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

Bobby WagnerOct 22 08:03p

Seattle Seahawks SS Kam Chancellor (ankle), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), C Max Unger (foot) and LB Bobby Wagner (toe) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. [ More ]

Zach MillerOct 22 08:03p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot) and TE Zach Miller (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22, and they have been ruled out for Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers.

Frostee RuckerOct 22 06:53p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. S Rashad Johnson (knee) was limited, while DE Frostee Rucker (calf) practiced in full.

Johnathan JosephOct 22 06:53p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (knee), CB Darryl Morris (ankle), LB Brooks Reed (groin), LB John Simon (ankle) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 22 06:33p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams. WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) did [ More ]

Tre MasonOct 22 06:32p

St. Louis Rams RB Tre Mason could be the top candidate for a majority of carries since he is averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Mason rushed for 85 yards [ More ]

Dion SimsOct 22 05:53p

Miami Dolphins T Branden Albert (elbow), CB Cortland Finnegan (neck), WR Brandon Gibson (knee), CB Brent Grimes (groin), C Samson Satele (hamstring), TE Dion Sims (neck) and S Jimmy [ More ]

Jo-Lonn DunbarOct 22 05:43p

St. Louis Rams C Tim Barnes (shoulder), DE William Hayes (illness), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), S T.J. McDonald (concussion) and OT Rodger Saffold (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. [ More ]

Scott SolomonOct 22 05:43p

Cleveland Browns WR Jonathan Krause, Seattle Seahawks TE Rashaun Allen and Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Solomon Patton and DE Scott Solomon cleared waivers and became free agents Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Billy WinnOct 22 05:33p

Cleveland Browns DE Desmond Bryant (wrist) and LB Barkeveous Mingo both fully participated in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. DE Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) and CB K'Waun Williams (concussion) were both [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 22 05:23p

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (hand, hip) and SS Danny McCray (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. LB Jonathan Bostic (back) and LB Lance Briggs (ribs) [ More ]

Sharrif FloydOct 22 05:13p

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (hernia), LB Gerald Hodges (hamstring) and C John Sullivan (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. DE Corey Wootton (back), DT Sharrif Floyd (ankle), [ More ]

Dashon GoldsonOct 22 05:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Jonathan Casillas (hamstring), OT Anthony Collins (knee), S Dashon Goldson (ankle) and S Keith Tandy (hamstring) were limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. C Johnthan Banks (neck) practiced in full.

Brandon BrownerOct 22 05:13p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. CB Brandon Browner (ankle), LB Jamie Collins (thigh), OG Dan Connolly (concussion), DE Dominique [ More ]

Josh McCownOct 22 05:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) was listed as a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Brett KeiselOct 22 05:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert (concussion), DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), DT Steve McLendon (shoulder), FS Mike Mitchell (non-injury) and SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamOct 22 04:53p

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Jonathan GoodwinOct 22 04:53p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle, knee) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. CB Keenan Lewis (knee, shoulder), LB Ramon Humber [ More ]

Thomas DavisOct 22 04:53p

Carolina Panthers CB Bene Benwikere (ankle), LB Chase Blackburn (knee), WR Philly Brown (concussion), LB Thomas Davis (non-injury), S Roman Harper (non-injury), OG Amini Silatolu (calf), OG Trai Turner [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 22 04:43p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) wasn't feeling good enough to return to practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. Head coach Marvin Lewis said Green won't play in Week 8 against [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 22 04:43p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Reggie WayneOct 22 04:33p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Jake LockerOct 22 04:33p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) was a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Kelechi OsemeleOct 22 04:33p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (wrist) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. OT Eugene Monroe (knee) and OG Kelechi Osemele (knee) practiced in full.

Gosder CherilusOct 22 04:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Jack Doyle (knee) and OT Gosder Cherilus (rest) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. CB Darius Butler (ankle) was limited during practice, while DT [ More ]

James StarksOct 22 04:33p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. Starks injured the ankle in Week 7 against the Carolina Panthers.

Brandon ThompsonOct 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Baltimore Ravens. DE Robert Geathers (toe), CB Leon Hall (back) and OG Mike Pollak [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 22 04:23p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Alan Ball (bicep) and DE Andre Branch (groin) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. C Luke Bowanko (ankle), CB Aaron Colvin (knee) and S Craig Loston (hamstring) were limited.

Trent RichardsonOct 22 04:23p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Mario WilliamsOct 22 04:13p

Buffalo Bills WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) and LB Ty Powell (ankle) both did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. WR Marcus Easley (knee) and S Aaron Williams (neck) [ More ]

Martellus BennettOct 22 04:13p

Chicago Bears TE Martellus Bennett (hamstring) said he expects to practice Thursday, Oct. 23, and play in Week 8. Bennett missed practice Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Nick MangoldOct 22 04:13p

New York Jets LB Trevor Reilly (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), OG Willie Colon (knee), LB David Harris (shoulder) [ 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