Redskins

Rex's reversal: Tebow might run wildcat for Jets

Rex's reversal: Tebow might run wildcat for Jets

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Tim Tebow might not be done in the wildcat after all.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan reversed his decision Friday, saying the backup quarterback could possibly participate in the wildcat-style offense and on special teams as the personal punt protector at Tennessee on Monday night. On Thursday, Ryan said Tebow would be the backup to Mark Sanchez, but only in the conventional offense as he continues to recover from two broken ribs.

``He moved around great,'' Ryan said of Tebow's practice performance Thursday. ``This is the best he's looked in several weeks, so we'll see. There could be a chance he does the wildcat. He moved around that good that we may get him back in similar roles.''

Tebow was full participant in practice Thursday and Friday, a sign he is getting closer to being fully healed after being injured at Seattle on Nov. 11.

Of course, the sudden shift in thinking after one non-tackling practice could merely be an example of gamesmanship, trying to confuse the Titans. Tebow has not played in the last three games.

``I'm getting better every day,'' Tebow said. ``I'm trying to go out there and push it and try to do well.''

Tebow said he has practiced running the wildcat ``about the same as any week'' and will wear a flak jacket to protect his ribs if he plays.

Ryan acknowledged Friday that it might be tough to truly determine how ready Tebow is for contact if he hasn't had any in nearly a month.

``There's no doubt, that's true, but looking at the way he's throwing the football and the way he's moving - before, it was kind of like, you could almost tell he wasn't real sure. Now I can't see a visible difference from the start of the year to right now.

``If he continues to look like this and even improve, then maybe we can have him in a similar role.''

Added Tebow: ``I'll be ready for that first hit.''

Titans coach Mike Munchak thought New York-area reporters were joking with him when they told him on a conference call Thursday that Ryan said Tebow wouldn't play in the wildcat.

``I thought you were telling me I was a little unprepared for something,'' Munchak said. ``I think it's obviously something we would prepare for anyways. I've seen teams do that. Anytime you show anything different that you're going to do, you want your players to be prepared for (it). ... Obviously, they haven't been using it that much in practice or in games, I should say. It hasn't shown up like maybe as much as people thought when they got Tebow, how much it would show up in games.

``We assumed even if they did some that, it wouldn't be a big part of the plan.''

Tight end Dustin Keller (ankle), defensive back Aaron Berry (hamstring) and wide receivers Clyde Gates (concussion) and Stephen Hill (knee) all sat out practice. Safety LaRon Landry also did not practice, but it was his regularly scheduled day off.

Running back Bilal Powell (shoulder, toe), linebacker Bryan Thomas (strained pectoral) and nose tackle Sione Po'uha (lower back) were limited. Ryan said X-rays on Powell's toe revealed no fractures, as Ryan previously thought, and the running back is expected to play Monday night.

Newly re-acquired wide receiver Braylon Edwards was ``really limited'' Thursday, Ryan said, and was limited again Friday. The Jets will consult with the team's trainers to determine his availability.

``We're hopeful he'll be able to go Monday,'' Ryan said.

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Running back is one position where things could look very different for the 2020 Redskins

Running back is one position where things could look very different for the 2020 Redskins

Not much has gone to plan for the 2019 Redskins. Congratulations, you won't read a more obvious thing all day.

Running back is one such spot on the team where the preseason expectations haven't been met. A surprise benching in Week 1, injuries and inconsistent production have plagued what was supposed to be one of the most stacked positions on the roster.

Because of those issues, there may be a lot of RB turnover this offseason, leading to what could be a different-looking depth chart in 2020.

The main reason for that possible shuffling is Derrius Guice's unfortunate health problems. Guice has actually been placed on injured reserve twice since Week 1, with the second trip to I.R. ending his year. If you count exhibition contests, he's suited up for the Burgundy and Gold seven times as a pro and has had to leave three of those contests with knee injuries.

There was so much hope that Guice would be able to prove himself this time around and convince the Redskins he could be their go-to option for the future, and when he dominated the Panthers for 129 yards and two scores, his long-discussed talent and potential popped.

But with a torn ACL, a torn meniscus and a sprained MCL already in the NFL, the franchise can't move forward with him as their surefire No. 1 back. This was the season where he could've seized the job, yet instead, indications are he'll need to be grouped together with other pieces.

