NFL NOTES Tru­bisky ex­pected to re­turn

Bull­dogs

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - SPORTS 2 - [email protected]­dis­patch.com (804) 649-6109 @EricKolenich

CHICAGO — Bears quar­ter­back Mitch Tru­bisky is ex­pected to start Sun­day night against the Rams af­ter coach Matt Nagy was pleased by how Tru­bisky per­formed in Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice.

Tru­bisky has missed the past two games with a right shoul­der in­jury he suf­fered Nov. 18.

“He was throw­ing the ball strong,” Nagy said Thurs­day morn­ing be­fore prac­tice. “He felt good. That’s what I was hop­ing for.”

Re­main­ing sus­pense about Tru­bisky’s sta­tus ended late Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon when the Bears an­nounced he was a full par­tic­i­pant in prac­tice. He re­sumed throw­ing late last week, build­ing to­ward Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice, which marked the start of on­field prepa­ra­tions for Sun­day night’s game against the NFClead­ing Rams (11-1).

Now, it is im­por­tant for Tru­bisky to set­tle back into his rou­tine and re-es­tab­lish his com­fort with and com­mand of the of­fense.

“It’s easy to jump back onto it,” Nagy said. “Ev­ery­one’s so fo­cused on the phys­i­cal side, but there’s a lot of other parts of it, too. The in­tan­gi­bles of be­ing a leader in the huddle. What you’re like in the class­room. He has been good with all of that.” to NFL.com.

Ben­jamin was re­leased by the Bills on Tues­day and went un­claimed on waivers.

This sea­son with Buf­falo, Ben­jamin caught just 23 passes while be­ing tar­geted 62 times. He logged 354 re­ceiv­ing yards in 12 games.

Gi­ants: Safety Lan­don Collins was placed on in­jured re­serve with a shoul­der in­jury.

Collins was hurt Sun­day against the Bears and will need surgery to re­pair a par­tially torn labrum.

The Gi­ants signed de­fen­sive back Kenny Ladler off their prac­tice squad to fill the roster spot. He had six spe­cial teams tack­les with the Red­skins this sea­son be­fore Wash­ing­ton re­leased him on Nov. 6.

“Con­sid­er­ing the op­po­nent, where we were in the play­offs,” he said. “I think most peo­ple thought we were the un­der­dog.”

Now Goochland heads to the Class 2 state cham­pi­onship game in an en­vi­able po­si­tion. The Bull­dogs’ de­fense has been the strength of the team all year long, and the of­fense is per­form­ing bet­ter now than it has all sea­son.

Goochland faces Gra­ham (131), an­other school with a high­pow­ered of­fense. Its quar­ter­back, Cam Allen, is 6-foot-2 and has com­mit­ted to play for Pur­due as a de­fen­sive back. He has ac­counted for 56 touch­downs and more than 4,000 yards of of­fense this year.

An­other big day from the Goochland run­ning game might be re­quired for the Bull­dogs to keep up.

Goochland op­er­ates the wingT, a run-first of­fense that puts mul­ti­ple ball car­ri­ers on the field at once. The idea is to keep the de­fense guess­ing about which di­rec­tion the ball is headed.

On Satur­day against East Rock­ing­ham, it wasn’t so much mis­di­rec­tion as it was brute force that moved Goochland across the field. The Bull­dogs’ best play was the wedge, where the ball is given to the full­back, who runs straight up the mid­dle.

“We gave them a lot of dif­fer­ent looks and ran the same play,” Fruth said. “We just kept hit­ting them and hit­ting them and hit­ting them.

“It’s as old school as old school gets,” he added.

Fruth also threw a twist into the of­fense. He moved quar­ter­back Devin McCray to wing­back for some plays. McCray is per­haps the best ath­lete on the of­fense, and in some ways, he’s too good to play quar­ter­back in the wing-T.

When he rushes the ball as the quar­ter­back, the of­fense is fairly pre­dictable. The quar­ter­back al­ways starts with the ball, and if he does most of the car­ries, he never hands off or pitches it, and there’s not much con­fu­sion in­volved. If McCray lines up at wing­back, the of­fense adds a layer of mis­di­rec­tion.

“There’s a lot more eye candy with him as wing­back,” Fruth said.

Popielarz is the team’s lead­ing rusher with 695 yards. But McCray (572 yards) leads the team in car­ries (118) and touch­downs (16). To­gether, they rushed for 285 yards on Satur­day. That’s far more than what the en­tire team av­er­aged this sea­son: 210.

But when Goochland needed it the most, its of­fense showed up.

DANIEL LIN/DAILY NEWS-RECORD

Goochland fresh­man C.J. Towles had seven car­ries for 28 yards in last Satur­day’s state semi­fi­nal vic­tory against East Rock­ing­ham.

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