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(The Sports Xchange) - Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden moved Thursday to the precipice of declaring Robert Griffin III his starting quarterback for Sunday's game at Minnesota, a big step forward from the coach's dancing around the topic on Wednesday.
"The progress that he has made has had us put him in with the ones and prepare to be the starter," Gruden said of Griffin, who returned to full practice on Wednesday after missing the last six-plus games with a dislocated left ankle suffered early in the Week 2 rout of Jacksonville.
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he is feeling better about Tony Romo playing Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, despite the quarterback sitting out practice Wednesday and Thursday after suffering a severe back contusion Monday in Dallas' 20-17 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins.
"Just talking to him, it sounds like he's feeling better," Garrett said. "And typically that happens the further away you are from an injury, hopefully the better it gets. You get the blood flowing through your body. So hopefully he's able to do something today and we can build on that."
Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, said his visits to the sideline during games are "not an issue" and that he is no different than many other NFL owners and executives.
Jones drew attention Monday night when he was seen on the sideline talking to coach Jason Garrett about quarterback Tony Romo, who had left with a back injury.
"I wanted to go down there and do what I could, look our guys in the eye, look at them, inspire them to overcome Romo not being out there and overcome what I thought was a critical time," Jones told KRLD, per the Dallas Morning News.
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said quarterback Geno Smith made no mention of a shoulder injury before being pulled after three interceptions and 12 plays Sunday in the Jets' 43-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Smith apparently was injured early in the game and then aggravated the shoulder when he made a tackle on his third interception, but Ryan said he was not aware of the injury until much later.
San Diego Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett reportedly will miss 2-3 weeks with a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Verrett aggravated the injury in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos last week.
New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings is out of the lineup for a third consecutive game because of a sprained knee.
Jennings went down with a sprained MCL in Week 5 and said he expected to return for Monday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, but coach Tom Coughlin said Thursday that rookie Andre Williams would start for the third consecutive game.
Tom Crabtree's yo-yo life with the New Orleans Saints continued Thursday as the team waived the tight end and promoted linebacker Todd Davis from the practice squad.
Crabtree has been signed and released three times in the past three weeks. He had just been added again Tuesday when the team placed wide receiver Joe Morgan on the suspended list.
The New England Patriots re-signed offensive lineman Chris Barker to the practice squad and released defensive lineman Ben Bass from the unit on Thursday.
Barker, 24, had been released from the 53-man roster Tuesday to make room for linebacker Jonathan Casillas, who was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Seattle Seahawks will induct Hall of Fame left tackle Walter Jones into their Ring of Honor during halftime of their game against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday in Seattle.
Jones will become the 11th member of Ring of Honor, which celebrates the franchise's top players.
A Massachusetts judge on Thursday turned down a request from Aaron Hernandez's attorneys to move his murder trial to a different county.
Lawyers for the former New England Patriots tight end had asked for a change of venue because media coverage had "poisoned" the jury pool in Bristol County.
Tennessee Titans rookie tackle Taylor Lewan, a former Michigan star, pleaded guilty Thursday to being drunk and disorderly in a confrontation with an Ohio State fan last year.
Lewan, 23, was accused of hitting the man outside a bar after the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines 42-41 in Ann Arbor last season.
Editing by Frank Pingue