Elsewhere in the backfield, Chris Thompson very well could be playing in his last three games for Washington. The 29-year-old is incredibly helpful in a lot of ways, but he, too, has difficulty staying on the field. After seven campaigns with the organization, it might be time for both sides to move on.

Then there's Bryce Love, the team's fourth-rounder who's essentially been redshirted as a rookie. The Stanford product has to show that he can recover from his own knee struggles — he had another surgery on it in late October — but he's got a lot of speed and should be more than ready to be a factor in 2020.

Oddly enough, Adrian Peterson has yet again been the steadiest running back for the Redskins. After Jay Gruden's decision to sit him for the opener, the 34-year-old has rebounded and shown he still can be a valuable asset. He's under contract and seems like a logical choice to keep in town for one more season. 

So, when added all together, the team has quite a few questions at running back. They've got to decide whom to trust out of a crop that includes someone who's super-skilled but often dinged up, a mainstay who could be on his way out, a totally unproven draft selection and an aging but still useful veteran, while also considering possibly acquiring other bodies.

Coming into 2019, RB looked like an area of strength for the Redskins. Now, nearing the end of 2019, it appears to be an area of mystery.

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All eyes turn to Anthony Rendon at the Winter Meetings after Gerrit Cole signs

All eyes turn to Anthony Rendon at the Winter Meetings after Gerrit Cole signs

SAN DIEGO -- News of Gerrit Cole’s gargantuan contract swept through the Winter Meetings late Tuesday night. A bustling lobby temporarily stalled as everyone looked at their phones then each other. It was true. Cole signed for $325 million to play in New York. 

Which means the third -- and for all intents and purposes final -- day of the meetings will focus on Anthony Rendon. He is now the premier player available in the free agent market. Cole and Stephen Strasburg signed. Rendon should be next.

Much of Tuesday before the Cole news revolved around Rendon. Agent Scott Boras stood atop a Pelican case -- a hard box used to protect television cameras -- in front of a Boras Corp. standing backdrop. There was symmetry between Boras on the box and what it usually holds. He’s naturally drawn to camera equipment.

There, ringed by reporters who largely couldn’t hear or just watched the spectacle, Boras spoke in generalizations about Rendon’s status. Yes, several teams have inquired about Rendon. Yes, seven years is the marker for a contract. Yes, negotiations are ongoing.

Where are the Nationals in this? That is more difficult to pin down. Rendon remains a curious challenge to read in the offseason. He made jokes at the World Series about not wanting to play until he was 35. He turns 30 years old next season. Does nostalgia have pull for him, either in Washington or back in Texas? Is it simply about money?

Asked about Nationals’ managing principal owner Mark Lerner saying the team could only afford Strasburg or Rendon, Boras moved to what has become the Deferred Money Defense. Around $80 million of Strasburg’s $245 million will be put off until after his contract ends. Boras contends wiggle room now exists for the Nationals. Reminder: it’s also his job to drive the market.

“I think Mark’s comments were before the Strasburg negotiations were complete,” Boras said. “And that contract structure that Stephen did allowed certainly an opening and a consideration that probably the Nationals were available to them in their decision making. So I think it’s something that clearly opens doors for them. And when you look at their payroll structure, and the amount of money they have in the $60-$70 million range with their payroll, I think they can sign not only an Anthony Rendon but many players.”

Mike Rizzo was slightly dismissive of Boras’ take when talking to reporters inside his hotel room suite. He’s often taken the position they know Rendon better than anyone, so the amount of times both sides converse is a bit overrated.

“We’ve had conversations about Anthony throughout the process,” Rizzo said. “I don’t get my daily update from Scott, but we’re in communication, and I don’t sense anything is imminent at this point. But that was a while ago, so you never know.”

Read that back. Rizzo talked about Rendon throughout, dropped a dig at Boras, stated nothing is imminent, then countered that claim by saying “you never know.” The last time he said no movement was imminent came almost a year ago. He traded Tanner Roark a couple hours later.

Rizzo is checking on trades, Josh Donaldson and piecemeal as possible Rendon alternatives. There is no equivalent player remaining on the market. So, a transaction involving him is now imminent, to borrow a word. It’s just a question of where.

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