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2 hours ago

'Pretty good chance' Washington Football Team remains in 2021, says team president

The Washington Football Team still might be going by its placeholder name this time next year. "There's a pretty good chance we will be the Washington Football Team next season," team president Jason Wright told Washington TV station WJLA on Tuesday. The team retired the name it had used for 87 years on July 13, after launching a thorough review 10 days earlier. The temporary name was announced July 23. "I think next year is fast because of how the brand has to come together through uniforms, through approval processes through the league," Wright said Tuesday. "We could get there quicker, it's actually pretty hard to get there that quickly because of all the steps that need to happen."  For years, Washington owner Dan Snyder had resisted changing the name; he told USA Today in 2013 to "put it in all caps" that he would never make such a move. Some who worked for Snyder said they believed then that he would rather sell the team than use a new name. The...
2 hours ago
4 hours ago

University of Michigan stay-in-place order won't impact Wolverines athletics

The Washtenaw County Health Department issued a stay-in-place order Tuesday for University of Michigan undergraduate students beginning immediately because of a rise in COVID-19 cases, but the order will not impact athletic activity at this time. The Michigan football team travels to Minnesota for its season opener Saturday. Despite the stay-in-place order running until Nov. 3, the health department said that any students who are associated with intercollegiate varsity sports may attend practices and competitions. The order says that athletic medical staff must be present during the entire process and that a staff member "actively supervises the team's COVID-19 mitigation activities during the practice, has the authority to suspend the practice if he or she believes COVID-19 mitigation practices require that result, and testing is conducted per governing athletic organizations' (i.e. Big 10) policies." As of Monday, Washtenaw County -- where the University of...
4 hours ago
October 20

University of Michigan stay in place order won't impact Wolverines athletics

The Washtenaw County Health Department issued a stay in place order Tuesday for University of Michigan undergraduate students beginning immediately due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, but the order will not impact athletic activity at this time. The Michigan football team travels to Minnesota for its season opener Saturday. Despite the stay in place order running until Nov. 3, the health department stated that any students who are associated with intercollegiate varsity sports may attend practices and competitions. The order says that athletic medical staff must be present during the entire process and "Actively supervises the team's COVID-19 mitigation activities during the practice, has the authority to suspend the practice if he or she believes COVID-19 mitigation practices require that result, and testing is conducted per governing athletic organizations' (i.e. Big 10) policies." As of Monday, Washtenaw County -- where the University of Michigan is located -- has...
October 20
October 20

Khabib Nurmagomedov: Only want Georges St-Pierre bout after Justin Gaethje

UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov said Tuesday that Georges St-Pierre is the only person he'd be motivated to fight after Saturday's bout against interim champ Justin Gaethje. "I really become excited when I think about Georges St-Pierre," Nurmagomedov said on ESPN's First Take. "I don't know if he wants to fight with me or not, can he make weight -- 155 or not -- but this fight makes me excited, honestly. "And I think me vs. Georges is going to be very, very big fight. Like big fight for fans, big fight for pay-per-view, big fight for analytics, for everybody. This is only fight in UFC, after Gaethje, that makes me very excited." Nurmagomedov (28-0) will be favored when he puts his perfect record on the line against Gaethje (22-2) in the main event of UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi. There has been speculation that Nurmagomedov's next opponent would be the winner of the proposed bout between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier on Jan. 23....
October 20
October 20

Indiana Pacers hire Toronto Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as head coach

The Indiana Pacers have agreed to a multiyear deal to hire Toronto Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as their head coach, sources told ESPN. The Pacers officially named Bjorkgren as their new head coach Tuesday but did not disclose terms of his deal. Bjorkgren, a disciple of reigning NBA Coach of the Year Nick Nurse, sold the Pacers on his history of innovation, adaptability and winning in his time as an NBA assistant and G League head coach, according to sources. "We are very pleased and excited to have Nate as our new coach," Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said in a statement released by the team. "This was an extensive and thorough search, and when we reached the conclusion, we felt strongly Nate is the right coach for us at the right time. He comes from a winning background, has experienced championship success, is innovative and his communication skills along with his positivity are tremendous. We all look forward to a long,...
October 20
October 20

Sources: Indiana Pacers to hire Nate Bjorkgren as head coach

The Indiana Pacers have agreed to a multiyear deal to hire Toronto Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as their head coach, sources told ESPN. Bjorkgren, a disciple of reigning NBA Coach of the Year Nick Nurse, sold the Pacers on his history of innovation, adaptability and winning in his time as an NBA assistant and G League head coach, according to sources. Bjorkgren worked with Nurse in two stops in the G League, winning a title with him in 2011 in Iowa. Bjorkgren reached the G League Finals as head coach of Santa Cruz in 2013 before arriving in the NBA in 2015 as an assistant with the Phoenix Suns. Bjorkgren, 45, reunited with Nurse in Toronto in July 2018 and was a part of his staff in the Raptors' championship season. The Pacers are replacing Nate McMillan, who was dismissed after four consecutive trips to the playoffs. McMillan had a 183-136 record in Indiana, including 3-16 in the postseason. The Pacers have made five consecutive postseason...
October 20
October 20

Jerry Jones 'not in feel-good mood' about Dallas Cowboys' 2-4 record despite NFC East lead

FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys woke up Tuesday in first place in the NFC East, despite a 2-4 record following their 38-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. That is not enough to make even the eternal optimist, owner and general manager Jerry Jones, truly happy. "I'm not in a feel-good mood, frankly, that we've got manna from heaven being in the East," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. "These things have a way of evening out as you go along. Certainly, the NFC East is having its challenges now. ... When you're not playing better than we are, it's hard for me to basically look at the end game, which is win the East, and get excited that we're better. [That] 'we may be slow, but we're ahead of you' syndrome. We've got to get better to have the kind of season that makes sense for us." Dallas remains ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1), New York Giants (1-5) and Washington Football Team (1-5) in the woeful NFC East. The...
October 20
October 20

Source: Miami Dolphins naming Tua Tagovailoa starting quarterback

Rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will take over as the Miami Dolphins' starter beginning Week 8 against the Los Angeles Rams, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. With the Dolphins currently on their bye week, it will give Tagovailoa two weeks to prepare for the transition. Tagovailoa's first NFL start will come 351 days after he suffered a dislocated right hip and posterior wall fracture. It has been a remarkable recovery from an injury that some thought could derail his ability to play high-level football again. The move comes as a bit of a surprise because of the timing. Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick had been playing well, leading the Dolphins to two consecutive wins by a combined score of 67-17. He also has the seventh-best QBR (79.6) in the NFL. For the Dolphins, this is the beginning of a new era. They believe Tagovailoa is their franchise quarterback -- the one to lead them to being a consistent championship contender. That's a standard the...
October 20
October 20

Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott takes blame for blowout loss to Arizona Cardinals

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was not blaming any part of Monday night's 38-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on quarterback Dak Prescott's absence. He was putting it all on himself. "I don't think we can use that as an excuse," Elliott said of not having Prescott, who suffered a season-ending compound fracture and dislocated right ankle in Week 5. "I'm just going to keep saying it over and over -- I started the game out with two fumbles, gave the ball away and gave them all the momentum they need to go take off. I want to say I'm sorry and this one is on me. I need to be better." Elliott finished with 49 yards on 12 carries and caught a team-high eight passes but for just 31 yards. However, it was fumbles on back-to-back drives in the first and second quarters that changed the game. The first fumble came after catching a short pass from Andy Dalton on second down, but safety Budda Baker...
October 20
October 20

Ex-Astros GM Jeff Luhnow again denies role in Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal

Former Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, in an interview that aired on Monday, once again denied that he knew about the team's sign stealing in 2017 and '18, and said individuals who were involved with the scandal are still working for the club. Luhnow, in his first public comments since issuing a statement after being fired in January, told Houston TV station KPRC he got access to 22,000 text messages from Astros video room personnel after he was fired because of the scandal. He said the messages clearly show the scope of the cheating and exonerate him from wrongdoing. "It's pretty clear who was involved in the video-decoding scheme, when it started, how often it happened and basically when it ended. And it's also pretty clear who was not involved," Luhnow said. "And I don't know why that information, that evidence, wasn't discussed in the ruling, wasn't used. The people who were involved that didn't leave naturally to go to other teams are all...
October 20
October 19

Kyler Murray's run of success at Dallas' AT&T Stadium continues as Arizona Cardinals roll

All Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray does at AT&T Stadium is win. Murray improved to 7-0 all time at the stadium through high school, college and the NFL after leading the Cardinals to a 38-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Monday. AT&T Stadium is 41 miles from Murray's hometown of Allen, Texas. He went 5-0 in high school there, including three straight state championships in Texas' highest level of prep football; 1-0 in college, leading Oklahoma to a Big 12 championship; and 1-0 so far in the NFL. "It was fun," Murray said. "It brought back a lot of memories. It felt like I'd been playing there every Sunday, honestly. It was comfortable, felt good." Murray made another memory Monday. He threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns on 9-for-24 passing, including an 80-yard touchdown to wide receiver Christian Kirk, the second of two touchdown passes to Kirk, who had 164 yards and six touchdowns in three games at AT&T Stadium while at...
October 19
October 19

Dallas Cowboys right guard Zack Martin exits with concussion

ARLINGTON, Texas - The Dallas Cowboys have lost another starter on their offense with Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin suffering a concussion with 5:07 left in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals. He was ruled out as the second half began with the Cowboys trailing, 21-3. Martin spent a considerable amount of time in the blue tent getting looked at by the medical staff. He headed to the locker room at the start of the second quarter. The Cowboys are playing their first game without quarterback Dak Prescott, who suffered a compound fracture and dislocated right ankle in last week's win against the New York Giants. The Cowboys placed Prescott on injured reserve on Monday and he faces a 4-6 month recovery period. A once-vaunted offensive line is now gutted. Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick retired in the offseason. Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith had season-ending neck surgery last week. Right tackle La'el Collins is on injured...
October 19
October 19

Josh Allen shoulders blame for Buffalo Bills' recent struggles, says team 'can't afford to have me play poorly'

