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Monday, November 19, 2018

Football

Twitter reacts to Redskins signing Mark Sanchez

The Washington Redskins have moved quickly to bring in a veteran backup after Alex Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury on Sunday, and the move they made is one that is sure to create a lot of buzz.

In fact, it already has.

According to numerous reports, the Redskins are signing Mark Sanchez. Since the former first-round pick played with the Dallas Cowboys in 2016, ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes that Washington believes he will be able to get up to speed quickly with an upcoming game against his former team on a short week.

Sanchez has appeared in just two games since 2016. The former New York Jets starter spent 2017 with the Chicago Bears, but he did not get on the field at all during the regular season. As you might expect, Twitter had a lot of fun with Washington’s decision to sign the man whose most noteworthy achievement in the NFL was “The Butt Fumble.”

There has already been talk about Washington’s search for a veteran backup being further proof that Colin Kaepernick has been blackballed by the NFL, and the signing of Sanchez will do nothing to dispel that notion.

Kerryon Johnson considered week-to-week with knee sprain

Detroit Lions logo

The Detroit Lions got very good news on the status of rookie running back Kerryon Johnson.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Johnson will not need surgery on what turned out to be a knee sprain. He will be considered week-to-week and may miss two games at most.

There were some initial fears over the severity of the injury, but the Lions were relaxed early on and seem to have been proven right. The running back has revitalized Detroit’s ground game this season, with 641 rushing yards in 10 games.

Titans coach says Marcus Mariota suffered ‘stinger,’ not elbow injury

Marcus Mariota Titans

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota left Sunday’s blowout loss to the Indianapolis Colts after suffering what appeared to be a hand or arm injury, but it remains unclear if the new issue is related to the one he dealt with earlier in the season.

On Monday, Titans coach Mike Vrabel told reporters Mariota was diagnosed with a “stinger,” not an elbow injury. However, he said the QB is going to seek a second opinion and once again experienced numbness in his throwing hand.

Mariota had a nerve issue in his elbow earlier in the season that made it difficult for him to grip the football, so the obvious concern is that he aggravated that on Sunday. Vrabel seems to be downplaying that narrative, though any numbness is a troubling sign.

With Mariota finally over his elbow issue, both he and the Titans had been playing much better in recent weeks. Tennessee can only hope the most recent injury is not a long-term problem.

Marvin Lewis offers interesting take on Lamar Jackson’s future

Marvin Lewis

Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis didn’t appear particularly moved by Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s success as a runner in Sunday’s game.

Jackson carried the ball a remarkable 27 times for 117 rushing yards as the Ravens bested the Bengals 24-21 in a big AFC North game. After that defeat, Lewis warned Jackson that running the ball that much was unsustainable if he wants to stay healthy.

“Quarterbacks don’t run forever in the NFL,” Lewis said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “Sooner or later, they get hurt, and they don’t run the same. But today he could run, and he did a good job.”

Lewis’s comments are fundamentally correct, but may sound a bit like sour grapes after his defense failed to adapt to Baltimore’s gameplan. The Ravens probably won’t run that much regularly. Jackson is still raw as a passer, and the gameplan was working, so they kept at it.

Ex-NFL star says Redskins situation proves Colin Kaepernick is blacklisted

Colin Kaepernick

The Washington Redskins are looking to add a veteran backup quarterback in the wake of Alex Smith’s devastating injury, and one former NFL star feels the names that are being thrown around provide further evidence that Colin Kaepernick is unemployed for reasons other than football.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media tweeted on Sunday that the Redskins will be bringing in a group of veteran free agents that includes Mark Sanchez, TJ Yates, Kellen Clemens and EJ Manuel. Antonio Cromartie feels Kaepernick is better than any of the aforementioned quarterbacks.

There have been some rumblings that Kaepernick isn’t even sure if he wants to play in the NFL, but but Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says he continues to work out and prepare as if a team could come calling. The more time that passes without him playing, the less likely it seems that the call will come.

Kaepernick’s attorney recently claimed that there were two NFL teams that expressed legitimate interest in the 31-year-old, though there’s no reason to believe that was true.

Report: Alex Smith’s injury is not believed to be career-threatening

Alex Smith cart

Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith suffered one of the most gruesome injuries of the 2018 NFL season on Sunday, but fortunately his long-term prognosis fairly positive.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said after Washington’s 23-21 loss to Houston on Sunday that Smith suffered a broken tibia and fibula and will undergo surgery. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Monday that the injury is not believed to be career-threatening.

Smith will turn 35 this offseason, so age is one thing that could be working against him with his rehab and recovery. However, Washington obviously believed he had plenty of good football left when signing him to a four-year, $94 million contract with Washington with $71 million guaranteed before the season. As long as his health cooperates, there’s no reason to believe he can’t continue to be the starter going forward.

The way the NFL community responded to Smith’s injury showed how much of a respected veteran he is and just how bad the injury looked. It’s good to hear that he should be expected to make a full recovery.

Bills’ Josh Allen will be full practice participant Monday

Josh Allen

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen appears to be on pace to return for Week 12.

Coach Sean McDermott said Monday that Allen would be a full participant in practice to start the week, a good sign as he seeks to return to action against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

While McDermott is still being conservative in his estimate, all signs point to Allen playing Sunday. The quarterback has been throwing for about two weeks now as he works his way back from an elbow injury that has held him out since Week 6. Barring a setback this week, he should start Sunday.