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NFL roundup: Robert Griffin will start against Eagles

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:12:07 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 03 2013 03:08:46 PM CDT
Robert Griffin III against Rams

Sarah Conard/Reuters

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that Robert Griffin III will start the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Griffin, who has been held out of preseason action, was cleared to play last week by Dr. James Andrews. However, Shanahan said Andrews still had concerns.

Shanahan spoke to Andrews to find out what those concerns were, but declined to provide details.

"You'll have to trust us," he said.

Andrews performed reconstructive knee surgery on Griffin in January, days after he was injured in a playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks.

ESPN reported last week that Andrews does not want the Redskins to expose Griffin's knee to excessive punishment during games. It's not clear which plays or type of plays concerned Andrews, but presumably it involves the read-option, which allows defenders to take a shot at Griffin.

The Redskins open against the Eagles on Sept. 9.

---Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins signed a five-year, $55 million contract extension.

Atkins, the son of former NFL safety Gene Atkins, can earn $31 million in the first three years of the new deal, which will also pay him $22 million guaranteed by March 2014.

Atkins, 25, was a fourth-round pick in 2010 and had 12.5 sacks in 2012. The two-time Pro Bowl pick has 23 career sacks despite starting just one game as a rookie.

---The Green Bay Packers signed quarterback Seneca Wallace, who is expected to serve as Aaron Rodgers' backup for the team's regular-season opener at San Francisco on Sunday.

Wallace left the 49ers last Thursday after spending one week with the team, although coach Jim Harbaugh did not confirm reports that Wallace told the team he intended to retire. What was clear was Wallace was not going to unseat Colt McCoy as Colin Kaepernick's backup in San Francisco.

The Packers released Vince Young on Saturday after hoping he would serve as a veteran backup. General manager Ted Thompson said he should have brought in Young sooner and gave him more time to learn the offense.

B.J. Coleman was released to create a roster spot for Wallace.

With the signing of Wallace, the Packers now have two quarterbacks who have insight into the 49ers' offense. Scott Tolzien, who is on Green Bay's practice squad, was the 49ers' No. 3 quarterback the past two seasons before being released last month.

---New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul were back at practice Monday.

Cruz was on the field for the first time since injuring his left heel Aug. 18 during a preseason loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Pierre-Paul returned from offseason back surgery.

Cruz participated in the no-pads practice and ran routes during individual drills. Coughlin said Pierre-Paul "has a ways to go."

---Brady Quinn was signed by the New York Jets, who continue to shuffle their quarterback depth chart leading into the regular season.

Graham Harrell was released to make room for Quinn, who lost the backup quarterback competition in Seattle to Tarvaris Jackson and was released by the Seahawks on Saturday.

Quinn is likely to serve as rookie Geno Smith's backup for Sunday's opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Mark Sanchez not expected to play due to a right shoulder injury.

---The Carolina Panthers signed free agent safety Quintin Mikell and placed safety Haruki Nakamura on injured reserve with a concussion.

Mikell spent the previous two seasons with the St. Louis Rams. He started all 32 games he played for the Rams and had 214 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions, seven passes defended and nine forced fumbles in that span.

For his career, Mikell has played in 155 regular season games with 91 starts and has 742 tackles, eight sacks, 12 interceptions.

---New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski practiced for a second straight day Monday, but coach Bill Belichick did not say when he would be ready to play.

Gronkowski had multiple forearm surgeries and a back operation during the offseason. He practiced in full pads Sunday for the first time since the surgeries. Monday's practice session was similar to a walk-through in helmets and shells.

When asked if Gronkowski had a chance to play this Sunday's season opener against the Buffalo Bills, Belichick said he is "day to day."

---The New England Patriots re-signed cornerback Marquice Cole on Monday, a day after releasing him.

To make room for Cole on the 53-man roster, New England cut offensive lineman Josh Kline.

Cole will serve a backup role in the secondary and contribute on special teams. Last year, Cole had 17 tackles, an interception and three pass breakups in 14 games played for New England. He also spent three seasons with the New York Jets.

--- Quarterback Terrelle Pryor took the first-team snaps at the Oakland Raiders practice, according to the Oakland Tribune.

Although head coach Dennis Allen has yet to publicly announce who the Raiders' starting quarterback will be for Sunday's season opener against Indianapolis, this is another indication that it will be Pryor.

Matt Flynn, who is competing with Pryor for the starting job, missed practice last week with a sore arm, but was available Monday.

---Rookie quarterbacks EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel split the practice reps with the first team as the Buffalo Bills began preparing for Sunday's season opener against the New England Patriots.

Manuel is expected to start if he's medically cleared following minor knee surgery last month.

"There's nothing that seems to slow (Manuel) down," said Bills head coach Doug Marrone. "These two guys are pretty darn good."

---For the first time since suffering a lung contusion on Aug. 15, Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo practiced on Monday.

Although he was limited in practice, the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Mingo sprinted around cones and participated in pass-coverage drills. His status for the Browns' opener against the visiting Miami Dolphins on Sunday remains unclear.

Mingo suffered the contusion against the Detroit Lions. He experienced shortness of breath and spit up blood, and spent two nights in the hospital.

---Fourth-round pick Chris Harper was signed to the San Francisco 49ers 53-man roster from the practice squad of the division rival Seattle Seahawks.

Harper, a wide receiver from Kansas State, was released by Seattle but re-signed to the Seahawks' eight-man practice squad on Sunday.

San Francisco, with five wide receivers on their roster with minimal game experience, took a chance that Harper will be able to contribute along with rookie Quinton Patton behind Anquan Boldin and Kyle Williams.

---Outside linebacker Cam Johnson was traded to the Indianapolis Colts from the San Francisco 49ers Monday.

Johnson, a seventh-round pick from Virginia who spent 14 games on the 49ers' practice squad last season before cracking the active roster, gives Indianapolis needed depth outside.

The Colts also announced they signed wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers to the practice squad and waived wide receiver Nathan Palmer from injured reserve with an injury settlement.

---The Dallas Cowboys traded tight end Dante Rosario to the Chicago Bears for a seventh-round draft pick in 2014.

Dallas signed Rosario in June.

Rosario was the third tight end with the San Diego Chargers last season and caught 10 passes for 95 yards with three touchdowns -- scoring all three in one game on Sept. 15.

---The Oakland Raiders signed free agent offensive tackle Tony Pashos.

Pashos has played 92 games (70 starts) over a nine-year career that includes stints with the Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns. He also has three playoff starts.

To make space on the 53-man roster, the Raiders released tackle Alex Barron.

---The Indianapolis Colts waived wide receiver Nathan Palmer from injured reserve with an injury settlement, the team announced Monday.

Palmer was signed by the Colts off the San Francisco 49ers practice squad in September 2012. He caught one pass in five games played last season.

---The Philadelphia Eagles added one linebacker and parted ways with another when they picked up linebacker Najee Goode on waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Goode, 24, appeared in three games for Tampa Bay last season.

To make room for Goode, the Eagles released linebacker Emmanuel Acho, whom they acquired from Cleveland in the offseason.

---Indianapolis Colts rookie safety John Boyett was arrested early Monday on preliminary charges of disorderly conduct, public intoxication and resisting law enforcement after an altercation at a downtown Indianapolis bar.

According to the police report obtained by the Indianapolis Star, Boyett was refused entry into a bar because he was intoxicated, and he refused to leave.

When police tried to arrest Boyett around 3 a.m., he resisted and fled. After a short chase, it took four officers to subdue the 5-foot-10, 200-pound suspect, according to the police report.

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