After a 4-0 start to the season during which Josh Allen resembled a possible MVP candidate, the Buffalo Bills have now dropped two games in a row, with their struggling quarterback acknowledging, "This team can't afford to have me play poorly." Playing in his second consecutive prime-time game Monday night, Allen completed just 14 of 27 passes for 122 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs in a performance reminiscent of his 2018 and 2019 seasons. Although he threw two touchdown passes, he also recorded his fourth interception of the season and missed receivers throughout the game, culminating in a 26-17 loss in Orchard Park, New York. The third-year quarterback took responsibility for his performance, directly tying his team's success -- or lack thereof -- to his play. "We weren't good enough -- I was not good enough. I got to do a better job, it's plain and simple," Allen said. "I didn't play very good tonight. I know that. I understand that. This...
October 19
October 19

Kansas City Chiefs turn to ground game in win, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushes for 161 vs. Buffalo Bills

When Patrick Mahomes saw how the Buffalo Bills were defending him and the Kansas City Chiefs in Monday night's 26-17 win, it caused him to flash back. "It takes me back to my college days at Texas Tech when we're getting [eight defenders in pass coverage] and the linebackers are 6, 7 yards deep,'' Mahomes said. "If teams are going to do that, we've got to run the football until they come up, and when they come up, we're going to throw the football again. "Once we saw how deep their linebackers and safeties and corners were playing, we knew that we had the run game. So we really just stayed with it, and if teams are going to play us like this, you're going to see us run the football, and we have the guys that can do it.'' The Chiefs (5-1) ran the ball more than they threw it for only the second time in Mahomes' 37 starts. They were rewarded for the strategy with a victory. Mahomes was still efficient as a passer, going 21-of-26 with two first-half...
October 19
October 19

Source -- Tennessee Titans face potential fine as NFL concludes COVID-19 review

The NFL has informed the Tennessee Titans that its review of how the team handled its coronavirus outbreak has concluded. The organization will face a potential fine, a league source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Individuals will not be disciplined, and there was no discussion of forfeiture of draft picks, according to Schefter. The team was fully cooperative, as the league inspected the facility and found it to be in compliance. There were incidents of people not wearing masks, but there was insufficient communication regarding player workouts outside the facility.
October 19
October 19

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick says San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle 'as good as anybody that I've coached'

SANTA CLARA, Calif. --  New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has coached against his share of elite tight ends in a professional career that began in 1975. But when Belichick looks at the  San Francisco 49ers'  George Kittle, he sees one who stands with -- or above -- the best of them. "Kittle is a great player," Belichick said. "He does everything well. I'd put him right at the top of the league there, period. His ability to run, catch, get open, after the catch, block, he does everything at a high level. He's as good as anybody that I've coached or as good as anybody that we've played against." That's high praise from Belichick, who has been the head coach of the Patriots since 2000 and spent most of the rest of his career as either a defensive coordinator or a defensive position coach. It's particularly notable since Belichick coached four-time All-Pro Rob Gronkowski in New England from 2010 to 2018. Gronkowski is regarded by many as the...
October 19
October 19

Source -- Tennessee Titans face potential fine as NFL concludes COVID review

The NFL has informed the Tennessee Titans that its review of how the team handled its coronavirus outbreak has concluded. The organization will face a potential fine, a league source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Individuals will not be disciplined, and there was no discussion of forfeiture of draft picks, according to Schefter. The team was fully cooperative, as the league inspected the facility and found it to be in compliance. There were incidents of people not wearing masks, but there was insufficient communication regarding player workouts outside the facility.
October 19
October 19

Dallas Cowboys' Leighton Vander Esch cleared to play Monday night

FRISCO, Texas -- Leighton Vander Esch is back. The Dallas Cowboys activated the linebacker from injured reserve in time to play Monday against the Arizona Cardinals, five weeks after Vander Esch had surgery to repair a broken collarbone suffered in the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams. Vander Esch has practiced the past two weeks and went through three full workouts, including one full-padded session, leading into the Cardinals game. Vander Esch had four tackles before he was hurt in the first quarter against the Rams. Jaylon Smith took over as the defensive signal-caller in Vander Esch's absence, and Joe Thomas moved into his middle linebacker spot. On Saturday, coach Mike McCarthy said he was encouraged that Vander Esch would be able to return after he made it through two practices without any issue. Asked how Vander Esch looked following last Friday's practice, Smith said, "He looks like the Wolf Hunter himself. I'm...
October 19
October 19

Michigan Wolverines WR Nico Collins not with football team, coach Jim Harbaugh says

Michigan star wide receiver Nico Collins, who hasn't commented on his status since reportedly signing with an agent in September, is no longer with the team, coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday. "Nico is not participating in football right now," Harbaugh said. "I don't have a crystal ball as to if his mind would change on that. I know he's not currently on the team." Collins had 78 receptions for 1,388 yards and 13 touchdowns over his three-year career and originally announced his intent to return for his senior season. He had 37 catches for 729 yards and seven scores last year but reportedly decided to opt out of this season before the Big Ten announced its plans to return. It's a significant loss for a team that also had to replace quarterback Shea Patterson, four starting offensive linemen and wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, who decided to skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft. Still, Harbaugh said his other receivers have been "really good" this...
October 19
October 19

Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez to start opener against Ohio State

