Latest Sports Headlines

September 25

San Francisco Giants first in MLB to reach 100 wins

Mike Yastrzemski hit a three-run homer, one of four long balls by  San Francisco, to help the National League West-leading Giants beat the  Colorado Rockies  7-2 on Friday night and become the season's first 100-win team.  Doing so in 154 games, the Giants have reached 100 wins in their fewest games in the live-ball era (since 1920). It's the first time they have been the first team in MLB with 100 wins since moving to San Francisco in 1958. San Francisco leads the  Los Angeles Dodgers by 1 game. The Giants have won 16 of 21.   Kervin Castro (1-0) tossed two innings for his first major league victory, and the Giants reached 100 wins for the first time since going 100-62 in 2003. "It's a big accomplishment, but we're looking for more," San Francisco pitcher  Alex Wood said. The Giants haven't won the NL West since 2012, when they captured the second of three World Series titles in a five-year span. Coming into the season, they were...
September 25
September 25

St. Louis Cardinals match team record with 14th straight win

CHICAGO -- The St. Louis Cardinals matched a team record with their 14th straight win on Friday night after sweeping a doubleheader with the Cubs. The streak broke a tie with the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics for the longest one this season and rocketed the Cards into control of the second NL wild card, leading  Philadelphia by five games.   "We're aware," Friday's Game 1 starter, J.A. Happ, said. "The good thing to see is the focus. That's the stuff [win streaks] that happens when you're on a good team and things are going well." St. Louis rode Tyler O'Neill's and Paul Goldschmidt's 30th homers and Jose Rondon's pinch-hit two-run shot for their 8-5 win in Game 1 while O'Neill's three-run shot and a pair of solo homers by Lars Nootbaar powered their 12-4 victory in Game 2. The 14 consecutive wins are tied for the most since the Cardinals joined the National League in 1892. They also won...
September 25
September 24

St. Louis Cardinals win 14th straight game for longest streak of season

CHICAGO -- The St. Louis Cardinals matched a team record with their 14th straight win on Friday night after sweeping a doubleheader with the Chicago Cubs. The streak also broke a tie with the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics for the longest one this season.   "We're aware," Friday's Game 1 starter, J.A. Happ, said. "The good thing to see is the focus. That's the stuff (win streaks) that happens when you're on a good team and things are going well." St. Louis rode Tyler O'Neill's and Paul Goldschmidt's 30th homers and Jose Rondon's pinch-hit two-run shot for their 8-5 win in Game 1 while O'Neill's three-run shot and a pair of solo homers by Lars Nootbaar powered their 12-4 victory in Game 2. The 14 consecutive wins are tied for the most since the Cardinals joined the National League in 1892. They also won 14 in a row in 1935. Happ was asked if the team can appreciate the length of the win streak...
September 24
September 24

Rory McIlroy to sit Ryder Cup session after struggling on Day 1

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- For the first time in his Ryder Cup career, Rory McIlroy will sit out a session of the event when play resumes Saturday morning. McIlroy, 32, is one of the European Ryder Cup team's leaders, having competed in all 24 sessions from 2010 through 2018 and compiling an 11-9-4 record while the team won four of five times. But McIlroy struggled Friday, losing in the morning session with Ian Poulter to Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele 5 and 3. In the afternoon, with Shane Lowry, he lost to Tony Finau and Harris English 4 and 3. The U.S leads 6-2. European captain Padraig Harrington spoke to the media before the pairings were released and would not reveal whether McIlroy was playing. "He's already a leader," Harrington said. "You saw him out there after a tough day, he was out following those matches and supporting his team. He is very much a leader amongst his peers, and I couldn't have asked more...
September 24
September 24

