2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Redskins' LB Fletcher starts taking a breather

By JOSEPH WHITE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-25 17:52

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - The flecks of gray in the stubble on London Fletcher's cheek made the statement superfluous when he explained why he's started taking some plays off.

``I'm not 24,'' he said with a chuckle.

The 38-year-old Washington Redskins linebacker who has made a career of always being there suddenly wasn't there on Sunday, at least not for every play. In his record-tying 243rd consecutive game - and after playing every defensive snap in Nos. 241 and 242 - Fletcher rested for eight of 67 plays in the loss to the Detroit Lions.

Doesn't sound like much, but it's significant. Age was bound to catch up with Fletcher one of these days, and he had been a nonfactor the previous week, with only one tackle and one assist against the Green Bay Packers. He's the captain of the worst defense in the NFL, a unit allowing 488 yards per game, so things couldn't get any more dire with backup Nick Barnett on the field for a bit.

``I knew I wanted to run to the ball better, be around the football a lot better, just do a lot more things than I had done the previous two ballgames,'' Fletcher said Wednesday. ``And if that means I've got to give Nick a few snaps, it helps me, it helps us. It helps us try to win a ballgame, and that's something I've got to do. They're not giving out trophies for playing a lot of snaps.''

More vague is the circumstances as to how it all came about. Coach Mike Shanahan indicated Monday that it was a coaching staff decision - ``We've been talking about giving London a few plays off,'' Shanahan said - but Fletcher said Wednesday it was totally his own idea, to the point that the only people he told in advance were Barnett and linebackers coach Bobby Slowik.

``I decided to take myself out,'' Fletcher said. ``Nobody said anything to me about coming out of the ballgame. Just because I wanted to play 100 percent, 100 mph the whole game, and it's tough to do that if you're going to try to play 100 percent of the snaps also.''

Shanahan then muddled things a little more, saying that Fletcher gets to makes the decision as to which plays to sit out as the game progresses. The coach added generically: ``We encourage people that, if they feel like they need a break, to take themselves out.''

Fletcher said the breathers will become probably be a part of the routine going forward, including this week, when the Redskins visit the Oakland Raiders and he passes Bill Romanowski for longest consecutive games streak by a defensive player since the 1970 merger.

Asked about breaking the record, Fletcher said: ``I won't say I haven't thought about it. ... Hopefully if I'm able to get out there on Sunday and play, it's something I can look back (on) and think about.''

Fletcher's evolving role took some of the usual Wednesday glare away from his offensive counterpart, Robert Griffin III, whose weekly news conference focused on topics such as swagger and sliding.

``It hard to have that swagger sitting at 0-3,'' Griffin said. ``But I don't think the team has lost its sense of confidence. We know how close we are, we know we can turn it around, and we're built to get out of this hole just like we were last year.''

Griffin hasn't played up to expectations since returning from major knee surgery, but he said he doesn't regret making an ESPN documentary about his rehab, or anything else he did to add to the hype. He referenced Peyton Manning, who was featured in a documentary this week about the Manning family.

``He has a documentary, and he's going off this year,'' Griffin said, ``and no one criticizes that.''

Griffin had a momentum-shifting fumble in the fourth quarter against the Lions when he lost the ball while diving head-first instead of sliding. He worked on sliding during training camp, but he said he doesn't practice it now that the regular season is underway.

``The problem is I'm not a great slider,'' he said. ``I know how to slide. I don't know how to baseball slide.''

Asked if he would take lessons from a baseball player, he said he'd welcome Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper.

``I'm definitely up for that, Bryce,'' he said. ``So, yeah, we can do that if you want to, buddy.''

Notes: TE Jordan Reed (bruised right thigh), LB Brandon Jenkins (sprained right ankle) and K Kai Forbath (strained groin) didn't practice. Forbath hasn't fully tested his leg since he was hurt two weeks ago. ``It's hard to tell unless you kick a ball,'' he said. ... TE Fred Davis (sprained right ankle) was limited. ... T Troy Kropog was signed to the practice squad. He replaces T Xavier Nixon, who was signed to the Indianapolis Colts' active roster.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

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

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Justin TuckOct 29 09:23p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin) and CB Carlos Rogers (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. [ More ]

Bobby WagnerOct 29 09:23p

Seattle Seahawks TE Zach Miller (ankle) and LB Bobby Wagner (toe) were each unable to practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and each is already ruled out for Week 9 against the Oakland Raiders.

