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Vikings rookie tackle Christian Darrisaw relieved to get back on field with groin issues behind him

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Vikings rookie tackle Christian Darrisaw relieved to get back on field with groin issues behind him

The waiting game finally has come to an end for Vikings rookie left tackle Christian Darrisaw.

Darrisaw, who had groin surgery in January after his junior season at Virginia Tech, missed some time in spring drills with the Vikings. Then he sat out the first week of training camp.

Once he returned, Darrisaw had another setback, and underwent a minor medical procedure related to his groin injury on Aug. 12 in Philadelphia. He finally was cleared to play in his first NFL game Oct. 3 against Cleveland, then last Sunday got his first snaps from scrimmage against Detroit.

On Sunday at Carolina, Darrisaw could start his first NFL game.

“It feels great, just to finally get the chance to play with all my guys and everything like that,” Darrisaw said Friday in his first press conference since early August. “Just been feeling good.”

Darrisaw, No. 23 overall pick in this year’s draft, said he didn’t know if he would start against the Panthers or if a rotation at left tackle would continue with Rashod Hill. Hill started the first four games and played every snap from scrimmage, but last week he started and was in for 39 plays while Darrisaw got in for 28.

A source said Friday a plan during the week was for Darrisaw to play “most” or “all” of the snaps at Carolina. Hill, used mostly as a reserve at right tackle in his five years in the NFL, has struggled at left tackle. Among 72 NFL tackles ranked by Pro Football Focus after the first five weeks, he is No. 71.

Darrisaw has been projected to be the eventual starting left tackle since he was drafted in April. Riley Reiff, who handled the job the past four seasons, was released in March in a salary-related move.

“Mentally, it was a lot, but I overcame it,” Darrisaw said of his groin issues. “The support staff here, they were in my ear and talking to me and things like that. It made it easy for me to be where I’m at now. … I trust the trainers here, and the support staff and (a doctor) and everything like that. We had a plan, and I knew that every day I would come and attack it. There was light at the end of the tunnel.”

Darrisaw practiced on a limited basis at the start of the regular season and did not play in the first three games. His first action came when he was in for one snap against the Browns — on an extra-point attempt.

Darrisaw’s first significant playing time came against the Lions, and he generally looked good in the Vikings’ 19-17 win. Minnesota’s only touchdown of the game came in the second quarter on the first series Darrisaw played.

“Just being out there, it was fun,” said Darrisaw, who said he didn’t know before the game how much he would play or when he would. “Scoring on that first drive, scoring a touchdown, it was amazing. It was a great feeling.”

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer liked how Darrisaw looked in the game. He made note of his “athleticism” and “just the quickness that he has.”

“He’s done a good job,” said Vikings co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson, whose defensive linemen battle Darrisaw in practice. “He’s got good feet for a big man. He’s strong. He can anchor. He’s got strong hands on him.”

Patterson, though, said Darrisaw still has much to learn. “It’s a big jump from college to the NFL for everybody,’’ Patterson said, but that he expects Darrisaw to continue to improve with more reps and playing time.

“Really, I’ve been learning the mental things of the game and everything that comes with it,” Darrisaw said. “Even if you have a bad play, great play, you’ve just got to move on and attack the next play. One play at a time, really. That’s the mindset you’ve got to have in this league.”

For now, Darrisaw is happy to know that, after all the uncertainty with his groin injury, he’s finally back on the field.

“(I was) just trying to figure out, ‘When would this all be over with and could I go out and play?’ ” he  said. “We’re finally here, so it’s time to go.”

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Editorial: Since Boebert seems incapable, we’ll apologize to Omar for her

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Editorial: Since Boebert seems incapable, we’ll apologize to Omar for her

The Denver Post editorial board has mostly tried to ignore U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s antics because they add so little to the public discourse. Since the Western Slope representative was elected in November 2020, we’ve published two editorials about her. The first urged an investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and whether her words and actions helped former President Donald Trump spark the insurrection; the other editorial defended Boebert from sexist and elitist attacks targeting her on social media for her physical appearance and her lack of a college education.

But last week, Boebert crossed a line and now we must stand up for common decency. Boebert is intentionally using her platform to peddle a gross and false narrative about Muslim Americans. We cannot fathom what evil intent drives this behavior, but after first apologizing, Boebert now has made matters worse.

In a video that was circulated widely last week after being tweeted out by Patriot Takes — a group that describes its mission as “to research, monitor and expose the extremism and radicalization of the far-right across the darkest parts of the Internet” — Boebert told supporters a story about getting on an elevator and seeing a security guard rush toward her as the doors were closing:

“I look to my left and there she is: Ilhan Omar. And I said, ‘Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine,’” Boebert said in the video to cheers from the audience. “I looked over and I said, ‘Oh look, the jihad squad decided to show up for work today.’ ”

Making a joke about suicide bombers and suggesting that a congresswoman is a threat to safety and security because she is a Muslim is both racist and a form of religious bigotry. Boebert did apologize to “anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar,” and she pledged to call Omar directly, however, Boebert reported in a strange video on Monday that that phone call went poorly, and it’s no wonder given that she prefaces the conversation by once again raising the scepter of concern about Omar and threats to American security.

“Make no mistake. I will continue to fearlessly put America first. Never sympathizing with terrorists. Unfortunately, Ilhan can’t say the same thing, and our country is worse off for it,” she said.

