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RG3 hurts knee, but Skins beat Ravens 31-28 in OT

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RG3 hurts knee, but Skins beat Ravens 31-28 in OT

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) This, of course, is the sort of thing everyone associated with - and rooting for - the Washington Redskins worries about: Robert Griffin III limping to the sideline after a knee-spraining hit.

With the Redskins driving while trailing the Baltimore Ravens late in the fourth quarter of a game Washington would wind up winning 31-28 in overtime Sunday, Griffin was slow to rise after being tackled at the end of a 13-yard scramble.

``I screamed. Like a man, of course,'' Griffin said with a laugh, before acknowledging: ``It hurt really bad.''

He left for one play, then returned for four more. But by then, the No. 2 overall pick in this year's NFL draft was hopping on his left leg, keeping all weight off his injured right one. Eventually, Griffin knelt on the turf, unable to continue.

``I knew I needed to get out at that point,'' said last year's Heisman Trophy winner, who had an MRI exam later Sunday that didn't show significant ligament damage. ``I couldn't move. At some point, you have to do what's right for the team. And if I'm playing the rest of that game, I probably would have hurt myself even more.''

Said Redskins coach Mike Shanahan: ``I could see that he was hurting the second time he came out. You could see his face.''

So whatever euphoria the Redskins (7-6) and their fans might have been feeling following a fourth consecutive victory was mixed with concern about the sight of the man they call RG3 hobbling around on the sideline with a thick, black brace on his right knee as Kai Forbath kicked a 34-yard field goal to end the game.

``We're happy that we won, obviously,'' left tackle Trent Williams said. ``But that is concerning, knowing he went down. Everyone wants to know how he's doing.''

About three hours after the game, an answer arrived: Team spokesman Tony Wyllie said the MRI showed that while Griffin sprained his knee, ``everything is clear'' in terms of a major knee injury. Wyllie specifically ruled out a season-ending ACL tear, such as the one Griffin had on the same knee while playing in college at Baylor in 2009.

Still, because a sprained knee, by definition, means at least one of the several ligaments is damaged in some way, it's not clear what Griffin's status for next week at the Cleveland Browns will be.

``Everybody's praying for me. I feel pretty good right now about the whole situation,'' said Griffin, who left a game earlier this season because of a concussion.

With Griffin done for the day, and Baltimore - now 9-4 after its first consecutive losses since early in the 2009 season - leading 28-20, fellow rookie QB Kirk Cousins stepped in. Cousins, a fourth-round pick who only played in one other game this season, threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon with 29 seconds remaining in regulation, then ran a quarterback draw for the tying 2-point conversion.

``He's ice. Like they used to say about Larry Bird, he got ice water in his veins. That's the best thing you can say about Kirk,'' receiver Joshua Morgan said.

Griffin heard the call for Cousin's draw through his headphones while getting treatment on the sideline.

``It was awesome,'' said Griffin, who was 15 for 26 for 246 yards and a touchdown pass, along with 34 yards on seven carries, adding to his single-season record for rushing by a rookie quarterback.

Ravens safety Ed Reed said his defense was ready for that 2-point play, actually, but ``we didn't execute.''

The Ravens got the ball first in overtime but went three-and-out. Yet another Redskins rookie, Richard Crawford, returned the punt 64 yards to set up Forbath, who is now 14 for 14 to start his NFL career; each got a game ball from Shanahan.

While Washington remained one game behind the New York Giants (8-5) in the race for the NFC East title, the Ravens wasted a chance to clinch the AFC North - and even missed out on an opportunity to assure themselves of a playoff berth.

Joe Flacco completed 16 of 21 passes for 182 yards and three first-half TD passes that built a 21-14 lead. But Baltimore's first four drives of the second ended with Flacco's fumble, his interception deep in Washington's territory, and two three-and-outs.

``As a leader on this team I like to finish teams out,'' said Ray Rice, who finished with 121 yards on 20 carries but picked up a left hip pointer. ``I don't want to be known as, `Yeah, we get them close in the fourth quarter, and the Ravens are going to give it away.' That's never been us. That's not going to be us.''

Rice's 7-yard touchdown run with 4:47 to play in the fourth quarter put the Ravens up by eight points, before Griffin started the trying drive - and Cousins finished it.

