Redskins

RB Bell finishing up big season at Michigan State

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RB Bell finishing up big season at Michigan State

Le'Veon Bell's 2012 season really began last January, when fellow running back Edwin Baker announced he was skipping his senior year to enter the NFL draft.

Suddenly, Bell's carry-splitting arrangement in Michigan State's backfield was a thing of the past. There was no doubt about whom the Spartans would build their running game around. But even after months of preparation, the increased workload was a bit of a shock.

``It surprised me, as many carries as I got,'' Bell said. ``I'll do whatever it takes for us to win games.''

Michigan State hasn't won as many as in seasons past, but Bell has certainly done his part. The 6-foot-2 junior enters Saturday's Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Texas Christian with 1,648 yards on 350 carries - and his 266-yard effort in the regular-season finale against Minnesota is the biggest reason the Spartans are in the postseason at all.

Bell was already a big-play threat before the season. He averaged over 5 yards a carry in his first two years, running for 948 on 182 attempts as a sophomore. He and Baker seemed interchangeable at times, and sharing responsibility may have helped keep Bell fresh.

There has been little time for a breather in 2012. In the season opener - a win over Boise State - Bell ran for 210 yards on 44 carries. He also caught six passes.

Before that game, Bell's career high was 20 attempts.

Bell put on some weight before the season and is now listed at 237 pounds, although he said he was actually around 242 at one point and has slimmed down while preparing for the bowl.

Michigan State (6-6) fell out of the Big Ten title race amid a slew of close calls in conference play. The Spartans' first seven league games were decided by no more than four points, and they won only two of them. Bell ran for 188 yards in a loss to Nebraska and 140 in a defeat against Iowa despite defenses geared to slow him down.

``It seems like every team we play had a specific game plan to stop Le'Veon,'' quarterback Andrew Maxwell said.

That didn't matter against Minnesota. With Michigan State needing a win to become bowl eligible, Bell ran for 266 yards on 35 carries on a cold afternoon in a 26-10 victory. He became the seventh rusher in school history to pass the 3,000-yard mark for his career.

Bell is third in the nation in rushing at 137 yards per game. He's second in total carries, 25 behind Stefphon Jefferson of Nevada, who already played his bowl.

Throw in Bell's abilities as a pass catcher and size that makes him a fine blocker, and his football future appears bright. It's certainly possible he could follow Baker's path and declare for the NFL after his junior season.

``Right now Le'Veon is the third-leading rusher in the country. He'll have a name for himself, he'll be projected. So there's a lot of advantages to doing something like that, but there's got to be value in that,'' coach Mark Dantonio said. ``I want to be fair to him and not be selfish with our program. But there's pluses and minuses on both sides, and at some point in time you have to make decisions.''

First, Bell and the Spartans will try to finish on a high note against TCU. And here's a scary thought for the Horned Frogs: Bell says the rest after the Minnesota game really helped his legs.

No surprise there. He's ready to handle the ball early and often.

``I just want to show everybody I'm a capable back,'' Bell said. ``I just want to show the nation what I can do.''

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Redskins Week 3 injury report — Lauvao out, O-line will have to shuffle

Redskins Week 3 injury report — Lauvao out, O-line will have to shuffle

The Redskins will be without starting left guard Shaun Lauvao against the Packers on Sunday. Lauvao has been out of practice all week with a calf injury.

In his absence, starting center Chase Roullier will move over to left guard and veteran Tony Bergstrom will start at center. Earlier this week Gruden explained that the coaches believe that this is their most effective combination. 

Reserve safety, Troy Apke, is also out. He will miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury. 

Questionable are WR Maurice Harris (concussion), WR Paul Richardson (shoulder), and LB Zach Brown (oblique). 

Harris missed the last three preseason games and the first two games of the regular season with his concussion. After being a full participant in practice all week, it appears that he is ready to play but they are awaiting final word. 

“We’re going to find out tomorrow whether he can go or not,” said Jay Gruden. “But he’s been cleared to practice, he had a good week of practice. We’ll find out the final word tomorrow.”

If Harris plays that means that it is likely that new receivers Brashaud Perriman and Michael Floyd will be inactive. That is Gruden’s preferred plan as both just joined the team earlier this week. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

O-line injuries: Redskins will shuffle line if Lauvao is out
The passing game: Redskins, Smith seek balance

 

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John Wall joins Stephen Curry and Chris Paul in raising money for Hurricane Florence relief efforts

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John Wall joins Stephen Curry and Chris Paul in raising money for Hurricane Florence relief efforts

Three of the NBA's best North Carolina-raised stars are teaming up to help relief efforts back home following the devastation of Hurricane Florence.

Wizards guard John Wall has collaborated with Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Rockets guard Chris Paul to field donations through social media in an initiative aptly called 'Assist for Hurricane Florence.' 

The trio has joined forces on Twitter and Instagram to get the donation link out there:

Wall, who is originally from Raleigh, also did his part to warn residents before the storm hit land to prepare for its impact.

As with other big storms, the rebuild of communities affected by Hurricane Florence will likely take years. As of Friday morning, the three All-Star guards had raised over $50,000.

Unfortunately, the hometowns and states of Wizards players have been rattled by hurricanes in recent offseasons. Last summer, they had three players from Houston, Texas who were affected by Hurricane Harvey. 

Then-Wizards guard Sheldon Mac was in Houston when the hurricane hit and was staying in a neighborhood that flooded. Wall and teammate Bradley Beal organized fundraising for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts as well.

To donate to the organization Wall, Curry and Paul are promoting, click here.

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