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Lichtensteiger played percentages in opting for surgery

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Lichtensteiger played percentages in opting for surgery

Starting left guard Kory Lichtensteiger is recovering nicely from a second surgical procedure on his right knee and remains on target to play in the regular season opener in New Orleans next month, Coach Mike Shanahan said Tuesday.He will be back, Shanahan said. His rehab has been going good and he has made some progress. Hopefully in a week or so he can start practicing.That, obviously, is welcome news for the Redskins injury-depleted offensive line.It feels good right now, Lichtensteiger said Monday. But theres a little ways to go yet.Lichtensteiger tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus last October against the Eagles and missed the remainder of the season. Then, on the second day of training camp, the 27-year-old tweaked the same knee during drills.I was hoping it was nothing but the doc checked it out and thought I needed an MRI, he said. From there, he wanted to clean it out.Lichtensteiger said the doctor presented him with a number of options. He chose to take care of the problem immediately.He kind of put it into percentages for me, Lichtensteiger said, referring to the doctor. There was a lot lower percentage of making it through the year incident-free without having it scoped and cleaned out.So, he added. I kind of took the smarter mathematical choice and got it cleaned out.Lichtensteiger said all hell need is a handful of full practices to get ready for the Saints.Its not ideal by any means, he said. Im just hoping to get back and get some good, hard practices before I get thrown into a game situation. If I can do that, I think Ill be all right.

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Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott spotted at marijuana dispensary in Seattle

Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott spotted at marijuana dispensary in Seattle

Football players are expected to scout opponents before a game, but Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott scouted much more than that on the team's strip to Seattle.

The Cowboys played the Seattle Seahawks in a preseason game on Thursday in Seattle and Elliott took in a bit of the local scenary. TMZ reported Thursday that Elliott was seen at a Seattle marijuana dispensary hilariously named "Herban Legends" earlier in the day. Elliott was seen on video and even posed for a picture with a fan. He did not appear to buy any items.

Marijuana is legal in Washington state and it is not unusual for tourists to visit local dispensaries even if they do not intend to buy anything. Marijuana is still banned in the NFL, however, and the Cowboys were not thrilled with Elliott's day trip.

"It's just not good," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "That's a part of just really getting the big picture here."

That's the same Jerry Jones who tirelessly defended Greg Hardy last season.

On the field, Elliott looked great. He received high marks (pun intended) for his performance against the Seahawks, rushing for 48 yards on seven carries. He even ran over safety Kam Chancellor on one play, bouncing off the bruising safety with relative ease.

Now he just has to be a bit more careful for how he spends his time off the field.

RELATED: IS STORK AN UPGRADE AT CENTER?

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Redskins will find out if Stork is an upgrade at center

Redskins will find out if Stork is an upgrade at center

Don’t look for newly-acquired Redskins center Bryan Stork to appear in tonight’s preseason game against the Bills. But look for him to move into the picture on the Washington offensive line sooner rather than later.

The Redskins gave up a conditional seventh-round draft pick in order to bring in Stork. After a reported brief flirtation with retirement the 2014 fourth-round pick of the Patriots is set to report to the Redskins, probably sometime this weekend.

The Redskins have been looking to improve the center position all year. They likely would have drafted Alabama center Ryan Kelly in the first round last spring had the Colts not scooped him up a few picks before the Redskins went on the clock. They have tried to convert Spencer Long from guard to center but that seems to be more of a long-term project than immediate help.

They would have been content to go into the season with Kory Lichtensteiger at center, although wary that the 31-year-old could have more health issues after he missed 11 games last year with a neck/shoulder injury. But when Stork became available the Redskins at a low price they jumped at the chance. Even if he isn’t not an upgrade over the incumbent starter—and until the coaches see him working some in the Washington offense they don’t really know—he is at worst a better option as a backup than Long, 2015 seventh-round pick Austin Reiter, or Josh LeRibeus, who was shaky filling in when Lichtensteiger last year.

Again, the price was right for Stork. A seventh-round pick and salaries of $600,000 this year and $690,000 next year, and no guaranteed money for a player who has been the primary starter for a very good team for two years is the very definition of a low-risk move.

But it should be noted that low risk does not mean no risk. Stork has suffered multiple concussions in his first two years in the league. The nightmare scenario would be for Stork to become a starter the team relies on and then suffer from concussions or other injuries.

To be sure, any player can suffer an injury at any time. Sometimes player have issues with concussions or other injuries and learn how to avoid them and stay healthy. Stork’s injury risk may be higher than that of an average player but it’s something the Redskins are willing to live with.

Even if Stork does prove to be a better option at center than Lichtensteiger don’t look for an immediate change to be made. It will take some time for the competition to sort itself out and for Stork to become familiar enough with the offense, protections, line calls, etc. They probably would like to wait four weeks before playing him although an emergency could push him to be ready sooner.

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Redskins vs Bills: 5 things to watch in the preseason game that matters

Redskins vs Bills: 5 things to watch in the preseason game that matters

When the Redskins take on the Bills Friday night (coverage starts at 6:30 CSN) this will be the closest to a regular season game Washington gets before September 12th. It's time for the 'Skins to show up. With starters slated to play a full half, the team will get the opportunity.

  1. Time for Cousins - Kirk Cousins got an unexpected night off last week when Jay Gruden decided to give backup Colt McCoy the start against the Jets. That should not be the case Friday as Gruden has said he expects the starters to go for the first half against the Bills. Cousins, for his part, is ready to take the field. "We want to be sharp, we want to stay healthy. We just want to move the football, convert third downs, stay out on the field and score points, and that really never changes. Whether it’s the preseason, whether it’s a practice session of moving the football, or whether it’s a real game," the QB said on Monday.
  2. Trent & Reed back out there - Arguably the Redskins two best players are set to make their preseason debut Friday night. Trent Williams and Jordan Reed should line up with Cousins and the Redskins offense, and coaches will be watching both. Injury concerns for either player aren't much of a consideration, but it will be interesting to watch as both guys look to get their wind and conditioning.
  3. Improved secondary gets test - The Redskins secondary should absolutely be improved this fall, as playmaker Bashaud Breeland has another year under his belt and 2015 All-Pro Josh Norman joins the squad. That doesn't mean Friday night against the Bills won't present a challenge though. Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor is known to elongate plays with his legs, so the corners will need to stay on their assignments longer than normal. Breeland said earlier in the week that he knows the challenge Taylor presents, and while the 'Skins defense did not gameplan for the Bills like they would against a regular season opponent, the secondary needs to be prepared for Taylor and WR Sammy Watkins.
  4. Will the Stork arrive? -  Scot McCloughan traded for the former Patriots center on Wednesday, and after much consternation, it appears Bryan Stork will report to the Redskins. When he will report remains a question. Stork would not play Friday night, but it will be interesting to see if he arrives on the sideline or waits until the weekend to meet his new team. Stork might help at center, but at least will bring a new level of competition for starter Kory Lichtensteiger. 
  5. Let's get physical - Rex Ryan coaches the Bills. Rex Ryan likes his teams to play very physical, and the Redskins better be ready for that physicality Friday night. Don't forget that beating Buffalo last year put the 'Skins on track for a playoff berth, but also took the Bills off course for an AFC playoff bid. Yes it's preseason, but this game should have some juice early. 

Stay tuned for updates throughout Friday as @JPFinlayCSN will be on scene at FedEx Field early.