Latest Sports Headlines

4 hours ago

Source: USC Trojans QB Jaxson Dart has surgery to repair meniscus injury, out indefinitely

USC freshman quarterback Jaxson Dart had surgery to repair a meniscus injury and will be out indefinitely, a source confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. Three-year starter Kedon Slovis is expected to start against Oregon State on Saturday. Dart replaced Slovis during the Trojans' 45-14 win at Washington State last Saturday after Slovis was knocked out of the game during the opening drive because of a neck injury. Dart came off the bench to throw for 391 yards and four touchdowns but injured his right knee in the second quarter. The Kaysville, Utah, native played the second half with a heavy sleeve on it and had a noticeable limp at times. Interim coach Donte Williams did not discuss Dart's status on Tuesday, only noting that he was not available to practice. The strong showing from Dart raised the possibility that Slovis could be benched for the first time because of poor play. He has started all but one game since taking over when J.T. Daniels sustained a knee injury...
4 hours ago
4 hours ago

Jon Jones says he weighs 255 pounds, wants winner of Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane

LAS VEGAS -- Jon Jones has not yet fought at heavyweight. But the longtime former UFC light heavyweight champion told ESPN on Thursday night that he weighs 255 pounds right now and is planning to get up to 270 before a heavyweight debut he wants to make against the winner of Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane. The heavyweight limit is 265 pounds, so the 6-foot-4 Jones would cut those final 5 pounds for weigh-in day. Jones is the greatest champion in the history of the light heavyweight division, weighing in for those bouts at 205 pounds. "I just don't want to feel smaller than any of the guys," Jones said prior to his first fight with Alexander Gustafsson in 2013 being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. "I want to be more conditioned, more skilled and just as strong, if not the strongest guy." Jones has not fought since he retained the UFC light heavyweight title with a win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020. Jones vacated the...
4 hours ago
September 23

Carolina Panthers lose Christian McCaffrey to strained hamstring, Jaycee Horn to broken foot

HOUSTON --  Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey left Thursday night's game against the Texans with a strained hamstring, and Carolina later lost first-round pick Jaycee Horn to a broken right foot.  The injuries, confirmed by coach Matt Rhule, soured a night that saw the Panthers beat the Texans 24-9 to move to 3-0 for just the fifth time in team history.  Rhule said the team doesn't know the severity of McCaffrey's injury. The star running back will undergo additional tests.  Quarterback Sam Darnold said he talked to McCaffrey after the game and described him as "sad.'' Darnold also had a message for McCaffrey, believing he'll be back this season. "Just that I'm thinking of him and to take his time,'' he said. "We'll be all right without him. Obviously, we want him back. But I want him to take his time and make sure he's good for the end of the season.'' Left tackle Cam Erving said losing McCaffrey will hurt, but he...
September 23
September 23

Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey hurts hamstring; source says Jaycee Horn has broken foot

HOUSTON --  Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey left Thursday night's game against the Texans with a hamstring injury, and Carolina later lost first-round pick Jaycee Horn to what a source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler is a broken foot.  The injuries soured a night that saw the Panthers beat the Texans 24-9 to move to 3-0 for just the fifth time in team history.  McCaffrey was hurt making a run to the left on first-and-10 from the Texans' 14-yard line in the second quarter. He did what appeared to be a stutter step to avoid the defender and went immediately to the sideline after a 2-yard gain. McCaffrey stayed in the sideline medical tent for 22 minutes before emerging and heading to the locker room. He walked under his own power with a slight limp. McCaffrey was replaced by  Chuba Hubbard, a 2021 fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma State. Hubbard finished with 52 yards on 11 carries, while adding three catches for 27 yards.  Early in the...
September 23
September 23

NHL expects 30 of its 32 teams to open arenas at 100% capacity for 2021-22 season

The NHL anticipates 30 of its 32 arenas will open at 100% capacity for the 2021-22 season, according to a memo circulated to teams this week. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Montreal Canadiens are expected to open at 33% capacity, or around 7,500 fans. The Vancouver Canucks will open at less than capacity, too. While the percentage has yet to be determined, the NHL initially estimated it could be at 50%. The NHL anticipates the Toronto Maple Leafs will be at full capacity this season. Currently, the team is only allowed 9,500 fans (50%) at Scotiabank Arena for its preseason game against Ottawa this weekend, according to the Toronto Star. The memo also broke down the current vaccine and testing mandates for fans entering NHL arenas this season. As of this week, 10 of the league's 32 arenas will only allow vaccinated fans to attend games: The Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Ottawa...
September 23
September 23

Rob Pelinka expects all Los Angeles Lakers players to be fully vaccinated by opener

LOS ANGELES -- When the curtain comes up on the new NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers expect all of their performers to be on stage. "On opening night when we play the Golden State Warriors, all of the players that are currently signed on our roster, on that night, will be deemed fully vaccinated," Lakers president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said on a video conference call Thursday. "We're really grateful for that." While the league won't mandate players to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as reported last week by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Baxter Holmes, certain teams will have to follow stricter health and safety protocols than others based on the health and safety requirements of their state and county. Pelinka said the Lakers organization will consult with UCLA Health, a team sponsor, in order to secure the vaccinations for their players. "I think in collaboration with UCLA and the doctors and people internally, we will be...
September 23
September 23

Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf vows to keep emotions in check, tune out opponents' smack talk

RENTON, Wash. --  DK Metcalf believes opponents are trying to bait him into losing his cool, even more often than they did during his 2020 Pro Bowl season. And the Seattle Seahawks wide receiver says he has to do a better job of not biting. "For sure," Metcalf said Thursday, when asked if defenders are trying to take him out of his game by getting in his head. "They can't stop me any other way or stop Tyler [Lockett] any other way. So the best thing they can do is just try to talk stuff to me." Or, as he more colorfully put it when asked what teams are doing differently against him in Year 3: "Talking s---. That's it." Through two games, Metcalf has been involved with several chippy moments with defenders, some of which lasted through the whistle. He's also been flagged four times, including once for taunting after a Seattle touchdown in the second quarter of the opener. That pushed the Seahawks back 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff, allowing the ...
September 23
September 23

Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth to open Ryder Cup vs. Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- The United States duo of Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth will get the Ryder Cup started early Friday morning at Whistling Straits, taking on the European team of Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, both from Spain. The format for the first session is foursomes, also known as alternate shot. Thomas and Spieth teamed to go 3-1 at the 2018 Ryder Cup in France. Garcia is the all-time Ryder Cup points leader, and Rahm is the No. 1-ranked player in the world. They begin at 8:05 a.m. ET.   "Everybody is ready to get going finally,'' U.S. captain  Steve Stricker said. "It's been three years and you come in here on Sunday evening and the practice rounds are great but yet you have Friday in the back of your mind and you are just looking forward to getting out there and getting it going. "I feel great about our pairings. Some teams that have played together over the years, whether in Ryder Cups or some Presidents Cups, so we wouldn't...
September 23
September 23

Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf vows to keep emotions in check, tune out opponent's smack talk

RENTON, Wash. - DK Metcalf believes opponents are trying to bait him into losing his cool, even more than they did during his 2020 Pro Bowl season. And the Seattle Seahawks wide receiver says he has to do a better job of not biting. "For sure," Metcalf said Thursday, when asked if defenders are trying to take him out of his game by getting in his head. "They can't stop me any other way or stop Tyler [Lockett] any other way. So the best thing they can do is just try to talk stuff to me." Or, as he more colorfully put it when asked what teams are doing differently against him in Year 3: "Talking s---. That's it." Through two games, Metcalf has been involved with several chippy moments with defenders, some of which lasted through the whistle. He's also been flagged four times, including once for taunting after a Seattle touchdown in the second quarter of the opener. That pushed the Seahawks back 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff, allowing the Indianapolis Colts...
September 23
September 23

Zach LaVine says this season 'crucial' for direction of Chicago Bulls, his own future

Zach LaVine was excited by the Chicago Bulls' aggressive offseason, but says this season is crucial in determining the direction for the team and himself as he enters the final season of his contract. "At the end of the day it's a business," LaVine told ESPN on Thursday. "They did what was best for the team and I will continue to go out there and do what's best for the team as well. This season going forward is going to be extremely crucial not just for me but for everybody. Winning would take care of everything." Before free agency began and while he was playing for Team USA in Tokyo, LaVine said he'd outplayed his contract and he "wanted his respect" in hopes of getting an extension this offseason. The Bulls, however, would've had to use significant cap space to boost LaVine's $19.5 million salary this season in order to give him a deal that was in line with his market value after he made his first All-Star team last season. The Bulls and LaVine did have extension...
September 23
September 23

Chicago White Sox clinch AL Central title, second straight playoff appearance

CLEVELAND -- The Chicago White Sox clinched the American League Central title by virtue of a 7-2 victory over the second-place Cleveland Indians on Thursday. The celebration on the field was subdued, in part, because the teams had Game 2 of their doubleheader to play but also because the White Sox have much bigger goals in mind. They made the postseason as a wild card team in 2020, but lost in the first round. "Last year left a sour taste in our mouth so it was on us to get back," shortstop Tim Anderson said on the field after the game. "And we did." Chicago lost to the Oakland Athletics in the first round but then went out and signed former A's closer  Liam Hendriks to a multiyear deal and traded for starter Lance Lynn, fortifying an already talented team. "This is the reason I came here," Hendriks said. "A chance to win a division and a chance to go to the playoffs. We're fulfilling that and now we have a chance to win a...
September 23
September 23

Arizona Diamondbacks give manager Torey Lovullo one-year extension despite 104-loss season

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Thursday that they have extended manager Torey Lovullo's contract by one year, through the 2022 season. The Diamondbacks also hold a club option for the 2023 season, according to multiple reports. Lovullo's extension comes with the Diamondbacks in last place in the National League West with a record of 48-104 entering Thursday's game against the Atlanta Braves. Lovullo, 56, has been Arizona's manager since 2017 and has a record of 333-365 in five seasons. He had posted three straight consecutive winning seasons before Arizona finished 25-35 in the 2020 pandemic-shortened season. His best season came in 2017 when he led the Diamondbacks to a 93-69 record (second place in the NL West) and a wild-card victory over the Colorado Rockies before Arizona was swept in the NL Division Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
September 23
September 23

New York Giants' Nick Gates still in hospital after fracturing leg, has more procedures coming in future

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants offensive lineman Nick Gates remains in a Virginia hospital and has more procedures to come after fracturing his leg Thursday night against Washington. Coach Joe Judge wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of it being a career-ending injury, but he seemed hopeful that that wasn't going to be the case. "I'd be lying, if from my perspective, if I said no," Judge said to it potentially being a career-ending injury. "I know that there are some comparisons to other players. These things are all different. I know he's going to have the best medical care possible, here or elsewhere whatever we can do. So we are confident he's going to be able to come back." Jon Perzley, Gates' agent, was confident this wouldn't threaten Gates' career after speaking with his medical team. "Mark my word, Nick will be back in blue next year," he said. "While in some cases these types of injuries can be career-threatening, Nick's situation is...
September 23
September 23

Tony Finau says this Ryder Cup will be different with 'whole new' U.S. team with 'no scar tissue'

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- The U.S. Ryder Cup team includes eight of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, an Olympic gold medalist and the reigning FedEx Cup champion. On paper, at least, the Americans are once again stacked, and they're playing at home in front of a decidedly pro-U.S. crowd. That's why the Americans are 2-to-1 betting favorites, according to Caesars Sportsbook, to defeat the Europeans at the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits this weekend. History shows, of course, that none of that has mattered in this event. Europe has won four of five and nine of the past 12 Ryder Cups, often when the American team was considered more talented and accomplished. What will be different this time? "We have a whole new team,"  Tony Finau said. "We have a team with no scar tissue. There's only a handful of us that [have] even played in a Ryder Cup, and [of] the few of those, we have winning records. So we actually don't have guys on our team that have lost a lot...
September 23
September 23

Oregon Ducks star Kayvon Thibodeaux launches his own cryptocurrency

Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux launched his own cryptocurrency Thursday, the latest in a string of unique business opportunities he has entered into since changes to the NCAA's name, image and likeness rules arrived in July. The coin ($JREAM) will be traded exclusively on Rally, which describes itself as a platform for creators to build their own digital economies. "I feel like crypto is such a new space and having an athlete involve in it kind of changes the dynamic of how athletes are viewed," Thibodeaux told ESPN. "I started looking at crypto in high school and seeing the future in crypto and how far it can go -- this was the next step in starting my future." The initial price of Thibodeaux's coin is expected to be less than a dollar, with roughly 100,000 in circulation at launch. There are plans for 21 million coins to enter circulation, with their release schedule dictated by demand. The coin shares a name with the Jream Foundation, which Thibodeaux founded...
September 23
September 23

Ohio State Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud only to be used as emergency vs. Akron football because of shoulder injury, coach Ryan Day says

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud will be used only in an emergency capacity on Saturday against Akron, coach Ryan Day announced on his weekly radio show on 97.1 FM The Fan. Stroud, according to Day, is nursing a shoulder injury, and the staff felt a week of rest would do the redshirt freshman some good as the Big Ten conference schedule approaches. "We'll see how he's feeling right now, see how he's feeling today coming in, but there was still kind of this feeling that he had that he really couldn't shake, and so maybe rest is something that would go a long way for him," Day said. "And then allow some of these other guys to practice and move forward here. But, yeah, we'll see, we'll see how he's doing, see how he's feeling, and obviously his feedback is important. "If he's ready to roll, let's go. But I think rest here is probably going to be the best option over the weekend." True freshman Quinn Ewers will not be available to play, so ...
September 23
September 23

Ohio State Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud only to be used as emergency vs. Akron due to shoulder injury, coach Ryan Day says

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud will only be used in an emergency capacity on Saturday against Akron, coach Ryan Day announced on his weekly radio show on 97.1 FM The Fan. Stroud, according to Day, is nursing a shoulder injury and the staff felt a week of rest would do the redshirt freshman some good as the conference schedule approaches. "We'll see how he's feeling right now, see how he's feeling today coming in, but there was still kind of this feeling that he had that he really couldn't shake and so maybe rest is something that would go a long way for him," Day said. "And then allow some of these other guys to practice and move forward here. But, yeah, we'll see, we'll see how he's doing, see how he's feeling, and obviously his feedback is important. "If he's ready to roll, let's go. But, I think rest here is probably going to be the best option over the weekend." True freshman Quinn Ewers will not be available to play, so Jack...
September 23
September 23

Brooks Koepka says he wasn't being negative in his Ryder Cup comments

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. --  Brooks Koepka took issue with the media's reporting of an interview with Golf Digest in which he expressed issues with the difficulty of Ryder Cup week. Koepka, in his first public comments since suffering a wrist injury at the Tour Championship three weeks ago, said "y'all spun it negative'' when asked about his comments that led to former U.S. Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger questioning whether he should give up his spot. "I never said it was negative. Y'all spun it that way,'' Koepka said during a news conference Thursday at Whistling Straits, where the Ryder Cup begins Friday morning. "I never said it was negative. I said it was different. Like I said, I've never played any of these team events [before turning pro]. I didn't play Walker Cup. Never played Junior Ryder Cup. Never played anything. "I just said it's different. That doesn't mean it's bad. Y'all spun it that way.'' Koepka added that "I wouldn't be nervous on that first tee if I...
September 23
September 23

Brooks Koepka says he wasn't negative on Ryder Cup format

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. --  Brooks Koepka took issue with the media's reporting of an interview with Golf Digest in which he expressed issues with the difficulty of Ryder Cup week. Koepka, in his first public comments since suffering a wrist injury at the Tour Championship three weeks ago, said "y'all spun it negative'' when asked about his comments that led to former U.S. Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger questioning whether he should give up his spot. "I never said it was negative. Y'all spun it that way,'' Koepka said during a news conference Thursday at Whistling Straits, where the Ryder Cup begins Friday morning. "I never said it was negative. I said it was different. Like I said, I've never played any of these team events (before turning pro). I didn't play Walker Cup. Never played Junior Ryder Cup. Never played anything. "I just said it's different. That doesn't mean it's bad. Y'all spun it that way.'' Koepka added that "I wouldn't be nervous on that first tee if I...
September 23
September 23

Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. getting closer to return, says 'we'll see' if he plays Sunday

BEREA, Ohio -- Odell Beckham Jr. is getting closer to completing his comeback and finally playing again. But the star Cleveland Browns wide receiver is not ready to make it official just yet. "We'll see," Beckham said Thursday, when asked if he'll be making his season debut Sunday against the Chicago Bears. "Taking it [one] day at a time." OBJ is working his way back from last year's season-ending left knee injury, which has forced him to sit out Cleveland's first two games this season. He suffered a torn ACL on Oct. 25, and was a limited participant throughout training camp and practice for the first two weeks of the season. But Wednesday, coach Kevin Stefanski said Beckham was "full go" in the practice for the first time. "Everything going smooth," Beckham said. "Part of the progression, working my way into it. Everything feeling good. Just taking it day by day." The Browns are hoping they will get back one Pro Bowl receiver this weekend after...
September 23
September 23

Americans favored over Europeans, but bettors split on Ryder Cup

The United States will enter the Ryder Cup as the betting favorite over the Europeans, and bettors are somewhat divided which side will prevail this weekend at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. The Americans are -200 favorites to defeat the Europeans, according to Caesars Sportsbook, despite having lost four of the past five Ryder Cups. Caesars has Europe at a 2-1 underdog, and a tie listed at 12-1. Europe, as the defending champion, needs 14 points to retain the Cup, while the U.S. must earn 14.5 points. Caesars Sportsbook told ESPN on Thursday morning that 52% of the bets were on Europe, but 65% of the money was on the Americans. At DraftKings, 70% of the money wagered on the Ryder Cup winner was on Europe as of Wednesday. In Las Vegas, at the Westgate SuperBook, the number of bets were evenly split between the two teams, but nearly 90% of the money that had been wagered on the tournament winner as of Wednesday was on the Americans. "We're hard-pressed to sell much on Europe,"...
September 23
September 23

Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin out at least first two months of 2021-22 NHL season

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin will miss at least the first two months of the 2021-22 NHL season as he recovers from knee surgery, general manager Ron Hextall announced on Thursday. Pittsburgh will begin its season without its two biggest stars; captain Sidney Crosby is sidelined as he recovers from wrist surgery he underwent on Sept. 8. The 35-year-old Malkin is entering his 16th NHL season and the final year of an eight-year, $76 million deal he signed in 2013, which pays him $9.5 million annually. Hextall said on Thursday that there has not been any progress on a new contract extension for Malkin, who would become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2022. Malkin was averaging a point per game last season before he was injured in a collision with Bruins defenseman Jarred Tinordi on March 16. Malkin missed the final six weeks of the regular season and the first two games of the playoffs. The center returned for four playoff games,...
September 23
September 23

Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin out at least first two months

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin will miss at least the first two months of the season as he recovers from knee surgery, general manager Ron Hextall announced on Thursday. Pittsburgh will begin its season without its two biggest stars; captain Sidney Crosby is sidelined as he recovers from wrist surgery he underwent on Sept. 8. The 35-year-old Malkin is entering his 16th NHL season and the final year of an eight-year, $76 million deal he signed in 2013, which pays him $9.5 million annually. Hextall said on Thursday that there has not been any progress with a new contract extension for Malkin, who would become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Malkin was averaging a point-per-game last season before he was injured in a collision with Bruins defenseman Jarred Tinordi on March 16. Malkin missed the final six weeks of the regular season and the first two games of the playoffs. The center returned for four playoff games, then underwent knee...
September 23
September 23

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick 'never evolved' as Tom Brady aged, trainer Alex Guerrero says

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady's personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, said  Patriots coach Bill Belichick "never evolved" in how he treated the star quarterback, a factor that contributed to Brady's exit in 2020 after 20 seasons in New England. "It was like Bill never really ... I think his emotions or feelings never evolved with age," Guerrero told the Boston Herald on Wednesday. "As Tom got into his late 30s or early 40s, I think Bill was still trying to treat him like that 20-year-old kid that he drafted. And all the players, I think, realized Tom was different. He's older, so he should be treated differently. And all the players, none of them would have cared that he was treated differently. "I think that was such a Bill thing. He never evolved. So you can't treat someone who's in his 40s like they're 20. It doesn't work." Asked about Guerrero's comments on Thursday, Brady reiterated his "great respect and admiration" for the Patriots and noted his...
September 23
September 23

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel fails physical, stripped of captaincy

Jack Eichel failed his physical at Buffalo Sabres training camp and has been stripped of his captaincy, as the team and its franchise player remain at an impasse over surgery options. Eichel, 24, has been out since March with a herniated disk in his neck. The star center and his team have battled over the proper way to treat that injury, and he's requested a trade out of Buffalo. He'll be placed on injured reserve to start the 2021-22 NHL season. "Unfortunately, yesterday, Jack did not pass his physical," Sabres GM Kevyn Adams said Thursday. "To this point, Jack is not willing to move forward with the fusion surgery that our doctors are suggesting. So we're going to continue to work towards solutions."  Eichel is in the fourth year of an eight-year, $80 million contract. It's his last season before a full no-movement clause kicks in next summer. After Eichel's injury diagnosis, the Sabres opted for non-surgical rehabilitation, before their medical experts suggested an...
September 23
September 23

No evidence found that San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane bet on NHL games; league considers this 'specific matter closed'

The NHL has completed its gambling investigation into  Evander Kane, saying Wednesday that it found no evidence that the San Jose Sharks forward bet on NHL games. The investigation, which was conducted by Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, in conjunction with NHL Security, was spurred by allegations in social media posts by Kane's wife, Deanna. The couple recently entered divorce proceedings. "The investigation uncovered no evidence to corroborate Ms. Kane's accusations that Mr. Kane bet or otherwise participated in gambling on NHL games, and no evidence to corroborate the allegations that Mr. Kane 'threw' games or did not put forward his best effort to help the Sharks win games," the NHL said in a statement. "To the contrary, the evidence raises doubts about the veracity of the allegations." While the NHL considers this "specific matter closed," the league said it reserves the right to investigate any new information related to gambling accusations. The league...
September 23
September 23

Atlanta Braves' Adam Duvall has home run nixed after baserunning gaffe

PHOENIX -- Adam Duvall passed teammate Austin Riley while running the bases after a drive over the wall in left-center, costing the Atlanta Braves slugger his 38th homer of the season. Duvall was ultimately credited with a two-run single on the bizarre first-inning play in Wednesday night's 9-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. It happened because Riley thought the ball had been caught. With runners on first and third and one out, Duvall hit a deep fly ball off Merrill Kelly. Arizona center fielder Jake McCarthy leaped near the wall, and the ball deflected off his glove and into the first row of seats. Riley, thinking McCarthy had the ball in his glove, retreated to first base as Duvall passed him between first and second. Duvall was ruled out at second on what's known as a "runner's fielder's choice." Freddie Freeman and Riley scored on the play to give Duvall 109 RBIs this season, which leads the National...
September 23
September 23

Warriors' Andrew Wiggins remains unvaccinated, source says, jeopardizing his availability for Golden State

SAN FRANCISCO -- Golden State Warriors swingman Andrew Wiggins said earlier this year that the only way he would get a COVID-19 vaccine is if he were forced to do so. Now, as the start of the 2021-22 season nears, the organization is dealing with an ongoing headache behind the scenes because Wiggins' stance has not changed. Wiggins has, to this point, decided against getting the vaccine, a league source told ESPN, confirming a San Francisco Chronicle report Wednesday night. This has put into question his availability for some games for the start of the season. As of Aug. 20, the city of San Francisco has required proof of vaccination for large indoor events. The Warriors declined to comment on Wiggins' situation late Wednesday night, citing player privacy protocols. In a statement to the Chronicle, the San Francisco Department of Public Health said it would not comment specifically on Wiggins' situation -- unless the NBA grants him a religious...
September 23
September 23

Gersson Rosas fired as Minnesota Timberwolves' president of basketball operations

President of basketball operations Gersson Rosas was fired by the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, with sources telling ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that the team came to the decision after learning more about his relationships within the organization. Team owner Glen Taylor announced Rosas' firing on Wednesday, replacing him with Sachin Gupta, the Timberwolves' executive vice president of basketball operations. Sources close to the situation told Shelburne that incoming owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez had been evaluating Rosas' performance this summer and had planned to relieve him of his duties at some point. According to sources, that process sped up the more they learned about the deterioration of his relationship with Gupta and after evidence was brought to them about a consensual romantic relationship between Rosas and another team employee. While sources said the organization does not believe the relationship violated any of its internal policies, the...
September 23
September 22

National Basketball Players Association hires Tamika Tremaglio to replace Michele Roberts as executive director

Tamika Tremaglio, a prominent Washington, D.C., attorney and longtime National Basketball Players Association consultant, has been hired as the new executive director of the NBPA. Tremaglio will replace Michele Roberts, the first woman to run a major professional sports league union. Tremaglio joins new NBPA president CJ McCollum as the players' association's leadership heading into the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations with the NBA. Tremaglio will retire as the managing principal of Deloitte's Greater Washington practice and take over the NBPA job. "Tamika has been by our side for many years, advising us on the best practices and policies needed for our organization to operate like a successful business," McCollum said in a statement Wednesday. "Given Michele's strong leadership and guidance that have brought us where we are today, we were looking for a next-generation leader, who has the skills, vision and credibility to pick up where Michele will leave off to...
September 22
September 22

Nick Diaz says he didn't want Robbie Lawler fight, has 'resentment' toward MMA

LAS VEGAS -- Nick Diaz never has been one to hold back, whether it be in the cage or talking with the media. On Wednesday, three days before he returns to the Octagon after more than six years away, Diaz spoke of his "resentment" toward mixed martial arts, wondered aloud why he even is competing against Robbie Lawler on Saturday at UFC 266 and maintained his long-held disdain toward fighting. "All the people around me and all the money and the sponsors, they won't let me get away from fighting," Diaz said in a sit-down interview with ESPN's Brett Okamoto. "There's things I could do, but that's not gonna work out. I might as well just go and take my punches. ... I don't want to look back and say, 'Why did I not just do it?' I don't feel great. I feel great to fight. I don't feel great about everything [else]. If I don't do this, I don't know how I'm going to feel about myself." Diaz, 38, said during his time off he had plans to open a gym and teach students, and...
September 22
September 22

NHL finds no evidence San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane bet on his own games, considers this 'specific matter closed'

The NHL completed its gambling investigation of Evander Kane and said Wednesday it found no evidence that the San Jose Sharks forward bet on his own games. The investigation, which was conducted by Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, in conjunction with NHL Security, was spurred by allegations in social media posts by Kane's wife, Deanna. The couple recently entered divorce proceedings. While the NHL considers this "specific matter closed," the league says it reserves the right to investigate any new information related to gambling accusations. The league also said it has opened a new investigation into Kane for "unrelated allegations of potential wrongdoing that were brought to the league's attention." The league did not specify further on that matter. Later Wednesday, the Sharks issued a statement regarding the new investigation, and also announced that Kane won't participate in training camp until further notice. "The Sharks are aware of additional allegations...
September 22
September 22

Toronto Blue Jays plunk Tampa Bay Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier in wake of scouting-card drama

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- So much for that water under the bridge. Just one day after Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo downplayed the fact that Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier had scooped up a scouting card that fell out of Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk's wristband as " agua under the bridge," fireworks erupted on Wednesday. In the eighth inning of the series finale, Toronto pitcher Ryan Borucki plunked Kiermaier to open the frame. Words were exchanged, and both dugouts quickly emptied. While the two teams never came together, Borucki was ejected for his actions, prompting Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo and enraged pitching coach Pete Walker to storm out of the dugout to argue as players spilled onto the field. Walker also was tossed, and there were no incidents between the players. "Oh yeah, it was intentional,'' Kiermaier said of Borucki, who hit him with his first pitch in the eighth during the Rays' 7-1 victory,...
September 22
September 22

Lane Kiffin knocks Tide demise talk, says ability to 'cherry-pick' transfers makes them 'one of most talented teams ever'

The battle of top-15 teams Alabama and Ole Miss is still a week and a half away, and already Rebels coach Lane Kiffin has some things to say about his former employer. Kiffin, who served as offensive coordinator at Alabama under Nick Saban from 2014 to '16, said on Wednesday that the No. 1 Crimson Tide are owning the transfer portal, amassing even more talent than they already do through high school recruiting, where they normally rank among the top three signing classes every season. "Now they go to cherry-pick players for any holes they may have like an Ohio State receiver [ Jameson Williams] or a Tennessee linebacker [ Henry To'o To'o]," Kiffin said. "So now, it's like not only do they get the best draft picks but they get to go into free agency and take players, so it really is going to set up one of the most talented teams ever, which is what we're getting ready to play." Saban, who has been a skeptic of transfer deregulation, warned that the...
September 22
September 22

Tampa Bay Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier is 'shocked' by reaction to taking scouting card

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - So much for that water under the bridge. Just one day after Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo downplayed the fact that Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier had scooped up a scouting card that fell out of Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk's wristband as "agua under the bridge," fireworks erupted on Wednesday. In the eighth inning of Wednesday's series finale, Toronto pitcher Ryan Borucki plunked Kiermaier to open the frame. Words were exchanged and both dugouts quickly emptied. While the two teams never came together, Borucki was ejected for his actions setting off Rays reliever Pete Walker, who berated the umpires for the ejection. The Rays won the game 7-1, after which, Borucki said he wasn't intentionally throwing at Kiermaier. Prior to Wednesday's game, Kiermaier expressed his disbelief with the amount of negative attention the story had generated calling it "hard to believe." Kiermaier was called out sliding into...
September 22
September 22

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Antonio Brown tests positive for COVID-19, sources say

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have placed wide receiver Antonio Brown on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced Wednesday. Brown has tested positive for the virus, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Brown is the third player, along with inside linebacker/special teams captain Kevin Minter and practice squad wide receiver Travis Jonsen, to be placed on the list this week. "Kevin and A.B. are both on the COVID list. With A.B., we've got plenty of guys with a proven track record at that position," Arians said, pointing to their depth at wide receiver with Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson. "Kevin will be missed as far as special teams, but we've got some young guys ready to roll." Arians said Minter and Brown technically still have a chance to play Sunday, but the team is preparing as if they won't be available. Brown, like every one of his teammates and all members of the Bucs' coaching staff, is fully vaccinated, and...
September 22
September 22

Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob fined $50K for comments about Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons

Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob has been fined $50,000 for violating the NBA's anti-tampering rule, the league announced Wednesday. Lacob's fine came after he cast doubt during a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle that the Warriors would be interested in acquiring disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons. "In some ways, it doesn't really fit what we're doing," Lacob told the Chronicle. "He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don't know. He's very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond. Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That's one issue. The salary structure is another." Simmons, 25, intends to never play another game for the 76ers franchise, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Tuesday. As the speculation surrounding Simmons' future continues, the Warriors continue to pop up as a possible landing spot, but Lacob's...
September 22
September 22

Minnesota Vikings, feeling 'it's time to get some wins,' will play Dalvin Cook despite ankle sprain

EAGAN, Minn. -- Dalvin Cook racked up 148 all-purpose yards and a right ankle injury that was classified as a "little sprain" by Vikings coach Mike Zimmer late in Minnesota's 34-33 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Yet despite Cook's injury, the Vikings still plan to use him as they normally would when they host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in their first game at U.S. Bank Stadium in 636 days. "You know, at this stage, it's time to get some wins," Zimmer said. "Dalvin's a tough guy. If he can't play, there's a reason why he's not playing. But he makes us go, so we're going to continue to play him." Cook was injured with 9:52 remaining in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss when he was tackled low by Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt. The running back sported an Ace bandage on his right ankle during media availability Wednesday, and did not participate in practice. "It was one of them games," Cook said. "Physical game, knew what we were getting...
September 22
September 22