NBA denies Andrew Wiggins' request for religious exemption from COVID-19 vaccine

The NBA has denied Andrew Wiggins' request for a vaccination exemption, leaving the Golden State Warriors swingman ineligible to play home games until he meets San Francisco's vaccination requirement. The ruling was announced Friday, hours after the New York Knicks said their entire roster is vaccinated, making all their players eligible to play in their home games. Because of local coronavirus regulations in New York and San Francisco, the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Warriors are required to be vaccinated to play in their home arenas unless they have an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Wiggins sought an exemption from the NBA for religious reasons. "The NBA has reviewed and denied Andrew Wiggins' request for religious exemption from the San Francisco Department of Public Health's order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all participants age 12 and older at large indoor events," the league said in a statement. "Wiggins will not be able to...
September 24
September 24

U.S. surges to 6-2 lead over Europe at Ryder Cup behind Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- The grandstands were packed before the sun came up over Lake Michigan, and by the end of the day, those who filled them and the surrounding property were singing, dancing and enjoying one of the more remarkable days in recent U.S. Ryder Cup history. Smiling American golfers were part of the scene too. The narrative often skews negative when it comes to the U.S. and this biennial competition, but it was nothing but positive Friday at Whistling Straits, where the Americans built a surprising 6-2 lead, the biggest first day advantage since 1975. It is just the fourth time that the Americans won the opening two sessions since the Ryder Cup expanded to include all of Europe in 1979; it also happened in 1979, 2008 and 2010. Led by Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele, who each went 2-0 with different partners, the U.S. surged ahead, going 3-1 in the morning foursomes competition and then not easing off in the afternoon four-ball, again going...
September 24
September 24

St. Louis Cardinals tie longest win streak of season with 13th straight

CHICAGO -- The St. Louis Cardinals tied the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics for the longest win streak of the season by virtue of an 8-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Friday. The 13 consecutive wins is the second longest for the Cardinals since they joined the National League in 1892. They won 14 in a row in 1935. "We're aware," Friday's Game 1 starter,  J.A. Happ, said after the game. "The good thing to see is the focus. That's the stuff (win streaks) that happens when you're on a good team and things are going well." The Cardinals were aided by three two-run home runs. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt hit his 30th of the year in the third inning. Pinch hitter Jose Rondon went deep in the fifth, while outfielder  Tyler O'Neill hit his 30th, also in the fifth inning. His blast gave the Cardinals three 30-homer hitters for just the second time in franchise history, as third...
September 24
September 24

LA Clippers: 'No one knows' time frame for Kawhi Leonard's return from ACL injury

Lawrence Frank reiterated that Kawhi Leonard has a "significant rehab" from his ACL injury and that "no one knows" the time frame for when the LA Clippers star will return and whether he will play this season. Leonard underwent surgery to repair a partial tear in his right ACL on July 13 and is expected to be out for an extended period of time. "Oh, we don't even breach that," Frank, the team's president of basketball operations, said when asked if he anticipates Leonard playing this season. "I think at this point, it's just no one knows when you're dealing with a recovery from an ACL [injury], the time frame. "Even just to save you guys [from asking] throughout the year, is no one knows. You just attack it day by day, he has a very detailed plan with a great group and we'll just let his body and the doctors tell us when it's the right time." Leonard injured his knee during the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Utah...
September 24
September 24

LA Clippers: 'No one knows' timeframe for Kawhi Leonard's return from ACL injury

Lawrence Frank reiterated that Kawhi Leonard has a "significant rehab" from his ACL injury and that "no one knows" the timeframe for when the LA Clippers star will return and whether he will play this season. Leonard underwent surgery to repair a partial tear in his right ACL on July 13 and is expected to be out for an extended period of time. "Oh, we don't even breach that," Frank, the team's president of basketball operations, said when asked if he anticipates Leonard playing this season. "I think at this point, it's just no one knows when you're dealing with a recovery from an ACL [injury], the timeframe." "Even just to save you guys [from asking] throughout the year, is no one knows. You just attack it day by day, he has a very detailed plan with a great group and we'll just let his body and the doctors tell us when it's the right time." Leonard injured his knee during the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Utah...
September 24
September 24

