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Brian Orakpo: "It finally sunk in"

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Brian Orakpo: "It finally sunk in"

Brian Orakpo was ruled out for the season midway through last month with a torn pectoral muscle he suffered in Week 2.

The realization that he wasn't coming back, though, didn’t hit the former two-time Pro Bowler until he returned to Redskins Park in recent days to begin an arduous 4-6 month rehabilitation process.

“It’s not a situation where I’m going to come back and play,” Orakpo said in his first public comments since prior to the Redskins' game in St. Louis on Sept. 16. “But I want to be around and show that I care, show all the support and [give] all the help I can.”

He added: “It’s not something I’m accustomed to. It finally sunk in.”

Orakpo said teammates and coaches have been instrumental in helping him get over the disappointment. But it was a switch that flipped in his head this week that’s allowed him to begin moving forward.

“It was just the realization that I’m not coming back,” he said. “I would love to come back and help any way I can, but the facts are the facts. I’m out for the season. It’s something I have to deal with.”

Orakpo originally injured his left pectoral in the final game of 2011 and had surgery to repair the muscle in the offseason. He aggravated the injury in the preseason and then reinjured the pectoral while making a tackle against the Rams. The linebacker had surgery late last month.

“It just wasn’t right,” he said. “You could see as I had my [ice] wraps and different stuff to kind of compensate for the pain I was going through. It wasn’t right, but I was trying to go out there and play, do what I can. And it tore on me. It’s a physical, violent game that we play.”

Orakpo attended Sunday’s 38-26 victory over Minnesota. It wasn’t a flawless performance for the defense, but Orakpo singled out Lorenzo Alexander and the rest unit for putting away the Vikings in the fourth quarter.

“I think they are doing a great job handling adversity and, last week, being able to finish the game when the Vikings were making a run to get back into the game,” Orakpo said. “They were able to close it out.”

If Orakpo does not encounter any setbacks, he could be return for OTAs and minicamp. Right now, though, Orakpo is trying not to look too far ahead.

“I’m just going to get the best rehab and best treatment I can,” he said, “better my body and get ready for next year.”

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Kirk Cousins has same odds of winning 2016/17 NFL MVP as Mark Sanchez

Kirk Cousins has same odds of winning 2016/17 NFL MVP as Mark Sanchez

Is it crazy to give a quarterback who threw for more than 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns last season the same MVP odds as a guy who went 0-3 in three starts and tossed just four scores in 2015?

According to the sportsbook Bovada.lv, no, it's not crazy at all. So that's why, when looking at their opening odds for the 2016/17 NFL MVP, you'll find Kirk Cousins right next to Mark Sanchez, with both signal callers listed at a long 150/1.

Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Tannehill, David Johnson, Alshon Jeffrey, Le'Veon Bell and Sam Bradford also check in at 150/1. Some of those names, like Jeffrey and Bell, should makes Redskins fans feel good, since they're both premier players at their position. But others, such as Sanchez and Bradford? Yeah, not so much.

The top five guys most likely to win the award are Aaron Rodgers (4/1), Ben Roethlisberger (7/1), Cam Newton (15/2), Russell Wilson (8/1) and Tom Brady (9/1). Meanwhile, if you squint hard enough, you can see Robert Griffin III near the bottom of the list at 250/1.

Not that this reminder is necessary, but here's a reminder anyway: Anything can happen in this league, so these rankings are not the be-all and end-all. Last year, for instance, Newton had 50/1 odds of being named MVP, and then he went out and did it anyway.

So, with that in mind, while Cousins is no favorite, perhaps his loaded arsenal of targets can help him claim the valuable piece of hardware. The NFL is a wild place, after all — but still probably not wild enough for Sanchez to rise to the top of the sport, which is why him landing next to Cousins hurts more than a little bit.

RELATED: COLIN COWHERD TROLLS KIRK COUSINS IN LATEST RANT

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Longtime NFL coach Dennis Green dead at 67; honored by Redskins great

Longtime NFL coach Dennis Green dead at 67; honored by Redskins great

Longtime Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green died on Friday morning from complications stemming from a cardiac arrest.

He was 67.

Green spent ten seasons as the Vikings head coach, amassing a 97-62 record which included four NFC North titles, eight playoff appearances and one NFC Champuionship game appearance.

After taking a break from coaching, he returned in 2003 to coach the Cardinals, spending three years at the helm, finishing with a 16-32 record.

Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington was lined up across from Smith-coached offenses throughout much of his career.

As a former Penn State Nittany Lion, Arrington had much respect for Green, a Harrisburg, Penn. native and former coach at Northwestern, a fellow Big Ten school.

He was a great coach, mentor and man R I P Coach Green 🙏🏾

A photo posted by Lavar Arrington (@lavarleaparrington) on

Green was one of the NFL's great people and great characters.

While he will always be remembered for his most-game meltdown after the Cardinals blew a 20-point lead to the Bears in a Monday Night Football game in 2006, Green's lasting memory will be his commitment to respecting the game and teaching it the right way. 

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Steelers may be without Le'Veon Bell for opener against Redskins

Steelers may be without Le'Veon Bell for opener against Redskins

For a franchise that's known for assembling some incredibly stout defenses throughout its history, the Steelers have recently constructed an offense with a surplus of talent all over the depth chart.

But that offense was dealt a major blow Friday morning.

Le'Veon Bell, the team's star running back who in just three seasons has become one of the league's most feared players, is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy, according to ESPN. The reason for the penalty, though, isn't because he failed a test, it's because he missed one.

The appeal process is reportedly still going on, but if Bell doesn't win that process, he'll miss the first quarter of the 2016 schedule.

While the news obviously hurts the Steelers, it benefits the Redskins.

Washington is hosting Pittsburgh in the season opener on Sept. 12, and its run defense wouldn't mind seeing No. 26 on the sidelines in a sweatshirt during the matchup. The Black and Gold do still have the very capable DeAngelo Williams — who rushed for 907 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015 while filling in for an injured Bell — plus the always dangerous Antonio Brown, but their unit will of course be less threatening without its top tailback.

ESPN reports that Bell's appeal date hasn't been determined yet, but it should be heard before any meaningful football starts. He was also suspended for the first two contests last year following an arrest for a DUI and marijuana possession that occurred in August 2014.

RELATED: SIX REDSKINS HONORED FOR OFFSEASON WORK