Nebraska junior quarterback Adrian Martinez will start this week's opener against No. 5 Ohio State, coach Scott Frost said Monday. Martinez, who had a record-setting freshman season in 2018 for Nebraska but struggled at times in 2019, will take the first snaps after competing with redshirt freshman Luke McCaffrey in the preseason. Frost repeatedly praised McCaffrey on Monday, saying Nebraska feels like it has "two first-string quarterbacks" entering the season. Martinez's experience, with 21 career starts and 5,817 yards of total offense, made the difference in the decision. "If Luke had already been playing and we had the same camp, it probably would have been Luke," Frost said. "We feel we have the luxury of two starters." Martinez on Sunday was named a team captain for the second straight year. His passing numbers dropped from 2018 to 2019, when he had 1,956 yards with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions, while his rushing production remained steady...
October 19
October 19

Carolina Panthers working virtually on Monday, Tuesday after unconfirmed positive test

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers have instructed players, coaches and other staff to work virtually from home on Monday and Tuesday after receiving an unconfirmed positive test result for COVID-19. The training room at Bank of America Stadium was open to essential personnel and players such as running back Christian McCaffrey (high ankle sprain) who are going through treatment. The person with the unconfirmed test was retested on Monday. Results of that test aren't expected until Tuesday, so at this time nobody has been added to the NFL's COVID-19 list. The team currently plans to have players, coaches and staff return to the facility on Wednesday. Team spokesperson Steven Drummond said the decision to have other personnel work remotely was made out of an "abundance of caution.'' He said the team remained under the intense protocol it entered Wednesday after playing an Atlanta team that had a player test positive for coronavirus after the teams met on Oct. 11. On...
October 19
October 19

Michigan Wolverines WR Nico Collins not with football team, Jim Harbaugh says

Michigan star wide receiver Nico Collins, who hasn't commented on his status since reportedly signing with an agent in September, is no longer with the team, coach Jim Harbaugh said on Monday. "Nico is not participating in football right now," Harbaugh said. "I don't have a crystal ball as to if his mind would change on that. I know he's not currently on the team." No. 18 Michigan opens its season on Saturday at No. 21 Minnesota. Collins had 78 receptions for 1,388 yards and 13 touchdowns over his three-year career, and originally announced his intent to return for his senior season. He had 37 catches for 729 yards and seven scores last year but reportedly decided to opt out this season before the Big Ten announced its plans to return. It's a significant loss for a team that also had to replace quarterback Shea Patterson, four starting offensive linemen, and receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, who decided to skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft....
October 19
October 19

Michigan Wolverines WR Nico Collins not with team, Jim Harbaugh says

Michigan star receiver Nico Collins, who hasn't commented on his status since reportedly signing with an agent in September, is no longer with the team, coach Jim Harbaugh said on Monday. "Nico is not participating in football right now," Harbaugh said. "I don't have a crystal ball as to if his mind would change on that. I know he's not currently on the team." No. 18 Michigan opens its season on Saturday at No. 21 Minnesota. Collins had 78 receptions for 1,388 yards and 13 touchdowns over his three-year career, and originally announced his intent to return for his senior season. He had 37 catches for 729 yards and seven scores last year, but reportedly decided to opt out this season before the Big Ten announced its plans to return. It's a significant loss for a team that also had to replace quarterback Shea Patterson, four starting offensive linemen, and receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, who decided to skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft. Still, Harbaugh...
October 19
October 19

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz expected out 3-4 weeks; RB Miles Sanders likely out vs. Giants

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz is expected to miss three to four weeks with an ankle injury, sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Monday. A source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Ertz suffered a high ankle sprain. Sources told Mortensen that the Eagles are also expected to be without running back Miles Sanders for Thursday's game against the New York Giants because of a knee injury. Both players were injured during Sunday's 30-28 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Ertz tried to reenter the game after initially injuring his ankle and having it taped, but he pulled up while running a route in the fourth quarter and was unable to finish. Sanders was hurt on his 74-yard run in the third quarter when he was tackled from behind by DeShon Elliott. He left the game and did not return. During his media availability Monday, coach Doug Pederson said he did not have any update on Ertz or Sanders but that he expected to have more...
October 19
October 19

Charles Barkley, Stephen Curry replace Tiger Woods, Tom Brady for latest charity golf match

Phil Mickelson will take part in another high-profile charity golf match, but this time Tiger Woods will not be part of it. Charles Barkley will partner with Mickelson in a match against Stephen Curry and Peyton Manning on Nov. 27 at Stone Canyon Golf Club in Arizona. Called Capital One's The Match: Champions for Change, the format will be modified alternate shot and will begin at 3 p.m. ET the day after Thanksgiving. The event will be televised by Turner Sports on TNT. Mickelson and Woods staged a high-profile match two years ago in Las Vegas, with Mickelson emerging as a $9 million winner. They joined forces again in May with Manning and Tom Brady in a match that raised more than $10 million for coronavirus relief efforts. Proceeds for this November's match will go to historically Black colleges and universities. "While we may need a handicap for Chuck, I'm looking forward to playing with Peyton and Stephen and to help raise money for another...
October 19
October 19

