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Dislocated ankle confirmed for Robert Griffin III

rg3ankle AP

Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III has been diagnosed with a dislocated ankle after leaving today’s game against the Jaguars.

The injury came when his ankle bent awkwardly as he was rolling out in the first quarter. It looked ugly, and the diagnosis is no surprise.

What we don’t know yet is how much time Griffin will miss. He is expected to undergo more tests on Monday to determine the severity of the injury.

Griffin, the franchise quarterback who suffered a serious knee injury at the end of his stellar 2012 rookie season, may now have a long rehabilitation for a serious ankle injury as well. While Griffin is out, Kirk Cousins will start.

Washington coach Jay Gruden also confirmed that receiver DeSean Jackson and running back Roy Helu are day-to-day. Jackson suffered an AC sprain in his shoulder and Helu suffered a quadriceps injury.

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Ron Rivera said it was his decision to deactivate Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy AP

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he decided to sit Greg Hardy today, even if no one in the world believes that.

It was my decision, and it was in the best interest of the Carolina Panthers,” Rivera said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review.

The Panthers deactivated their franchise-tagged defensive end Sunday, an obvious response to this week’s firestorm of domestic violence.

Owner Jerry Richardson wept at an awards banquet this week regarding the team’s reaction to continue to play Hardy, but his coach took the lead post-game.

Hardy was convicted in July of assault on a female and communicating threats, but in North Carolina’s convoluted two-step process, he effectively gets a new trial when he appears before a jury. That trail is scheduled for Nov. 17.

Rivera acknowledged there were conversations within the organization (himself, Richardson and General Manager Dave Gettleman), but after an opening statement, said he didn’t want to take any more questions about Hardy.

There will be many more, for people higher up the food chain than Rivera to answer.

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RG3 goes down, but Kirk Cousins rolls over the Jaguars

kirkcousins AP

Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III suffered an ugly ankle injury early in the game, but backup Kirk Cousins turned in a huge day in an easy 41-10 win over Jacksonville.

The big win will, unfortunately, be overshadowed by the bad news in Washington: Griffin, whose surgically repaired knee has been the subject of great concern in the nation’s capital for 20 months, went down and had to be carted to the locker room. This time it appeared to be Griffin’s ankle that was injured.

But Kirk Cousins was outstanding leading the offense in place of Griffin. Washington scored touchdowns on its first three drives with Cousins at the helm, and Cousins finished 22-for-33 for 250 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Tight end Niles Paul was his favorite target, catching eight passes for 99 yards and a touchdown.

Jacksonville, meanwhile, looked absolutely terrible: This game was never close, with Washington ahead 21-0 before the Jaguars had even picked up a single first down. The Jaguars’ offensive line is a mess, which may be the only justification for continuing to start veteran quarterback Chad Henne ahead of rookie Blake Bortles.

A bad day for the Jaguars got even worse in garbage time, when rookie receiver Allen Hurns, who has shown a lot of promise, had to be helped off the field with a leg injury.

The Jaguars appear to be going nowhere, but if Washington can play like it did today, it may be going somewhere. The bad news is that it will be Cousins, not Griffin, leading the team where ever it goes.

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No Carson Palmer is no relief for Giants

Arizona Cardinals v New York Giants Getty Images

Carson Palmer didn’t start, but the Cardinals didn’t lose.

Arizona traveled across the country for a date with the Giants and weren’t particularly hospitable guests by leaving MetLife Stadium with a 25-14 win over the reeling home team. The Cardinals had an early lead that the Giants wiped out as their offense showed its first signs of competence in a very long time, but Arizona was able to rally back with the help of some big blunders by Tom Coughlin’s group.

Victor Cruz dropped a pass to force a punt that Ted Ginn turned into a 71-yard touchdown (after a missed tackle, naturally) and Quintin Demps fumbled the ensuing kickoff as the Cardinals scored nine quick points to leap back into the lead in the fourth quarter. The Giants put together a good drive despite another Cruz drop, but their propensity for shooting themselves in the foot returned when running back Rashad Jennings fumbled the ball back to Arizona.

Jennings wasn’t touched, he just stumbled to the ground and lost the football in what makes for a pretty good shorthand for what the first two weeks of the season have been for the Giants. They were better this week than they were against the Lions, but that’s going to be small comfort to Coughlin after watching an afternoon overstuffed with mistakes. Eli Manning had two more interceptions, they committed nine penalties for 70 yards and any burst of good play would be almost immediately wiped out by physical and/or mental error.  You can see why there’s belief that better days are ahead, but it’s also hard to feel confident they’ll get here when it still matters for the 2014 season.

