Redskins' Cousins hurt in victory

LANDOVER, Md. — Kirk Cousins limped past Robert Griffin III's locker, using crutches and wearing a stabilizing boot.

"He's OK, people," Griffin told the awaiting group of reporters.

He'd better be.

The Washington Redskins are running out of healthy quarterbacks.

With Griffin again a spectator as he works his way back from major knee surgery, the team's insurance policy suffered an injury of his own.

The preliminary diagnosis says Cousins sprained his right foot in the second quarter of Monday night's 24-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, although an MRI is scheduled for today to determine if it's something worse.

"When I first did it, it didn't feel like it was anything serious," Cousins said. "It feels almost like a sprained ankle, just in the middle of my foot."

Injuries — including one to Steelers rookie running back Le'Veon Bell — penalties and turnovers dominated a mess of a game, although Griffin once again upstaged the proceedings before the first ball was kicked.

He dressed in full uniform for the second straight game even though everyone knew he wasn't going to play.

And his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, chatted with owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen on the sideline while Griffin was warming up.

Griffin has been pining to go harder in practice and to play in a preseason game, publicly disagreeing with coach Mike Shanahan's more cautious plan.

But Shanahan said it's Andrews who has to give the thumbs-up for Griffin to play, and the target date for the quarterback's return remains the regular-season opener Sept. 9.

"He watched him out on the field. Then he brought him in and obviously checked him out," Shanahan said. "It's the first time that he's checked Robert since we went to training camp, when (Andrews) approved that he could practice. He felt very good about his progress.

"But, again, he's going to come back in a couple weeks after our preseason's over, re-evaluate him again, and then he'll give us the 'Yea' or 'Nay.'"

Cousins started and went 2-for-3 for 19 yards before he got injured the same way Griffin did during a game last season — while getting tackled at the end of a run.

He grabbed his right foot after being dragged down along the sideline by linebacker Lawrence Timmons and was examined by Andrews before walking to the locker room.

Bell's injury appeared similar to Cousins'. The second-round pick, who was supposed to have the inside track on the up-for-grabs Steelers running back job hurt his right foot in the first quarter, another injury to go with the sore left knee that kept him out of Pittsburgh's preseason opener.

49ers-Chiefs trade

The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers are hoping a change of scenery will give two disappointing first-round picks an opportunity to realize their potential.

The Chiefs traded wide receiver Jon Baldwin to the 49ers on Monday for fellow wideout A.J. Jenkins. It's the second significant trade between the teams this year after the Chiefs sent two draft picks to San Francisco in the offseason to acquire quarterback Alex Smith.

Baldwin was the 26th overall choice of the Chiefs in 2011, but he's had a tumultuous career right from the start. Baldwin broke his thumb his rookie season when he got into a fight with a teammate, and then struggled to adapt to three head coaches in his first three seasons.

Jenkins was the 30th overall pick of the 49ers last year, but may have had a more perplexing rookie season than Baldwin. He appeared in three games but did not make a catch, even though he was healthy throughout his team's NFC championship season.

Jaguars

Blaine Gabbert has a starting job — if he's healthy.

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley named Gabbert his starting quarterback Monday, the same day he announced the former Missouri standout will miss the rest of the preseason because of a broken thumb.

Gabbert has a hairline fracture in his right thumb, an injury sustained during Saturday night's 37-13 exhibition loss to the New York Jets.

Gabbert completed 13 of 16 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown in three series — arguably his best showing in three years. He banged his hand on a defender's helmet during his final throw.

Bills

Buffalo's youth movement continued on Monday when the Bills released longtime kicker Rian Lindell.

Lindell, the most accurate kicker in franchise history, was let go after 10 years in Buffalo. His release means that rookie Dustin Hopkins has won the team's kicking competition.

Lindell leaves Buffalo with a field goal percentage of 83.3. He connected on 225 of 270 field-goal attempts here.

Broncos

Von Miller lined up at his usual position Monday and flashed the freakish athletic moves that might soon be missing from the Denver Broncos' ramshackle defense.

The All-Pro linebacker brushed past reporters after another stellar practice, choosing not to stop and talk about the latest report that he could be facing an even longer suspension than originally thought.

ESPN reported that Miller might have to sit out at least six games for violating the league's drug abuse policy. Previously, it was believed Miller was facing a monthlong suspension to start the 2013 season.


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