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Jared Allen and Thomas Davis intend to return for Super Bowl, boost Carolina's 'D'


Jared Allen and Thomas Davis intend to return for Super Bowl, boost Carolina's 'D'

The Panthers could be getting back two of their most important players on defense, just in time for the biggest game of the season.

Defensive end Jared Allen said he’s “100-percent ready to go” for the Super Bowl, while linebacker Thomas Davis says able “to do everything.”

Allen, who missed the NFC Championship with a broken foot, practiced Monday along with the rest of his teammates in preparation for Sunday's showdown with Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Carolina Coach Ron Rivera said he’s encouraged but added that Allen must get through Friday’s practice without a setback.

Sure, Allen isn’t the force he once was—he recorded only two sacks in 2015 after racking up double-digit totals from 2007-13—but he’s still effective. Since being acquired from the Bears in late September, in fact, the 33-year-old has recorded 18 quarterback hits and 18 pressures, according to

Only one of Allen’s 136 career sacks has come at Manning’s expense (in Minnesota in 2008), though. Of course, he hopes to get No. 2 on Sunday when he plays in the Super Bowl for the first time.

“[Manning] gets rid of the ball so fast, he's so smart, he knows where the ball is going before he even snaps the ball. So, I've hit him a bunch of times, that counts, right?" Allen told, laughing.

As for Davis, who suffered a broken arm Jan. 24 vs. the Cardinals and had surgery to insert a plate and a dozen screws a day later, he continues to insist that nothing will keep him from playing at Levi’s Stadium. Like Allen, he also participated in Monday’s light practice.

“I haven’t tried anything that I can’t do yet, but if I get to something, I’ll definitely let you know,” Davis told reporters. “But right now, I’m able to do everything.”

The 32-year-old ranked second on the Panthers in tackles the regular season with 105—13 fewer than teammate and fellow Pro Bowler Luke Kuechly. The duo are considered the heart and soul of Carolina’s powerful defense.

Davis, who has overcome three torn ACLs in his career, says he plans to play with a hard brace protecting his arm.

“It was a light day [Monday] but I took every opportunity that I could to bump it against something and really see how it feels,” Davis told The Charlotte Observer. “All in all it was pretty good. I know it’s going to be different when you’re actually out there and things are live when we’re playing the game on Sunday, but at the same time for it to be my first opportunity to get back out there I really felt good.”

Davis acknowledged that he might have reservations about playing if this were his first or second year in the league. But it’s not; it’s his 11th. And it's the Super Bowl. And because of that, the smart money is on Davis suiting up.

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Fans, Redskins pay tribute to longtime NBC Sports Washington reporter Rich Tandler

NBC Sports Washington

Fans, Redskins pay tribute to longtime NBC Sports Washington reporter Rich Tandler

NBC Sports Washington lost an important piece of its family this week when longtime Redskins reporter Rich Tandler died on Tuesday. He was 63.

Tandler joined NBC Sports Washington in 2011. He began his writing career in his 40s after working in restaurants and created his blog, Real Redskins, in 2004, which became the longest-running blog on the team. He also wrote three books on the Redskins and posted an estimated 2,300 consecutive “Need To Know” posts, becoming a must-read for Redskins fans as part of their morning routine.

“We’re devastated to learn of the loss of one of our most loved and valued media members, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington,” Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “His dedication to covering the Redskins over the past 14 years has made him an irreplaceable presence among our media corps, and he will be in our hearts. Our thoughts are with his family, our family at NBC Sports Washington, and the entire Redskins community. He will be truly missed.”

The team will hold a moment of silence for Tandler before its game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and will keep his regular seat on press row empty. On Wednesday, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith offered his “thoughts and prayers to his family.”

“Rich’s kind and warm nature made him a good friend and an especially close colleague to many of us at NBC Sports Washington,” NBC Sports Washington General Manager Damon Phillips said in a statement. “His passion for his work and the Redskins was inspiring and made him a critical part of many of our successes over the past seven years. This is a very big loss for the sports community. Our thoughts are with his family and his many friends.”

Fans, Redskins players, fellow reporters, and friends of Tandler paid tribute to him on social media.

“Incredibly saddened by the sudden passing of NBCSW’s Rich Tandler. He was a great talent and an important voice in the DC sports community. Our thoughts are with his wife @MissSkeetersmom, his family and his family at @NBCSWashington,” Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis wrote on Twitter.


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2018 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots prove they still got it, Rams remain top dog

USA Today

2018 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots prove they still got it, Rams remain top dog

In a thriller in Foxboro, the Patriots handed Kansas City its first loss of the season.

It wasn't pretty but the Rams slipped past the Broncos to remain the lone unbeaten in the NFL.

Remember when the Lions beat New England on Sunday Night Football and folks were ready to bury the Patriots? Yeah... how did that 'hot take' work out?


Will the real Redskins please stand up? A win over the Panthers moved the Skins up three spots. Give the Redskins this, they are consistently unpredictable.

The Ravens are on the rise and Marcus Mariota is happy the Titans won't have to play Baltimore again.

So the Cowboys have an offense now? Or does Jacksonville not have an elite defense anymore?

And the Bears let Brock Osweiler throw for 380 yards. Yes. You read that correct. 380 yards. 

How far will the Bears drop because of that dreadful defensive performance?