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1 hour ago

Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. out for game with knee injury

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. injured his left knee on the Browns' second snap of Sunday's game while attempting to chase down a Cincinnati Bengals defender after a Baker Mayfield interception. Beckham was officially ruled out for the game. On Mayfield's first attempt of the game, he tried to a force a pass to Beckham down the sidelines. The ball, however, was underthrown and picked off by Darius Phillips. Beckham turned around to chase Philips the other way, but crashed into Phillips and Cleveland fullback Andy Janovich trying to make the tackle. Beckham was then escorted to the locker room by the Browns training staff. Center JC Tretter also went down on the same play but returned for the next series. It was the second consecutive game in which Mayfield was intercepted on his first passing attempt. Minkah Fitzpatrick intercepted Mayfield for a pick-six in  Pittsburgh's 38-7 victory over the Browns...
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3 hours ago

Sources: New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas (hamstring) in jeopardy of missing Week 8 game vs. Chicago Bears

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, after suffering a hamstring injury during practice this past week, underwent an MRI that revealed a Grade 1 strain that is expected to sideline him one to two weeks, league sources told ESPN. Thomas already has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, and there's a real chance he will not play next week against the Chicago Bears, either, according to sources. Thomas is likely to be considered questionable for next week, as he tries to recover from his hamstring injury as well as the high ankle sprain that he suffered in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This means the Saints could be without their top two wide receivers for each of the next two weeks, with Emmanuel Sanders already having tested positive for the coronavirus and being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Sunday's contest will be the fifth consecutive game that Thomas has missed after he...
3 hours ago
October 25

Sources: New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas (hamstring) in jeopardy of missing Week 8 game vs. Bears

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, after suffering a hamstring injury during practice this past week, underwent an MRI that revealed a Grade 1 strain that is expected to sideline him one to two weeks, league sources told ESPN. Thomas already has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, and there's a real chance he will not be able to play next week against the Chicago Bears either, according to sources. Thomas is likely to be considered questionable for next week, as he tries to recover from his hamstring injury as well as the high ankle sprain that he suffered in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This means the Saints could be without their top two wide receivers for each of the next two weeks, with Emmanuel Sanders already having tested positive for the coronavirus and being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Sunday's contest will be the fifth consecutive game that Thomas has missed after he...
October 25
October 25

Source: Antonio Brown's deal with Tampa Bay Buccaneers maxes out at $2.5 million

Wide receiver Antonio Brown can make up to $2.5 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Sunday. Brown's deal, which he is expected to sign Monday, includes $1 million in base salary and roster bonuses, the source said. He can earn $750,000 if the Buccaneers win the Super Bowl and has three $250,000 incentives for receptions, yards and touchdowns. For Brown to earn the individual incentives, the Buccaneers must also make the playoffs, per the source. Sources told Schefter on Friday that Brown had reached an agreement on a one-year deal with the Buccaneers. He still has to pass COVID-19 protocols before he can join the team but is likely to make his Buccaneers debut in Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 8 -- after he completes an eight-game suspension for multiple violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy. The deal reunites Brown with quarterback Tom Brady and could help a team that...
October 25
October 25

NFL fines Tennessee Titans $350K for COVID-19 violations

The Tennessee Titans have been fined $350,000 by the NFL for COVID-19 protocol violations, the league announced Sunday. The NFL informed the Titans last week that their review had concluded and the organization would face a potential fine, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Individuals would 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 incidences of people not wearing masks, but there was insufficient communication regarding player workouts outside the facility. Tennessee had 24 players and team personnel members test positive for the coronavirus from Sept. 24 to Oct. 11. That led to the postponement of the Titans' game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4, a game that will be played Sunday.
October 25
October 25

Tampa Bay Rays stun Los Angeles Dodgers in World Series Game 4 on dramatic finish at plate

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Tampa Bay Rays won Saturday night's Game 4 on one of the wildest finishes in World Series history, capitalizing on a disastrous error by the Los Angeles Dodgers to secure an 8-7 come-from-behind victory and tie the series at 2-2. With two outs and two strikes in the ninth inning, Brett Phillips, a seldom-used outfielder, laced a single to center field off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, bringing in the tying run. That's when things got wild. Center fielder Chris Taylor kicked the ball, and Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena, who started on first, never stopped running. Taylor threw the ball to first baseman Max Muncy, who relayed it to catcher Will Smith. Arozarena had stumbled around third and was going to be out by 30 feet -- until Smith dropped the ball and the ricochet allowed Arozarena to dive home and prompt a celebration that ended with the Rays running gleefully into the outfield. The ...
October 25
October 25

Tampa Bay Rays stun Dodgers in Game 4 on dramatic finish at plate

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Tampa Bay Rays won Saturday night's Game 4 on one of the wildest finishes in World Series history, capitalizing on a disastrous error by the Los Angeles Dodgers to secure an 8-7 come-from-behind victory and tie the series at 2-2. With two outs and two strikes in the ninth inning, Brett Phillips, a seldom-used outfielder, laced a single to center field off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, bringing in the game-tying run. That's when things got wild. Center fielder Chris Taylor kicked the ball, and Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena, who started on first, never stopped running. Taylor threw the ball to first baseman Max Muncy, who relayed it to catcher Will Smith. Arozarena had stumbled around third and was going to be out by 30 feet -- until Smith dropped the ball and the ricochet allowed Arozarena to dive home and prompt a celebration that ended with the Rays running gleefully into the outfield. The...
October 25
October 24