Tennessee Titans LT Taylor Lewan confirms he suffered torn ACL

Tennessee Titans star left tackle Taylor Lewan confirmed Monday that he has a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. Lewan tweeted that an MRI taken Monday confirmed the ACL tear, adding: "Don't feel sorry for me, I'm going to handle this rehab like a Pro and come back better than ever." Lewan suffered the injury in the third quarter of Sunday's overtime victory over the Houston Texans. Tennessee rallied without the three-time Pro Bowler to improve to 5-0. "Disappointed for Taylor," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Monday. "He worked extremely hard. We're confident that he'll be back. But that's kinda what we've done; that's all we really know. That's how we try to operate is that we'll get the next guy in there, and we'll see what's best and try to move forward with the next guy in there." Lewan played 226 offensive snaps for the Titans this season. He played 40 snaps before suffering the injury Sunday. The Titans gained an average of 3.9 yards per rushing...
October 19
October 19

Tennessee Titans LT Tyler Lewan confirms he suffered torn ACL

Tennessee Titans star left tackle Taylor Lewan confirmed Monday that he has a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. Lewan tweeted that and MRI taken Monday confirmed the ACL tear and added: "Don't feel sorry for me, I'm going to handle this rehab like a Pro and come back better than ever." Lewan suffered the injury in the third quarter of Sunday's overtime victory over the Houston Texans. Tennessee rallied without the three-time Pro Bowler to improve to 5-0. "I can't wait to watch my guys crush it," Lewan said Monday in a follow-up tweet. "I'm going to be the biggest titans fan each and every Sunday. We are doing something special here and this small set back doesn't change a thing!" Now in his seventh season, the 29-year-old Lewan has been selected to three Pro Bowls. Also, Titans tight end Jonnu Smith is dealing with a "minor" ankle sprain and is expected to be considered questionable for Sunday's game against the Steelers, a source told...
October 19
October 19

Source: New Orleans Saints still playing at Superdome for now

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints will remain at home in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, a source confirmed to ESPN. Although the Saints and the NFL have talked with officials in Baton Rouge about the idea of moving games to LSU's Tiger Stadium so fans can be in attendance, that would require ample preparation time. The earliest it could happen is November -- and likely not until Week 11 against the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 22. The Saints' next home game after Carolina is Week 10 on Nov. 15 against the San Francisco 49ers. But LSU is hosting Alabama the day before, and it would be difficult to host both games in Tiger Stadium on back-to-back days. The Athletic was first to report that Sunday's game will remain in New Orleans. The Saints have not made any official announcements. The Saints would like a limited number of fans to be allowed in the Superdome. But so far New Orleans...
October 19
October 19

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton says 'no need to press the panic button' after loss to Denver Broncos

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After the New England Patriots slipped under .500 for the first time this deep into a season since 2002, quarterback Cam Newton expressed confidence in a turnaround. "There's no need to press the panic button. There's no need to start reinventing the wheel. We have the answers in that locker room," Newton said Monday morning in his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI. The Patriots' 18-12 loss to the visiting Denver Broncos on Sunday came after the team had just two practices over a two-week span because of positive COVID-19 tests. Newton noted that the lack of practice showed in the passing game but added that there are no excuses. Newton was 17-of-25 for 157 yards with two interceptions in the loss. He noted that his timing was off, which resulted in his holding the ball too long at times. He was sacked four times. "I just have to be better, and I can't stress that enough moving forward. The anticipation was off. I think...
October 19
October 19

Los Angeles Dodgers favored over Tampa Bay Rays to win World Series

Sportsbooks have installed the Los Angeles Dodgers as the favorites over the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series. After the Dodgers finished off the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, sportsbook operator William Hill U.S. made the Dodgers -210 favorites to beat the Rays in the series, which begins Tuesday. By Monday morning, the consensus price to bet the Dodgers had settled at -195, with the underdog Rays fetching +165 odds. When the revised season was announced in June, the Dodgers were listed as co-favorites with the New York Yankees to win the World Series. The Dodgers remained at the top of oddsboards throughout the abbreviated regular season and have been the betting favorite in every game, including in the postseason. They became the eighth team to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a league championship series and are now headed to the franchise's 21st World Series. While the Dodgers have been wire-to-wire favorites, the Rays have been underdogs...
October 19
October 19

Mike 'Doc' Emrick retiring as hockey play-by-play broadcaster

Longtime NHL announcer Mike "Doc" Emrick is retiring as a broadcaster Monday. "I hope I can handle retirement OK, especially since I've never done it before," Emrick told the New York Post. "But I've just been extremely lucky for 50 years. And NBC has been so good to me, especially since the pandemic, when I was allowed to work from home in a studio NBC created. "Now, into my golden years, this just seemed to be the time that was right." Affectionately known as "Doc" for his doctorate in communications, Emrick, 74, has been the preeminent voice for NHL games on NBC and NBC Sports for 15 years. He served as the play-by-play announcer for the New Jersey Devils for 21 seasons. Emrick's résumé includes calling 22 Stanley Cup Finals and winning eight Sports Emmy Awards for play-by-play, including seven straight from 2014 to 2020. He had stints at ESPN and ABC as well as Fox and CBS and at six Olympic Winter Games. In 2008, Emrick was inducted to the Hockey Hall of...
October 19
October 19

Cody Bellinger's go-ahead HR in Game 7 completes Los Angeles Dodgers' comeback to reach World Series

