Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice (29) and offensive guard Ereck Flowers celebrate Guice's touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Washington Redskins head coach Bill Callahan looks on during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers passes during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Vernon Butler (92) rushes Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) as offensive tackle Morgan Moses (76) blocks during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams scores against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) passes against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The Washington Redskins this week prepared to face Aaron Rodgers by having backup quarterback Case Keenum try to do his best imitation of the two-time MVP in practice. Even mimicking the voice inflections and cadences Rodgers often uses to draw opposing defenders offside and earn free plays.
''We try to mirror that,'' interim coach Bill Callahan said.
The Redskins (3-9) look to extend their winning streak to three games Sunday when they face Rodgers and the Packers (9-3) in their first-ever December trip to Lambeau Field, a place Rodgers has been absolutely dominant over his career.
Rodgers has led Green Bay to a 16-3-1 record in his last 20 starts at home, with a passer rating of 100-plus in 11 of those games, including the first perfect passer rating (158.3) of his career in a Week 7 win over Oakland.
Rodgers has been especially good in the cold. He has a career passer rating of 111.2 in regular-season home games in December and January, ranking No. 1 in NFL history (minimum 200 pass attempts).
''The cold is a factor,'' he said. ''It's not like we're a bunch of Wisconsin folks who were raised here, but I think you just learn to deal with the elements a little bit better. You're spending eight months a year here. When I go back to California, I laugh at all the Californians wearing long sleeves and coats in 60-degree weather. I'm thinking, `Man, this is short weather, short sleeves, you know? Get the Speedo out or something, baby.'''
The forecast in Green Bay on Sunday says it will be cloudy with a high around 40 degrees, which shouldn't be an issue for Washington rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins, a New Jersey native.
''Having played in the Big Ten, I've played some cold games,'' said Haskins, who will make his fifth career start. ''Try to stay as warm as possible - hand warmers, turtlenecks, soup, chicken broth. All of that.''
PEP IN THEIR STEP
After an 0-5 start cost coach Jay Gruden his job, Washington has gone 3-4 under interim coach Bill Callahan, including two consecutive victories.
Because they play in the terrible NFC East, the Redskins are somehow both technically still alive for a playoff berth - spoiler: that's not happening - and in line for the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft.
Going from 1-9 to 3-9 had an effect on the mood in the locker room.
''Winning some games definitely brings some energy and it makes everyone have a little more pep in their step,'' Haskins said. ''We want to continue to win and we're working hard to figure it out.''
Packers outside linebacker Preston Smith was drafted by Washington in 2015 and played his first four seasons there, averaging about six sacks per game. This season, after joining Green Bay in free agency, Smith leads the Packers with 10 1/2 sacks.
''He's had tremendous impact, obviously,'' coach Matt LaFleur said of Smith. ''You're talking about a guy that's got over 10 sacks, and just not only from his play, but from a leadership standpoint as well, I think he's done a great job. He is one of the leaders on this football team, definitely holds himself to a high standard and those around him to it as well.''
RUN, RUN, RUN
Adrian Peterson is moving up the NFL's career rushing chart, now just 40 yards from becoming the sixth player in league history to reach 14,000. Derrius Guice is at the opposite end of his career, getting his first 100-yard game and first rushing touchdown - two, actually - last week. They give the Redskins quite a ''two-headed monster'' in the backfield, as Guice put it after he ran for 129 yards on only 10 carries and Peterson gained 99 against Carolina in Week 13.
With Haskins still learning his way, Callahan is happy to emphasize the run, and so Washington could seek to do more of the same against Green Bay, which ranks 25th in the 32-team league, allowing opponents to run for an average of 123 yards each game.
''They're both consistent, durable, tough, powerful-type runners,'' Callahan said about Peterson, who is 34, and Guice, 22, ''but elusive enough where they can make people miss and also capable springing off explosive runs.''
MOST VALUABLE PUNTER
It is both a measure of how good punter Tress Way has been and just how bad the Redskins are that he might very well be their MVP this season.
