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RG3 nearly perfect vs. Eagles

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RG3 nearly perfect vs. Eagles

Robert Griffin III added another “is he really a rookie?” performance to his already impressive resume in leading the Redskins to a 31-6 win over the Eagles.

Griffin completed 14 of 15 passes for 200 yards and four, count ‘em four, touchdowns. You could say he wasn’t perfect due to the one incompletion, which came late in the second quarter on a short throw over the middle intended for Josh Morgan.

But the NFL said that he was perfect on the day, at least according to its quarterback rating system. If you plug the numbers into the calculator it spits out a rating of 158.3. You can’t get any higher than that.

Griffin is the first rookie since at least 1960 to get a perfect QB rating in a game with at least 15 pass attempts.

He also set a record for the best completion percentage by a rookie in a game with at least 15 pass attempts. In fact, he shattered it by completing 93.3 percent of his throws. Charlie Batch of the Lions held the previous record with a 16 for 19 (84.2 percent) performance in a game in 1998.

Griffin got things going early. His first pass of the game went to Darrel Young for six yards and a touchdown. That score was set up by DeAngelo Hall’s interception and return to the Philly nine on the Eagles’ third play from scrimmage.

Griffin’s next two TD passes were highlight reel material. In the second quarter he dropped back and had plenty of time to find Aldrick Robinson, who was open by at least 10 yards, in the end zone from 49 yards out. That got the Redskins out to a 14-3 lead and they never looked back.

That doesn’t mean that the rest of the game was not worth watching. In the third quarter Griffin scrambled and launched one deep to Santana Moss at around the five yard line.

“It was an ‘Oh, no . . . oh, yes!’” moment, said Mike Shanahan. The “oh, no” part came from the fact that Moss was bracketed between to defenders. But all was well as Moss snagged the ball and then ran through an attempted tackle by rookie Brandon Boykin and fell into the end zone.

There was a flag on the play that was in the area where we usually see offensive holding called so the stadium was largely quiet after the play. Eagles defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins was so sure it was a holding flag that the mocked RG3’s touchdown celebration.

But it turned out that the penalty was against the Eagles so Griffin got to do his celebration all over again and the Redskins had a 24-6 lead.

His final touchdown came in the fourth quarter when he found Logan Paulsen near the five. Safety Kurt Coleman made a couple of feeble attempts to bring the big tight end down but he powered his way to the end zone to make it 31-6.

Griffin’s day throwing the ball overshadowed some pretty nifty runs he had. On one third quarter play he took off around left end, raced up the sideline for a first down and then executed a spin move that resulted in a would-be tackler grasping at air as he stumbled out of bounds.

Griffin ended up with 84 yards rushing on 12 carries.

Oh, about that one incompletion. A couple of hours after the game ended, he replied to a tweet from ESPN’s Trey Wingo poking fun at him:

“So @RGIII goes 14/15 for 200 yds and 4 TDs. What the hell happened on that one incompletion? unacceptable”

Griffin’s response:

“Looking at film now”

He may have been kidding, but not many would bet against it.

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Reuben Foster's season-ending injury hurts the Redskins from a contract perspective, too

Reuben Foster's season-ending injury hurts the Redskins from a contract perspective, too

There are a lot of questions stemming from Reuben Foster's injury at Redskins OTAs, which looks to be a season-ending one.

Where does Foster, whose career has really yet to take off due to other injuries as well as numerous off-field troubles, go from here? What are Washington's options at inside linebacker now, since they were counting on him to produce?

And then there's this: How does Foster missing this year affect his contract with the 'Skins?

The answer, according to salary cap expert J.I. Halsell, is not much.

"When a contract tolls, that means basically the pause button is pushed and whatever you were supposed to make in 2019 carries over to 2020. That's not the case for Reuben Foster," Halsell said Tuesday while on the Redskins Talk podcast.

