This was the very height of the Sonny vs. Billy debate. Jurgensen, a future Hall of Famer, had suffered a shoulder injury in a preseason game the previous year. In came Kilmer, a veteran journeyman who was acquired in George Allen's first trade with the team. All he did was lead Washington to postseason play for the first time in 25 years.
As they came to camp in Carlisle in 1972, Allen let the two battle it out. "George tried to create a rivalry at every position," Kilmer said. Especially, it seemed, at signal caller.
The rivalry was a friendly one. "Sonny and I hit it off right away," said Kilmer. "We understood that we had a good chance to be on a winning team so instead of being petty about things we decided to help each other."
Not surprisingly in a city that loves a good leadership controversy, the fans took sides in the issue. Bumper stickers proclaiming that the car's occupant liked Sonny or Billy were hot items. Unofficial counts around town showed a slim but certain margin in favor of Jurgensen. "I wasn't surprised that the fans took sides," said Kilmer. "Sonny is the guy and always will be."
Both quarterbacks played well during the preseason, so Allen was forced to make his decision based on other factors. The week before the season opener in Minnesota, the coach announced that Kilmer would be the starter as a reward for his performance the previous season. Jurgensen would take over four games into the season and win all three of his starts before his year ended when he ruptured his Achilles tendon. Kilmer came back in and earned Pro Bowl honors as he led the Redskins to Super Bowl VII.
NFL players took to Twitter on Saturday to send well-wishes to Andrew Luck after news broke that he is retiring from the NFL.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Luck was 'mentally worn out' after years of battling injuries. Luck confirmed the news in an emotional press conference on Saturday night.
"Andrew luck I understand you 100% brotha," wrote Dez Bryant. "... take your time ... I wish you the best."
Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins reacted to the news with emojis.
Former player turned ESPN analyst Emmanuel Acho posted video of Colts fans booing Luck as he walked into the locker room. "Coach always said, 'the pats on the back eventually turn into stabs,'" he wrote.
"That's bad to boo that man," added former Redskins player Chris Baker.
Former Ravens and current Carolina player Torrey Smith tweeted that anyone in the sport understands.
Jaguars long snapper Matt Overton wrote he was "shook."
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Jordan Reed took a major blow to the head in the Redskins third preseason game in Atlanta, and the blow eventually landed Washington's stud tight end in the NFL's concussion protocol.
Falcons safety Keanu Neal delivered the hit, and while it was clearly illegal and resulted in a penalty on the field, he took to Twitter to defend his play.
It's hard to judge intent under the incredible speed that plays happen during pro football. When a player goes in for a tackle, ball carriers can also move, and plays that look dirty in slow motion can look reasonable in full speed. Still, it's undeniable that Reed took a major shot in the helmet from Neal, and it definitely seemed unnecessary. And it's not a secret that Reed has dealt with serious head injuries throughout his NFL career.
There has been no update on Reed's condition beyond that he's in the NFL concussion protocol. Reed also stayed in the game after the big hit from Neal before his concussion symptoms showed up at halftime.
Neal is a fifth-year safety out of the University of Florida. He missed most of the 2018 season with an ACL injury. Reed also attended the University of Florida.
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