Way's 49.9 yards per punt lead the NFL by nearly two full yards; for comparison's sake, Green Bay's JK Scott is averaging 45. Way also ranks No. 1 in the league this season with a 44.4 net average. He was chosen for NFC special teams player of the week honors after dropping a pair of punts inside the 20-yard line while also kicking a season-best 79-yarder in Washington's 29-21 victory at Carolina last Sunday.
RETURNING TO FORM
Green Bay's Davante Adams scored a season-high two touchdowns last week in his fourth game back from a turf toe injury. The two-time Pro Bowl receiver now has three scores in the last two games after being held out of the end zone in his first six games this season.
''It's been good to find the end zone a couple times the past few weeks,'' Adams said. ''But at the end of the day, I try to get in the end zone to help the team win. If I score one touchdown or two or zero, I'm not really worried about it. I would love to get in the end zone, obviously, but it's about that ultimate team goal to get the W. So if other guys are getting in and we're putting points on the board, that's all that matters.''
Since 2016, Adams ranks in the top five among active players in touchdown receptions at home with 16.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who can become a free agent in March, remains confident that he will work out a long-term extension with the team. "So when you put that in perspective, my mindset is to be in Dallas. And I've got the confidence in my team to get something done and the confidence in the Cowboys that we'll be able to," Prescott said. The Cowboys are putting Prescott as their No. 1 priority this offseason, but the franchise tag is also an option. The Cowboys disappointed by not making the postseason, but Prescott wasn't the problem. He was the No. 3 QB in terms of fantasy points and threw for 4,902 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. If he remains in Dallas as expected, he'll be a high-end QB1 for fantasy owners in 2020 and beyond.
Updating a previous story from Monday, the Los Angeles Chargers haven't officially moved on from quarterback Philip Rivers, as FOX Sports' Jay Glazer alluded to. All options remain available with the veteran gunslinger, including the franchise tag. However, the fact that Rivers moved his family 2,000 miles away from Los Angeles to Florida could factor into the decision on both sides. The writing seems to be on the wall for the Bolts to cut ties with Rivers when he becomes a free agent this March. The 38-year-old had one of the worst seasons of his career in 2019 in his 16th and likely final season with the Chargers. Rivers can still put up numbers as he gets closer to retirement, but fantasy owners will likely be drafting him as a backup for the 2020 season, no matter where he winds up.
Kansas City Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said the team could wait until next year to sign quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a long-term contract extension. "I don't want to say necessarily it has to be this offseason, but I will say that it's a priority to get him done," Hunt said. A first-round pick in 2017, Mahomes is eligible for a contract extension now that he's finished his third year in the NFL, but it sounds like the Chiefs aren't exactly in a hurry to get something done. The 24-year-old didn't post the gaudy numbers he had in 2018 -- 5,097 yards, 50 touchdowns -- but he was still more than adequate with 4,031 yards, 26 touchdowns and only five interceptions in 14 games. Mahomes is an elite signal-caller with exceptional athleticism with both his arm and legs. He's here to stay as a high-end QB1 and will take on the 49ers in the Super Bowl this Sunday.
Free-agent RB Alex Collins (Ravens) and QB Chris Streveler (CFL) worked out for the Miami Dolphins recently.
San Francisco 49ers DE Dee Ford (knee, hamstring) said he's not 100 percent and will play through pain of knee tendonitis and a hamstring injury in the Super Bowl.
Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy, who hasn't had a touch since Week 15 and who was inactive for the AFC Championship against the Titans, said he's not ready to retire after this season. "Nah, I'm not ready to retire, yet," McCoy said. "I still can play. So, I'm not going to retire yet, but that day is coming. That day is definitely coming." The 31-year-old has taken a back seat to running backs Damien Williams and rookie Darwin Thompson down the stretch, and he's unlikely to have much of a role, if any, in the Super Bowl against the 49ers. Shady has become more of a mentor in the running back room than an on-field performer for fantasy owners.