Indiana Hoosiers take down No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions with wild finish

Indiana scored its first win over a top-10 opponent in 33 years by letting its opponent score. Up 21-20 with less than two minutes left, No. 8  Penn State forced a turnover on downs deep in Indiana territory, and with the Hoosiers down to one timeout, the Nittany Lions could have used up most or all of the clock. But Devyn Ford raced untouched toward the end zone and, realizing his mistake a split second too late, fell in for a touchdown and a 28-20 lead. Indiana then proceeded to drive 75 yards, scoring with 22 seconds left and converting the tying 2-point attempt on a  Michael Penix Jr. run. Indiana coach Tom Allen acknowledged that the Hoosiers wanted Ford to score. "We have a signal to our defense to let the opposing team score," he said. "So we made that call. I was surprised. I was hoping he wouldn't go down at the 1-yard line." Penn State coach James Franklin said the plan was to stop short of the goal line. "We went through that situation this...
October 24
October 24

Indiana Hoosiers take down No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions with wild finish

Indiana scored its first win over a top-10 opponent in 33 years by letting its opponent score. Up 21-20 with under two minutes left, No. 8  Penn State forced a turnover on downs deep in Indiana territory, and with the Hoosiers down to only one timeout, the Nittany Lions could have used up most or all of the clock. But Devyn Ford raced untouched toward the end zone and, realizing his mistake a split second too late, fell in for a touchdown and a 28-20 lead. Indiana then proceeded to drive 75 yards, scoring with 22 seconds left and converting the tying two-point attempt on a nifty Michael Penix Jr. run. Indiana coach Tom Allen acknowledged that the Hoosiers wanted Ford to score. "We have a signal to our defense to let the opposing team score," he said. "So we made that call. I was surprised. I was hoping he wouldn't go down at the 1-yard line." Penn State coach James Franklin said the plan was to stop short of the goal line. "We went through that situation...
October 24
October 24

Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle expected out for season after injuring ankle on opening kickoff

Alabama wideout and return specialist Jaylen Waddle is expected to be out for the season after suffering what coach Nick Saban called a combination of a high-ankle sprain and a fracture during the opening kickoff of Saturday's 48-17 win over host  Tennessee in Knoxville.  Saban said the injury is similar to the one former Alabama running back Kenyan Drake suffered in 2014, which caused him to miss most of that season.  "We're going to fly him back privately with the doctors and take him back to Birmingham and see what we have to do right away,'' Saban said of Waddle. "If that's the case, and we're pretty certain that it is, he would probably be out for the year.'' Waddle, an ESPN preseason All-America selection, was hurt when he took the opening kickoff out to the Alabama 15. He was tackled by  Kenneth George Jr., and Waddle's right foot got caught between the grass and George's body. Waddle was helped off the field, putting no weight on his right...
October 24
October 24

Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle out for season after injuring ankle on opening kickoff

Alabama wideout and return specialist Jaylen Waddle is out for the season after suffering what coach Nick Saban called a combination of a high-ankle sprain and a fracture during the opening kickoff of Saturday's 48-17 win over host  Tennessee in Knoxville.  Saban said the injury is similar to the one former Alabama running back Kenyan Drake suffered in 2014, which caused him to miss most of that season.  "He's out for the year," Saban said of Waddle. "And it's a shame because the guy's a great player. It's exciting for college football to see a guy play like that. I hate it that he gets hurt on a play like that. You're not supposed to bring a ball out when you're that deep in the end zone. But he's a great player, so you've got to let him use his judgment." Waddle, an ESPN preseason All-America selection, limped off the field while favoring his right ankle and was taken to the locker room on a cart. According to Saban, Waddle was being flown back to...
October 24
October 24

Clemson Tigers coach Dabo Swinney gets defensive about team's play after win

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney got defensive over repeated questions about his team's performance in a 47-21 win over Syracuse on Saturday, after the Tigers needed a 21-point scoring run over the final 16 minutes to put the contest out of reach. After a question about the team's energy level to start the game, Swinney said, "I just want to make sure I'm at the right press conference here. We did win the game, I think. Am I in the right spot? You don't usually score 47 points if you don't have the right energy. We made some mistakes. It's not energy when you don't make a certain play, or snap the ball over a head. Just didn't execute, but at the end of the day, it's not easy to win. "There's a lot of teams out there that would have lost this game with some of the mistakes that we made. We won the game by almost four touchdowns. I'm not getting any questions about 'Proud of you guys for winning the game.' It's a lot of negative questions. You're not going to get...
October 24
October 24

Las Vegas Raiders activate offensive linemen Kolton Miller, Denzelle Good, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson off COVID-19 list

