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Chargers' Mathews breaks collarbone

Chargers' Mathews breaks collarbone

NEW YORK (AP) The San Diego Chargers were eliminated from the playoff race and their star running back appears done for the season.

Ryan Mathews broke his left collarbone in the second quarter of San Diego's 31-7 loss to Carolina on Sunday. The injury-prone Mathews broke his right collarbone in the exhibition opener and missed the first two weeks of the regular season.

Robert Griffin III was upset he didn't play for Washington a week after spraining his right knee, but backup Kirk Cousins made him feel a bit better as he led the Redskins to a 38-21 win over Cleveland.

``I was not happy with the decision,'' said Griffin, who was informed Saturday night of the plan to start Cousins. ``That's the decision they went with and I respect that. It doesn't mean I have to necessarily like it. I feel like I could have played this week, next week, the week after. But that's not my decision.''

Cousins threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns in Washington's fifth straight win, 38-21. He connected with Leonard Hankerson for both TDs in his first career start, coming off the bench after Griffin got hurt against Baltimore and rallying the Redskins to an overtime win.

``We're in first place in our division now, and it was a great business trip for us,'' Griffin said. ``I got healthier by not playing, we won the game and put ourselves in position to control our own destiny.''

Redskins right tackle Tyler Polumbus suffered a concussion, but coach Mike Shanahan had no updates on linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (shoulder) or offensive lineman Will Montgomery (knee).

Baltimore wide receiver Torrey Smith left the Ravens' 34-17 loss to Denver with a concussion after hitting his head while attempting to make a leaping catch near the sideline in the third quarter.

Ravens backup running back Bernard Pierce also left with a concussion.

Minnesota defensive end Brian Robison sprained the AC joint in a shoulder during the first quarter of the Vikings' 36-22 win at St. Louis. Coach Leslie Frazier said Robison would undergo an MRI on Monday.

Miami cornerback Nolan Carroll (left knee) and tight end Charles Clay (right knee) were hurt in the second quarter of the Dolphins' 24-3 win over Jacksonville.

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Ravens safety Eric Weddle was nearly a Patriot this season

Ravens safety Eric Weddle was nearly a Patriot this season

When Eric Weddle was released by the San Diego Chargers after last season he had plenty of offers to sign with other NFL teams.

One of those teams was the New England Patriots, the team Weddle will play against on Monday Night Football this week. 

When the two-time All-Pro safety hit the open market, he said he was looking to play for a winning organization. He ended up choosing the Ravens over the Patriots because there was a more clear-cut opportunity for playing time. 

“I’m good buddies with Patrick Chung,” he said. “I grew up playing with him and Devin McCourty is one of the best to play, so I don’t know if it would have worked out personnel-wise. But obviously, I could have seen myself fitting in there seamlessly.”

Although the Ravens don't have quite as many wins as the Patriots this season, Weddle clearly made a good choice. The Ravens are tied for first place in the AFC North with the Steelers and Weddle is currently the highest graded safety in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. 

The Ravens defense is playing dominant football as a whole as well. Through week 13 Baltimore ranks first in the NFL in total defense surrenduring just 296.1 yards per game. 

RELATED: Weddle consumes a gallon of ice cream after Ravens wins

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Injured guard Lewis makes surprise return to practice

Injured guard Lewis makes surprise return to practice

Ravens offensive guard Alex Lewis returned to practice on Friday, almost a month to the day after he suffered a right ankle injury against the Cleveland Browns.

Lewis’ recovery is ahead of schedule, considering coach John Harbaugh initially estimated the high ankle sprain to be a six-week injury. Even as recently as Monday, Harbaugh said Lewis was “a good ways away” from returning.

“He’s done a great job” on his rehabilitation, Harbaugh said after Friday’s workout, adding that Lewis has been at it “practically 24/7. …  To see him back out there today is a real plus. Credit to him.”

Lewis was carted off the field when the injury occurred, leading some to speculate his promising rookie season could be over.

“We’ve been in there working, trying to get treatment, trying to back out there as quick as I can,” Lewis said on Friday. “I want to be part of the fun. I want to get out there and win some games with the fellas.”

Lewis is unlikely to suit up Monday night at New England, and his role after that remains unclear; Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda has taken Lewis’ spot at left guard, in large part because it allows Yanda to play through an injured shoulder.

Lewis was the Ravens starting left guard when the season began, and then started three games at left tackle while Ronnie Stanley was injured. The Ravens went through a stretch where they started a different offensive line in eight straight games, but have now found some consistency with an offensive line group that has not included Lewis.

Yanda is likely to stay at left guard, and veteran Vladimir Ducasse has filled Yanda’s spot at right guard.

Presumably Lewis would be an option to play on the right side, although he said he not played right guard since high school.

“If that’s my calling card, then I’ll do it,” he said.

Harbaugh said given the injuries the Ravens have had up front this year, having a surplus of healthy linemen would be a nice problem to have.

“(Lewis) being added to the mix is going to be a plus,” he said. “We’ll just have to see how it goes as we go forward.”

RELATED: Former Patriot: Joe Flacco 'not a guy that strikes fear in your heart'