much of anything to happen. Zach Brown might give a little extra shove to Pryor here and there but he’s not going to do anything that will draw blood or even cause a deep bruise. If nothing else, a big hit on Pryor would invite retaliation by the Jets on Josh Doctson or Paul Richardson. And that might lead to more retaliation and you end up with a brawl like the Redskins and Texans had a couple of years ago.

Trent Williams very much of approves of Smith and Guice—Williams is going into his ninth NFL season and he has yet to be on the winning side of a playoff game. He thinks that Alex Smith and Derrius Guice can help change that. 

The curious case of Alex Smith and the NFL Top 100 list—I normally greet this list with a big yawn and this year was no exception. But I do find the omission of Smith, who led the NFL in passer rating and was third in adjusted net yards per attempt, odd. In an update to this post, the NFL released the names of the top 10 players and Smith is not on it. He shouldn’t be, but he should be somewhere on the 100, perhaps in the middle of the pack. The only Redskins player to appear on the list was Trent Williams at No. 57.

The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger—It’s likely that nine players who are 25 or younger will line up as starters for the Redskins this year. I don’t have a rundown of how that compares to the rest of the league but it’s notable that in the last two years six of them have replaced players who were either approaching age 30 or over it. I’ll engage in some speculation here and say that five of the young players—Daron Payne, Derrius Guice, Preston Smith, Jonathan Allen, and Montae Nicholson—are good enough to potentially make a Pro Bowl at some point in their careers. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Former Redskins defensive tackle Dave Butz was born on this date in 1950. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 33
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 47
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 70

The Redskins last played a game 174 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 78 days. 

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson


GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

DALLAS—The Caps are “really close” to signing star defenseman John Carlson to a long-term extension, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night.

“We’re getting closer,” MacLellan said following the first round of the NHL Draft. “Hopefully we can get it done here over the next few days. We’re really close.”

Earlier in the day, the Caps cleared significant space under the salary cap ceiling by trading Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round draft pick (47th overall). 

That space will now be used to lock up Carlson, who could become the best defenseman on the open market if he were to reach it.

MacLellan met with Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, here on Thursday night.

MacLellan did not divulge any figures, but it’s expected that Carlson’s new contract could come in at eight years and $8 million per—or perhaps a bit more. 

He earned $4 million last season.

Carlson had a career year in 2017-18 and was critical during the Caps' run to the Stanley Cup. He led all defensemen in the regular season with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The 28-year-old also skated a career-high 24:47 per game.

MacLellan has long said that re-signing Carlson was the Caps’ top priority this offseason. And now it looks like that could happen within days, assuming the talks do not hit any snags.

“We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. “We’ve said it all along. We waited until the end of the year. We’ve had discussions. We’re close and hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”