HENDERSON, Nev. -- The Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday activated four starting offensive linemen who had close contact with right tackle Trent Brown earlier this week. Left tackle Kolton Miller, left guard Denzelle Good, center Rodney Hudson and right guard Gabe Jackson came off the COVID-19 list but still must test negative for the virus on Sunday morning in order to play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. None of the four players have tested positive since going on the COVID-19 list this week as high-risk close contacts to Brown, who tested positive on Wednesday morning. The four players were with Brown at practice on Monday. According to league protocol, as high-risk contacts they had to test negative for five consecutive days, plus the last day of contact. Safety Johnathan Abram had contact with Brown on Tuesday, so there is not enough time for him to finish the protocol and play against Tampa Bay. Brown was not wearing his tracking device, as mandated...
October 24
October 24

Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, announces retirement

Khabib Nurmagomedov kneeled down and put his head in his hands. Tears streamed from his eyes. The burden he had been carrying for the past three months had been released. The typically stoic champion's emotions got the better of him. Nurmagomedov, one of the best fighters in mixed martial arts history, submitted Justin Gaethje -- whom many said would be Nurmagomedov's toughest test -- via triangle choke at 1 minute, 34 seconds of the second round while fighting with a broken foot Saturday in the main event of UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. And he did it with a broken foot, according to UFC president Dana White. This was Nurmagomedov's first fight since his father and head coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, died in July from complications of COVID-19. And afterward, Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from mixed martial arts. Nurmagomedov, 32, said his mother did not want him to compete without his father, but he told her this would be his last...
October 24
October 24

Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle out for season after injuring lower leg vs. Tennessee

Alabama wideout and return specialist Jaylen Waddle is out for the season after suffering a lower leg injury during the opening kickoff of Saturday's 48-17 win over  Tennessee.  "He's out for the year," coach Nick Saban said. "And it's a shame because the guy's a great player. It's exciting for college football to see a guy play like that. I hate it that he gets hurt on a play like that. You're not supposed to bring a ball out when you're that deep in the end zone. But he's a great player, so you've got to let him use his judgment." Waddle, an ESPN preseason All-America selection, limped off the field while favoring his right ankle and was taken to the locker room on a cart. The CBS telecast later showed him being loaded into an ambulance.  The junior from Houston caught 25 passes for 557 yards and four touchdowns through four games this season. He is No. 12 on Mel Kiper's Big Board of NFL draft prospects. With Waddle sidelined, Alabama turned to ...
October 24
October 24

Ohio State Buckeyes coach Ryan Day apologizes for not taking knee late against Nebraska Cornhuskers

Ohio State coach Ryan Day apologized to Nebraska for the Buckeyes offense not taking a knee in the final seconds of Saturday's 52-17 win at Ohio Stadium. Leading 45-17 in the final minute, the Buckeyes reached the Nebraska 2-yard line. Rather than take a knee, freshman quarterback Jack Miller ran into the end zone. "I feel bad about that," Day said. "I had a younger quarterback in the game, and I didn't feel like we had the personnel to take the knee, and I probably should have done that. So I just want to publicly apologize to them, to [Nebraska coach] Scott [Frost]." Frost did not address Ohio State's final touchdown after the game. He did take a timeout with three seconds left to run a final play. Day said he would contact Frost to apologize. The two coaches have a good relationship, and Frost on Monday praised Day and Ohio State for joining Nebraska in the fight to reinstate the Big Ten season. Asked about several Nebraska hits in the second half, including...
October 24
October 24

New York Giants aware of video showing Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley without masks

The New York Giants say they are aware of a video that shows starting quarterback Daniel Jones and injured running back Saquon Barkley maskless and not practicing social distancing while at a bar. "We are looking into the nature and context of what is on the video," the team said in a statement. The video was posted on Instagram but has since been taken down. Sources told ESPN's Jordan Raanan that team discipline is unlikely. The NFL, however, could choose to discipline them. The two Giants had dinner with some teammates, including receiver Sterling Shepard, and friends in a private room at a restaurant in New York on Friday night, a source said. Afterward, they were invited to have a drink at a bar that is closed to the public. A video of Jones sharing a drink with a woman was taken at the Manhattan bar, a source said. Earlier this season, the NFL fined 10 Las Vegas Raiders players, including tight end Darren Waller and...
October 24
October 24

Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle ruled out vs. Tennessee with lower leg injury

Alabama wideout and return specialist Jaylen Waddle was ruled out of Saturday's game against Tennessee after suffering a lower leg injury during the opening kickoff. Waddle, an ESPN preseason All-America selection, limped off the field favoring his right ankle and was immediately taken to the locker room on a cart. CBS reported that Waddle was receiving an X-ray, and the telecast showed him being loaded into an ambulance.  The junior from Houston has caught 25 passes for 557 yards and four touchdowns through four games this season. With Waddle sidelined, Alabama turned to Slade Bolden as the team's third receiver. Bolden, who hadn't caught a pass this season, had receptions on each of Alabama's first two drives against Tennessee.
October 24
October 24