Forbath's winning kick prompted a wild on-field celebration by many Redskins. Not Griffin, though. He gingerly walked toward the locker room, a brace on his knee, and flashed a thumb's up to raucous spectators in the stands.

Later, around the Redskins announced the results of his good-news MRI, Griffin tweeted: ``Your positive vibes and prayers worked people!!!!''

NOTES: Cousins completed both passes he threw. ... Ravens RG Marshal Yanda sprained his right ankle and was wearing a black walking boot on that foot in the locker room. Other injuries for Baltimore: LB Jameel McClain had a neck injury, but X-rays were negative. ... Washington's 186 yards were the most by any NFL team in the first quarter this season and the most by the franchise in that quarter since 1997. ... The Redskins hadn't won four games in a row since 2008.

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Connect with Howard Fendrich on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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Ravens tight end suspended a year or more for violating substance abuse policy

Ravens tight end suspended a year or more for violating substance abuse policy

The NFL announced today that tight end Darren Waller of the Baltimore Ravens would be suspended for a year or longer for his second violation of the substance abuse policy.

Waller was a 2015 sixth-round pick out of Georgia Tech who served a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season for a substance abuse violation. After returning from his suspension last year, he posted 10 catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns in a limited role.

After his 2016 violation, he was quoted as saying [via Ravens.com]:

“There were other personal issues, and [marijuana] was the one thing I always turned to,” Waller said. “It was just about finding more positive outlets for me to do, like talking to people about it and things like that. I’m definitely at a better place with that now.”

Unfortunately for the Ravens, he will miss the 2017 season and potentially longer after the latest violation. It leaves the Ravens down two tight ends from last year after Dennis Pitta was released earlier this month after re-injuring his hip.

MORE RAVENS: Zach Orr considering coming out of retirement

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Former Raven Zach Orr considering NFL comeback after postive health prognosis

Former Raven Zach Orr considering NFL comeback after postive health prognosis

In January of 2017, former Ravens linebacker Zach Orr took the podium at the team's training facility alongside head coach John Harbaugh, GM Ozzie Newsome and defensive coordinator Dean Pees, to announce he would be retiring from football at the age of 24.

Why? Orr suffered a shoulder injury during their week 16 game against longtime rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, which shed light into a condition he's had since birth.

He had a routine MRI, but the Ravens training staff suggested a full body CAT scan as well. The CAT scan reveled Orr had a congenital back/spine condition where one of the upper vertebra isn't totally formed causing there to be an opening. Less than 1 percent of people are born with such a condition and he wasn't aware of it until he suffered this injury.

Doctors told Orr he was at risk of paralysis or even death if he played with such a condition. He also would have never been able to pass an NFL physical, ultimately forcing him to retire.

During his press conference, Orr said this,

"If there's some miracle way where I can play the game, I promise I'd be the first one to grab my cleats again, start back training and try to find a way to get back out there," Orr said.

Well, fast forward to today and it seems that miracle may have happened.

NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo told Good Morning Football that after getting a second opinion from doctors, and receiving positive news, Orr is considering a return to the NFL.

"I had my mind made up. I was like man, the doctors told me I was done. This is a serious issue. So I'm going to leave it alone. But I just kept hearing that from multiple people and some were telling me to just go check out and seek out some more opinions and things like that and come to find out my condition, it is rare – .01 percent of the people have what I have – but there's no actual evidence or facts that I'm at a higher risk than any other player. And it's actually been documented that a college player who had the exact same thing that I have that returned to play with no problems."

The doctors' real concerns would be if someone with Orr's spinal condition played with a herniated disk. He did suffer from herniated disks last season, but that injury has since diminished. 

MORE RAVENS: 2017 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

If Orr does decide to get back into the NFL, getting signed could be pretty easy. 

When he announced his retirement, he never filed for retirement papers and the Ravens never placed him on their reserve/retired list because they never thought he would play again.

Because of this, Orr is considered an unrestricted free agent and can sign with a team right away. 

Orr had his best season in 2016, where he lead the Ravens in tackles with 133. It's been reported that eight teams have reached out to the linebacker since his announcement and that he will be meeting with the Lions on Thursday.