QB Hasselbeck to start his 3rd straight vs. Bills

QB Hasselbeck to start his 3rd straight vs. Bills

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will start his third straight game when the Titans visit Buffalo on Sunday, and injured Jake Locker could be healthy enough to return in a week.

Doctors checked Locker's left, non-throwing shoulder again Monday.

Coach Mike Munchak said he didn't have the results, but that the quarterback is healing.

``I wouldn't think he'd play this week,'' Munchak said. ``He's doing better, much better than he was last week at this time. He'll probably start doing more activity this week. But again, we'll just have to wait and see how he does the next couple days, how fast he comes along. I would imagine it would take him another week.''

Locker first hurt his shoulder in the season opener against New England, and he dislocated the shoulder Sept. 30 in a loss at Houston. Munchak said they are lucky enough to have Hasselbeck available to start and allow Locker to heal without rushing him back.

Hasselbeck led the Titans (2-4) to 10 points in the final 4:19 last week to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-23. That doesn't mean there is a quarterback controversy in Tennessee.

``If he was healthy enough to suit up, we'd feel he's healthy enough to play,'' Munchak said of Locker.

The Titans worked out for an hour Monday after a weekend off following their much-needed win.

Locker wasn't available in the locker room after the session, and Hasselbeck only talks once a week when starting. Munchak said Locker wanted to play against Pittsburgh and the Bills (3-3).

``But he physically can't, so he's all in now for Matt to do well because he knows if Matt does well, the team does well and then hopefully at some point Jake will be coming back and leading this thing and obviously we want to be in the playoff hunt,'' Munchak said. ``It's going to take a group effort to get that done.''

Before the Titans can even think about being in the hunt for a playoff spot, they have more immediate concerns of trying to win consecutive games for the first time this season.

They last won consecutive games at the end of last season against Jacksonville and at Houston to finish with the franchise's first winning record since 2008 at 9-7.

Munchak said they now have a chance to do something at 2-4.

``We have a lot of work ahead of us believe me,'' Munchak said. ``There's no reason we can't put some wins together. If you do that, then you work yourself back into it and that's the good thing is that there's still a chance to work yourself back into it if you can win four, five games in a row, which is a big if. We haven't done that yet. We haven't won two in a row yet.''

The Titans still have given up more points (204) than any other NFL team. The running game is mired in last place, even though Chris Johnson has run well in two of his past three games. He had his best performance ever against Pittsburgh, running for 91 yards.

Still, they feel revived after the much-needed win and the chance to rest over the weekend.

Receiver Nate Washington said every offensive player knows they cannot be complacent, not after the plays they didn't make against Pittsburgh. He also sees mistakes that still must be corrected.

``We can't overlook it as just another weekend off for a little time to sit at home,'' Washington said. ``We have to take advantage of this to get our bodies back and make sure our minds are where they're supposed to be.''

Tight end Jared Cook, who spent much of the weekend sleeping, said the Titans must remember how much it hurts to lose compared to the great feeling when they win to keep that winning spirit. He also agrees with Washington that the offense executed much better against Pittsburgh.

``It's just a matter of keeping a push and keeping it moving and making sure we all stay on the same page and continue to execute because when we execute, there's nobody I feel like can stop us,'' Cook said.

Notes: Tommie Campbell will miss the Buffalo game. Munchak said Campbell, who hurt his left ankle covering a punt return, remained in a walking boot Monday. ... DT Jurrell Casey (shoulder) is expected to practice Wednesday, though he could be limited. ... LB Colin McCarthy (right ankle) also is expected to practice Wednesday after playing every defensive snap for the first time this season against Pittsburgh. ... Rookie S Markelle Martin (right knee) will practice Wednesday, starting a three-week window for the Titans to decide whether or not to active the sixth-round draft pick from Oklahoma State off the physically-unable-to-perform list.


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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Early favorites for Wizards' 1st round pick; Mark Turgeon joins the show

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Early favorites for Wizards' 1st round pick; Mark Turgeon joins the show

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chris Miller caught up with Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon at the NBA Combine.

Turgeon talked about his three draft-eligible players and what this time is like advising them. Chris and Chase Hughes also gave their early favorites for the Wizards' first round pick and their biggest takeaways from the NBA Combine measurements.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

The news about Arie Kouandjio’s quad injury didn’t sound good when NBC Sports Washington broke it a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t sound any better when Jay Gruden said that they were seeking a second opinion. 

And now we have word that Kouandjio will be out for the season, per multiple media reports. While there was some initial hope that he might be able to play at some point this season, he is likely to be put on injured reserve soon. 

The corresponding move is expected to be the signing of guard Isaiah Williams, per JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. He spent training camp with the Redskins in 2016 and 2017 before being released in the final cuts. Last year he also spent time with the Chiefs and the Colts but he has yet to appear in an NFL game. 

At worst, the Redskins have lost their starter at left guard. Kouandjio was set to compete with Shawn Lauvao for that job. Lauvao, who has been the starter at left guard going into the season for each of the last four years, would have been tough to unseat, but the 26-year-old Kouandjio may have had the inside track.

And at best, the Redskins lost experienced depth. Last year, when injuries hit hard along the offensive line, Kouandjio was re-signed and he started six games. It’s tough to lose experienced depth before the players even put pads on.

We will see if the Redskins make a move to shore up the guard position. Over the next couple of weeks, teams will be evaluating their veteran players and their rookies to see if they have younger and cheaper options. That could lead to some serviceable players getting released or some quality options being put on the trading block. 

The Redskins likely are set to get four compensatory draft picks in 2019, which would give them a total of 11 selections. They certainly could afford to deal one of those picks if they are offered a chance to upgrade at left guard. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

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