Robert Whittaker beats Jared Cannonier, eyes UFC title shot vs. Israel Adesanya

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is right back at the top of the division -- and some would say he never left. Whittaker (22-5) defeated Jared Cannonier (13-5) via unanimous decision in the co-main event of UFC 254 on Saturday on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. It is Whittaker's second win in three months, as he outpointed Darren Till in a close fight in July in Abu Dhabi. Whittaker is now 2-0 since losing his title to Israel Adesanya in October 2019. Adesanya (20-0) is still the champion and has defended the belt twice. The champ had picked Cannonier to win on Saturday and be his next title challenger, but Whittaker spoiled those plans. "Straight off the back of my last fight, we diligently worked on a game plan [for Cannonier]," Whittaker said. "We know he's aggressive. Followed [the plan] to a T and got a very classy win." UFC president Dana White said an Adesanya-Whittaker fight makes sense. "Israel has a lot of options, but the fight...
October 24
October 24

Buffalo Bills place four, including tight end Dawson Knox, on reserve/COVID-19 list

The Buffalo Bills have placed four players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Of the four, only tight end Dawson Knox has tested positive, the team said. The other three players on the list are tight ends Lee Smith, Tommy Sweeney and Nate Becker, all of whom were deemed to have had close contact with Knox. Sweeney is already on the physically unable to perform list, while Becker is on the team's practice squad. Tight end Tyler Kroft wasn't considered a close contact because his wife, Alexa, was in labor for more than 24 hours and delivered baby Grace around 5 a.m. on Friday. Kroft was at practice Friday but missed the meetings where the virus could have spread, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. In their statement, the Bills said Sunday's road game against the New York Jets remains as scheduled, with the team planning to travel later Saturday.
October 24
October 24

Golfer Bryson DeChambeau claims 400-yard carry with driver

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- While most of the top players are preparing for the Masters by playing in this weekend's Zozo Championship, Bryson DeChambeau is at home in his Dallas laboratory, concocting ways to tackle Augusta National Golf Club. On Friday, DeChambeau, known as " the golf scientist," unveiled a little bit of his methodology, disclosing via Instagram story that he had achieved 401.3 yards of carry with the driver he is working with and "not even the 48-inch driver." The device he showed to monitor his progress also showed a ball speed of 211 mph and a hang time of 8.2 seconds. Count to eight and consider how long his golf ball stayed in the air. DeChambeau, who won the U.S. Open last month by 6 strokes, said two weeks ago at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open that he planned to spend the month prior to the Masters hitting "2,000 drivers'' and experimenting with a 48-inch shaft, the longest allowed by the Rules of Golf. Most...
October 24
October 24

Tyson Fury plans Dec. 5 fight in London; Deontay Wilder unlikely

LONDON -- WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury said Saturday that he plans to fight in London on Dec. 5, but his opponent is unknown. "I'd just like to announce I'm definitely fighting December the 5th in London. Opponent to be announced very, very soon," Fury said in a video message posted on his social media accounts. "Just working on some opponents. Let you all know who it's going to be shortly." Fury and his co-promoter Frank Warren recently expressed doubt that a third fight with American Deontay Wilder would happen in 2020. Fury claimed the WBC belt off Wilder with a seventh-round stoppage in February, after their draw in 2018. A fight between undefeated Michael Conlan and former WBO junior featherweight champion Isaac Dogboe has been agreed upon for Dec. 5 at Royal Albert Hall in London. That fight is expected to be part of the Fury card, sources told ESPN's Steve Kim. Fury, 32, announced in June that he had agreed to a two-fight deal with Anthony Joshua....
October 24
October 24

Bettor places $8.6K bet to win $8.60 if Clemson Tigers beat Syracuse Orange

No. 1 Clemson is expected to get past struggling Syracuse on Saturday rather handily, according to the betting odds. The Tigers are favored by 46 points over the Orange, who suffered a 38-21 loss at home to Liberty last week, dropping them to 1-4. Clemson, on the other hand, is rolling at 5-0 and coming off a 73-7 beatdown of Georgia Tech. The Tigers are outscoring their opponents by an average of 36.6 points per game. The odds on Clemson beating Syracuse straight up are so ridiculous that most sportsbooks aren't offering a money-line price on the game. FanDuel, however, is, and has the Tigers listed at -100,000 to win outright, while Syracuse is +4,000 (40-1) to pull off the upset. That's right. If you want to bet on Clemson to beat Syracuse, you'd need to put up $1,000 to win $1 at FanDuel, one of the only U.S. sportsbooks to offer a money-line price on the seemingly lopsided matchup. And someone did. According to FanDuel, a bettor placed an...
October 24
October 24

Syracuse Orange WR Taj Harris not playing a week after making obscene hand gesture

Syracuse's  Taj Harris, who led the ACC in receiving yards entering Saturday, did not play against No. 1  Clemson after not making the trip. Last week in a loss to Liberty, Harris was seen making an obscene hand gesture at television cameras filming the Syracuse bench. Athletic director John Wildhack said after the game that the gesture was "inappropriate" and "unacceptable." Coach Dino Babers said earlier this week that Harris had apologized to the team on Sunday and that the discipline would be handled internally. "That stuff is always in-house. That's family business," Babers said after Saturday's 47-21 loss. "I love that young man and I want nothing but the best for him and his mom." Harris leads Syracuse with 434 receiving yards and four touchdowns and has made 24 career starts.
October 24
October 24

