- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
- Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race
- Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
Fletcher relies on divine power after father’s death
The Monday conversation between London Fletcher and his father, London Baker, started like most of their chats over the phone. They talked about their lives and discussed the Redskins’ 29-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints the day before.
But something told the Redskins linebacker he should ask his 62-year-old father a deeper question. He asked his father whether he felt as if he had been saved by the Lord. Baker told him he had.
A few hours later, Baker died, the victim of unexpected heart failure.
Shaken by the sudden loss, Fletcher attended team meetings at Redskin Park on Tuesday and Wednesday before flying to Cleveland to be with his family. He attended his father’s funeral Friday afternoon, then returned Saturday, helping lead his team to victory Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field.
“My dad and I were very close,” said Fletcher, who finished with seven tackles against Arizona.
A “mentally and emotionally exhausted” Fletcher said the hardest part of Sunday’s game was playing without full preparation for the Cardinals’ attack. Fletcher missed practice Thursday and Friday, so linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti had to bring him up to speed Saturday. On Sunday, Fletcher listened to gospel music before the game and reflected on his final conversation with his father.
“I prayed to the Lord to help me get through this game,” Fletcher said. “I called out to him, and he came through.”
Offensive pass interference is among the NFL’s least frequently called penalties. So it was no small feat when rookie wide receiver Devin Thomas was flagged twice for interfering with Arizona cornerback Roderick Hood. Thomas’ first grapple with Hood was expunged because of offsetting penalties (Hood was called for interference as well) but his second tussle cost the Redskins 15 yards.
“I’m an aggressive person,” Thomas said. “I realized that I can’t be pushing and shoving down the field. I got to work on that.”
It was all part of an interesting day for Thomas, who finished with one reception for 7 yards. He also scampered 16 yards on an end-around in the third quarter and eluded the Arizona secondary for a 62-yard touchdown - only to have the score scrapped by an unnecessary roughness penalty on right tackle Stephon Heyer. The second-round pick out of Michigan State laughed when asked about the play.
“Hopefully I can get one next week,” Thomas said.
Jansen gets a chance
When Heyer sprained his left shoulder late in the first quarter, Jon Jansen came in a right tackle, where he spent the better part of a decade. The 10-year veteran’s comeback lasted only until halftime, but he said it was fun.
“It was nice to get back in there, nice to get some good film,” said Jansen, who suffered season-ending leg and ankle injuries in Week 1 of last season. “I try to stay a little bit loose because I go in on field goals [and extra points], and luckily there was a timeout, so I had a chance to get myself going. It felt great. I had fun. I thought I did very well.”
About the Author
- For Chargers' Turner, there's no turning back
- Ailing Heyer hanging 'tough' for Redskins
- Redskins' Williams out for season finale
- NFL Rewind
- Redskins Grades
Latest Blog Entries
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- Professor apologizes after blasting Republicans in class
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014