Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell (35) leaves the field shoeless after an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in Detroit. By leaving the field barefoot, Bell joins dozens of other professional athletes who have us
Paul Sancya
December 04, 2015

The Washington Redskins will look back to one of the most infamous days in U.S. history on Monday night by paying tribute to a special group of WWII veterans with the help of USAA.

The team worked with the NFL to move its ''Salute to Service'' game (normally hosted during November) to Dec. 7, the date Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese forces, prompting this nation's entry into the war.

During the weekend, USAA, the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL, will host veterans from various regions of the United States on visits to District of Columbia memorials built in their honor: Arlington National Cemetery and the National World War II Memorial. Then the Redskins and USAA will honor them during Monday's game against the Cowboys.

On Dec. 7, 1941, the Redskins were playing the Eagles.

''People might be surprised to learn that much of the country found out about the Pearl Harbor attacks while listening to football radio broadcasts on that infamous day in 1941. Therefore it is an appropriate and fitting tribute for USAA and the rest of the nation to honor WWII veterans during a Salute to Service game on `Monday Night Football,''' said Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Bird, USAA's senior vice president of military affairs. ''While we can never thank these veterans enough, bringing them to our nation's capital to visit the memorials built in their honor and working with the Redskins to pay tribute to their service is the absolute right thing to do.''

Washington (5-6), in a tie for the NFC East lead with the Giants, plays Dallas (3-8).


SHOELESS FOR A CAUSE: Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell took off his cleats on the Ford Field turf and walked toward the locker room in his socks.

Even though Bell was disheartened by Green Bay's 27-23 win Thursday night on Aaron Rodgers' 61-yard touchdown pass on an untimed play, he was on a mission to send a message. Bell removed his cleats to raise awareness for Samaritan's Feet, a nonprofit organization which gives shoes to people in need all over the world.

''When you have a platform as a professional athlete, hopefully you can bring attention to things that are important to you,'' he said in a telephone interview. ''I hope that taking my cleats off will expose what kind of problems people have that don't have proper shoes, and what Samaritan's Feet is doing about it.''

According to the World Health Association, more than 1.5 billion people in the world get infections from contaminated soil. Samaritan's Feet not only distributes shoes, but its employees and volunteers wash the feet of the people getting the donation. It raises money to buy shoes from corporate sponsors, individuals, and by auctioning the cleats of professional athletes, such as Bell, who partner with the organization to promote its cause.

''We've given away 6.5 million pairs of shoes over the last 13 years in 78 countries and 380 U.S. cities,'' said Kevin S. Warren, director of marketing for Samaritan's Feet. ''We not only give away the shoes, but we wash feet and ask the people we're serving what their dreams are while we talk with them.''


POISED PASSER: If Brock Osweiler didn't sweat a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, you can bet he won't give in to any superstitions like the old Sports Illustrated cover jinx.

Asked if he'd picked up a copy of the magazine this week that features him on the cover following Denver's overtime win that knocked the Patriots from the unbeaten ranks, Osweiler said, ''I haven't. I picked up our game plan for the week, though.''

After beating the Bears in his first NFL start, on his 25th birthday no less, Osweiler led Denver past the Patriots 30-24 and earned a spot on the regional cover of SI.

''Everybody was pretty excited, but I think the biggest thing just to remind myself is there is no way I'm getting on that cover if it's not for all those other guys that are out there fighting on Sunday, as well. To me, that's a team-earned cover, and I wish all of us could be on there,'' Osweiler said.

He was asked if anyone had mentioned the famed cover jinx.

''No, they did not,'' Osweiler said. ''What's the SI jinx?''


FANATIC FAN: Justin Tuck's emotions were vivid on his Twitter account as he watched the Oakland Raiders' last game from a couple thousand miles away while nursing a season-ending torn pectoral.

He bemoaned the team's penalties on Tennessee's go-ahead drive, worried about a hard hit quarterback Derek Carr took, and prayed for a late defensive play that sealed the victory.

''If you followed my tweets on Sunday you know how difficult it is,'' Tuck said. ''I had to walk out of the room at certain points because I realized if I didn't I already knew what I'd buy myself for Christmas - a new TV.''

Tuck said he's learning that life as a fan on Sundays can be tougher on his nerves than it was when he played the games.

''When you're on the field, you don't really get nervous, at least I don't, because you feel like you have a chance to impact the outcome,'' he said. ''When you're not on that football field, it's nerve-racking. I don't see how true fans do it week in and week out. It's got to be unhealthy in some regards.''


STAY HEALTHY: Andy Dalton returns to Cleveland, the place where he made his first NFL start in 2011 and the only stadium in which he missed significant time because of injury. He sat out the second half with a wrist injury, but was back the following week. Dalton has never missed a start in 79 opportunities, including the playoffs.

He'll make his 76th consecutive regular-season start Sunday. That ranks third in NFL history for the start of a quarterback's career, trailing Peyton Manning (208) and Joe Flacco (122). Dalton tries to make quick throws in the Bengals' West Coast offense, avoiding hits in the pocket.

''I feel like I've been fortunate that I haven't taken too many bad hits,'' Dalton said. ''I've been able to get the ball out of my hands quick, and I've been able to get away from some of the bad ones. So hopefully we can keep that up.''

A win in Cleveland would be the 23rd road win of Dalton's career, surpassing Dan Marino, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan for most such wins by a quarterback in his first five seasons since the 1970 merger.


VIRTUAL PATRIOTS: Want to feel like a New England Patriots player without suiting up? Can do this weekend at Gillette Stadium.

Just try ''Travel Inside the Game,'' a 360-degree video created and being given away for free by Visa, in partnership with Bank of America. It's a first of its kind virtual reality activation in an NFL stadium.

The 360-degrees content can be viewed by anyone with an Android or IOS smartphone. It enables fans to travel onto the field inside the stadium, into the Patriots' training facility and onto the practice fields ''alongside'' some of their favorite players.

When fans arrive at the stadium's parking lot 4A, or go to the concourse before kickoff, they can snag one of the limited edition viewers from Google Cardboard. They won't be catching passes from Tom Brady or snapping to Stephen Gostkowski on field goals, but they'll get the chance to emulate a Patriot.


AP Pro Football Writers Barry Wilner and Arnie Stapleton, and Sports Writers Joe Kay, Larry Lage and Josh Dubow contributed to this notebook.


AP NFL website: and

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)