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Comebacks complete, crises averted, the Los Angeles Dodgers are back in the World Series, determined to do what they couldn't the past two times they tried: end a championship drought of more than three decades. Cody Bellinger's mammoth, seventh-inning home run unknotted a tense, tied game, and Julio Urias vanquished the vaunted Atlanta Braves lineup for the final nine outs in the Dodgers' 4-3 win in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday night. Once trailing 3-1 in the series -- and down for the first five innings of Game 7 -- the Dodgers clawed back with their not-so-secret weapon: the home run. Los Angeles hit 16 in the series, tying an LCS record, and rode  Kiké Hernandez's pinch-hit shot in the sixth, followed by Bellinger's an inning later, to hand Atlanta its latest sporting gut punch. Urias, typically a starter but pitching in a fireman role, was dynamic over the final three innings...
October 19
October 18

New York Jets' Adam Gase: 'I wasn't happy' about defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' veiled shot at offense

New York Jets coach Adam Gase, trying to keep his winless team from fracturing, wasn't pleased that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams took a veiled shot at the offense when speaking to reporters Friday. Gase addressed Williams' comments Sunday night after a 24-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins, which dropped the Jets to 0-6. "I wasn't happy about it, but we talked about it," Gase said. "Right now, our players are doing such a good job as far as trying to get things righted. It's just that everything we say, it matters. He understood that we have to set the right example." With the season spiraling, the coaches have emphasized to players the importance of not pointing fingers. Williams seemed to do just that with a cryptic remark about the struggling offense, which is run by Gase. On Friday, Williams was prompted by a reporter who noted the Jets were allowing 32 points per game. The fiery defensive coordinator replied, "It's not a very good number -- and a...
October 18
October 18

Joe Thornton got advice from Joe Montana about leaving Bay Area

While considering a move to the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent, center Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks sought as much advice as possible. He spoke with family and friends. He spoke with Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau, former San Jose teammates who left the team via free agency. But Thornton said the most memorable guidance he received was from another Bay Area sports legend. "I actually talked to Joe Montana. I think Joe gave me some good advice. He just talked about leaving San Francisco and going to Kansas City," said Thornton, who signed a one-year deal with the Leafs on Friday. In 1993, Montana requested a trade from the 49ers, who shipped the 37-year-old quarterback to Kansas City, where he finished his career with the Chiefs. "I had so many people I talked to over the last week. I'm just blessed I had a chance to talk to some great people. He was one guy who offered me some good advice," Thornton said.   ...
October 18
October 18

Tua Tagovailoa makes NFL debut in Miami Dolphins' blowout win

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Dolphins crowd rose to its feet, making more noise than it had at any point during a  24-0 victory over the Jets as rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa jogged onto the field for his first NFL action. Ryan Fitzpatrick waved his arms up and down in hopes of pumping up the crowd even louder. Other teammates clapped and hugged the sideline in anticipation. Nearly a year since Tagovailoa suffered a scary, potentially career-ending hip injury at Alabama on Nov. 16, 2019, it was Tua Time. In the final minutes of the game, Dolphins coach Brian Flores told Tagovailoa to warm up, and with a little over two minutes left, Tagovailoa entered the game, throwing his first two NFL passes, both completions. Chants of "Tua" rang out as he ran onto the field. "I know there was some excitement when he went in. I'm happy for Tua," Flores said. Fitzpatrick added: "That was just a cool moment for him, just the reception from the crowd...
October 18
October 18

Tua Tagovailoa makes NFL debut in Miami Dolphins' blowout

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins crowd rose to its feet making more noise than it had at any point during a 24-0 victory over the New York Jets as rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa jogged onto the field for his first NFL action. Ryan Fitzpatrick waved his arms up and down in hopes of pumping up the crowd even louder. Other teammates clapped and hugged the sideline in anticipation. Nearly a year since Tagovailoa suffered a scary potentially career-ending hip injury at Alabama on Nov. 16, 2019, it was Tua Time. In the final minutes of the game, Dolphins coach Brian Flores told Tagovailoa to warm up and with a little over two minutes left, Tagovailoa entered the game, throwing his first two NFL passes, both completions. Chants of "Tua" rang out as he ran onto the field. "I know there was some excitement when he went in. I'm happy for Tua," Flores said. Fitzpatrick added: "That was just a cool moment for him, just the reception from the...
October 18
October 18

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers no match for Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense, picked off twice in loss

Don't tell Aaron Rodgers that Super Bowl LV is at Raymond James Stadium. That hasn't been the Green Bay Packers quarterback's happy place. Twice he has left Tampa, Florida, injured: a shoulder in 2008 and a calf in 2014. He showed up there Sunday hoping for something different, saying last week: "I'm hoping the third time is the charm." There was nothing charming about Sunday. Rodgers threw a pair of interceptions, including a rare pick-six, and the Packers (4-1) lost for the first time this season, 38-10 to Tom Brady and the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2). "You don't ever want to lose like this," Rodgers said. "I felt like we needed a little bit of a wake-up call at some point this season because things have been so good and there's been so much talk maybe outside the building about the ease with which we're moving the ball on offense and scoring. I think we needed kind of a kick in the ass a little bit. "There's a little bit of wake-up to...
October 18
October 18

Houston Texans' Romeo Crennel on 2-point try: Tried to put game out of reach for Tennessee Titans

