Nationals

Texans look for more after clinching playoff berth

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Texans look for more after clinching playoff berth

HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Texans aren't content with their accomplishments after clinching their second straight playoff berth over the weekend.

They plan to build on their franchise-best 11-1 start to improve their playoff position. The Texans are also dealing with mounting injuries in the secondary and to their linebackers.

``Now every time we step to the plate we can probably gain something else,'' coach Gary Kubiak said. ``So we just have to stay focused on that. Our last month is going to be difficult, but when it's difficult, that's what gives you the best chance to prepare to be a good football team in January.''

The first step is a Monday night matchup at New England. They'll have to face Tom Brady and the Patriots without cornerback Brice McCain, who will be placed on injured reserve list/designated for return after surgery to repair a broken left foot Monday.

Kubiak is concerned about facing a top quarterback with an injury-riddled and inexperienced secondary.

``Well it's Monday and it's scary so I'm sure it's going to be real scary getting toward the end of the week,'' he said only half-jokingly. ``We know we're going to play a great player and one of the top passing games in the business for a long, long time. It's a challenge.''

McCain, who has appeared in each game with two starts, is Houston's nickel cornerback. He was injured in the first half of the win at Tennessee on Sunday. By being placed on the designated to return list he must sit out eight weeks, which means the earliest he could play is if the Texans reach the Super Bowl.

Brandon Harris, a second-year player out of Miami, will fill in for McCain. Harris has seen limited action this season, appearing in just four games. They'll also look to fellow second-year player Roc Carmichael to help replace McCain.

``I liked what I saw from Brandon and Roc (Sunday),'' Kubiak said. ``Brandon's very competitive, has a lot of confidence ... and that's what you're looking for. They've got to rise to the occasion, and we can sure help them if we can rush the passer like we did (Sunday).''

The Texans bounced back from a pair of weak defensive performances to sack Jake Locker six times Sunday. Kubiak said the unit was helped by the return of nose tackle Shaun Cody, who missed the previous three games with a back injury. Another key to success was the development of linebacker Darryl Sharpton. Sharpton sat out the first nine games this season after tearing his right quadriceps last October.

``Getting Shaun Cody back gave us some versatility inside and took some snaps off some players, and we got our pass rush back,'' Kubiak said. ``I think a couple of things going on there helped us get back to playing our kind of football defensively. I think Sharpton's more comfortable, this is three games he has under his belt. And he's going to have to be, because he's going to be big going down the stretch here.''

Houston will be without linebacker Brooks Reed for another few weeks as he recovers from a groin injury. But the Texans could get several injured players back this week. Kubiak said starting cornerback Johnathan Joseph, who missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, and linebacker Bradie James, out last week with a hamstring injury, will be listed as day to day this week.

Cornerback Alan Ball, who started for Joseph two weeks ago, also missed the Titans game with a sore foot, but should be ready for Monday night's game. Kubiak said the team is looking at their options in the secondary and could possibly add a player because they can't be as thin in that area as they were Sunday down the stretch.

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-

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Nationals have perfect response to Twitter's verified shutdown

Nationals have perfect response to Twitter's verified shutdown

On Wednesday, Twitter experienced a large number of hacks into numerous big name, verified accounts. As the social media platform worked to control the problem, it limited the tweeting capabilities for all verified accounts.

Essentially, that means anyone with a blue checkmark is stuck in a social media purgatory where they couldn't share their thoughts. That includes the Washington Nationals team account. 

However, verified accounts still had the ability to retweet other tweets. The Nationals took advantage of this feature in the most perfect way possible, deciding to share some tweets from an account called "everyword" which tweets every word in the English dictionary. Yes, that account does perfectly sum up what Twitter is.

Washington used its retweeting ability to form an incredible sentence on the team's profile: "cant tweet but still champions."

The Nationals have mentioned their recent World Series Championship in almost every tweet since the final out on October 30, 2019, and rightfully so. The accomplishment was a big one, and until someone knocks them off, they have the right to let the world know they are the champions. Twitter may have been in a shutdown, but that wasn't going to stop them.

RELATED: NATS CAN'T DO 19-31 AGAIN

Soon after, tweeting rights were once again granted, and Washington wasted no time getting back to their Twitter grind.

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Washington football fan creates obituary for former team name

Washington football fan creates obituary for former team name

With the Washington franchise embarking on a new era of football after announcing it will retire the former name of the team, fans are reacting in different ways. Some are ready for the future, while others are not ready to let go of the past.

One man, Michael B. Fannon, has created an obituary to mark the retirement of the name, signifying that it is the "death" of what the franchise once was.

"Washington Redskins (1933-2020) died after a long illness on July 13, 2020. Born in Boston to George Preston Marshall in 1933 after the death of his older son Boston Braves, Washington Redskins won 5 national championships including three Super Bowls under the NFL," the obituary says. "Beloved by all in DC even after the Redskins fell ill in 1993 following the retirement of coach Joe Gibbs. Redskins lived in Washington, DC and nearby Maryland since 1937."

"Washington Redskins are predeceased by many including parent George Preston Marshall also William Henry Dietz, Jack Kent Cooke, Sammy Baugh, George Allen, Jack Pardee, Joe Bugel, and Edward Bennett Williams. Survivors include 78 players, 26 coaches, management, and thousands of former players and other team members," the obituary says.

RELATED: WASHINGTON RELEASES STATEMENT WITHOUT OLD NAME OR LOGO

Sticking with the theme, the obituary states that a funeral service for the former name will be held on July 25 at McLean Community Church in McLean, Va. Additionally, a burial service will take place at RFK Stadium, the former home of the team.

A new name for the franchise has yet to be determined, but there are reports that a decision on the re-branding could be finalized heading into training camp at the end of July. 

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