Clemson Tigers without DT Tyler Davis, LB James Skalski vs. Syracuse Orange

Top-ranked  Clemson will be without two starters on defense Saturday against Syracuse, as the school announced that tackle Tyler Davis and linebacker James Skalski are unavailable. The school did not say why the players are out, referring questions to coach Dabo Swinney following the game. Davis was injured in the season opener and missed two games, but he returned and played the past two weeks and was listed as the starter on the depth chart released this week. Skalski ranks second on the team with 27 total tackles and also was listed as the starter on the depth chart.
October 24
October 24

Graham Mertz rewrites Wisconsin football record book in debut as starter

Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz broke the program record for completion percentage in a game on Friday, completing 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns in the Badgers'  45-7 win over visiting  Illinois in Madison. "It was definitely fun," Mertz said afterward. "I owe it to Coach [Jon] Budmayr and Coach [Paul] Chryst, we took a ton of time, one-on-one meetings and really just sorted the game plan out and we knew what we were doing and I felt confident in my ability to go execute and I think there's definitely some stuff we need to clean up. A lot more stuff we can clean up." Mertz, a redshirt freshman, was moved up to the starting role after Jack Coan suffered a non-contact injury to his foot in practice and underwent surgery. This was the first career start for Mertz, and his five touchdown passes tied the program record for most in a game along with Jim Sorgi in 2003 and Darrell Bevell in 1993. "I thought he had good poise, thought...
October 24
October 24

Graham Mertz rewrites Wisconsin record book in debut as starter

Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz broke the program record for completion percentage in a game on Friday, completing 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns in the Badgers 45-7 win over Illinois. "It was definitely fun," Mertz said after the game. "I owe it to Coach (Jon) Budmayr and Coach (Paul) Chryst, we took a ton of time one on one meetings and really just sorted the game plan out and we knew what we were doing and I felt confident in my ability to go execute and I think there's definitely some stuff we need to clean up. A lot more stuff we can clean up." Mertz, a redshirt freshman, was moved up to the starting role after Jack Coan suffered a non-contact injury to his foot in practice and underwent surgery. This was the first career start for Mertz, and his five touchdown passes tied the program record for most touchdown passes in a game along with Jim Sorgi in 2003 and Darrell Bevell in 1993. "I thought he had good poise, thought he saw...
October 24
October 23

Los Angeles Dodgers' Walker Buehler first with 10 K's in 6 innings of World Series

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Every start he makes, every time he dominates, Walker Buehler burnishes a résumé that's beginning to resemble those of the best postseason pitchers ever. All he did in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday was bolster his case. Buehler became the first pitcher in World Series history to record double-digit strikeouts in six innings, and his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates used big bats and small ball to overwhelm the  Tampa Bay Rays in a 6-2 victory that left the Dodgers two wins shy of their first championship since 1988. The postseason bona fides of Buehler, a 26-year-old right-hander, were already impressive. His six-inning, three-hit, one-run, one-walk, 10-strikeout performance ranked among his most dominant yet. Buehler said the experience helped his composure.  "I think the more you do these things the calmer you get," Buehler said. "I don't want to keep harping on it, but I enjoy doing this. And I feel good in these...
October 23
October 23

Alabama Crimson Tide's Nick Saban concedes defense is no longer key to victory

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban has finally relented, albeit reluctantly. He said college football has officially become an offensive game. "It used to be that good defense beats good offense. Good defense doesn't beat good offense anymore," Saban told ESPN on Friday. "It's just like last week. Georgia has as good a defense as we do an offense, and we scored 41 points on them [in a 41-24 Alabama win]. That's not the way it used to be. It used to be if you had a good defense, other people weren't going to score. You were always going to be in the game. "I'm telling you. It ain't that way anymore." And how's that sit with Saban, one of the foremost defensive minds in the game and the architect of some of the more dominant defenses in college football over the past two decades? "I don't like it," he said with a wry smile. "But we just have to make sure we have an offense that's that way and that explosive, which we have." The No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide,...
October 23
October 23

Sources: Antonio Brown reaches contract agreement with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Antonio Brown and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reached an agreement on a one-year deal, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Friday. While contract language still has to be finalized and Brown has to pass COVID-19 protocols before he can join the team, Brown is likely to make his Bucs debut in Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 8. Both sides wanted to complete a deal that reunited Brown with quarterback Tom Brady. The Seattle Seahawks were also in the mix before Brown and the Buccaneers reached an agreement. The Bucs have been banged up at the wide receiver position. Mike Evans has been playing on an injured ankle since Week 4 and hasn't been able to practice consistently,  Chris Godwin just returned from a hamstring injury, and deep threat Scotty Miller has been limited by a groin/hip injury. Brady had been pushing for the Bucs to sign Brown since the summer. Brady took Brown under his...
October 23
October 23

Source: Antonio Brown working on contract with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Antonio Brown will visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday and the sides are working toward an agreement on a contract, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Both sides want to complete a deal that would reunite Brown with quarterback Tom Brady. There are steps to be taken during the visit, and the Seattle Seahawks are still in the mix, but the Buccaneers have emerged as the favorites, the source told Schefter. The Houston Chronicle first reported that Brown would visit the Buccaneers. The Bucs have been banged up at the wide receiver position. Mike Evans has been playing on an injured ankle since Week 4 and hasn't been able to practice consistently, while Chris Godwin just returned from a hamstring injury, and deep threat Scotty Miller has been limited by a groin/hip injury. Brady has been pushing for the Bucs to sign Brown since the summer. Brady took Brown under his wing during Brown's brief tenure in New England -- on and off...
October 23
October 23

Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier 'surprised ... upset' at Gold Glove snub

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Add Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier to the list of players who don't like how the Gold Glove nominees were determined in 2020 after the three-time winner was left off the list of finalists Thursday. "I was very surprised," Kiermaier said before the Rays' 6-2 loss in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday. "And once that emotion left me, I was disappointed. I was upset. I feel like what I did out there, defensively, was underappreciated this year." Finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award at each position were picked purely by numbers this season, and the process did not include input from managers or coaches as it usually does. In the past, a computer component was part of the process -- but not the entire one. "I wasn't flawless by any means, but I thought I was darn good out there, and not to be considered top three ... I don't know," Kiermaier said. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't upset about it." Kiermaier knew...
October 23
October 23

Source: Washington QB Dwayne Haskins fined for breaking team's coronavirus-related protocols

ASHBURN, Va., -- The Washington Football team fined quarterback Dwayne Haskins for violating the team's COVID-19 protocols, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Haskins made a reservation for a family friend at the team hotel the night before Washington played at the New York Giants last week. The team fined him $4,833 -- the maximum it could have fined him was $14,650, a source told Schefter. Another source said Haskins had made a reservation for this person, but it was caught before the person arrived, so there was never any contact. Washington has not had any positive test cases since the team reported for training camp in late July. The team also was the first to pull its scouts off the road in the spring when the pandemic hit and among the first to close its building. Haskins, the 15th overall pick in 2019, was inactive for the game, a 20-19 loss. Washington benched him two weeks ago in favor of Kyle Allen.
October 23
October 23

Sources: NBA eyes pre-Christmas start, 72-game regular season

The NBA is pursuing a pre-Christmas Day start and a reduced regular-season schedule for the 2020-2021 season, abandoning plans to delay the opening with hopes of incorporating fans back into arenas, sources told ESPN. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is proposing several changes to next season that include a 72-game regular season, a play-in tournament and the likelihood of no All-Star Game or All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis, sources said. The league is considering a two-week break at the midway point of the season, sources said. The NBA shared these plans in a call with the league's board of governors on Friday afternoon, and the league plans to move quickly to complete negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association to implement the plan, sources said. The reduction in regular-season games -- which would help accommodate a play-in tournament format for both conferences -- allows the NBA to finish the season before the Summer Olympics in Japan. A...
October 23
October 23

Arizona receives NCAA's Notice of Allegations on men's basketball team

Arizona received its notice of allegations from the NCAA, the school announced on Friday. It provided no further information. "In order to protect the integrity of the ongoing enforcement process, the University is not releasing the NOA at this time," the school said. Arizona Board of Regents Chair Larry E. Penley released a statement shortly after the school's announcement. "The Arizona Board of Regents will meet in executive session next week to discuss the NCAA's Notice of Allegations issued to the University of Arizona," the statement read. "The board recognizes that the issuance by the NCAA of a Notice of Allegations is another step in its comprehensive enforcement process. Maintaining the integrity of the process, while frustratingly slow, has been and remains essential and we look forward to an expeditious resolution. "The board has confidence in President [Robert C.] Robbins and his commitment to the highest integrity in academic and athletic matters." Arizona's men's...
October 23
October 23

Former UFC champ Henry Cejudo says he'll unretire this year for the right price

Henry Cejudo is retired from mixed martial arts and says he is comfortable if he never competes again. However, the former UFC double champion said he could return before the end of 2020 -- for the right price. Cejudo told ESPN during a video interview Friday that he has not spoken to the UFC recently and won't chase executives to ask for a comeback. But if the promotion antes up the number that he wants, Cejudo says he could be back in short order. "If that lucky number does come up, I'll be back this year if they want," Cejudo said in an interview to promote his sponsor Lifted Trucks. "I'm in shape, I'm ready for anything. But I ain't doing it just because people want to see me fight. I'm doing it because it makes sense for me financially." Cejudo stunningly announced his retirement in the cage following his successful bantamweight title defense against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 on May 9. When Cejudo stepped away, ESPN had him ranked No. 3 in its pound-for-pound...
October 23
October 23

Sources: Boston Red Sox interview Luis Urueta for managerial vacancy

ARLINGTON, Texas -- For the second time in 10 months, the Boston Red Sox interviewed Luis Urueta for the vacant manager position, sources told ESPNdeportes.com on Friday. Urueta, who is from Colombia, interviewed with Red Sox general manager Chaim Bloom last week. The Red Sox also have interviewed Chicago Cubs third-base coach Will Venable and Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Don Kelly, according to The Boston Globe. Alex Cora, who parted ways with Boston and was suspended for one season by Major League Baseball for his role in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, is reportedly a candidate, but he can't interview anywhere until after the World Series. Boston, which ended the 60-game shortened season with a 24-36 record, last in the AL East, decided not to retain manager Ron Roenicke, who replaced Cora in January after serving on his coaching staff. Before naming Roenicke, the Red Sox interviewed Urueta during the search...
October 23
October 23

New Orleans Saints receiver Emmanuel Sanders out after testing positive for COVID-19

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints will be without both of their top receivers Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. Michael Thomas has been ruled out with a hamstring injury that crept up this week. in addition to his pre-existing ankle injury. And Emmanuel Sanders will miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, coach Sean Payton told reporters Friday. Sanders practiced Wednesday and Thursday. But Payton said he began experiencing symptoms of the virus on Thursday afternoon, so the Saints sent him to their doctors for an additional test, which turned up positive. He will now be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Payton, who spoke after Friday's practice, said the team also tested about 20 other people who might have been near Sanders, and all of them tested negative. However, Payton said reserve cornerback Ken Crawley will be added to the reserve/COVID-19 list as a precaution because of their close contact. Payton said...
October 23
October 23

Insurance broker offers COVID-19 health coverage for college athletics

A prominent insurance broker whose clients include the NFL and Major League Baseball is rolling out a policy to cover college athletic departments if their athletes are hospitalized for COVID-19. The insurance potentially covers some 450,000 athletes at more than 1,200 NCAA schools, although it's unknown how many will purchase the policy. Some conferences canceled fall sports, while others are well into the football season. The policy was delayed for months by behind-the-scenes drama. Alex Fairly, the broker who put together the deal, said one insurer dropped out on the eve of the college football season, citing "reputational risk." Fairly wondered whether the company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, was concerned about the political sensitivities around playing sports in a pandemic, but that insurer this week said compliance concerns, not politics, scuttled the deal. "I was stunned," said Fairly, CEO of The Fairly Group in Amarillo, Texas. "It was the first time in my 25...
October 23
October 23

Former UFC champ Henry Cejudo says for the right price he'll unretire this year

Henry Cejudo is retired from mixed martial arts and says he is comfortable if he never competes again. However, the former UFC double champion said he could return before the end of 2020 -- for the right price. Cejudo told ESPN in a video interview Friday that he has not spoken to the UFC recently and won't chase executives to ask for a comeback. But if the promotion antes up the number that he wants, Cejudo says he could be back in short order. "If that lucky number does come up, I'll be back this year if they want," Cejudo said in an interview to promote his sponsor Lifted Trucks. "I'm in shape, I'm ready for anything. But I ain't doing it just because people want to see me fight. I'm doing it because it makes sense for me financially." Cejudo stunningly announced his retirement in the cage following his successful bantamweight title defense against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 on May 9. When he stepped away, ESPN had him ranked No. 3 in its pound-for-pound MMA...
October 23
October 23

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Steve McLendon learned of trade before final game with New York Jets

TAMPA, Fla. -- New Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Steve McLendon found out before the New York Jets' game at the Miami Dolphins last Sunday that he had been traded. McLendon played in the 24-0 Jets loss anyway, which is uncommon for both emotional reasons and because an injury could have nullified the trade. Typically when NFL trades happen prior to games, players are made inactive. "I got the news on Saturday night, that a car would be waiting for me after the game Sunday to come to Tampa," McLendon said Friday. "I was like, 'OK.' Sunday morning, I woke up, I prayed, and I was like, 'This is one last ride.' I told my boys, I was like, 'This is one last ride together.' A lot of guys were saying, 'Man, you're really gonna play?' And I was like, 'Man, this could be the last time I play with y'all in my career.' I said, 'Let's go out here and make it a great one. Let's go have some fun.' "Even though we had lost that day, it was some good...
October 23
October 23

Hue Jackson says Cleveland Browns not helping Baker Mayfield's confidence

Former Cleveland coach Hue Jackson said Baker Mayfield needs to regain his confidence, and Jackson suggested the Browns should be calling more passing plays out of the shotgun formation to help their quarterback. "Baker has not played as well as I think people think he should. To defend him a little bit, I think Baker is not playing in a system, in my mind, that showcases his talent and ability," Jackson told 850 AM ESPN Cleveland on Friday. "You take away from who he is anytime he has to go under center. I don't think that's his strength. When he's in the shotgun, he's a much different player." Mayfield was primarily in shotgun while winning the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma and during his rookie season under Jackson in 2018. But this season, the former No. 1 overall draft pick has been under center a career-high 61% of the time. Under first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski, the Browns (4-2) boast their first winning record since 2014 and lead the NFL in...
October 23
October 23

Cleveland Browns TE Austin Hooper out Sunday with appendicitis

BEREA, Ohio --  Cleveland Browns tight end Austin Hooper has been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals with appendicitis. Coach Kevin Stefanski said Hooper was having his appendix removed Friday. Hooper, a Pro Bowler with the Atlanta Falcons last year, has 22 receptions for 205 yards and a touchdown this season. David Njoku and rookie Harrison Bryant will see their roles increase at tight end in Cincinnati.
October 23
October 23