Although it has been just two games, as Houston Texans interim head coach, Romeo Crennel has shown a desire to be aggressive when trying to put away games. So when the Texans scored to take a 36-29 lead with 1:50 to go and a chance to make it a two-possession game against an undefeated team, he went for it. According to ESPN's win probability calculator, the Texans had a 98.2% chance to win if they kicked the extra point, and 98.1% chance to win if they went for two. It didn't work -- quarterback  Deshaun Watson's pass to Randall Cobb was incomplete -- and the Titans got the ball back down seven points with 1:45 seconds remaining. Tennessee scored a touchdown with four seconds left and needed only an extra point to force overtime. The Texans lost the coin toss, and the Titans marched down the field, eventually winning 42-36. "I wanted to go ahead and get the two points," Crennel said. "It felt like that would kind of put it out of reach for them,...
October 18
October 18

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins: Won't finish season if interceptions continue

MINNEAPOLIS -- Mike Zimmer didn't give much thought to whether he would pull Kirk Cousins amid a first half in which the  Minnesota Vikings quarterback threw three interceptions that resulted in an eventual 40-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, replying with a simple "no" when asked if he considered making a change.  Although the coach dispelled any notion over the quarterback's job security, Cousins is aware of the consequences that could come if his interception trend picks up following the Vikings' bye week. "The reality is if the pace I'm on in terms of the interceptions, if that were to continue, I won't finish the season," Cousins said. "I won't -- you know what I mean? There's a little bit of, you got to improve. Whether it's them telling me, 'Hey, we gotta improve,' or them pulling me; we got to get better. That's what the rest of the season will be about for me is trying to protect the football as best I can. Because when you turn the ball...
October 18
October 18

Joe Judge: Feedback on New York Giants WR C.J. Board 'positive' after scary hit

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A scary moment unfolded on Sunday at MetLife Stadium when New York Giants wide receiver C.J. Board needed to be immobilized and carted off the field after taking a hit against the Washington Football Team. The Giants later said that Board has a concussion and a sprained neck. He was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. After the Giants'  20-19 victory -- the team's first of the season -- coach Joe Judge said the feedback he had received on Board was "pretty positive" overall. "That was a relief," Judge said. Wide receiver Darius Slayton said he believed that Board would be released from the hospital Sunday night. A source told ESPN that it was not believed Board suffered a serious injury to his neck or spine. "The one thing I can say, good-news-wise, is that even on the field, he was moving, he was conscious, he was responding," Judge said. "He had movement in all his extremities. They obviously had...
October 18
October 18

Atlanta Falcons hold on to big lead, clobber Minnesota Vikings for first win of season

The Atlanta Falcons completed a week of new beginnings Sunday by taking a big lead -- and holding it. After jumping out to a 20-point halftime lead at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Falcons closed out their first victory of the season and trounced the Minnesota Vikings 40-23. The performance made a winner out of interim coach Raheem Morris, who replaced the fired Dan Quinn earlier this week. The Falcons entered the game without a win despite holding a 20-0 lead in one of their games (Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys) and a 26-10 advantage in the fourth quarter of another (Week 3 against the Chicago Bears). The firing of Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff initiated an organizational overhaul focused on the long-term future, but Sunday's victory -- albeit against the 1-5 Vikings -- suggested the Falcons might still be competitive in 2020. Holding a game ball during a post-game meeting with reporters, Morris referenced the team's...
October 18
October 18

Atlanta Falcons hold onto big lead, clobber Vikings for first win of season

The Atlanta Falcons completed a week of new beginnings Sunday by taking a big lead -- and holding it. After jumping out to a 20-point halftime lead at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Falcons closed out their first victory of the season and trounced the Minnesota Vikings, 40-23. The performance made a winner out of interim coach Raheem Morris, who replaced the fired Dan Quinn earlier this week. The Falcons entered the game without a win despite holding a 20-0 lead in one of their games (Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys) and a 26-10 advantage in the fourth quarter of another (Week 3 against the Chicago Bears). The firing of Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff initiated an organizational overhaul focused on the long-term future, but Sunday's victory -- albeit against the 1-5 Vikings -- suggested the Falcons might still be competitive in 2020. The Falcons scored 20 points in each half, enough to hold off a late run from the Vikings. Receiver ...
October 18
October 18

Pittsburgh Steelers defeat Cleveland Browns, move to 5-0 for just second time

PITTSBURGH -- Before facing the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Cam Heyward said the team wasn't focused specifically on targeting quarterback Baker Mayfield's bruised ribs.  But he did say the plan was to inflict "good punishment." And that's exactly what the Steelers did, sacking Mayfield four times and intercepting him twice in a 38-7 win that gave Pittsburgh just the second 5-0 start in franchise history and first since 1978. It was also the Steelers' first win against a team with a winning record this season. "That was varsity ball today," coach Mike Tomlin said. "They stepped up and stepped up big all across the board." It wasn't all good news, though, as inside linebacker and defensive playcaller Devin Bush went out with a knee injury in the second quarter. A source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the injury is an ACL tear and Bush will need season-ending surgery.  The 2019 first-round pick...
October 18
October 18

Los Angeles Dodgers starting Dustin May vs. Atlanta Braves' Ian Anderson in Game 7 of NLCS