Rep. Ilhan Omar deserved nothing short of a full apology. Instead, Boebert used the phone call as a publicity stunt and further insulted Omar. Boebert is clearly incapable of remorse or reflection, so as her fellow Coloradans — a beautiful place of tolerance and respect, diversity and freedom — we will help her.

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Ravens place CB Kevon Seymour on reserve/COVID-19 list, release ex-Calvert Hall QB Kenji Bahar

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Ravens place CB Kevon Seymour on reserve/COVID-19 list, release ex-Calvert Hall QB Kenji Bahar

The Ravens on Monday placed newly signed cornerback Kevon Seymour on the reserve/COVID-19 list, threatening his availability for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Seymour played 17 special teams snaps in the Ravens’ 16-10 win Sunday night over the Cleveland Browns, his first game since being signed off the practice squad Saturday. He’s the first Raven to be added to the team’s coronavirus list since outside linebackers Jaylon Ferguson and Justin Houston and defensive tackles Brandon Williams and Justin Madubuike were designated in late September.

Coach John Harbaugh has said the Ravens’ vaccination rate is above 90%. Under NFL protocols, fully vaccinated players who test positive need to return two negative tests at least 24 hours apart to be cleared for team activities, as long as they’re asymptomatic. Vaccinated players will not be designated as high-risk close contacts but can be held to daily testing for five days. Unvaccinated players with infections must quarantine for at least 10 days, while unvaccinated players who are deemed high-risk close contacts must sit out at least five days and continue to test negative throughout.

“I know I don’t want to test positive, I can tell you that,” Harbaugh said Monday, in the wake of Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy’s reported infection. “Does anybody? I’m praying about it. Got my toes crossed. Fingers crossed, too, probably.”

The Ravens also made a practice squad move, releasing quarterback Kenji Bahar (Calvert Hall) and signing Chris Streveler in a corresponding move. The Arizona Cardinals released Streveler, 26, last week before signing Trace McSorley off the Ravens’ practice squad.

Bahar, a Baltimore native who spent time with the Ravens during rookie minicamp and in training camp, set school records at Monmouth, a Football Championship Subdivision program, for touchdown passes (70), passing yards (9,642) and 300-yard games (nine).

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Broncos Fifth Quarter: Offense’s work on third down was first rate vs. Chargers

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PHOTOS: Denver Broncos beat Los Angeles Chargers in NFL Week 12 matchup

Upon Further Review

1. Record third-down day. The Broncos’ offense entered Sunday ranked 27th in third-down conversion rate (34.6), which means their production against the Chargers was a thunderbolt. The Broncos clicked at 72.7% (8 of 11) — the franchise’s highest in at least 30 years (the previous high was 71.4% vs. Indianapolis in 1993).

2. Cautious play-calling. The word and view on Chargers QB Justin Herbert last year was his ability to push the football down the field with his strong arm. That makes the Chargers’ play-calling against the Broncos peculiar. Of Herbert’s 44 attempts, only four traveled at least 16 “air” yards (3 of 4 for 58 yards and one touchdown). Sure, the Broncos often dropped seven in coverage, but Herbert and WRs Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Jalen Guyton are too good not to challenge teams more often downfield.

3. Four-man pass rush produces. The Broncos rushed five or more players on only 10 of Herbert’s 53 drop-backs — the rate of 17.2 was the second-lowest this year behind 15.2% at Dallas. All three sacks came with four-man rushes — OLB Stephen Weatherly (4.43 seconds), OLB Malik Reed/DL DeShawn Williams (4.65) and DL McTelvin Agim (2.82). The defense had season-high 17 disruptions (three sacks, four knockdowns and 10 pressures). DL Dre’Mont Jones had one knockdown and five pressures. Agim also had two pressures.

4. Great call at great time. Third-and-goal from the nine doesn’t generally mean a run play. But offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur made a great call in the first quarter, using three receivers and a detached tight end to spread out the Chargers’ defense. Los Angeles had only five defenders in the box. RB Javonte Williams got a second-level block from C Lloyd Cushenberry and scored the touchdown. “Helluva call by Pat, great execution by the players,” coach Vic Fangio. The Chargers should have dared QB Drew Lock to make a play.

5. Full-time sub-package. The Broncos used their sub packages on 68 of the Chargers’ 71 offensive snaps — 40 nickel (5DB), 27 dime (6DB) and one with seven defensive backs. The dime total was a season-high and the Broncos used seven-defensive back personnel (S P.J. Locke was the extra defender) for only the fourth play all year.

6. Protecting Teddy/Drew. The Chargers rushed five or more defenders on 11 of the 28 drop-backs by Lock and Teddy Bridgewater (39.3%). The Broncos’ patched-up offensive line allowed only six disruptions, tied for their fewest of the year (the Jets had six in Week 3). The only sack was by Joey Bosa, who used an inside twist to get past LG Netane Muti in 2.63 seconds.

Four Key Numbers

3

Plays the Broncos’ defense used their base package (3DL-4LB-4DB), tied with the Dallas game for the fewest this year.

4-0

The Broncos’ record when they have at least 30 rushing attempts (33 against the Chargers).

1

Missed tackles by the Broncos (ILB Baron Browning), tied with the Baltimore loss for fewest this year.

4

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