Redskins

Panthers to place LB Beason on injured reserve

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Panthers to place LB Beason on injured reserve

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Carolina Panthers can't seem to catch a break these days.

The Panthers announced they placed three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jon Beason on injured reserve Wednesday with knee and shoulder issues.

Beason, 27, will have surgery next week to repair cartilage damage in his right knee and a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Beason has only played in five games since receiving a five-year, $51.5 million contract extension in 2011 that included $25 million in guaranteed money. He missed 15 games last year with a torn Achilles in his left leg.

The Panthers claimed cornerback James Dockery off waivers from Cleveland to replace Beason on the 53-man roster. Dockery joined the Panthers at practice Wednesday.

These are tough times for the Panthers.

In the past two weeks, they've lost center Ryan Kalil, cornerback Chris Gamble and Beason to season-ending injuries and general manager Marty Hurney was fired. Adding to the frustration, they've lost four straight games and have the worst record in the NFC at 1-5 entering Sunday's game at Chicago.

The move doesn't come as a surprise as Beason has missed the last two games with injuries and Rivera hinted he might be headed to IR.

Coach Ron Rivera said Luke Kuechly, the team's first-round draft pick, will continue to fill in at middle linebacker.

Kuechly started the season at weak side linebacker, but moved to middle linebacker the last two games with Beason out. Kuechly has 26 tackles in his first two starts in the middle along with an interception and a fumble recovery.

``To me I've learned that Luke is better suited as a middle linebacker,'' Rivera said. ``He has the skill. He can play outside too but he has a natural feel and some natural leadership instincts as far as being in the middle. That is probably the best spot for him.''

What that means for Beason's long-term career in Carolina remains to be seen.

Like Kuechly, Beason also prefers to play middle linebacker.

Beason was unavailable for comment and his agent Drew Rosenhaus did not immediately return phone calls.

If the Panthers were to release Beason this offseason, they'd be on the hook for $15 million against the salary cap, the remaining portion of his signing bonus.

Rivera said Beason originally sprained his knee in Week 3 loss to the New York Giants and tried to play through it.

``It just seemed to bother him more and more and when he got the initial MRI one of the ideas was to rest it and see how it was,'' Rivera said. ``That's why he had the last couple of games off. It didn't get any better so the concern was it was worsening, so the decision was made to do something about it.''

Beason tore his labrum in the New Orleans game and he's played with it since. Earlier in the week Gamble was placed on injured reserve with a torn labrum in his shoulder, too.

``He's battled through it the best he can,'' Rivera said of Beason.

Kuechly said he has great respect for Beason and that the veteran has played a role in his early success this season.

``Even when he was out, Jon was always real helpful,'' Kuechly said. ``Every time I came off the field he was giving me tip after tip after tip. He'll still be around, I'm sure. But his presence will be missed on the field.''

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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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