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dustin May, who threw only two innings in his Game 5 start Friday, will start Game 7 of the National League Championship Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night, opposing Atlanta Braves right-hander Ian Anderson. May, whose right arm has proved resilient, has faced only 18 batters in his two appearances in this series, the other coming in Game 1 on Monday. The Dodgers also have Tony Gonsolin on normal rest after his 88-pitch start in Tuesday's Game 2. Julio Urias, who threw a career-high 101 pitches in his Game 3 start, might also be able to give the Dodgers an inning or two. A primary reason the Dodgers chose May was to provide the 23-year-old right-hander with some "clarity" on when he will pitch, as opposed to leaving him lingering in the bullpen, manager Dave Roberts said. "We'll see how long he can go," Roberts added. "But given he just went a few days ago, certainly not that long." Those three...
October 18
October 18

New England Patriots fall below .500 this late in NFL season for first time since 2002

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots' offense sputtered in a surprising 18-12 loss to the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, putting the franchise in an unfamiliar spot. The Patriots (2-3) haven't been under .500 through the fifth game or later since they were 3-4 in 2002. That was the last season the Patriots did not win 10-plus games. The Buffalo Bills, who host the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, lead the AFC East with a 4-1 record. The Patriots had hardly practiced over the past two weeks, as their facility was shut down multiple times because of COVID-19. The lone full-pads practice had been Thursday, which was the first day quarterback Cam Newton returned after testing positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2. "We need more time together, we need to practice together, we need to execute and do everything better -- no question about that," coach Bill Belichick said. Newton finished 17-of-25 for 157 yards, with two...
October 18
October 18

New York Giants WR C.J. Board immobilized, carted off after hit

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A scary moment unfolded on Sunday at MetLife Stadium when New York Giants wide receiver C.J. Board needed to be immobilized and carted off the field after taking a hit against the Washington Football Team. The Giants later said that Board has a concussion and a sprained neck and was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. Board attempted to make a catch early in the third quarter when he was hit by Deshazor Everett. Board awkwardly fell to the ground and did not appear to move as medical personnel were called onto the field.   The fourth-year wide receiver was later ruled out with a neck injury as the Giants held on to win their first game this season.  Board remained on the ground without movement for several minutes. He had his face mask cut off and his back stabilized before being placed on the cart and leaving the field. Players cleared the middle of the field as medical personnel attended to the injured Giant....
October 18
October 18

Purdue Boilermakers say football coach Jeff Brohm has presumed positive coronavirus test

Purdue football coach Jeff Brohm had a presumed positive test for the coronavirus on Sunday, the school announced. Brohm, who is at home in isolation, is undergoing a PCR test to confirm the results of an antigen test. He is expected to speak with reporters during his regularly scheduled Zoom call Monday morning. The Boilermakers are scheduled to host Iowa on Saturday as the Big Ten Conference begins its virus-delayed, eight-game, conference-only season.  Brohm, 49, is entering his fourth season at Purdue with a record of 17-21. The former NFL and XFL quarterback is 47-31 overall as a college head coach. Other major-college football coaches known to have tested positive for COVID-19 include Florida's Dan Mullen, Alabama's Nick Saban, Florida State's Mike Norvell, Arizona's Kevin Sumlin and Kansas' Les Miles. Saban was cleared to coach the Crimson Tide on Saturday, three days after a false positive test. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg and The Associated Press contributed to this...
October 18
October 18

Purdue Boilermakers say Jeff Brohm has presumed positive coronavirus test

Purdue football coach Jeff Brohm had a presumed positive test for the coronavirus on Sunday, the school announced. Brohm, who is at home in isolation, is undergoing a PCR test to confirm the results of an antigen test. The Boilermakers are scheduled to open their season Saturday at home against Iowa. Brohm, 49, is entering his fourth season at Purdue with a record of 17-21. The former NFL and XFL quarterback is 47-31 overall as a college head coach. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg contributed to this report.
October 18
October 18

Source: Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has had no post-surgical infections

Doctors are pleased that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has had no infections from the surgery on the compound fracture in his right leg, a source told ESPN. "So far, so good," the source told ESPN about Prescott's recovery. Doctors were concerned that an infection could set in and were closely monitoring the situation to guard against it. Prescott was sent home from the hospital Monday afternoon after undergoing surgery Sunday night. Sources expect Prescott to need four to six months of rehab, but Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said the quarterback is "going to challenge any timeline." In a video posted Thursday to Instagram, Prescott said he is "ready to start this road to come back" and is in "great spirits" after the season-ending surgery. Prescott suffered the injury on a tackle in the third quarter of last Sunday's victory over the New York Giants. He was in tears as he was carted off the field with his right leg in an air...
October 18
October 18

Sources: Tennessee Titans not expected to be severely punished by NFL for COVID-19 protocol violations

The Tennessee Titans expect to hear back soon from the NFL about the league's investigation into the organization's COVID-19 outbreak. Although the Titans could face discipline, it is not expected to be as severe as some thought it might be when the league's investigation started, sources told ESPN. The NFL believes that the Titans' violations of the league's COVID-19 protocols were acts of negligence rather than intent, according to sources, so the penalties handed down by the league might not be severe. "The league is trying to be reasonable here," one source close to the investigation told ESPN. "They're taking intent and motive into account. They're backing off the Titans." The NFL's investigation is expected to find that there were members of the Titans organization who were not wearing masks, but one source told ESPN that the league believes neither Tennessee general manager Jon Robinson nor head coach Mike Vrabel directed people to engage in such behavior. Vrabel...
October 18

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