2014 DRAFT GUIDE
'Rejuvenated' Redskins buoyed by state of NFC East

    2012-11-13 04:19

(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.)
By JOSEPH WHITE
AP Sports Writer

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - Washington's Pierre Garcon, Jammal Brown and Brandon Meriweather walked off the field Monday and gave self-assessments of their injuries.

The players sorely missed by the Redskins this season were back at practice following the bye, part of an overall feeling of renewal for a team heartened by the collective struggles of the NFC East.

``I think everybody is refreshed, and they're looking forward to the second half of the season,'' coach Mike Shanahan said. ``And you could see they were a lot fresher, rejuvenated and hopefully ready to go.''

After losing what the coach had called a ``must-win'' game before the break - and then suggesting the playoffs were out of reach and it was time to play out the string - Shanahan now says there's no margin of error as the Redskins (3-6) prepare to host the Philadelphia Eagles in the first of three consecutive division games.

``The way the chips are falling in our division, we still can control our own destiny,'' defensive end Stephen Bowen said. ``If we win these next three, we're right back on top of the division. It's crazy that these games are happening like this, but it's giving us the opportunity.''

It would help if the team could get Garcon, Brown and Meriweather fully healthy and somewhere close to top form. Perhaps Garcon could be the true No. 1 receiver currently missing from the attack. Perhaps Brown at right tackle could buy more time for agile rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. Perhaps Meriweather at safety could be a bandage for one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL.

Of the three, Meriweather was the most optimistic about his chances of playing against the Eagles. He's been sidelined all season with multiple setbacks in his recovery from a sprained left knee, watching helplessly as the defense has allowed eight passes of 40-plus yards. He joked that if he does finally get to play, he'll walk right up to the press box in full uniform a few minutes before kickoff to make sure everyone knows.

``I just want to have fun, man,'' Meriweather said. ``I think us going out there, we don't look like we're having fun. And I think when somebody comes in and we get to having fun, then I think all aspects of the game will go up.''

Garcon has been in pain since Week 1, when he tore a toe ligament in his right foot. He's played in two games since but wasn't effective. Monday was his first practice in a month, and he's doing his best to try to avoid surgery - which wouldn't even be guaranteed to fix the problem anyway.

``It's a pain every time - walking, running, cutting,'' Garcon said. ``It's a pain all the time.''

Shanahan was guarded about Garcon's chances of playing this week. The coach will know more after a more rigorous practice Wednesday.

``I know it's painful for him, but he wanted to work through it today,'' Shanahan said. ``And we'll find out over the next few days exactly where he's at.''

Brown practiced for the first time since his latest hip injury, a torn ligament that required surgery in late August. He remains on the physically unable to perform list and will need time to work himself back into football shape.

``I started to feel lonely for a while, but now I'm back on the field with my teammates,'' Brown said. ``I'm eager to see after a week or so how it feels, but I feel good. It was a great day for me.''

Given their three-game losing streak, a defense that can't stop anybody and an offense that has slacked off its early torrid pace, the Redskins normally would have no business harboring any kind of realistic thoughts about the postseason.

But the NFC East has become a weekly horror show. The first-place New York Giants (6-4) have lost back-to-back games, including an 18-point defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The other three teams are 7-14 outside the division.

The Redskins might be teetering, but they're practically stable compared to the Eagles, who have lost five straight amid persistent questions about the futures of coach Andy Reid and quarterback Michael Vick. Vick might not play Sunday because of a concussion, which would give rookie third-round pick Nick Foles his first NFL start.

``We've still got opportunities, for sure,'' tight end Logan Paulsen said. ``Because our record is what it is, you do have to watch the standings a little bit. At this point, it's kind of a good reminder to say, `Hey, we're still in it.'''

---

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

---

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

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Mike PounceyJul 23 12:33p

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) could miss the first eight weeks of the season because of the hip surgery he had this offseason, according to a source. He [ More ]

Evan RodriguezJul 23 12:23p

Buffalo Bills FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were hospitalized because of complications from cramps and were getting hydrated, according to head coach Doug Marrone. Rodriguez [ More ]

Dustin HopkinsJul 23 12:20p

Buffalo Bills PK Dustin Hopkins will have to try to make the roster as a kickoff specialist, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Vernon DavisJul 23 12:13p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis has reported to camp Wednesday, July 23, according to an Instagram post from 49ers S C.J. Spillman.

Jason BabinJul 23 12:03p

New York Jets signed DE Jason Babin (Jaguars) to a two-year contract, with the second year being a team option. He's expected to serve as a situational pass rusher.