New Orleans Saints rule out 3 assistant coaches but return 4 injured players

DALLAS -- The New Orleans Saints are on the mend, returning four players who missed last week's loss to the  Carolina Panthers because of injuries. But they still expect to be without three assistant coaches Sunday at New England because of COVID-19 protocols and seven starters because of injuries/suspension. The Saints announced that tight ends coach Dan Roushar and defensive line coaches Ryan Nielsen and Brian Young will miss Sunday's game after they all tested positive for COVID-19 last week and have not yet met the criteria for returning. The Saints were missing a total of eight coaches and nine starters in last Sunday's lopsided 26-7 loss at Carolina. Since then, five coaches returned to practice this week (WR coach Curtis Johnson, RB coach Joel Thomas, offensive analyst Jim Chaney, offensive assistant Declan Doyle and special teams assistant Phil Galiano). No new coaches tested positive this week. Last week, the Saints got one of their assistant coaches back...
September 24
September 24

Dak Prescott says first game in Dallas since season-ending ankle injury 'will be exciting'

FRISCO, Texas -- One by one, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has crossed off different thresholds in his return from a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle that he suffered last year. Monday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles represents another one: his first contest at AT&T Stadium since the injury. "I think it will be more special just because of the amount of Cowboys fans that will be there versus the away games," Prescott said after Friday's practice. "I mean, obviously the first two they traveled great and felt the energy and felt that, but just knowing that the support that they've given me over these past, I guess, going on a year, was important, was something that I felt. And knowing when I run out there once again, whether it's pregame, whether it's in a moment within the game, just to be able to see up there and know that after COVID and what we all went through last year, to have them all back, yeah, it will be...
September 24
September 24

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey out a few weeks with hamstring injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --  Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey will miss at least a few weeks because of the strained hamstring he suffered in Thursday night's 24-9 victory at Houston, coach Matt Rhule said Friday. Rhule didn't rule out placing McCaffrey on injured reserve as the Pro Bowl running back undergoes more tests to determine the severity of the strain. "They are still doing a bunch of diagnostic testing, so I can't tell you if that is one, two, three or four weeks," Rhule said. First-round draft pick Jaycee Horn will be out considerably longer, possibly the season, after breaking three bones in his right foot. The cornerback and his family are in the process of deciding the best course of action, whether that is surgery or allowing the injury to heal on its own. "It breaks my heart seeing these guys work so hard and get hurt," said Rhule, who didn't rule out injured reserve for Horn or safety Juston Burris (groin...
September 24
September 24

NFL reinstating Josh Gordon; WR could play in Week 4, sources say

The NFL has informed wide receiver Josh Gordon that he is being reinstated, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Friday, with the former All-Pro expected to be eligible to play as early as Week 4. Gordon was suspended indefinitely in December 2019 for violations of the league's policies on substance abuse and performance-enhancing substances. That was Gordon's sixth suspension since the 2013 season and his fifth for some form of substance abuse, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He submitted his reinstatement letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in July, and sources told Schefter last week that the NFL Players Association gave its recommendation for his reinstatement. "We are grateful that the NFL appreciates the work that Josh put in and now he has earned another opportunity to be part of this league," Gordon's agent, Zac Hiller, told Schefter. "We are proud of Josh, and I know all the fans can't wait to see him on Sundays." Gordon, 30, had been conditionally...
September 24
September 24

Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be without Jason Pierre-Paul, Jaydon Mickens vs. Los Angeles Rams

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without starting outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul and kick returner Jaydon Mickens for Sunday's game at the Los Angeles Rams, coach Bruce Arians announced Friday. He also called wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week, "very questionable," although it's unlikely he will play. Brown would need to be completely asymptomatic for 24 hours and pass two COVID-19 tests 24 hours apart before he'd be permitted to travel, per NFL rules. Pierre-Paul has been dealing with hand and shoulder injuries. Mickens has been dealing with an abdominal injury. Neither practiced this week. Rookie first-round draft pick Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, whom the Bucs selected with the 32nd-overall pick out of Washington, will get his first NFL start, having served in a rotational role in the first two games. Mickens' injury may pave the way for rookie wide receiver ...
September 24
September 24

