The NFL notebook …
ASHBURN, Va. — Three days after spraining his knee, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was just a little gimpy on the practice field and very cagey behind the microphone
He likes his chances of playing Sunday, but he and coach Mike Shanahan want to keep the Cleveland Browns guessing as long as possible.
Wearing his No. 10 jersey and a black knee brace underneath his sweatpants on a chilly day, Griffin high-stepped and moved laterally with barely a hitch as he stretched, then favored his right leg during throwing drills as the Redskins began on-field preparations for this week’s game.
“Sunday night, I thought there was probably no chance that I could play the next week,” Griffin said. “And then Monday morning, I felt better about it. Yesterday, I felt better about it. And today I feel really good about it, so it just depends on if I continue to progress the way I am.”
So, to cut to the case, Griffin was asked if he expects to play Sunday.
“I can’t tell you all that,” he answered. “First, I don’t want to give the Cleveland Browns a competitive advantage. And I don’t want to let anybody down, so I don’t want to say that I’ll be playing and end up not playing.”
DIX HILLS, N.Y. — Jovan Belcher was remembered Wednesday for the accomplishments of a life that ended so suddenly and violently.
Several hundred mourners gathered for the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker’s funeral near his hometown on Long Island. The 25-year-old Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend on Dec. 1, then drove to the Chiefs’ practice facility and committed suicide in front of team officials.
At Upper Room Christian Church on Wednesday, relatives wore black – and red, the Chiefs’ color. Pastor Dawn Mixon shared that Belcher’s mother, Cheryl Shepherd, described him as a “humble, kind young man.” He had a soft spot for children and loved cartoons.
“We may not understand the reasons why we are here or understand what caused this tragedy,” Mixon said.
NEW ORLEANS— One day after his suspension in the NFL’s bounty probe was overturned, Jonathan Vilma moved forward with his defamation claims against Commissioner Roger Goodell, while Drew Brees and other teammates went on the offensive against Goodell and the league office.
“What I would like to see is a level of accountability on the part of the NFL and Commissioner Goodell in regards to mishandling of this entire situation,” Brees said after practice Wednesday. “We as players hold ourselves and are held to a very strict code of conduct. We have to be accountable to that, as it should be, and I feel like they should be held to the same standards.
“If someone would just come out in the league office and admit, ‘You know what? We could have handled this situation better,’ it would go such a long way with both players and fans. People would really come around to realize what this thing was all about because right now the league office and Commissioner Goodell have very little to no credibility with us as players.”
IRVING, Texas— Josh Brent has been placed on the reserve/non-football illness list by the Dallas Cowboys, a move that ends his season but allows the defensive tackle to remain with the team.
The move Wednesday came a day after a memorial service for practice squad player Jerry Brown, Brent’s close friend who was killed in a car accident when police say Brent was driving drunk. Brent is facing charges related to the accident Saturday morning.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Construction work at Lambeau Field sparked a minor fire that caused about $5,000 in damage.
WLUK-TV reports workers were cutting a beam near the fourth floor Wednesday when sparks landed inside a wall, igniting foam insulation.
RENTON, Wash. — Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice has a bruised foot, is in a walking boot and could be in question for Sunday’s game against Buffalo in Toronto.