Browns will have Grif­fin avail­able

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS & NFL -

Browns quar­ter­back Robert Grif­fin III has cleared the fi­nal med­i­cal hur­dle on his come­back trail.

Now coach Hue Jack­son will de­cide whether to rein­sert him into the start­ing lineup. All signs are point­ing in that di­rec­tion.

“Be­yond blessed to have an op­por­tu­nity to get back on the field with my brothers,” said Grif­fin, who didn’t speak to reporters Tues­day but made the state­ment through a team spokesman. “I prom­ise my team­mates and coaches to give them ev­ery­thing I have as we work to fin­ish the sea­son strong.”

Grif­fin, who suf­fered a frac­ture of a bone in his left shoul­der in the sea­son opener and has not played since, was cleared late Mon­day night for con­tact. It would pre­sum­ably be a no-brainer for Jack­son to test whether Grif­fin can breathe life into an in­ept of­fense that’s pro­duced just 39 points in the past four games. Sharper gets 20 years: For­mer NFL safety Dar­ren Sharper was sen­tenced to a 20-year prison term, end­ing a tour of shame and pun­ish­ment in the court­house where he first ad­mit­ted drug­ging and rap­ing women in four states.

Los An­ge­les Su­pe­rior Court Judge Michael Pas­tor de­nounced Sharper’s “hor­ri­ble con­duct” and “dis­grace­ful abuse of trust” dur­ing the hear­ing that con­cluded pros­e­cu­tions that un­masked the pop­u­lar for­mer Al­lPro and Su­per Bowl cham­pion as a se­rial rapist.

Un­der the terms of a plea deal ne­go­ti­ated with pros­e­cu­tors in four states, Sharper will be el­i­gi­ble for pa­role in about eight years be­cause Cal­i­for­nia law re­quires he serve half his sen­tence and he has al­ready been be­hind bars more than two years since his ar­rest.

But Sharper will prob­a­bly serve more time if an ap­peals court up­holds an 18-year prison sen­tence handed down by a New Or­leans fed­eral judge, who re­jected the plea deal as too le­nient. Sharper has ap­pealed that harsher sen­tence. Peter­son pro­gress­ing: Vik­ings run­ning back Adrian Peter­son is mov­ing for­ward in the re­cov­ery from surgery on his right knee.

He was seen run­ning some short sprints in the team’s in­door fa­cil­ity Tues­day while the ath­letic train­ing staff su­per­vised and his team­mates went through prac­tice on the field. With five games re­main­ing in the reg­u­lar sea­son, there’s no timetable for Peter­son’s re­turn, but the four-time All-Pro pick could be ready some­time in De­cem­ber.

Coach Mike Zim­mer has con­sis­tently de­clined to spec­u­late about whether Peter­son would play again this year but ac­knowl­edged that he was “prob­a­bly ahead of sched­ule” in his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. Ex­tra points: The NFL sus­pended Bills OT Seantrel Hen­der­son for 10 games, a pun­ish­ment the player’s agent said stems from his client’s use of mar­i­juana to re­lieve the ef­fects of Crohn’s disease. ... The Pan­thers placed two-time All-Pro C Ryan Kalil (shoul­der) and his pri­mary backup, for­mer Raven Gino Grad­kowski (knee), on in­jured re­serve, weak­en­ing an of­fen­sive line that has been de­pleted by in­juries.

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