Ravens

Saints RB Darren Sproles out with hand injury

Saints RB Darren Sproles out with hand injury

METAIRIE, La. (AP) As if the New Orleans Saints weren't dealing with enough problems, now they'll have to get by without one of the NFL's most versatile players.

Running back and return specialist Darren Sproles underwent surgery for a broken hand and won't be able to play Monday night when the Saints (2-5) take on the Philadelphia Eagles at the Superdome.

Interim coach Joe Vitt revealed the injury after Monday's practice, though he wouldn't say which hand was hurt. Sproles will be re-evaluated next week to determine if he can play against the NFC South-leading Atlanta Falcons.

Sproles set an NFL record with 2,696 all-purpose yards last season and is a vital part of the Saints' offense and special teams. He ranks second on the team in receiving (39 receptions, 323 yards, four touchdowns), third in rushing (26 carries, 117 yards) and handles both kickoffs (averaging 28.7 yards per return) and punts (a 6.6-yard average).

``We have pretty good running backs around here and this is part of the National Football League with injuries,'' Vitt said. ``It's next man up. We will miss Darren Sproles, but this is going to be a great opportunity for some of our other running backs to receive some more reps and show what they can do.''

The greater concern is who will take over the returns. Rookie Travaris Cadet handled those duties at Appalachian State and got a look in both roles during the preseason. Receiver Lance Moore also has experience returning punts.

``I'm sorry about Darren's injury,'' Cadet said. ``But if my number is called, I'm here to step up and help the team.''

Even with Sproles, the Saints rank last in the NFL in rushing yards. Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram are likely to continue getting the bulk of the carries, and Chris Ivory could finally get an expanded role. He led the team in rushing as a rookie in 2010, but hasn't carried the ball at all this season.

``We're going to have to have a few guys that pick up the slack,'' offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael said. ``Chris has been patient. He's been great. He's been out at every practice and has given us his all, his best effort. This will be a chance for him to get some opportunities.''

NOTES: WR Courtney Roby also was ruled out of the game with a shoulder injury. He has just one catch for 9 yards. ... The only other players on the injury report, LB David Hawthorne (hamstring) and WR Joe Morgan (chest), fully participated in practice for the second straight day.

---

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

Quick Links

A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

The number eight is sports royalty in the city of Baltimore thanks to Cal Ripken Jr.

If Lamar Jackson has the career many are hoping for, he’ll be another reason for that one day down the road.

For now, he’s a young, athletic quarterback entering his second season in Charm City. But his successful rookie year hasn’t been reflected in Madden NFL 20’s newest ratings.

Jackson came in with an overall rating of 76, tied for 24th among all quarterbacks. Unsurprisingly, his athleticism is highly-regarded, as he leads all signal-callers in speed, acceleration, agility, and elusiveness.

Questions abound about his throwing abilities, leading to the low rating. But that’s not a concern for Jackson himself.

“I can’t feel no way,” the quarterback told media members prior to throwing out the first pitch at the Orioles-Nationals game Wednesday night. “You know, I don’t make Madden. That’s them. But I feel like our team, we’re going to show ‘em this season.”

Jackson continued to praise the Ravens roster. When asked about the high ratings for teammates like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Earl Thomas, Jackson put his thoughts quite succinctly: “We look stacked!”

Of course, with speed and acceleration ratings like Jackson has, it’s fun to imagine how he might fit in on a baseball diamond as well.

“Whew, somewhere in the middle, to make a play,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde decided when asked where the Ravens quarterback might play on his roster.

“I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’m a big football fan, so watched him play a lot. And if he wanted to play center field or up the middle, it’d be great,” Hyde continued.

The speedy quarterback agreed, though it came with a caveat.

“Probably,” Jackson quickly answered when asked about his best fit being center field. “But you know, I’m the Ravens QB right now, so I’m good.”

He doesn’t know what his walk-up song would be if he played baseball, but Jackson was definitive about one thing at least: his hot dog preferences.

“I don’t really eat mustard,” he emphasized. “So I just put ketchup, relish...I just go from there. Pretty standard.”

When he’s not eating hot dogs, Jackson is working hard to build chemistry with his new receiving corps, and he seemed optimistic about the results it will bring on the field.

“Looking pretty good,” he described. “You’ll have to see for yourself.”

Knowing how many dual Orioles and Ravens fans there are in Baltimore, Jackson was also happy to provide a little hope as the city’s attention starts to shift from baseball to football. He gave a message to O’s fans who have sat through months of losing baseball and are looking to the Ravens to bring winning back to the city.

“Look forward to us coming out and balling,” he said. “Can’t say too much right now, [the] season’s not here!”

The Ravens season will be here soon enough, and when it is, Jackson will be ready to go out and show both local and national fans what he can do, regardless of what his Madden rating says.

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

Dwayne Haskins sees parallels between himself, Lion King's Simba

Dwayne Haskins sees parallels between himself, Lion King's Simba


The story of the Lion King is one that takes many of us to our childhood, a feel-good story about a young cub going through adversity to become  King.

It's a story Redskins new quarterback, Dwayne Haskins Junior, has related to since he was a child himself, having taken on the moniker Simba. 
 
Disney first came out with the movie in 1994 and just released a photorealistic live-action re-make.  Haskins made sure he was there for the world premiere in Los Angeles walking the red carpet with his girlfriend Savhana Cousin earlier this month.

"The new Lion King brought so many great old memories!" he tweeted. "A blessing to be a part of. "


 
Haskins sees many parallels in Simba. He told me before the draft that the nickname first came from when his aunt was combing out his hair saying he looked like a lion.  

Beyond that, he liked the story of the young cub going through adversity to become King.

"The story behind him growing to king, going through adversity, and having to fall to get up and that's just something that resonates with my story. Everyone sees the highs of everything but not what it takes to get there," he said.

He has even used the story for his own clothing brand as well, Kingdom of Pride. 

Haskins fell in the draft to number 15 and the Redskins but has every intention of proving he is worthy of the pick and one day winning what he declares will be multiple Super Bowls.  

That would certainly fall in line with the story of Simba taking back the kingdom.  

MORE REDSKINS NEWS: