It was a wild weekend of wild-card playoff games in the opening round of the NFL postseason.
The Washington Redskins lost rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III when he reinjured his right knee in the fourth quarter of their 24-14 loss Sunday to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Baltimore Ravens ensured retiring star linebacker Ray Lewis will play at least one more game after disposing of quarterback Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts 24-9 on Sunday.
Green Bay routed Minnesota 24-10 Saturday night in a rematch of their regular-season finale, and did not let 2,000-yard rusher Adrian Peterson run over them again.
The Houston Texans pulled out a 19-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday. Arian Foster gained 140 yards, becoming the first player with at least 100 yards rushing in his first three postseason games.
OWINGS MILLS – Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the blame rests solely with him for the Ravens losing a week of OTA’s, and being fined by the NFL for their rookie minicamp practice violation.
Paraphrasing what he told the team, Harbaugh said Thursday, “There’s not one person in this room that should worry about it for one second, because it’s on me. It’s completely on me. It’s my decision, it’s my effort. That’s the situation that we’re in. We’ll adjust. We’ll adapt. We’ll still become the best football team that we can be. We’ll figure out ways to get our work done. Maybe the rest will be good for us.”
MORE RAVENS: BALTIMORE PUNISHED FOR OTA VIOLATION
Losing valuable practice time at this time of year surely bothers Harbaugh. But it was pretty clear that the Ravens would be punished once it was learned they put players in pads briefly during rookie camp, which violated the CBA.
Asked how the Ravens managed to violate the rules, Harbaugh said he misinterpreted them.
Said Harbaugh, “I read it the wrong way, and it’s on me.”
As a result, the Ravens will have catching up to do when they return to the practice field the second week of June.
OWINGS MILLS - Former Ravens running back Ray Rice was back at team headquarters Wednesday, speaking to the team’s rookies following their OTA practice.
Most, if not all of the Ravens’ rookies, had never met Rice, who was released in September of 2014 after a video surfaced of him striking his wife, who was then his fiancée. Rice has never gotten another chance in the NFL, despite being a star for years, and becoming one of the franchise’s most popular players. Not only did Rice help the Ravens win a Super Bowl, he was one of the team’s most active players in the community.
Rice’s story is another example of how quickly a person’s life can change after a major mistake. The Ravens tweeted out several statements about Rice’s visit.
MORE RAVENS: HARBAUGH TAKES BLAME FOR OTA VIOLATION
“Our 27 sessions to our rookies through our player engagement program review and teach life management and life lessons,” the tweets began. “Rice, who played for the Ravens from 2008-14, delivered an important message that included his story, both the good and the bad. He clearly had the attention of our rookies.”
Rice received $1.588 million settlement from the Ravens in March of 2015, which concluded his wrongful-termination grievance. Rice and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti built a close relationship, and Bisciotti has never ruled out Rice returning to the organization in a player development role at some point.
OWINGS MILLS – The NFL punished the Ravens by taking away their second OTA session (June 1-3), and fining both coach John Harbaugh and the organization, the league announced Thursday. The punishment stems from a practice violation in rookie camp on May 6, when the Ravens briefly practiced in pads during a non-contact drill, which violated the collective bargaining agreement. The NFL investigated after the Ravens’ violation was brought to the league’s attention.
The amount of the fines was not immediately disclosed. The Ravens issued a brief statement after the punishment was announced.
“We made a mistake and we are sorry for that,” the statement said. “We accept the NFL discipline.”
The Ravens were in the midst of completing their first OTA session when the league’s ruling was handed down. The Ravens will still have their OTA scheduled for the second week in June, as well as their mandatory minicamp later in the month.