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Regardless of injury, veterans make Su'a Cravens work his way off football field

Regardless of injury, veterans make Su'a Cravens work his way off football field

RICHMOND - Rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens made an impact early in training camp. In the first week of practices, Cravens forced a fumble and grabbed an interception, showing the playmaking ability GM Scot McCloughan talked about when the Redskins selected the former USC star.

In his second week, however, the injury bug bit Cravens. The tendon behind the knee in his right leg tightened up, forcing the rookie out of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. Leaving the field Wednesday night, Cravens made clear he feels better.

"I feel good, I’m ready to ball," Cravens said. "I'll be back out there tomorrow."

With the Redskins medical staff holding Cravens out of practice, the rookie walked the practice field without his own helmet and with no pads on. But as he walked off the field, Cravens carried two helmets, those belonging to Mason Foster and Will Compton.

"This is like a daily routine for me," Cravens said of carrying Foster and Compton's helmets. "They’ve been doing it since OTAs so they’re not giving me any breaks from it."

Cravens carrying the vets helmets from the field is a rite of passage for rookies, but last season's starting linebackers also offered Cravens some advice. 

"They tell me to stay in it mentally," Cravens said. "Don’t get frustrated. In the NFL, when you’re hurt it might get a little frustrating, but take all the mental reps you can."

Earlier on Wednesday, 'Skins coach Jay Gruden said that while it's easy to get frustrated, rookies have to get used to the physicality and grind of life in the NFL. The coach added that adjustment is not easy. 

"It's quite the grind on these guys, and they’re not used to all the physicality of this training camp and they get dinged a little bit," the coach said. "But they’re getting used to it and they’re going to be fine. We’ve just got to take care of them."

Coaches stress the importance of getting good rest to rookies, but for Cravens, his focus is football.

"It’s a job I came here to do, rest is the last thing on my mind," the rookie said. "I want to make a statement so if that means I got to work hard, that means I'm not going to be off my feet until the end of this season, so be it. I'll do whatever it takes."

 

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Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

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Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, September 20, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Raiders at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1:45; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins press conferences, open locker room after practice, approx. 3:30

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Chiefs (10/2) 12
—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (11/23) 23
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 39

First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

—This tweet seems a bit audacious. It’s from Vic Tafur, who writes about the Raiders for the pay site The Athletic.

They are second in the NFL in offensive yards and first in points scored. Oakland is fourth in rushing yards and 13th in passing yards. QB Derek Carr is third in the NFL with a stellar 126.5 passer rating and Marshawn Lynch has a bruising 121 yards rushing. They’re good but I would reserve phrases like “doing whatever they want” for teams like the Greatest Show on Turf or the ’07 Patriots. The Raiders aren’t there yet.

—Defensively, the Raiders are just OK, especially considering they have played a Titans team that is solid but not an offensive juggernaut and the putrid Jets. They are 17th in yards given up and tied for 11th in points allowed. They haven’t intercepted a pass although they have two fumble recoveries. They have five sacks, one more than a Redskins team that talks a lot about a need to get to the quarterback. Khalil Mack has one sack and Bruce Irvin hasn't tallied one yet. But they could explode at any time and the Redskins' pass protection will need to be on point. 

—Carr and Kirk Cousins have very similar numbers in the two seasons plus two games that they both have been starters. One area where Carr has an edge is in the touchdown passes column. Carr has 65 while Cousins has just 46. The Raiders have some quality receivers in Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. But Cousins could throw to DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon up until this season and Washington also has tight end Jordan Reed. It’s at least a wash in terms of quality of targets if not an advantage to the Redskins. It is something that Carr has solved that Cousins has not. Carr’s ability to get the ball into the end zone helped him become the NFL’s highest-paid player, albeit temporarily.

—Although the Raiders’ offense is not going to make history, the Redskins still need to be prepared to be in a shootout on Sunday night. To be sure, the Redskins defense has improved but it’s hard to see the Raiders scoring less than somewhere in the mid to upper twenties. That means that the Redskins will have to score at least as many points as they did against the Rams, maybe more. They started and ended well in LA; to win next Sunday they probably won’t be able to get away with zero second-half points until after the two-minute warning.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Giants TE grabs crotch, immediately introduced to NFL's celebration rules

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Giants TE grabs crotch, immediately introduced to NFL's celebration rules

It took the New York Giants a full game and another quarter before they scored their first touchdown of the 2017-18 NFL season.

Giants rookie Evan Engram was the recipient of their first touchdown of the season, scoring the first of his career on Monday Night Football.

Naturally he began to celebrate his accomplishment, but perhaps his celebration was too natural. 

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In the clip, right in front of the cameraman, the 23-year-old proceeds to dance with a finishing move crotch grab in the midst of his teammates.

Apparently the loosened NFL celebration rules from this off-season did not take out any sexually suggestive actions. 

It resulted in a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kick-off for the Giants.

With the ball then kicked out of bounds the Lions had the ball at their own 45-yard line.

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Likely the grab will give Engram a fine from the NFL.

Last season Antonio Brown was fined for a similar celebration, by twerking following a score.

The touchdown remains the only time New York has found the end-zone through two games.

With only 13 points it is the lowest scoring two game start in 70 years for the franchise.