UFC star Jon Jones arrested on misdemeanor domestic violence charge in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- UFC star Jon Jones was arrested Friday morning by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, just hours after a past fight of his was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. Jones is being charged with misdemeanor battery domestic violence and injuring or tampering with a vehicle, a felony, Officer Larry Hadfield of the Las Vegas Metro PD told ESPN. He is currently being held at Clark County Detention Center, according to online inmate records. His total bail is $8,000, but Jones is on a 12-hour hold, per records.  He is scheduled to have his first appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Jones was arrested at 5:45 a.m. Friday at a resort near Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road, Hadfield said. "It's hard to bring this guy to Las Vegas, for any reason," UFC president Dana White said. "This city is not good for Jon Jones, and here we are again." White added: "It's not even shocking anymore. When we bring him here, it's almost expected....
September 24
September 24

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey out a few weeks with hamstring injury, source confirms

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --  Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey will miss a few weeks because of the strained hamstring suffered in Thursday night's 24-9 victory at Houston, a league source confirmed to ESPN on Friday. The injury occurred early in the second quarter when McCaffrey pulled up on a 2-yard run around the left side. He spent 22 minutes in the sideline medical tent before walking to the locker room under his own power. Rookie Chuba Hubbard and veteran Royce Freeman finished the game as Carolina ran its record to 3-0 for the first time since the 2015 season, which ended with a trip to the Super Bowl. Hubbard, a fourth-round draft pick out of Oklahoma State, is expected to be first up for next week's game at Dallas. He has 62 yards on 19 carries this season. The Panthers are working out former Cleveland Browns and Texans running back Duke Johnson on Friday, a source told ESPN's Adam...
September 24
September 24

Atlanta Falcons WR Russell Gage Jr., CB A.J. Terrell ruled out against New York Giants

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons will be without starting wide receiver Russell Gage Jr. and top cornerback A.J. Terrell when they try to pick up their first win of the season Sunday against the New York Giants. Terrell suffered a concussion breaking up a pass in the second half of Sunday's 48-25 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gage injured an ankle against the Buccaneers but finished the game. Atlanta could go in multiple directions to replace Gage. It could use more two-tight-end/two-running-back sets and line up either running back Cordarrelle Patterson or one of its tight ends, Kyle Pitts or Hayden Hurst, outside. In two-receiver sets, the Falcons could use a combination of Olamide Zaccheaus and Tajae Sharpe opposite top receiver Calvin Ridley. "You just got to have solutions. That's the name of the game," Falcons coach Arthur Smith said. "You've got to have contingency plans....
September 24
September 24

Brian Flores expects WR Will Fuller to make debut for Miami Dolphins on Sunday

MIAMI -- Miami Dolphins wide receiver Will Fuller is expected to make his team debut Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders, head coach Brian Flores said Friday. The former Houston Texans receiver served a one-game suspension to begin the season but was set to join the team in Week 2 before missing Miami's loss to the Buffalo Bills for personal reasons. Fuller returned to the team Monday and didn't miss any practice this week. "Will has worked hard -- we expect him to play," Flores said. "Will's looked good this week." If Fuller does make his debut this week, he'll be catching passes from backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who is starting in place of an injured Tua Tagovailoa. Flores said the team was still putting the final touches on its game plan, but part of that plan could be using Fuller to stretch the field. Since entering the league in 2016, Fuller's 14.32 air yards per target ranks fifth highest among NFL players...
September 24
September 24

Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. to play Sunday

BEREA, Ohio -- Odell Beckham Jr. is officially back. The Cleveland Browns star wide receiver will make his season debut Sunday against the Chicago Bears, coach Kevin Stefanski announced Friday. "He had a good week," Stefanski said. "He's ready to go." Working his way back from last year's season-ending left knee injury, Beckham sat out Cleveland's first two games this season. Beckham, who suffered a torn ACL on Oct. 25, had been a limited participant through training camp and practice the first two weeks of the season. He has been a full participant in practice since Wednesday, and Stefanski said Beckham had "no limitations" this week and "took every rep." For the first time this season, Beckham was not on Cleveland's injury report Friday. "I've worked extremely hard to not only get back, but improve and be better than I ever have been," Beckham said Thursday. "I'm definitely looking forward to it. It's been a long time. A long time in that cave. ......
September 24
September 24

Alexander Volkanovski, Brian Ortega make weigh-in, set for UFC 266 featherweight title bout

LAS VEGAS -- The UFC featherweight title will officially be on the line Saturday. Alexander Volkanovski, the champion, weighed in at 144.5 pounds Friday morning and challenger Brian Ortega was 144 pounds at the official weigh-in here at the UFC Apex. The two will meet in the main event of UFC 266 at T-Mobile Arena. Volkanovski vs. Ortega was initially scheduled for UFC 260 in March, but Volkanovski tested positive for COVID-19 and the bout was pushed off. The two were coaches opposite each other on a heated season of "The Ultimate Fighter" over the summer. ESPN has Volkanovski ranked No. 6 on its pound-for-pound list of MMA fighters. At featherweight, ESPN has Volkanovski ranked No. 1 and Ortega at No. 3. Volkanovski (22-1) is a perfect 9-0 in the UFC. The Australia native has not fought since a split decision win over Max Holloway at UFC 251 in July 2020, his first title defense. Volkanovski, 32, has not lost since May 2013, his fourth pro fight. He beat...
September 24
September 24

U.S. takes early 3-1 lead over Europe at Ryder Cup thanks to strong play in foursome matches

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- The United States took an early lead at the Ryder Cup on Friday behind the strong play of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, who ran over Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter in their foursomes match at Whistling Straits. The U.S. won three of the four matches, with Cantlay and Schauffele racing to a 5-up lead over what was supposed to be the solid team of McIlroy and Poulter. They didn't lose a hole until the 10th and cruised to a 5 and 3 victory. The Americans lead 3-1 after the first session, with four-ball (best ball) to take place in the afternoon. "The start wasn't great,'' McIlroy said of falling five holes down. "I don't know if anyone could have beat Xander and Patrick today. "They played good, four birdies in a row. Geez, they played great. They were a great pairing today and all you can do is praise them for the way they played.'' Europe has not won the opening session at the Ryder Cup dating to 2006, but still managed to...
September 24
September 24

Indianapolis Colts' Carson Wentz returns to practice after two sprained ankles

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz, who suffered two sprained ankles in Sunday's game against the  Los Angeles Rams, returned to practice Friday. Wentz, whose status for this Sunday's game vs. the Tennessee Titans has been up in the air, took the practice field with both ankles heavily taped. The more severe sprain happened to his right ankle with less than eight minutes left in last week's 27-24 loss to the Rams. He sprained his left ankle earlier in the game. Wentz is 45-of-69 for 498 yards and three touchdowns with an interception through the first two games of the season, both losses. The most alarming stat with Wentz is that he has been sacked six times and hit an additional 21 times in those two games. Wentz has played a full season only twice since entering the NFL as the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2016. Second-year quarterback Jacob Eason will start against the Titans (1-1) if Wentz is inactive. ESPN's Mike Wells...
September 24
September 24

Alexander Volkanovski, Brian Ortega complete weigh-in, set for UFC 266 featherweight title bout