"Reuben Foster will earn his $1.29 million salary regardless of if he plays this season or not. While he'll probably spend his entire season on injured reserve, he'll make his $1.29 million in 2019."

Essentially, everything proceeds as normal. And that in and of itself is a decent setback for the organization.

One of the reasons the Redskins dealt with the controversy and backlash when they claimed Foster last November was because they were adding a first-round talent on his rookie contract. The team was hoping they could secure two years of elite play out of him at a bargain price, and then potentially exercise the fifth-year option on him to keep him in D.C. through 2021.

Now, however, they're losing one of those precious seasons and will have to make that decision on his fifth-year option next offseason without any tape or experience to really base that decision on. That's an important choice, and one that will carry significant financial implications as well.

"The fifth-year option for the 2021 season will be pretty expensive," Halsell said. "The long and short of it is it's going to be a lucrative dollar amount and given his injury history, his current injury, you would think that when they have to make that decision by the 2020 Draft, they will decline that option."

Haslell's right. The likelihood of the Burgundy and Gold committing big money to a guy with literally one rep in their uniform — and it's not like he was proven for the 49ers, as a linebacker or as a person, either — feels unbelievably slim. 

Yet — and now we're looking pretty far down the line — if he is able to return from this injury and contribute in 2020, the franchise could still look to keep him beyond that. There's a ton of time between now and then, but it's certainly possible.

"Theoretically, even though you don't have the fifth-year option for 2021, you can work on a contract extension for Reuben Foster assuming he comes back to full health," Haslell explained.

Still, not only does the injury hurt the player as well as the unit the player was going to start on, but it limits the team's potential payoff from claiming the player. The situation, from every angle, is an unfortunate one. 

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NFL revamping players' pain management and prevention programs

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USA TODAY Sports Imahes

NFL revamping players' pain management and prevention programs

NEW YORK -- The NFL and the players' union have two new agreements to address player health in the areas of pain management/prescription medications, and behavior well-being.

The joint agreements, announced Monday, are designed to lead to advancement and understanding of dealing with pain and to improve potential treatments. The league and union also will add to programs already established in education, prevention, and overall behavioral health throughout the league.

"I was hired two years ago and when I was hired I was asked about areas of concern," said Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL's medical chief. "And I said these were two areas I saw from my knowledge of someone taking care of athletes for over two decades. I felt a real need there."

"We've been working together with the players' union to come up with something that would work proactively for both. We have the same goal, to take care of the whole player and in a holistic way, and to focus on prevention."

Among the stipulations in the pain management area will be formation of a committee of medical experts appointed by the league and union that will establish uniform standards for club practices and policies in pain management and the use of prescription medication by players. The committee also will conduct research concerning pain management and alternative therapies.

That committee will receive periodic reports from a newly developed prescription drug monitoring program that will monitor all prescriptions issued to NFL players by club physicians and unaffiliated physicians.

Each NFL club must appoint and pay for a pain management specialist before next season.

All this builds on the programs in place.

"We've had an electronically submitted health record for each club in place for a number of years," Sills said. "Medical providers enter the prescriptions they have given to the players. Periodically, our medical advisory committee and the NFL Physicians Society would issue white paper guidelines around strategies. The important change here is obviously it creates a committee tasked with overseeing our educational efforts -- the best practices around pain management."

All 32 teams now must retain by the start of training camp a behavioral health team clinician focused on supporting players' emotional and mental health and well-being. The old bromide of "toughing it out" when someone has such issues has long been discarded, Sills said.

"This is not novel to the NFL or to sports," Sills added. "It applies across all levels of society at all age groups and walks of life, and we know these are issues we need to address."

While the NFL and NFLPA have had previous joint programs in these health areas, Sills and NFLPA President Eric Winston note these initiatives are a major step forward in medical care.

"These agreements are positive developments for our membership as they will provide new and important resources to help players and their families," Winston said. "Our union has always advocated for advancements in health and safety and we think this work with the NFL is another important step to improve care for NFL players."

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