Redskins

Surprise! Love makes season debut for Timberwolves

Surprise! Love makes season debut for Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Kevin Love sure knows how to make an entrance.

His banged-up Minnesota Timberwolves never needing him more, Love made a surprise return to the starting lineup on Wednesday against Denver, nearly two weeks ahead of the rehabilitation schedule set for his broken right hand.

The All-Star and Olympic gold medalist's injury was announced on Oct. 18, two weeks before the team opened its most promising season in years. The team initially set a return of six to eight weeks. But Love was able to avoid surgery, and he quietly worked to get back at just under five weeks.

Coach Rick Adelman deftly dodged a question about Love in his pregame media availability, hoping to keep a lid on the surprise as long as possible. But a few minutes later, the news got out.

When he was introduced before the game, a stunned Target Center crowd erupted as they welcomed him to the 2012 season.

``You feel great when you have your best player back,'' Andrei Kirilenko said. ``It's always needed. I'm still worried about him a little bit because it's a pretty hard injury. I'm sure he knows what he's doing. He's a smart player.''

And the Wolves need their leading scorer and rebounder right about now. They started the season 5-2 despite missing Love and Ricky Rubio (left knee), then lost JJ Barea (left foot), Brandon Roy (right knee), Chase Budinger (left knee) and Nikola Pekovic (left ankle) to injuries that robbed them of six of their top seven players. But that spirited start gave way to some reality last week when the Wolves lost back-to-back home games against Charlotte and Golden State.

Pekovic and Barea joined Love back in the lineup on Wednesday night against the Nuggets, giving the undermanned Wolves a sense that three weeks' worth of slogging along without their star players was coming to an end.

``I was feeling Pek and JJ was going to take way shorter time to recover because they have, like, those little bangs,'' Kirilenko said. ``But with Kev's broken (hand) that's pretty soon. I like it.''

Love was wearing a black wrap around his right hand for a little protection, and he jumped right back into the action as if he'd never left. He grabbed three rebounds and scored six points in the first four minutes of the game.

It likely will take him some time to get his legs back after such a long layoff, but just having him back in uniform is expected to give the team a serious lift.

``I just hope it's going to stay like this,'' Pekovic said. ``It's taken a long time to get to this.''

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Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter:http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

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Various sources

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 18, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—offense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on offense; defense up tomorrow. 

Quarterbacks (2)
Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

I think that Kevin Hogan is very much on the bubble as the third quarterback. They got along with two QBs last year, and with Alex Smith having demonstrated great durability during his career, Hogan may well get bumped off. 

Running backs (4)
Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley

I’d say that this is 95 percent locked in. Maybe Kapri Bibbs or Byron Marshall can make a push for Kelley’s roster spot but his history with Jay Gruden will make it very hard for him to get knocked out. 

Wide receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn

The first time I did this back in April I didn’t have Quinn on the roster. That was before he was a man among boys at rookie camp and a player who looks like he belongs when the veterans showed up. I don’t know if he’ll have the impact that many fans think he will, but he’s certainly going to get his chance. Brian Quick could steal a roster spot from Harris or Davis.

Tight ends (3)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

The Redskins did not draft a tight end or sign one in free agency so there seems to be faith that Reed will be healthy. We’ve heard that before and it seems somewhat risky to leave Davis, who has Father Time nipping at his heels, and the inexperienced Davis as the only two backups. They may try to make room for an undrafted rookie like Hudson Garrett.  

Offensive line (9)
Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom

I think that Gruden is probably happy with the starters here but the depth is shaky, especially in the interior. The key could be whether Christian is ready for prime time as the swing tackle. That could allow Nsekhe to fill in at guard. Bergstrom is fine as the backup center, although I wouldn’t want to have to count on him for more than a few games. 

Offensive players: 24
Rookies (3):
Guice, Christian, Quinn
New to the organization in 2018 (5): Rookies plus Smith, Richardson 
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (11): Rookies plus new plus Harris (practice squad), R. Davis (practice squad) and Bergstrom (not on the team). 

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  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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An Indiana state police officer tweeted that he pulled a driver over for going too slowly in the left lane. I believe this person is a national hero. 

Timeline  

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 38
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 52
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 75

The Redskins last played a game 167 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 83 days. 

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Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

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USA TODAY Sports/@TerrellePryor

Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

Terrelle Pryor made a number of highlight reel catches last year during training camp, and it appears the Redskins defense didn't like it. 

Washington's marquee free agent signing last season, Pryor came into Richmond with sky-high expectations. Throughout the training sessions last August, Pryor put on one-handed displays at the Jugs machine and often made big catches in team drills. It's also important to remember there was never any live tackling during these drills, leaving defenders at a distinct disadvantage. 

Zach Brown remembers the scene quite well, and thinks it will look very different this summer when Pryor comes to Richmond as a member of the New York Jets. 

"That’s going to be something right there. The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now," Brown said on Inside the Locker Room on the Team 980 (full audio here).

Brown explained that Redskins coach Jay Gruden would not allow the defense to hit Pryor last year, even when the wideout did some showboating. 

"Jay ain't here to protect you anymore," Brown said.

The Redskins linebacker explained that he tried to explain to Pryor that the one-handed catches from training camp would not translate in the NFC East, where players get hit hard. It doesn't seem like Pryor listened, as he finished the season with only 240 receiving yards on 20 catches in nine games. 

"The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year," Brown said. He added, "Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets, you’re gonna catch a forearm."

One incident that supports Brown's comments came when Bashaud Breeland got thrown off the practice field last training camp. Breeland got mad that he wasn't allowed to get physical with Pryor at the line of scrimmage, and the scene blew up. Breeland eventually got sent off the field after arguing with coaches. 

The Jets visit the Redskins for three days of practices beginning August 12th. The two teams then square off in the second preseason game on August 16th. 

Brown will get his chance at Pryor, assuming the wideout plays. Pryor finished the 2018 season on the injured reserve, but is expected to be fine once training camp begins in New York. 

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