Max UngerOct 29 09:23p

Seattle Seahawks DT Jordan Hill (ankle), SS Jeron Johnson (concussion), CB Byron Maxwell (calf) and LB Malcolm Smith (non-injury related) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. OG James Carpenter [ More ]

J. CunninghamOct 29 08:53p

The St. Louis Rams signed OT Steven Baker, WR Emory Blake, OT Travis Bond and TE Justice Cunningham to the practice squad Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Marcus LattimoreOct 29 08:53p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) returned to practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. He remains on the reserve/non-football injury list.

Brian QuickOct 29 08:43p

The St. Louis Rams placed WR Brian Quick (shoulder) on the reserve/injured list Wednesday, Oct. 29.

A.J. EddsOct 29 08:33p

Atlanta Falcons FS Sean Baker, Carolina Panthers RB Darrin Reaves, Denver Broncos DE Greg Latta, New England Patriots OG Chris Barker, New York Jets LB A.J. Edds, Oakland Raiders [ More ]

Damian WilliamsOct 29 08:33p

The St. Louis Rams promoted OG Brandon Washington from the practice squad to the active roster Wednesday, Oct. 29, and they signed free-agent WR Damian Williams.

Patrick WillisOct 29 08:03p

San Francisco 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (toe), SS Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were listed as limited participants in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. CB Chris Culliver [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 29 08:03p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Anthony CollinsOct 29 07:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were listed as limited participants.

Lamarcus JoynerOct 29 07:53p

St. Louis Rams S Cody Davis (concussion), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder), LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (toe), DE William Hayes (foot), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), S Rodney McLeod (knee), OT Rodger [ More ]

Billy WinnOct 29 07:43p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring), DE Phil Taylor (knee) and OT Joe Thomas (non-injury related) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. DT Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) was [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 29 07:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday, Oct. 29. Green said he feels good, and he'll try to do more Thursday, Oct. [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 29 07:33p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), LB Brian Cushing (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (knee), LB Brooks Reed (groin) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. [ More ]

Stepfan TaylorOct 29 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals RB Stepfan Taylor (calf) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and he has been ruled out for Week 9.

Patrick PetersonOct 29 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals FS Tony Jefferson (head) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. LB Kenny Demens (knee), TE Troy Niklas (ankle) and CB Patrick Peterson (concussion) were listed as limited [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 29 07:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), DE Carlos Dunlap (illness), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring), [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 29 07:03p

Denver Broncos LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), S Quinton Carter (hamstring) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. CB Omar Bolden (concussion) and LB Steven Johnson [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 29 06:53p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Chris McCain (foot), LB Koa Misi (ankle), [ More ]

Brian RobinsonOct 29 06:43p

Minnesota Vikings DE Brian Robinson (glute) and CB Jabari Price (hamstring) both did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. CB Josh Robinson (ankle), DT Sharrif Floyd (ankle, knee), [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 29 06:23p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and has been ruled out for the team's Week 9 game. CB Jamell Fleming [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 29 05:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is expected to start in the team's Week 9 game against the Minnesota Vikings, according to league sources.

Tracy PorterOct 29 05:53p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

Jon BeasonOct 29 05:33p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot, toe) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Jonathan GoodwinOct 29 05:23p

New Orleans Saints LB David Hawthorne (hand) and FB Austin Johnson (knee) both did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and have been ruled out for the team's Week 9 [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 29 05:23p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and has been ruled out for Week 9.

Jimmy GrahamOct 29 05:23p

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and is questionable for the team's Week 9 game.

Brandon BrownerOct 29 05:03p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. FS Nate Ebner (finger), DE Dominique Easley (knee, shoulder), OT Cameron Fleming (finger) and [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 29 05:03p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) didn't practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. OG Oday Aboushi (shoulder), OG Willie Colon (knee), LB David Harris (shoulder), LG Trevor Reilly (knee) [ More ]

Terrell SuggsOct 29 04:53p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), DT Haloti Ngata (shin), CB Jimmy Smith (foot), LB Terrell Suggs (neck), CB Lardarius Webb (non-injury) and OG Marshal Yanda (knee) all did [ More ]

Justin ForsettOct 29 04:53p

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. Forsett is dealing with an ankle injury.

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