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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shuler Gets Starter Nod For 'Skins

WASHINGTON -- With the smile of someone eager to show he is worth all of $19.25 million, Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Heath Shuler said he is looking forward to starting his first National Football League game Sunday against the Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys at RFK Stadium.


"If you're going to play, you may as well play against the best," Shuler said.


Coach Norv Turner announced Tuesday that Shuler would become the first Redskins rookie to start at quarterback since Norm Snead in 1962. John Friesz started the first four games this season, often playing superbly, but also throwing a National Football Conference-high seven interceptions, including three in Sunday's 27-20 loss to Atlanta.


With the team now 1-3, Turner decided that the short-term benefit of sticking with Friesz did not warrant delaying the education process necessary for the long-term prosperity that Shuler is expected to produce. And Shuler's athletic ability might bring some help right away. Barring injury, Turner is not planning to change starters again this season.


Friesz has handled this potentially divisive situation with calm and class. After he was replaced by Shuler in the fourth quarter against the Falcons, he helped from the sideline and he said he would stay ready in case he is needed again.


Also Tuesday, Turner said he had decided to stick with kicker Chip Lohmiller after inviting some challengers to the struggling veteran to practice.


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On top of Stan Humphries' through-the-ceiling quarterback rating, the San Diego quarterback gets points for toughness. He ignored medical advice not to re-enter Sunday's game after having his left knee cut out from under him when he threw an interception that gave the Raiders the lead. He went back into the game, then led a 14-play drive to set up John Carney's winning field goal. And he got in the way of 290-pound Nolan Harrison on a reverse during the drive.


"He has guts, I'll give him that," Harrison said. "Next time he won't be so lucky."


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The Los Angeles Raider special teams were anything but special Sunday.


The first time the San Diego Chargers got the ball at the Coliseum, it was on the receiving end of a punt. San Diego's Darrien Gordon avoided a tackle by James Trapp, then managed to avoid the 10 other Raiders as he went 90 yards to the end zone as the Chargers won, 26-24. In all, the Raiders' special teams gave up 95 yards on three punt returns and 131 yards on five kickoff returns, allowing San Diego good field position all afternoon.


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The Giants are trying to complete plans to honor Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor during the Monday night game Oct. 10 against the Minnesota Vikings. Nothing is certain, mainly because it has been difficult to pin down the two stars-turned-broadcasters. Plans were put on hold last week when Simms was courted by the Arizona Cardinals. The Monday night situation is ideal if Simms can get from the ESPN studios in Bristol, Connecticut, to Giants Stadium by halftime. Taylor, who works Sunday night games for Turner Network Television, should have no conflict.