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RG3 not a done deal for Week 1--yet

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RG3 not a done deal for Week 1--yet

Will Robert Griffin III be the starting quarterback for the Redskins when they take on the Eagles on Sept. 9?

The short answer is that it seems very likely, perhaps inevitable. But the longer answer is that there are still one more hurdle to  clear before RG3’s status as the Week 1 starter is etched in stone.

This morning, Adam Schefter’s tweet stating that Griffin will start on Monday night against the Eagles seemed to confirm what many have thought for a long time. Griffin has seemed to be on track to be ready for the season almost from the moment Dr. James Andrews finished up the surgery. We heard he was “ahead of schedule” so often that it became a punch line. But every time he was seen in public, from the NFL awards dinner to the draft day appearance at FedEx Field to throwing during OTAs and minicamp, it seemed as though he was, yes, ahead of schedule.

But soon after Schefter reported this, word came out from sources inside the Redskins organization and from people close to Griffin that we should tap the brakes on it. He has not yet been cleared to play. That will not happen until tomorrow when Andrews is scheduled to watch Griffin work out before the Redskins’ preseason game in Tampa and then conduct an examination of his famous right knee.

Before that happens, it can’t be said that Griffin is “officially” cleared to play. But that appears to be a mere formality. Griffin said on the radio yesterday that he feels like he is no less than 100 percent.

Kyle Shanahan seems to agree. “I don’t think anybody knows if you’re 100 percent except the person who’s saying that,” said the Redskins’ offensive coordinator on Tuesday. “I mean, you only can know your own body. He’s such a good athlete, he could fool me; he looks 100 percent to me. He can fly around. He can make the throws. There’s no gimp at all – obviously he wouldn’t be out there if there was. But he looks good to me.”

Mike Shanahan also was impressed. “He had a good practice yesterday [Monday] and he had a good practice today [Tuesday],” said Shanahan. “I can see a big improvement from the start when he came out here the first day to where he is now. You can see he is in football shape and there hasn’t been a setback so everything has been very positive.”

Let’s see here, looks 100 percent, flying around, no gimp, making the throws, big improvement, in football shape, very positive—sure sounds like they’re talking about a guy who is their starter in 12 days to me.

It’s like you’re about to buy a house. The money is in the bank, everything checks out, the paperwork is ready to go. All that you need to do is hand over the check and sign the papers.

But you have that final walkthrough to do. And while it’s highly unlikely that you will find anything during that inspection that would derail the deal, it’s possible that you see cracks in the foundation, mold, or something else major that will change everything.

The chances are, however, that nothing will be found and you’ll sit down and sign the papers and the house will be yours.

The Andrews exam tomorrow is like that final inspection. It’s one more look to make sure everything is good to go. It’s a formality, but it’s there for a reason.

So we will have to wait a little bit longer to hear that Griffin is officially cleared to play. Hey, it’s been 231 days since his surgery, what difference is a few more days going to make?

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces retirement from NASCAR after 2017

Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces retirement from NASCAR after 2017

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

One of the longest eras in NASCAR will come to an end concluding the 2017 season.

Early on Tuesday morning, Hendrick Motorsports announced that 18-year veteran, longtime Redskins fan and popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. would retire at the conclusion of the current season.

Earnhardt, son of the late legendary seven-time champion, Dale Earnhardt Sr., told his No. 88 team members before the organization released the news.

Last season, the 42-year-old missed the final 18 races of the NASCAR season due to a concussion. The injury resulted in a 32nd place finish in the NASCAR standings and it was the first time he missed the association's 'playoffs' since 2010. 

Throughout his long career, Earnhardt captured 26 race wins, two being the elusive Daytona 500 in 2004 and 2014. Due to the legendary status of his father, he never quite lived up to the level many placed on the Earnhardt family name. His win total is roughly a third of his father's and has not won a championship. Best career points finish for Earnahrdt was third in 2003, and finished fifth three times (2004, 2006, 2013). Starting in 603 total races, he has finished in the top 10 in nearly half of those races, 253 times.

Despite the lack of a championship, he was named NASCAR's most popular driver 14 times, trailing only Bill Elliott who won that honor 16 seasons. 

RELATED: EARNHARDT FORCED TO RACE IN EAGLES-THEMED CAR

At the end of 2017, Earnhardt's contract with Hendrick Motorsports was set to expire after 10 seasons with NASCAR's most successful team. Prior to his tenure with Hendrick, he was a part of Dale Earnhardt Inc. for eight years where he won 17 of his total 26 race wins. 

Currently, Earnhardt is 24th in the NASCAR standings, 50 points behind the cut-off for the final playoff spot. There are still 18 races remaining in the season for him to make up the ground with some of his best tracks still on the docket. In addition, a win would boost Earnhardt up into a playoff spot due to NASCAR's playoff system. 

With Earnhardt Jr. retiring, there will be one Earnhardt remaining in the Monster Energy Cup Series to carry the family name. Grandson of Dale Earnhardt Sr., and nephew of Jr., Jeffery Earnhardt is a regular in the series. 

Hendrick Motorsports announced in their release that they will not name a replacement for Earnhardt Jr. just yet. During his 18-race absence in 2016, he was replaced by a young prospect, Alex Bowman and four-time series champion Jeff Gordon.

It is anticipated either Bowman or 19-year-old William Byron, who Rick Hendrick signed to an Xfinity Series contract last season, will take his place. 

As a lifetime fan of the Washington football team, Earnhardt has been known to put his opinion of the team out there.

He was not happy with how the team handled Scot McCloughan situation, and publicly voiced his support of Kirk Cousins

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One significant stat that separates Christian McCaffery from Dalvin Cook

One significant stat that separates Christian McCaffery from Dalvin Cook

Football coaches hate fumbles, and Jay Gruden is no different. Remember that Matt Jones had established himself as the Redskins lead running back despite persistent fumbling issues his first two years in the NFL. That was until a goal line fumble Week 7 in Detroit. Jones never played again in 2016. 

Fast forward to Thursday night's NFL Draft, and the buzz surrounding the Redskins interest in Florida State running back Dalvin Cook and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey could all boil down to fumbles.

Both Cook and McCaffrey visited Redskins Park, and both players possess the speed and game-breaking ability that could deliver big returns to the Washington offense. Since the NFL Combine, McCaffrey has emerged as the higher draft pick.

Their college statistics are fairly similar. Both players went for more than 5,000 total yards in three college seasons. The size is similar too, Cook gets listed at 6-foot, 209 lbs., while McCaffrey gets listed at 5-foot-11 and 203 lbs.

One area that's quite different: Fumbles. 

An average NFL running back fumbles once every 100 carries. Rich Tandler researched an incredible stat about the two players:

  • McCaffrey averages one fumble every 243 carries.
  • Cook averages one fumble every 63 carries. 

The difference is staggering. And it could be enough to keep the 'Skins away from Cook at 17.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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