The Cardinals, however, can feel very good about coming away with a win on a day that started with the bad news about Palmer. Drew Stanton wasn’t great, but he didn’t avoided the kind of pratfalls that sank the Giants and he got 124 yards on the ground to keep the pressure off of him. He also got a strong performance from a depleted Cardinals front seven, something the team will need in the next two weeks as they face the 49ers and Broncos in a pair of stiff challenges.

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Cowboys go to Tennessee and trip up the Titans

demarcomurray AP

In Week One, the Titans dominated and the Cowboys got dominated. In Week Two, things were different.

Dallas destroyed Tennessee 26-10 today, behind a surprisingly tough defense that looked a whole lot better than anyone imagined the Cowboys’ defense could be this season. Jake Locker had trouble all day, throwing two interceptions and getting sacked twice, and although Titans tight end Delanie Walker played well, with a 61-yard touchdown among his 10 catches and 142 yards, that was about all Tennessee had.

And in a very good piece of news for Cowboys fans, DeMarco Murray looked outstanding, and the Cowboys’ offensive line looked outstanding blocking for him. Murray had 167 yards on 29 carries, giving him a whopping 285 yards just two games into the season. If he stays healthy, Murray is going to have a monster year.

The win improves the Cowboys to 1-1, which a cynic (if we knew any) would say makes them one-eighth of the way to their fourth straight 8-8 season. But this is a day to celebrate in Dallas. The Cowboys looked a whole lot better today.

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Agreement on drug policy expected Monday, final documents in 7-10 days

DrugTest Getty Images

On Friday, the NFLPA accepted the NFL’s term sheet for a new drug policy.  But that wasn’t enough to get suspended players like Broncos receiver Wes Welker back to work.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, an agreement sufficient to allow the suspended players to return is expected to be reached on Monday.  The formal, written documents are expected to be signed within the next 7-10 days.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way.  The NFLPA believed that, when the NFLPA board of player representatives accepted the term sheet on Friday, the suspended players would be able to return.  According to the source, the league contends that it had not accepted the term sheet — the same term sheet that had been tendered to the NFLPA for approval.

A different version has been leaked to some reporters, the source said, in order to give the NFL a way to explain to the teams whose suspended players would have been back as of Sunday why those players aren’t back.

The NFL has not responded to a request for comment regarding that issue, or regarding the anticipated timetable for making the drug policy effective.

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Goodell changes plans, won’t attend Levi’s Stadium opener

Goodell Getty Images

In 2012, Commissioner Roger Goodell said he’d attend the first regular-season game at Levi’s Stadium.  A lot has changed since then.

Actually, a lot has changed since last Sunday.

“I think he’s scheduled to come,” team president Paraag Marathe told NBC Bay Area on Friday. “He usually comes to most stadium openings, so I expect him to.”

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports that Goodell won’t be attending the Sunday night game between the Bears and 49ers.

It’s not a surprise, but at the same time it shows how crazy and unprecedented a week it has been.  If the Commissioner of the NFL can’t attend an NFL game, something has gone horribly wrong.

The real question is when Goodell will be able to attend another game.  Given the profound and fundamental shift that the NFL has experienced this week, the answer to that question could have more to do with his future than anything found during Robert Mueller’s investigation.

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The C.J. Spiller show keeps Buffalo in front

C.J. Spiller AP

At halftime, we opined that the Bills would be helping their defense if they could come up with some touchdowns instead of just kicking field goals all afternoon.

C.J. Spiller appears to agree with that assessment. Spiller followed up a Dolphins field goal with a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and then broke a 47-yard run into the Dolphins red zone to set up a 12-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins that lifted the Bills to a 23-10 lead as the game moved into the fourth quarter.

The Spiller run and Watkins touchdown halted any momentum the Dolphins may have picked up with an impressive drive that featured a fourth-down conversion to Jarvis Landry and a spectacular touchdown catch by Mike Wallace. Their defense and special teams haven’t held up their end of things in the second half, however, and the Dolphins haven’t found the comeback magic they found last weekend.

There’s 15 minutes left to find it or the Bills could find themselves all alone on the top of the AFC East.

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No diagnosis yet for RGIII

Griffin AP

We know that Robert Griffin III has left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.  For now, we don’t know anything definitive.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, tests are still being conducted.  No diagnosis has been made.

The team reportedly fears that the ankle has been dislocated.  Which makes sense, since he clearly injured his ankle.  For now, though, no one knows.

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Dolphins need another second half comeback

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

The Bills honored the late Ralph Wilson before Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in an emotional ceremony and it seems to have inspired the Bills defense.

They’ve pitched a shutout for the first 30 minutes of their AFC East clash and the Bills lead 9-0 as they try to improve to 2-0. They’ve done it by battering Ryan Tannehill with three sacks and making the passing game a nightmare for Miami.