LAS VEGAS -- The UFC featherweight title will officially be on the line Saturday. Alexander Volkanovski, the champion, weighed in at 144.5 pounds Friday morning and challenger Brian Ortega was 144 pounds at the official weigh-in here at the UFC Apex. The two will meet in the main event of UFC 266 at T-Mobile Arena. Volkanovski vs. Ortega was initially scheduled for UFC 260 in March, but Volkanovski tested positive for COVID-19 and the bout was pushed off. The two were coaches opposite each other on a heated season of "The Ultimate Fighter" over the summer. ESPN has Volkanovski ranked No. 6 on its pound-for-pound list of MMA fighters. At featherweight, ESPN has Volkanovski ranked No. 1 and Ortega at No. 3. Volkanovski (22-1) is a perfect 9-0 in the UFC. The Australia native has not fought since a split decision win over Max Holloway at UFC 251 in July 2020, his first title defense. Volkanovski, 32, has not lost since May 2013, his fourth pro fight. He beat...
September 24
September 24

Sources: Manu Ginobili returning to San Antonio Spurs as special advisor

Four-time NBA champion Manu Ginobili -- one of the greatest international players in basketball history -- is returning to the San Antonio Spurs as a special advisor to basketball operations, sources told ESPN. Ginobili, 44, will work in a player-centric role focusing on the on-and-off court development of a young Spurs roster, sources said. Since his NBA retirement in 2018 after 16 seasons with San Antonio, the organization has been persistent in trying to convince Ginobili of taking on an organizational role with the franchise. Ginobili built a reputation as one of the great teammates and leaders in the sport, and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, CEO R.C. Buford and general manager Brian Wright have wanted his influence in advancing the Spurs' culture to the next generation of players and staff. Ginobili was a two-time All-Star and the 2008 Sixth Man of the Year award winner in his 16-year NBA career with the Spurs. He also had a decorated international basketball...
September 24
September 24

Washington Capitals become first NHL team to sell advertising on jerseys, announce partnership with Caesars Entertainment

The Washington Capitals are the first NHL team to sell advertising on its jerseys. Washington announced a multi-year partnership with Caesars Entertainment that will place a Caesars Sportsbook logo on Capitals home and third jerseys beginning in the 2022-23 season. It is a 3-x-3.5-inch patch positioned on the upper right chest area of the jersey. The NHL allowed teams to begin selling ad space on jerseys during the summer, but they won't begin showing up on uniforms until the 2022-23 season. The Capitals are believed to be the first franchise in the four major U.S. sports leagues -- NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL -- to sell jersey sponsorship to a gambling venture. Major League Soccer incorporated sports gambling sponsors on its jerseys in 2019. Gambling advertisements on uniforms have been commonplace in leagues overseas, but that could be changing. In the United Kingdom's more mature betting market, regulators are looking for ways to reduce gambling's presence in sports. A...
September 24
September 24

Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. expected to play Sunday, source says

After a good week of practice, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to make his season debut Sunday against the Chicago Bears, a source told ESPN's Dan Graziano on Friday. 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. "We'll see," Beckham said Thursday, when asked if he'll be playing Sunday. "Taking it [one] day at a time." Beckham has been a full participant in practices Wednesday and Thursday. Cleveland placed wideout Jarvis Landry on injured reserve earlier this week because of an MCL sprain on his left knee, meaning he will miss a minimum of three games. Beckham, who suffered the knee injury in Week 7, had 23 receptions for 319 yards last season, including three...
September 24
September 24

NFL to play one of six wild-card games on Monday night

The NFL is extending the wild-card weekend, as the league announced Friday that one of its six first-round playoff games would be played on Monday, Jan. 17. The schedule for wild-card weekend will now feature two games on Saturday, three on Sunday and one on Monday. No announcement was made about which network would air each game, though CBS and NBC will broadcast two contests that weekend while Fox and ESPN will each have one. The 2020 playoffs featured 14 teams for the first time, with only the No. 1 seed in each conference receiving a bye to the divisional round. Wild-card playoff schedule (all times ET) Saturday, Jan. 15 Game 1: 4:35 p.m. Game 2: 8:15 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16 Game 1: 1:05 p.m. Game 2: 4:40 p.m. Game 3: 8:15 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17 Game 1: 8:15 p.m.
September 24
September 24

UFC star 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 former 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...
September 24
September 23

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...
September 23
September 23

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...
September 23
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

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