Army-Navy game will be played at West Point for first time since World War II

West Point will host the 121st Army- Navy game on Dec. 12 instead of it being played in Philadelphia as planned, because attendance limits in the state of Pennsylvania during the coronavirus pandemic would prevent the Brigade of Midshipmen and Corps of Cadets from attending the game, the service academies announced on Friday. It will be the first time since World War II -- when Annapolis hosted the 1942 game and West Point the 1943 game -- that the rivalry has been played at a home site. The two schools also rotated hosting the first four games from 1890 to 1893. "History will repeat itself as we stage this cherished tradition on Academy grounds as was the case dating back to World War II," Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said in a prepared statement. "Every effort was made to create a safe and acceptable environment for the Brigade, the Corps and our public while meeting city and state requirements. However, medical conditions and protocols dictate the...
October 23
October 23

Sources: NBA discussing changes for 2020-21 season, including Christmas start, fewer than 82 games

The NBA's board of governors is meeting Friday and is discussing possible changes to plans for the 2020-21 season, including starting as quickly as possible, playing fewer than 82 games and not waiting for fans to be permitted to all league arenas, sources told ESPN. There has been some discussion among owners about starting as soon as Christmas Day to take advantage of that historically prime NBA showcase, sources said. Numerous teams contacted by ESPN over the past several days weren't sure such a timeline was feasible. Others have been pushing for a start around Martin Luther King Day weekend in mid-January, sources said. Just last month, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said, "The goal for us next season is to play a standard season, 82-game season and playoffs. In home arenas, in front of fans." As with so much during the COVID-19 pandemic, such plans are constantly in flux. That course could ultimately be followed, but in recent days, some governors have pivoted and begun...
October 23
October 23

Concussion likely to keep Dallas Cowboys RG Zack Martin out against Washington Football Team

FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys are preparing as if Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin will not play Sunday against the Washington Football Team because of a concussion. "Unless there's a change in the next 24 hours I don't see Zack participating," coach Mike McCarthy said Friday. "So I think we all recognize that it being a Monday game [last week], it was going to be a challenge, but he's still not through the protocol." Connor McGovern replaced Martin in Monday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals and would make his first career start against Washington, but this is a much different offensive line than what the Cowboys thought they would have when McCarthy was hired and even at the start of the season. When McCarthy was hired in January, the Cowboys had a line that was the envy of most teams, with Pro Bowlers Martin, Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick. But Frederick retired in the offseason and Smith played just two games because of a neck injury that...
October 23
October 23

New York Jets' Sam Darnold starting against Buffalo Bills barring setback, per Adam Gase

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - After missing two games with a sprained throwing shoulder, quarterback Sam Darnold is poised to start Sunday for the winless New York Jets. "Things are trending in the right direction, so, hopefully, barring any setbacks, we'll get him going this Sunday," coach Adam Gase said Friday before practice. The Jets (0-6), who have generated only six offensive touchdowns, hope Darnold can provide a spark against the Buffalo Bills (4-2) at MetLife Stadium. Backup Joe Flacco led the offense to only one touchdown in 25 possessions while Darnold recovered. What makes this decision interesting is that Gase acknowledged that Darnold, who suffered a sprained AC joint on Oct. 1, still isn't 100 percent. On Thursday, Darnold admitted he feels some pain, but he insisted he can deal with it. In a lost season, the Jets could err on the side of caution and rest him another week, but Gase said they made a collaborative decision to play him. The...
October 23
October 23

New York Jets' Sam Darnold starting against Buffalo Bills barring setback per Adam Gase

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is set to start Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills barring any setbacks with his injured shoulder, coach Adam Gase said Friday. Darnold has missed the past two games with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. Gase said Darnold would be limited in practice against Friday but that "everything looks normal." Darnold said Thursday that he feels capabale of dealing with the pain. ESPN's Rich Cimini contributed to this report.
October 23
October 23

Source: Philadelphia Eagles believe WR DeSean Jackson suffered high ankle sprain

PHILADELPHIA --  Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson will miss "significant time" with an ankle injury, coach Doug Pederson said Friday, with signs pointing to a stint on injured reserve. Jackson suffered a high ankle sprain during Thursday night's win, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. The early indication following Friday's MRI is that Jackson will not undergo surgery at this time, a source told ESPN. The injury occurred on a punt return in the fourth quarter. Corey Ballentine made the initial tackle, but Madre Harper then hit Jackson after he was already on the ground, twisting Jackson's body over. Ballentine was flagged for lowering the helmet; Harper was not penalized. Pederson said the play will be submitted by the Eagles to the league for review. "It's unfortunate because of the injury, but that's something that's in the league's hands," Pederson said. "If there's any ramifications, it will come down from them." Jackson had three catches...
October 23
October 23

Report: Trojans WR Munir McClain suspended amid possible fraud probe

A USC Trojans football player was suspended last month by the school in connection to a possible federal investigation into fraud related to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times. Sophomore wide receiver Munir McClain has been suspended since mid-September, his mother, Shan McClain told the Times. But she said the school has not given her or her son a clear reason for the suspension. Michael Blanton, USC's vice president of ethics and professionalism, told Shan that Munir's name surfaced in relation to a complaint that had been filed involving USC students and a plan to apply for Employment Development Department benefits, the Times reported. Munir acknowledged he applied for financial relief from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program but was under the impression he qualified because his source of income -- reselling high-end shoes -- had dried up during the pandemic, the Times reported. A...
October 23

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