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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Redskins Trey Quinn and Jordan Reed were ready for emergency quarterback duty after Alex Smith's injury

Redskins Trey Quinn and Jordan Reed were ready for emergency quarterback duty after Alex Smith's injury

FedExField — The last we saw Redskins rookie wide receiver Trey Quinn was the third quarter of the first game of the season on Sept. 9. 

Sunday afternoon against the Houston Texans, in his first game back from a right ankle injury, Quinn found himself a heartbeat away from playing quarterback. 

That wasn’t the plan when the day started. But no one could have known that starting quarterback Alex Smith would sustain a broken leg. With backup Colt McCoy in the game and taking shots all over the place, Quinn and tight end Jordan Reed were the options if another injury struck. 

Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Quinn was his guy if McCoy went down. Third-string quarterbacks are rarely active anyway, but Washington doesn’t have one on its 53-man roster or its practice squad. 

“If it came to that I’d have to go in there and make some plays,” Quinn said. “I was ready.”

Quinn is no quarterback, but he is a great athlete. At 12 he pitched in the Little League World Series and threw a no-hitter. He still holds the Louisiana state record for receptions (357) and receiving yards (6,566) and played two years at LSU and two more at SMU before the Redskins drafted him in the seventh round with the final selection of the 2018 draft. 

Quinn hurt his right ankle feeling a punt in the season opener against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 and just returned from injured reserve this week. 

Reed actually was a quarterback in high school and was recruited at that position by the University of Florida. He even played there some as a redshirt freshman and had three touchdown passes to one interception, but quickly moved to tight end. He, too, was ready – but the coaches weren’t exactly telling him to warm up. 

“Nah. Because you don’t even want to put that in the atmosphere” Reed said.

Jinxes aside, Quinn and Reed didn’t need to step in at quarterback to contribute. Both had big days. Reed caught seven passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. Quinn moved right into the slot receiver position vacant for so long with Jamison Crowder hurt and caught four passes for 49 yards. 

Reed and Smith, before his injury, did have a hiccup in the end zone. A pass intended for Reed was intercepted and returned 101 yards for a touchdown by Texans safety Justin Reid. On that 3rd-and-8 play, Reed ran what Gruden called a “swoll” route. But Smith had to step around Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney and the nose tackle was looping toward him as well. Reed took an angle toward the ball Smith didn’t expect. 

The quarterback didn’t have clear vision of where his tight end was and had to rush the pass. The result gave Houston a 17-7 lead instead of what could have been a 10-10 game or even a Redskins’ lead.

Reed more than made up for it with his touchdown catch one play after McCoy had to come in for the injured Smith. That catch cut the Houston lead to 17-14 with 4:47 left in the third quarter. 

Quinn, meanwhile, caught a 15-yard pass on a 2nd-and-11 to get the ball down to the Houston 15 with 47 seconds left in the first quarter. Three plays later running back Adrian Peterson was in the end zone and the Texans’ lead was cut to 10-7. 

Quinn also had a 13-yard catch on a 3rd-and-6 in the second quarter to get the ball to the Houston 16. That came on the ill-fated drive that ended with the 101-yard interception return. 

Quinn’s 11-yard catch with 33 seconds to go was Washington’s last one of the game and got the ball to the Houston 45. Three plays later, kicker Dustin Hopkins’ 63-yard field goal attempt to win it fell short.

Quinn was also immediately inserted into the lineup as the punt returner, but the only Texans punt went out of bounds. Expect him back in that role against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.  

“Trey had a real big game for us,” Reed said. “He’s a good player. He’s a real good player.”

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What a rush: Lamar Jackson ran for 117 yards in win

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What a rush: Lamar Jackson ran for 117 yards in win

The opening drive set the tone.

Stepping on the field for the first time as a starting quarterback in the NFL, Lamar Jackson led the Ravens on an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown to get the team out to an early 7-0 lead over the Bengals.

In that drive, the rookie from Louisville did not attempt one pass. His legs did the work as he rushed for 46 yard on five carries. 

That was the type of day it was for Jackson. While his passing numbers (13-19, 150 yards, 1 INT) were pedestrian, the 117 yards rushing are what left the Ravens fans and the Bengals defense with their heads on a swivel.

Showing the lighting quickness that help make a name for himself in college and made him such an intriguing prospect coming into this year’s draft, Jackson was the team’s leading rusher in the much-needed, come-from-behind 24-21 win over the Bengals.

It was clear head coach John Harbaugh and his staff came into the game with a run-first game plan. Jackson’s 117 yards, along with Gus Edwards’ 115 yards led the way for Baltimore’s 265 yards rushing on the day. 

Jackson got the start in place of Joe Flacco who was sidelined due to a hip injury.

While Jackson has seen time on the field in various offensive packages this season, his first start and win as an NFL quarterback came at a crucial time for the Ravens as the playoff race is heating up. 

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