Redskins

Weeden, McCoy still sidelined for Browns

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Weeden, McCoy still sidelined for Browns

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Third-string quarterback Thad Lewis is one day closer to starting for the Browns.

With Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy not practicing again because of right shoulder injuries, Lewis worked with Cleveland's first-team offense on Thursday as the Browns prepared for Sunday's season finale against Pittsburgh.

Weeden and McCoy were hurt last week against Denver, and although coach Pat Shurmur has not ruled them out, it appears likely that Lewis will get his first NFL regular-season action.

Also, rookie running back Trent Richardson did not practice with a sprained left ankle and starting cornerback Sheldon Brown remained out with a concussion.

Shurmur will likely rule players out following Friday's practice if they're going to miss the Steelers game.

Lewis has spent two seasons with Browns, but has yet to appear in a game.

``He's got a live arm,'' Shurmur said. ``He's very athletic. He'll execute our offense the right way and I'm glad he's going to, if he becomes the starter here, will have an opportunity. He'll do a good job.''

The team signed free agent quarterback Josh Johnson, who would back up Lewis if Weeden and McCoy can't play. Shurmur said the team considered signing Seneca Wallace, who started seven games in two seasons with Cleveland before he was released in training camp.

With Cleveland's front office expected to make sweeping changes during the offseason, Sunday could be Shurmur's final game with the Browns.

Shurmur said he does not have a meeting scheduled with new owner Jimmy Haslam or CEO Joe Banner regarding his future. Shurmur said he's only focused on the Steelers.

``Listen, I get this,'' he said. ``My concerns are for our team and making sure that we do all the right things during the game to give our guys the best chance to win. And then at some point after that, I'll begin to think about what goes on from that. But I'm not worrying about it.''

Shurmur believes the Browns have improved during his tenure. Cleveland is 9-22 with Shurmur as coach.

``We've made improvements, some may say not fast enough,'' Shurmur said. ``But I think we've made improvements. And I think we came into a less-than-ideal situation when we got here. Every situation is different, and I'm proud of that. I'm proud of the work that the guys that I hired did in terms of inspiring the players to improve.

``We have not won enough football games. And I know that's the way this thing works.''

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NFL revamping players' pain management and prevention programs

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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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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: OTAs Day 1

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: OTAs Day 1

Kick off your Tuesday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including a recap of the first day of OTAs.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. Yesterday, (Monday) was the first day of the Ravens' OTAs. OTAs continue today (Tuesday) as the Ravens work on developing a new offense. Check out some of the highlights here. 

2. The Baltimore Ravens have officially announced the full 90-man roster that will be competing for an official team roster spot in OTAs this summer. 

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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