College Football Playoff board won't vote next week on proposed 12-team format

The College Football Playoff board of managers, which is comprised of 11 presidents and chancellors who have the authority to change the playoff, will not vote next week on a proposed 12-team format, further delaying any major changes to the current four-team field. The board was originally scheduled to meet with the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick on Sept. 28 in Rosemont, Illinois -- the members' flights were booked. But after some of the commissioners raised numerous issues on a call last week and again at a meeting in Dallas on Wednesday, they opted to continue working before making a recommendation to the presidents for their approval. The commissioners and Swarbrick will still meet in the Chicago area next week, but the presidents and chancellors will now join them by Zoom for all or part of the meeting. "I think we can continue to keep them informed and they'll decide when they're prepared to vote," Swarbrick told ESPN on Wednesday. "It's...
September 22
September 22

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski clears the air on his film-watching habits

TAMPA, Fla. -- After jokingly telling Peyton and Eli Manning on their ESPN Monday Night Football MegaCast that he "doesn't watch film," Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski cleared the air Wednesday, saying that, yes, he actually does watch film and that his job isn't as cushy as he made it out to be. "I actually watch tons of film. An overload of film. I will probably blame [Bucs vice president of communications] Nelson [Luis] over there. He asked me eight times to go on the show. I told him, 'It's not a good idea.' They always get me in that type of silly atmosphere, and that's what happened," Gronkowski said, joking. "Now Coach [Bruce Arians] threatened me. I don't get my vet day anymore." After Arians' news conference Wednesday, just before Gronkowski's was set to begin, Arians did jokingly tell him in front of reporters that he wasn't allowed to take any more veteran rest days after the comments he made. Gronkowski joked on the show, "I just run by...
September 22
September 22

Gersson Rosas out as Minnesota Timberwolves' president of basketball operations

Gersson Rosas is out as the Minnesota Timberwolves' president of basketball operations. Team owner Glen Taylor made the announcement Wednesday in a two-sentence statement that revealed no direct explanation for the dismissal after just two seasons. "As an organization, we remain committed to building a winning team that our fans and city can be proud of,'' said Taylor, who has begun the process of selling his majority stake in the club to e-commerce mogul Marc Lore and former baseball star Alex Rodriguez. Sachin Gupta, the Timberwolves' executive vice president of basketball operations, will also assume "basketball operations oversight," Taylor said. The Wolves are planning to conduct a broader search to find a permanent replacement, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The timing of Rosas' dismissal caught players and other members of the organization by surprise, sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Zach Lowe. Rosas was still holding meetings and was in the gym...
September 22
September 22

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson 'sore' after 'cool' TD flip but would do it again

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson hasn't been discouraged to flip into the end zone again, even though he is still feeling the aftereffects of his first high-flying touchdown in the NFL. "I'm kind of sore," Jackson said Wednesday while stretching out both arms. "I didn't want to tell Coach [John Harbaugh] because Coach would probably [have] said something to me about flipping next time. I don't know; I'd probably do it again though." Jackson then smiled and added, "It was pretty cool." In Sunday's 36-35 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, Jackson punctuated the winning 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter with an acrobatic aerial move. He didn't stick the landing, however. Jackson acknowledged that he fell hard on his backside. Harbaugh didn't see Jackson's celebratory acrobatics; he learned about them later from his wife, Ingrid. "Then I heard his hip hurt, and I'm like, 'I'm not surprised,'" Harbaugh said Monday. Will...
September 22
September 22

Chicago Bears rookie QB Justin Fields set for first start; Andy Dalton not expected to play due to knee injury

Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields will make his first career start Sunday as Andy Dalton is expected to be out with a left knee injury, coach Matt Nagy told reporters Wednesday. "It's a great opportunity for Justin and for all of us as a staff to be able to take this thing and see where he goes with this," Nagy said of Fields' first starting opportunity. Nick Foles will serve as Fields' backup Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, Nagy said. Fields said he believes he is ready for his first NFL start. "I've been preparing for this moment for a long time," Fields said. "My mindset doesn't change. I'm still going to have to play my football and just prepare the best I can. Like I said before, get a lot of practice reps and study, study, study, and get more comfortable and confident with the plays and stuff like that." Dalton suffered the knee injury Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals after landing awkwardly on the Chicago sideline...
September 22
September 22

Katie Ledecky joining Florida Gators as volunteer swimming coach

Katie Ledecky, one of the most decorated swimmers in history, will join the University of Florida as a volunteer swimming coach, the school announced Wednesday. The announcement is also telling as far as Ledecky's future plans. In addition to helping out with Florida's swimming and diving program, Ledecky will train with Florida head coach Anthony Nesty for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Nesty was as an assistant coach for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics over the summer. "The knowledge and experience that Katie brings to the pool are unparalleled," Nesty said in a statement. "In addition to her obvious excellence as a swimmer, Katie is an exceptional person who will make a great impact on the student-athletes here. Katie's values are in total alignment with the Florida program, and we're so excited to have her join the Gators as she continues to train for the 2024 Olympics." Ledecky had trained at Stanford under coach Greg Meehan since her freshman season there in...
September 22
September 22