San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder) said his injured shoulder is feeling good but wants to see how his range of motion is and how he will be able to manage the pain in his shoulder.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor Coleman's practice participation this week to see if he will be in any danger of missing the Super Bowl. He will be part of a committee if he plays and can be a flex option.
Los Angeles Chargers impending free-agent QB Philip Rivers' status with the Chargers is uncertain at this time, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The team may consider placing the franchise tag on him or let him leave in free agency.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor the situation to see where Rivers will be playing in 2020. He likely will find a starting job this offseason but may only be a No. 2 quarterback in fantasy leagues.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (shoulder) said he has been playing the last two seasons with a torn labrum in his right shoulder and does not plan to have surgery on the shoulder.
Fantasy Spin: Kittle seems to be playing fine despite the injury and continues to be an important part of the running and passing game. He continues to be one of the top tight ends in the NFL and is a must-start fantasy option.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (shoulder) said that he's been playing through a torn labrum in his right shoulder since the start of the 2018 season. "So I dislocated my shoulder last year," Kittle said Sunday on the Pardon My Take podcast, "and my labrum is completely torn. So I don't get surgery on it -- [The protective sleeve] basically helps me, so it doesn't hurt all the time." He didn't miss any games in 2018 and set the single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,377. Kittle said there's "no chance" he has surgery in the future. The 26-year-old has been quiet in the postseason with four catches for 35 yards in two games, but the Niners haven't really needed him with their ground game humming. That could change in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs on Feb. 2.
Free-agent WR Tommylee Lewis (Lions) signed a Reserve/Future contract with the New Orleans Saints Monday, Jan. 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Chicago Bears WR Taylor Gabriel could be released this offseason since the team could save $4.5 million in salary cap space.
Fantasy Spin: Gabriel struggled with concussions this season but can be a role in an offense because of his playmaking abilities. He probably will be avoided in most fantasy leagues no matter where he plays in 2020.
Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt, who will be a free agent in March, emotionally admitted that he would fail a drug test to a police officer during a traffic stop recently. This was caught on video of the police officer's dash cam during the traffic stop. Hunt also admitted that the small amounts of marijuana found in the car were his, but the officer let Hunt off with just the speeding ticket. It remains to be seen if the NFL will consider a suspension for the 24-year-old from this incident. Hunt was released by the Chiefs during the 2018 season due to a domestic-violence incident, and he served a suspension before making his Browns debut in 2019. If he signs with another team this offseason and is given bell-cow duties in the backfield, Hunt could have RB1 upside.
The Los Angeles Chargers have "moved on from Philip Rivers," according to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer. Rivers is set to become a free agent in March, and the writing was on the wall when he recently moved his entire family from San Diego to Florida. Rivers will end a 16-year run with the Chargers, but it remains to be seen where he'll land on the free-agent market this offseason. The Buccaneers are a popular expected destination, but that'll only be if they move on from Jameis Winston. Rivers completed 66 percent of his passes for 4,615 yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 2019 for a QB rating of 88.5. He might have a few more seasons left in him, but at 38 years old his arm strength is clearly deteriorating, and he'll probably be more of a QB2 in 2020, depending on where he winds up.
The Buffalo Bills were cleared of violating policy over the reporting of DE Jerry Hughes' (wrist) wrist injury in 2019. Hughes posted to social media that he was undergoing surgery after playing the season with torn ligaments, but he was not listed on the injury report.
Philadelphia Eagles DT Fletcher Cox was credited with a 61-yard interception return for touchdown at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Indianapolis Colts TE Jack Doyle posted three catches for 63 yards and a touchdown on four targets for the AFC at the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 26.
Pittsburgh Steelers DE T.J. Watt posted an 82-yard fumble return for touchdown in the fourth quarter for the AFC at the Pro Bowl in Orlando on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews ended up with a game-high nine receptions for an AFC-best 73 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.