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Richardson, Morris renew rivalry in NFL

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Richardson, Morris renew rivalry in NFL

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Trent Richardson remembers Redskins running back Alfred Morris with long hair and one of his teammates stupidly yanking on it before a game.

``He got so hot and everyone was so scared of him,'' Richardson said. ``Nobody would touch him. He was a big guy. He was the biggest dude out there.''

Morris, too, can picture Richardson a bigger-than-average kid, years before he started carrying the ball for the Browns.

``He had calves of a grown man,'' Morris said.

The two rookies, who began their football careers bashing their way to stardom on sandlots in their hometown of Pensacola, Fla., - a football talent hotbed - took dissimilar paths to the NFL. But they'll cross paths again and renew their rivalry Sunday when the Browns (5-8) host the Redskins (7-6).

Richardson was expected to have an immediate impact on the Browns, and despite playing for weeks with a rib injury that won't be fully healed until the offseason, the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft has lived up to projections. He's rushed for 869 yards and matched the team rookie record with nine rushing touchdowns, a mark he shares with Hall of Famer Jim Brown, who caused a controversy when he called Richardson ``ordinary'' after the Browns selected him.

Richardson has been special.

Morris has been even better for the Redskins.

The sixth-round pick (No. 173 overall) from Florida Atlantic enters this week's game with 1,228 yards and seven scores. Morris is fourth among the league's top rushers and he's the latest in a long line of young backs to thrive under Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, who had four rookies top 1,000 yards rushing in Denver.

Shanahan's system has helped Morris, but the humble 24-year-old has earned every yard through hard work and dedication - values he developed in Pensacola, also the home of career rushing leader Emmitt Smith.

Morris arrived at Redskins camp driving a 1991 Mazda, and although he can now afford to replace the car with 125,000 miles on the odometer, Morris has no intention of splurging. And when he visits his parents' home, he usually stays on the couch.

``I actually like the couch,'' he said. ``It's pretty comfortable.''

He's equally relaxed in the same backfield with dynamic quarterback Robert Griffin III, giving the Redskins an offense that's become one of the league's most potent attacks.

Morris is outshining Richardson, but he's not gloating about any statistical advantage over his longtime peer.

``That's not a pride thing,'' he said. ``We're in two totally different situations, two different divisions. I don't take pride in having more rushing yards. I really don't even think about it. I'm just happy that he's doing good and that I'm doing good and just to make it this far coming from where we came from is just an accomplishment in itself.''

There are currently more than one dozen players from the Pensacola area on rosters throughout the league. Browns defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin attended the same high school as Richardson, who was raised by his mother and knew at an early age he wanted to provide for his family.

``People are just really hungry and want to better their lives and want better for their family,'' Richardson said. ``Growing up, I always wanted to make sure my mama didn't have to work again. My mama was working two or three jobs when I was growing up. Seeing my grandma work and care for us, it was nothing but more motivation for me. Pensacola, it's a place where you can feel like, `I'm glad I'm from here because it made me.'

``It pushed me to strive for much that I want in life.''

Morris' success may be surprising to those who didn't see him run over other players for years. Richardson has been watching the 5-foot-10, 218-pounder cause destruction inside the hash marks for most of his life.

``We've always been rivals,'' he said. ``He was the reason why I never made the (high school) playoffs. Then his little brother Shawn was the next reason. I've been playing against Alfred my whole life and him and his little brother have been on the same team. They were the reason why I didn't make it to the playoffs.''

That could happen again.

The Browns are a longshot to make the AFC playoffs, and need to win their final three games to have any chance at the postseason. Cleveland's defense will have to contain Griffin, assuming he plays, along with Morris, who needs 288 yards to surpass Clinton Portis' team single-season rushing record.

Morris didn't have records in mind when he was drafted. His only objective was to win a job with Washington.

``I wasn't guaranteed a spot on this team, so I had to bust my butt in camp,'' he said. ``My goal was to make the team. And, after that, the opportunity will come and when it does come make the most of it.''

He's done that.

There were skeptics who doubted Morris could play at the game's highest level. They looked at his size and college and wondered.

They should have talked to Richardson.

``He didn't get that much recognition because of the school he was at,'' Richardson said. ``They didn't get seen a lot. But Alfred has always been a baller to me and he's always had a nose for the end zone.

``He's always been a baller to me.''

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NOTES: Browns coach Pat Shurmur believes Shanahan will commit to one quarterback Sunday and won't rotate Griffin with rookie Kirk Cousins, who came off the bench last week when Griffin sprained his right knee. ... Sunny skies and temperatures in the 40s allowed the Browns to practice outside for the second straight day. ... Richardson wasn't upset he only averaged 2.3 yards in last week's win over Kansas City. ``It doesn't bug me because we won,'' he said. ``If we didn't win, it would bug the mess out of me.''

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Redskins announce Lichtensteiger, Hall to injured reserve, two players signed

Redskins announce Lichtensteiger, Hall to injured reserve, two players signed

The Redskins announced the moves of two veterans to injured reserve and the signing of a veteran center. They also promoted a player from the practice squad.

They sent safety DeAngelo Hall and center Kory Lichtensteiger to injured reserve. Hall suffered a torn ACL on Sunday against the Giants and Lichtensteiger sustained a calf strain.

To take those spots on the roster, the Redskins signed veteran center John Sullivan and offensive lineman Vinston Painter was moved up from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

Sullivan, was the Vikings’ starting center from 2009 through 2014. The 31-year-old missed all of 2015 with a back injury and the Vikings released him on August 30 of this year.

The Redskins claimed Painter off of waivers in August but released him when they cut down to 53 players. He was then signed to the practice squad.

Hall and Lichtensteiger are no strangers to injured reserve. It’s the second straight season Lichtensteiger has been on injured reserve. He suffered a neck and shoulder injury last year that had him on IR for eight weeks before he returned. Hall tore his Achilles in 2014 and spent the last 11 games on injured reserve.

Due to the new injured reserve rules, either player would be eligible to return to the roster after missing eight weeks. With the ACL injury that will not happen for Hall but if Lichtensteiger could return if the calf heals. The team does not have to designate anyone to return in advance but they can make only one such move during the season.

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Redskins move Kory Lichtensteiger to IR, make add at center, per report

Redskins move Kory Lichtensteiger to IR, make add at center, per report

The Redskins may have a roster hole to fill at center and according to a report they are set to sign a veteran to do the job.

The Redskins are going to sign John Sullivan, who was the Vikings’ starting center from 2009 through 2014, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

The 31-year-old Sullivan missed all of 2015 with a back injury and the Vikings released him on August 30 of this year.

RELATED: REDSKINS MAKE ANOTHER MOVE WITH D-HALL DONE FOR THE YEAR

Kory Lichtensteiger was placed on injured reserve due to a calf injury he sustained against the Giants on Sunday. Jay Gruden described Lichtensteiger’s situation as “week to week” during his press conference on Monday.

The Redskins will have to make a roster move when the do sign Sullivan, whether it’s Lichtensteiger to IR or something else.

If Lichtensteiger does go on injured reserve it will be the second consecutive year on the shelf for him. He suffered a neck and shoulder injury last year that had him on IR for eight weeks before he returned.

Due to the new injured reserve rules, Lichtensteiger would be eligible to return to the roster after missing eight weeks. The team does not have to designate anyone to return in advance but they can make only one such move during the season.