Tampa Bay Buccaneers put Antonio Brown on COVID-19 list

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have placed wide receiver Antonio Brown on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced Wednesday. Brown is the third player, along with inside linebacker/special teams captain Kevin Minter and practice squad wide receiver Travis Jonsen, to be placed on the list this week. "Kevin and A.B. are both on the COVID list. With A.B., we've got plenty of guys with a proven track record at that position," Arians said, pointing to their depth at wide receiver with Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson. "Kevin will be missed as far as special teams, but we've got some young guys ready to roll." Arians said Minter and Brown technically still have a chance to play Sunday, but the team is preparing as if they won't be available. Brown, like every one of his teammates and all members of the Bucs' coaching staff, is fully vaccinated, and per NFL rules, needs two negative tests 24 hours apart to return, as long...
September 22
September 22

Ian Poulter relishes match play, looks forward to playing spoiler as Europe is Ryder Cup underdog

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- Europe has won four of five and nine of the past 12 Ryder Cups, but the Americans, with eight of the top 10 players in the world on their roster, are 2-1 favorites to win at Whistling Straits this week, according to Caesars Sportsbook. England's Ian Poulter, a big reason for Europe's success over the past decade, wouldn't have it any other way. "I guess [winning on American soil] is a lot more difficult, and it doesn't happen that often, even though we've had the upper hand," Poulter said. "I guess it's just more enjoyable. Course setup is obviously this week heavily weighted [to] the U.S., as opposed to how we set things up back in Europe, so I guess everything is stacked against us. "When you have that, when you can go in as underdogs, when you can turn the tide and actually come out victorious, it means a little bit more." Poulter, 45, has been one of the most successful players in the Ryder Cup over the past decade, with 15 points in 22 matches. He...
September 22
September 22

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger to do 'everything he can' to play vs. Cincinnati Bengals

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Wednesday he's going to do "everything he can" to be available to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals after suffering a left pectoral injury in a Week 2 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. "I don't know how it happened, I just know it happened early in the game," Roethlisberger said. Roethlisberger took 10 quarterback hits in that game, including a hard one by defensive end Maxx Crosby on fourth-and-4 early in the second quarter. Crosby beat right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor with an inside move, and his helmet drilled Roethlisberger just below his left shoulder, near the Steelers' logo on his jersey. Roethlisberger, 39, said the injury affected him during the game, but because he hasn't attempted a pass since, he's not sure how it will affect his throwing motion. "Typically, when I reach for something outside the framework of my body or, you know, trying to push up...
September 22
September 22

Miami Dolphins rule Tua Tagovailoa out vs. Las Vegas Raiders with fractured ribs

MIAMI -- Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will miss Sunday's game against the Las Vegas Raiders with fractured ribs, coach Brian Flores said Wednesday. Jacoby Brissett will start against the Raiders, with practice squad quarterback Reid Sinnett backing him up. "He's in good spirits. He's a tough kid," Flores said of Tagovailoa. "He's doing everything he can ... he's getting better. He wants to be out there with his teammates, but this is the right move for him from a health standpoint." Flores called Tagovailoa "day-to-day and week-to-week" in terms of how long he will be out, stopping short of saying whether the first-round pick from 2020 will be placed on injured reserve. Tagovailoa was actively trying to play this week, but Flores said the Dolphins have to "save him from himself" and hold him out of Week 3, leaving the door open for a possible return in Week 4 against the Indianapolis Colts depending on how he heals. Tagovailoa was...
September 22
September 22

Philadelphia 76ers' Doc Rivers wants to convince Ben Simmons to stay

Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers wants to change Ben Simmons' mind.  According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the star guard has told the team that he will not report to training camp next week and does not plan to play for the franchise again.  "Well, I hope we can change that thought," Rivers said on ESPN's Keyshawn, JWill, and Max on Wednesday morning. "That's part of our job." The disconnect between the Sixers and Simmons seemed to have its start in last season's Eastern Conference semifinal Game 7 loss to the Hawks. In that game, Simmons passed up a wide-open dunk for a pass -- putting a bow on a confounding lack of shots in the latter part of the series. "The greatest thing in sports is, you know it's fair, you fail at times and then you get back on the horse and try," Rivers said. "You would be amazed if I told you how many times through a summer when you don't win, which is 29 teams, how often you have to go through something similar to this. Because...
September 22
September 21

Data-card incident with Tampa Bay Rays now 'aqua under the bridge' for manager Charlie Montoyo's surging Toronto Blue Jays

Tampa Bay's Kevin Kiermaier took a Toronto data card back to the Rays' dugout in a bizarre incident that began with a play at the plate during a 6-4 win over the  Blue Jays on Monday night in St. Petersburg, Florida. The card was pried loose from Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk's wristband during a play in which Kiermaier was tagged out at the plate on a slide. Though Kiermaier claimed to reporters that he did not look at it, Rays manager Kevin Cash on Tuesday told reporters that he spoke to Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo about the incident, saying he was unaware of the situation and that he would speak to his players about it. Later Tuesday, after the Blue Jays defeated the Rays 4-2 to even the series, Montoyo told reporters that Cash indeed apologized to him before the game, and that the whole situation is now "agua under the bridge." He reiterated that the two managers are friends, and then went on to talk about his club's victory, which kept Toronto...
September 21

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