Reggie WayneJul 23 11:13a

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (knee) said he has been medically cleared to practice. He's expected to be limited, though, especially in the near future.

Kraig UrbikJul 23 10:53a

Buffalo Bills OG Chris Hairston continued to receive first-team repetitions at right guard in the red zone drills Wednesday, July 23. OG Kraig Urbik struggled with first-team the previous day.

Jamaal CharlesJul 23 09:53a

Updating previous reports, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles will not report to training camp Wednesday, July 23, barring a major contract breakthrough.

Vick BallardJul 23 09:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Vick Ballard (knee) reported to camp and has passed his physical.

Rob GronkowskiJul 23 08:53a

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) has been cleared for contact and will not be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, according to head coach Bill Belichick.

Evan RodriguezJul 23 08:43a

Buffalo Bills TE Chris Gragg (cramps), FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and CB Brandon E. Smith (leg) were out of practice Wednesday, July 23. OT Seantrel Henderson (hip) returned to action.

Rashad JenningsJul 23 08:23a

New York Giants RBs Rashad Jennings, David Wilson and Andre Williams could be used in a three-man rotation this season to keep Jennings fresh.

Caleb McSurdyJul 23 02:53a

The St. Louis Rams waived four players Tuesday, July 22, as they cut loose OL Abasi Salimu, WR Diontae Spencer, LB Caleb McSurdy, and LB Tavarius Wilson.

Carl NicksJul 23 02:43a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey, G Carl Nicks and DE Da'Quan Bowers may be fighting for roster spots once training camp begins due to other competition for their [ More ]

Chris CulliverJul 23 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver (knee) has been cleared to take part in practice when training camp opens this week. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament to [ More ]

Ben TateJul 23 01:13a

Cleveland Browns RBs Ben Tate and Terrance West will compete for the starting tailback job during training camp and the preseason, and it's a battle head coach Mike Pettine [ More ]

Joel BitonioJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OG Joel Bitonio (ankle) lined up with the first-team offense during organized team activities (OTAs), and he held the spot until he suffered a sprained ankle June [ More ]

Paul McQuistanJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OLs Garrett Gilkey, Paul McQuistan and Jason Pinkston are fighting for position in the pecking order at right guard, and one of them might even push OG [ More ]

Craig RobertsonJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns LBs Christian Kirksey and Craig Robertson will compete for an inside linebacker job during training camp, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Joe HadenJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns CBs Justin Gilbert and Buster Skrine will compete for the starting cornerback job opposite CB Joe Haden in training camp. 'We weren't going to hand Justin that [ More ]

Gary BarnidgeJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray will battle for the No. 2 tight end spot during training camp and the preseason.

Eli ManningJul 23 12:23a

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) has shown no ill effects during camp from ankle surgery that sidelined him for earlier offseason activities.

Tom CoughlinJul 22 11:53p

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was not happy that several players were forced to leave practice with dehydration issues Tuesday, July 22. 'It pisses me off,' Coughlin [ More ]

Brandon LloydJul 22 11:23p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson is the frontrunner for the No. 3 WR job, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, but he added that neither Johnson nor WR [ More ]

Darren SprolesJul 22 11:13p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles' ability to win one-on-one matchups in space is what head coach Chip Kelly plans to exploit this season. Kelly said opposing defenses played a [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 11:03p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and WR Tori Gurley had miscommunications on three occasions Tuesday, July 22, resulting in two incomplete passes and an interception. Joe Buscaglia of WGR [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:53p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and QB Jeff Tuel are in an open competition for the backup quarterback job, head coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday, July 22.

Brian MoormanJul 22 10:43p

Buffalo Bills P Brian Moorman was more effective than P Jake Dombrowski on punts in terms of both average hang time and average distance Tuesday, July 22.

Titus YoungJul 22 09:53p

Updating a previous story, free-agent WR Titus Young (Lions) was charged with felony battery with serious bodily injury from an alleged July 8 incident inside a Los Angeles-area hospital. [ More ]

Ryan MathewsJul 22 09:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews' rookie contract will expire after the 2014 season, which means this could be his final year with the organization, in the opinion of [ More ]

Mario WilliamsJul 22 09:43p

Buffalo Bills DE Mario Williams, DT Marcell Dareus and DT Kyle D. Williams were all rotated out of the lineup at times during team drills Tuesday, July 22. LB [ More ]

Nigel BradhamJul 22 09:23p

Buffalo Bills LB Nigel Bradham was one of eight players to record sacks during team drills Tuesday, July 22. The team's pass rush has been consistent since camp began, [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group