The Dolphins were able to turn that around at halftime of last week’s win and it will take similar adjustments this week to make things competitive. They need to start on the offensive line because there’s no way to get that passing game back on line when Tannehill’s having flashbacks to last season.

Sammy Watkins has impressed with five catches for 89 yards but the Bills haven’t exactly gone for the jugular on their way to three Dan Carpenter field goals. That’s helped render the Dolphins pass rush a non-factor, something that wasn’t the case in last week’s comeback. When your defense is playing as well as Buffalo’s is on Sunday, you don’t want to take too many risks that could hand the opposition points.

Grabbing six for themselves would put this one firmly into their pocket, though.

 

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Giants offense finds some footing late in first half

Arizona Cardinals v New York Giants Getty Images

Wide receiver Victor Cruz said this week that the Giants needed to target him more to get their comatose offense going and he provided some strong evidence for his contention in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.

Cruz caught a 27-yard pass from Eli Manning on third-and-11 to record his first catch of the day late in the quarter and then followed it up with a seven-yarder on the next play to move the team into the red zone for the first time all day. Cruz added a third catch to set the Giants up for a touchdown pass to Rueben Randle that sent them into halftime in a manageable 10-7 hole.

Until that point, it was another rough one for the Giants offense. Manning threw his 30th interception since the start of last season in the first quarter and had a lost fumble overturned by one of a number of questionable illegal contact calls that have hurt both teams. They’ll need more of what they got on the 13-play, 90-yard scoring drive in the second half, which was the best of anything we’ve seen from the unit in the preseason or regular season.

The Cardinals scored 10 points on their first two possessions, but Drew Stanton hasn’t been able to keep them moving since then. He’s been sacked twice and the Giants have done a good job of forcing Arizona into going for smaller plays after giving up a series of big plays early in the contest.

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Knowshon Moreno finished for day with elbow injury

Knowshon Moreno, Johnny Thomas AP

The Dolphins closed out last week’s victory over the Patriots by scoring 23 straight points, but they weren’t the first team on the board in Buffalo.

The Bills kicked a field goal to take a 3-0 lead in the first quarter and the news has gotten worse for Miami. Running back Knowshon Moreno went back to the locker room on the team’s second possession with a left elbow injury and was almost immediately ruled out for the rest of the game.

That suggests it may be a spell before Moreno, who had a rousing debut against New England, is back in the lineup for Miami.

Buffalo blocked a Miami punt a couple of plays after Moreno was forced out of the game. A great catch along the sideline by Bills tight end Scott Chandler set the Bills up inside the 10 and the lead grew to 6-0 after another Dan Carpenter field goal.

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Washington loses DeSean Jackson after RG3

deseanjackson AP

It went from bad to worse in a hurry in Washington.

Shortly after quarterback Robert Griffin III was carted off the field with a leg injury that will keep him out for the rest of the game, receiver DeSean Jackson walked to the locker room with an apparent shoulder injury.

Jackson’s injury came on a deep ball from Griffin’s backup, Kirk Cousins. It was a nice pass by Cousins, but Jackson was hit as the ball arrived, couldn’t hold on, and went down hard on his right shoulder.

Griffin and Jackson were supposed to be a big-play combination in Washington. Instead they’re both in the locker room.

UPDATE 1:53 p.m. ET: Jackson has been ruled out for the game with a shoulder injury.

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Robert Griffin III exits with injury, Cousins throws TD pass

Pittsburgh Steelers v Washington Redskins Getty Images

The worst fears of fans in Washington have been realized: Robert Griffin III has suffered an injury.

Griffin was rolling out to his right when he took an awkward step and fell to the ground out of bounds, appearing to be in pain as he landed.

There was no immediate word on the nature of the injury, but it was bad: The team’s medical staff surrounded him on the sideline, and he was then placed on a cart and taken to the locker room. The team later announced that Griffin is out for the rest of the game.

Griffin’s sensational rookie season ended with a major knee injury in the playoffs, and his second season was plagued by questions about whether he was all the way back to full speed. Washington eventually shut him down for the season with three games to play.

The good news for Washington is that backup Kirk Cousins entered the game and immediately threw a touchdown pass, giving Washington a 7-0 lead over Jacksonville.

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Dez Bryant suffers shoulder injury, should return

Dez+Bryant+Dallas+Cowboys+v+Carolina+Panthers+hQn3C7j8Egzl Getty Images

Last week, the Cowboys got off to a miserable start. This week, the Cowboys’ start may have been even worse.

Dallas receiver Dez Bryant caught the first two passes thrown to him, gaining 25 yards, but had to exit the game and head to the locker room in the first minute of today’s game at Tennessee. Bryant suffered an injury to his right shoulder.

However, the Cowboys said that Bryant is probable to return to the game.

The Cowboys and Titans are tied 0-0 early in Tennessee.

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