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The Basics: Stunner in the Superdome


The Basics: Stunner in the Superdome

In summary:AsRobert Griffin IIIaddressed the media following Sundays 40-32 upset of the Saints, the Redskins rookie held a football his hands.Players dont normally bring balls to the podium. But Griffin didnt want to let this one out of his sight. This ball was special.It was the same one he threw toPierre Garonfor an 88-yard touchdown in the first quarter. That pass not only marked the first touchdown of Griffins career, just as important, it staked the Redskins to a lead they would not relinquish while hushing a boisterous crowd that had come to Superdome expecting a very different outcome.My first touchdown in the NFL, Griffin said, beaming.The touchdown pass to Garon was the seventh of eight consecutive completions to start the game for Griffin. In a lot ways, the missile he fired over the middle of the field also was a sign of things to come.Asked if his debut could have gone any better, Griffin revealed the perfectionist side of his personality that coaches and teammates hinted at throughout the preseason.We could have scored a few more points, he said. Nothing is every perfect; there are some plays I wish I could have back. Falling down on a keeper, fumbling in the red zone when he we had an guy open for a touchdown. Im not going to be a Debbie Downer. We won the game, so Im going to be happy about that.Enough about Griffin for the moment, though. (If you indeed want more, click here for my instant analysis of the game and here for Rich Tandlers breakdown of Griffins outing and where it fits historically.)Here are some other items of interest from todays stunner at the Superdome:Griffin, unplugged:Asked about his preparation, Griffin said he accidentally left his cell phone at home in Ashburn, allowing him to focus on the game and not field calls from the dozens of friends and family members who attended the game.My mind was really clear going into this game, he said. I just sat in my room and watched some TV, had time to think about things.Garon hobbled:Griffins top target did not play after scoring the touchdown. Its unclear how he was injured, but he said it happened on the scoring play, possibly when Saints corner back Patrick Robinson attempted a low, diving tackle from behind near the goal line and struck the top of his right foot.I should be good to go next week and be ready for St. Louis, Garcon said. Garcon added later that tests revealed he did not suffer a break.Third string safety Jordan Bernstine suffered a serious right knee injury in the fourth quarter. More could be known later this week.Sundbergs heroics:Long snapper Nick Sundberg suffered a broken left forearm on the blocked punt the Saints returned for a touchdown. Sundberg, however, returned to the game and made nine more snaps on field goals and punts.In high school, I broke the same bone, said Sundberg, adding that it was snapped by a Saints helmet. So I knew right away when it happened that it was broken. Were going to evaluate it this week. I dont want to sit out but ultimately its up to the coaching staff and how everything turns out once all the adrenaline goes away.Offensive play of the game:Garons 88-yard touchdown reception. On first and 10 and needing an answer to Jimmy Grahams touchdown moments earlier, the powerful receiver cut to the middle, then found himself alone in space when two Saints defensive backs collided. The official stats say Griffin threw the ball 16 yards and Garon did the rest.We just got lucky; they got out of position, Garon said. Robert threw a great ball and did my best to get in the end zone. The end zone looked like it was far. Looked at the screen a couple of times and was like, Gosh.Griffin added: One thing receivers dont want to do is run across the middle for a long period of time. I commend him for that.Defensive play of the game:With the Redskins clinging to a 33-25 lead after a touchdown and two point conversion by the Saints in the fourth quarter, DeJon Gomes cut in front of wide receiver Lance Moore and intercepted Drew Brees risky deep pass.Gomes then returned the ball, zigzagging across the field 49 yards to the New Orleans three-yard line. Alfred Morris punched the ball in one play later.Pass of the afternoon:In the second quarter, Griffin was flushed out of the pocket to left. Then he eluded Malcolm Jenkins, sprinted to the right and found tight end Fred Davis along the sidelined for a 26-yard completion.He made so many huge plays, the off-schedule plays, where the play breaks down a little but hes able to roll out of the pocket, buy some time, linebacker London Fletcher said. You see the poise and talent.By the numbers:Kicker Billy Cundiff was 4 for 4 on field goals, connecting from 37, 41, 37, and 45. He also booted six touchbacks, including one that hit the top part of the upright. Asked if that was his longest, it wasnt. He said he put one into the stands in Dallas a few years ago.Quotable:Wide receiver Josh Morgan on Griffin: Im real proud of the way hes just taking over the team. Hes making changes himself, kind of anticipating things. Thats what exciting for us as an offense, when you quarterback gets that type of confidence and that type of comfort. The sky is the limit because then he can start calling the plays himself.

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Redskins injury report: Status on Norman, Reed unknown

Redskins injury report: Status on Norman, Reed unknown

At least 51 Redskins will be making the trip to London on Thursday night, including some who are pretty banged up. And there is hope that the other two will be able to make it across the pond.

“We're taking everybody, which is a good thing,” said coach Jay Gruden. “If something happens on Friday or Saturday, we can make adjustments if needed.”

He later clarified the statuses of tight end Jordan Reed and cornerback Josh Norman. Both of them are in the NFL’s concussion protocol, at least partially.

“I’m not too sure about this — Thursday they are going to the independent doctor and if they’re cleared they’ll go on the trip,” said Gruden. “If not, if we’re still having some pain and setbacks, at that point we’ll make that decision to probably leave them back.”

In other words, stay tuned on those two key players.

Two players were out of practice on Wednesday. Reserve linebacker Terrance Garvin was out with a hip injury, and starting running back Matt Jones missed with a knee problem.

The injury was as much a surprise to Gruden as it was to reporters when they saw that Jones was not participating in practice.

“He just came in, I guess, today, had some soreness laterally,” said Gruden. “Had some pain cutting, has to problem running straight ahead so we kept him out today.”

Limited in practice were wide receivers Jamison Crowder (groin) and DeSean Jackson (hamstring/shoulder); guard Brandon Scherff (shoulder), offensive tackle Trent Williams (knee), Reed, Norman, offensive lineman Spencer Long (chest), cornerback Bashaud Breeland (ankle) and tight end Vernon Davis (groin).

With six offensive starters limited and Jones out, Gruden had to alter practice somewhat.

“We had to do kind of a slower tempo on the offensive side of the ball because of the amount of injuries we had,” said Gruden.

MORE REDSKINS: Crowder explains dropped pass against Lions

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Jordan Reed, Josh Norman in for early part of Redskins practice; Matt Jones out

Jordan Reed, Josh Norman in for early part of Redskins practice; Matt Jones out

Both Josh Norman and Jordan Reed, two important players who are in the concussion protocol, were on the field for the early part of Redskins practice today,

But starting running back Matt Jones was not with the running back during individual drills. He out of uniform, doing some rehab work off to the side. The team did not announce an injury to him during or after the game.

The presence of Reed, who has missed the last two games after suffering a concussion on October 9, at practice was expected. Coach Jay Gruden announced on Monday that Reed would participate today for the first time in a week.

Norman left the Redskins game against the Lions last Sunday in the third quarter and was diagnosed with a concussion. It was a mild surprise to see him on the field so soon.

Reed and Norman practicing today is a positive sign but far from a guarantee that either will play against the Bengals on Sunday in London. Both must be cleared by an independent neurologist prior to playing and that usually doesn’t happen quickly. It’s possible that they may need to be cleared by tonight in order to go to London since there are no NFL-approved independent neurologists in England.

We will find out more about Reed and Norman and get information on Jones’ injury when Gruden addresses the media after practice.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins used Su'a Cravens sparingly against Detroit