NFL Wire News

Redskins’ Clark probably in last game, hints of future TV


ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins safety Ryan Clark knows that Sunday’s game against Dallas could well mean the end of his NFL career. But the 35-year old safety labeled “ancient” this season by coach Jay Gruden — who at 47 is closer in age to Clark than the latter to his some of his teammates — isn’t sad about it.

“It’s been a longer ride than I ever expected,” said Clark, who made the New York Giants as a rookie free agent in 2002 and has been a starter with Washington (2004-05, 2014) and Pittsburgh (2006-13). “I’ve been blessed beyond belief to play for so long (especially after having his spleen and gall bladder removed in 20007 when he was discovered to have sickle cell trait in 2007). I don’t really know how I’ll feel afterwards. I haven’t really done much else in life.”

Clark, who signed a one-year contract in April to return to Washington, said that he hasn’t discussed his future with the Redskins. However, he said, “I don’t think that if this is my last football game, I’ll be out of a job long,” hinting at a return to ESPN for whom he has moonlighted during previous offseasons.

Clark, who hasn’t played up to his usual standards this season, said that from Week 5 until the Week 10 bye, his sprained ankle was so bad that he wouldn’t be sure he could play until after warmups.

“Once I got started going one way, if the guy turned the other way, there was no way I was going to be able to put that foot in the ground and stop,” said Clark, who hasn’t missed a game and has started all of them except the Week 6 loss at Arizona. “It was tough. I was catching a lot of flak for missing certain tackles, but I never came in here (and told you how bad it was), I just played. Then I started to feel healthier, got around the ball, started to have some fun.”

Clark tied for the team lead with 15 tackles in last Sunday’s upset of Philadelphia and his 134 total surpassed injured inside linebacker Keenan Robinson.

— With Trent Murphy placed on injured reserve Tuesday after suffering a fractured right hand last Saturday against Philadelphia, rookie outside linebacker Jackson Jeffcoat will make his first NFL start Sunday against Dallas, the team for whom his father, Jim, played from 1983-94.

“I grew up on the other side (of the rivalry) so I know how big it is for them,” said Jeffcoat, who grew up in the Dallas suburb of Plano, Texas. “Being over here (now) I know how big it for us. I’m excited to be able to play for the Redskins in this rivalry. Growing up, (I knew that the Cowboys) hate everybody in the NFC East. I feel like it’s the same thing here. My dad and I have talked about it. He wants me to do well in this game. That’s what matters the most to him.”

Jeffcoat recorded a sack against the Eagles in just his second game after spending most of the season on the practice squad.

“It was amazing,” Jeffcoat said. “A lot of people dream of getting their first NFL sack and I was able to get it on a great left tackle like Jason Peters.”

Murphy, the second-round draft choice who replaced Brian Orakpo when the three-time Pro Bowl pick suffered a season-ending torn pectoral in the Week 7 victory over Tennessee, finished his rookie year with 32 tackles, 15 hurries, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

“It’s real frustrating to make it that far and not be able to play in the last game,” said Murphy, who was injured when his hand ‘popped’ as he stuck it in Peters’ chest on an inside move. “I can generally play through just about anything so when I had to walk off the field I knew it was serious.”

With Orakpo likely an ex-Redskin as he seeks a lucrative, multi-year contract, Murphy’s expected to be the starter from the get-go in 2015.

“I left a lot of plays on the field,” Murphy said. “I made some too, but definitely a lot more that I can do. I definitely have a lot of work ahead of me.”

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