Washington Redskins rule out making a move for Colin Kaepernick despite injury crisis

Colin Kaepernick is still out in the cold and claims he is being punished by the NFL for his “take a knee” protests. (AFP)
Updated 05 December 2018
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Washington Redskins rule out making a move for Colin Kaepernick despite injury crisis

  • Former 49ers quarterback has not played in the NFL since he began to raise awareness over racial injustice.
  • Redskins' twofers-choice quarterbacks out for the rest of the season.

WASHINGTON DC: Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden ruled out making a move for Colin Kaepernick as the team grappled with an injury crisis that has left their two first-choice quarterbacks out for the season.
Kaepernick, who has been unemployed since being released by the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, claims he is being punished by the NFL for his “take a knee” protests during the national anthem to raise awareness over racial injustice.
The 31-year-old has said he hopes to return to the NFL despite being repeatedly overlooked by teams.
Kaepernick was linked to the Redskins after a season-ending injury to quarterback Colt McCoy during Washington’s defeat by Philadelphia.
The Redskins had already lost starter Alex Smith with a season-ending injury, and finished the game against the Eagles with journeyman signal-caller Mark Sanchez at quarterback.
Gruden said Tuesday that while Kaepernick’s availability had been discussed by team officials, no move would be made for him.
“He’s been discussed for sure,” Gruden said. “It’s just going to be a matter of which way you want to go.”
Gruden said the team questioned whether Kaepernick would have enough time to learn a “whole new offense.”
“There’s not a lot of time to get a brand-new quarterback and system installed in a couple of days,” Gruden said. “He’s been talked about, but we’ll probably go in a different direction.”
Gruden insisted it was purely a sporting decision, and not a reflection on Kaepernick’s social activism.
“Just football, strictly football,” Gruden said. “When you’re talking about a backup quarterback this late in the game, you want someone with a similar skillset to the quarterback you have.
“Not that Colin can’t do some of the things we’ve talked about, but we want someone with a little more familiarity.”
Gruden’s explanation was greeted with skepticism by Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos however.
“Isn’t it obvious what’s happening?” Geragos told the Washington Post.
Richard Sherman, cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers, was similarly critical, telling NBC’s PFTPM podcast he believed Kaepernick was being ostracized.
“I think it’s one of those situations where, it’s disappointing, but that’s exactly the case, you know, because there’s nothing legally stopping the teams from doing it,” Sherman said.
“There’s not enough public pressure, nothing that’s going to force a team to sign him, you know?“
Sherman said Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the brink of a Super Bowl victory in 2013 only to suffer a 34-31 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens, was more deserving of an NFL roster spot than McCoy or Sanchez.
“They’ve had up and down years and Colin has played at a higher level than I would say any of those guys ever performed at the peak of their careers,” Sherman said.
“You start to see stuff like that and it’s almost like teams are purposefully making it obvious that, like, they’re keeping him out.”


Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

Updated 20 July 2019
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Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

  • Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute
  • For Senegal, who lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, the long wait for a first continental crown goes on

CAIRO: Baghdad Bounedjah’s early goal propelled Algeria to a first Africa Cup of Nations title in 29 years after a fiery 1-0 victory over Sadio Mane’s Senegal in Friday’s final in Cairo.

Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute when his deflected shot looped over Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, and it proved enough for the 1990 champions to lift the trophy on foreign soil for the first time.

For Senegal, who lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, the long wait for a first continental crown goes on as coach Aliou Cisse, the captain of the 2002 runners-up, again fell short in the final.

It was the first title-decider to feature two African coaches since 1998, with Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi completing a whirlwind 12 months at the helm after inheriting a side that failed to make it out of the group stage two years ago.

With defensive rock Kalidou Koulibaly suspended for Senegal, Salif Sane deputised at the back and Ismaila Sarr was recalled in attack, while Belmadi kept faith in the same side that overcame Nigeria with an injury-time free-kick from Riyad Mahrez.

Senegal had understandably feared the absence of Napoli star Koulibaly, banned after two bookings in the knockout rounds, although the towering Sane was desperately unlucky as Algeria grabbed the lead with scarcely a minute played.

As Bounedjah took aim from 20 yards his effort smacked off Sane and arced high into the air before dropping underneath the crossbar and beyond a static Gomis, sparking delirious celebrations from both players and fans, some of whom arrived for the final on military planes provided by the Algerian government.

It was the first time Gomis had conceded in almost 400 minutes in Egypt having replaced the injured Edouard Mendy ahead of Senegal’s final group game.

Henri Saivet, who missed a penalty in the 1-0 victory over Tunisia, tried to catch Rais Mbohli out with a free-kick while Mbaye Niang fizzed a powerful drive just over as Senegal gradually showed signs of life before the half ended with both sets of players embroiled in a scuffle as they headed for the tunnel.

Senegal thought they had won a penalty on the hour when Cameroonian referee Alioum Alioum pointed to the spot for a suspected handball by Adlene Guedioura, but the official reversed his decision after a VAR review.

Niang rounded an advancing Mbohli after a searching ball through from Cheikhou Kouyate but the forward sliced wide of the target from a tough angle, with the Algeria ‘keeper then acrobatically tipping over a rasping drive from Youssouf Sabaly.

The Desert Foxes started to look jaded as Senegal brought on fresh legs in Krepin Diatta and Mbaye Diagne, but Youcef Belaili nearly made it 2-0 when his cross brushed the head of a defender and skimmed the roof of the net.

Sarr blazed over on the volley as Algeria clung on to their advantage in the closing minutes, the final whistle greeted by an outpouring of raw emotion as the North Africans emerged worthy winners of the expanded 24-team event.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman telephoned Algeria’s interim president Abdelkader Bensalah to congratulate him on Algeria’s African Cup of Nations win, with Bensalah thanking the king for his phone call.