Latest Sports Headlines

3 hours ago

Seattle Storm's Jewell Loyd ties WNBA record with 22-point quarter

EVERETT, Wash. -- Jewell Loyd tied a WNBA record with 22 points in the first quarter and finished with a career-high 37 to help the Seattle Storm secure a first-round bye in the WNBA playoffs with a 94-85 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Friday night. Loyd matched the record for points in a quarter set by Diana Taurasi in 2006 and tied by Brittney Sykes in 2019. It is the most points by a WNBA player in the first quarter. Loyd's 22 points came on 8-of-9 shooting, including all four of her 3-pointers, and she dished out three assists as the Storm took a 28-20 lead. She had 22 of Seattle's first 24 and didn't score for the final 4:21 of the opening quarter. In the second quarter, highlighted by Brittney Griner's 17th career dunk for the Mercury, Loyd was fouled on a desperation heave as time ran out. She made three free throws, giving her 28 points and Seattle a 61-47 lead. The 28 points in a half are the most by a WNBA player this season, and the 61 points tied a Seattle record...
3 hours ago
September 17

Purdue to feature band's barred giant drum outside Notre Dame Stadium

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Purdue's famous giant bass drum has drummed up quite a controversy before Saturday's road game at Notre Dame Stadium. After being told that the World's Largest Drum would not be allowed to enter the playing field through Notre Dame Stadium's home entrance, Purdue's All-American Band will play its halftime performance without the drum for the first time since 1979. Purdue spokesman Aaron Yoder said Friday that the band still planned to bring the massive drum and keep it outside the stadium "for fans to enjoy before the game."   But a Notre Dame official told ESPN on Friday that the university had not been contacted by Purdue requesting permission to bring the drum to campus and was of the belief that it wouldn't be there. The disagreement between the instate schools is a result of Notre Dame's renovation of its stadium in 2017, which added a visitor's tunnel for opposing teams and marching bands. Before then, the Fighting Irish and their opponents entered...
September 17
September 17

Green Bay Packers place OLB Za'Darius Smith on IR with lingering back injury

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Za'Darius Smith managed to get himself ready for the Green Bay Packers' season opener after battling a back injury throughout training camp, but the Packers are shutting him down after he played only 18 snaps in the loss to the New Orleans Saints. They placed Smith on injured reserve on Friday, which means he will miss a minimum of three games before he's eligible to return but could miss even more time than that. The Packers weighed keeping him on the active roster and limiting his playing time but instead decided to hold him out until at least the Oct. 10 game at the Cincinnati Bengals. "Why not try to get him as healthy as possible so we can have him more readily available, hopefully?" LaFleur said. Smith, who has made two Pro Bowls in as many seasons since he signed a four-year, $66 million deal with the Packers in 2019, is one of only three players in the NFL with 12-plus sacks in each of the past two seasons ( Aaron...
September 17
September 17

New Orleans Saints place Marcus Davenport, Kwon Alexander on IR; 7 coaches out vs. Panthers for COVID-19 protocols

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The New Orleans Saints will be without seven assistant coaches Sunday in Carolina due to COVID-19 protocols and will be missing at least three starters due to injuries. Defensive end Marcus Davenport (shoulder) and linebacker Kwon Alexander (elbow) were both placed on injured reserve Friday, meaning they will be sidelined for at least three weeks. Center Erik McCoy (calf) and backup linebackers Pete Werner (hamstring) and Chase Hansen (groin) were also ruled out for Sunday's game. Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore will have a chance to play Sunday despite undergoing thumb surgery earlier this week. Lattimore is listed as questionable after practicing on a limited basis Thursday and Friday, and coach Sean Payton said he will probably be a "game-time decision." The coaches, meanwhile, were ruled out by the Saints on Friday afternoon after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week....
September 17
September 17

Carolina's Sebastian Aho says Hurricanes' trolling of Montreal Canadiens with Jesperi Kotkaniemi signing bonus 'pretty funny'

CHICAGO -- Carolina center Sebastian Aho was amused by the Hurricanes' offer-sheet trolling of the Montreal Canadiens. In 2019, Aho signed a restricted-free-agent offer sheet with the Canadiens for five years and $42 million, which the Hurricanes quickly matched. Last month, Carolina turned the tables and signed Montreal restricted free agent  Jesperi Kotkaniemi to a one-year, $6.1 million offer sheet, which the Canadiens opted not to match. The signing bonus on Kotkaniemi's contract offer was $20. Aho wears No. 20 with the Hurricanes. The reference was hard to miss. "To be honest, it's pretty funny to see a $20 signing bonus," Aho told ESPN on Thursday, at the NHL Player Media Tour. "All jokes aside, we got a pretty good player." Aho and Kotkaniemi, who were both born in Finland, spoke over the phone during the offer-sheet process. Aho said he discussed real-estate options, restaurants and life in Raleigh with the 21-year-old center. "We talked...
September 17
September 17

Las Vegas Raiders rule RB Josh Jacobs out for Sunday's game vs. Pittsburgh Steelers because of toe and ankle injuries

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs has been ruled out of Sunday's game at the Pittsburgh Steelers, as the Pro Bowler has missed practice all week because of toe and ankle injuries. Jacobs rushed for two touchdowns but only 34 yards on 10 carries in the Raiders' 33-27 overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night. Raiders coach Jon Gruden said Peyton Barber, who signed with Las Vegas on Sept. 4, would get Jacobs' reps, with veteran Kenyan Drake remaining in the team's game plan as a pass-catching back out of the backfield. "We really like Barber -- we think he's a heck of a back," Gruden said. "I like the way he runs and catches and picks up blitzes. "We're excited about this opportunity to see what we have." Barber, 27, rushed for 258 yards and four touchdowns on 94 carries in 16 games -- including two starts -- for Washington last season. He had a career-best 871 rushing yards in 16 starts...
September 17
September 17

Las Vegas Raiders rule RB Josh Jacobs out for Sunday's game vs. Pittsburgh Steelers with toe and ankle injuries

HENDERSON, Nev. - Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs has been ruled out of Sunday's game at the Pittsburgh Steelers as the Pro Bowler missed practice all week with toe and ankle injuries. Jacobs rushed for two touchdowns but only 34 yards on 10 carries in the Raiders' 33-27 overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens Monday night. Raiders coach Jon Gruden said Peyton Barber, who signed with Las Vegas on Sept. 4, would get Jacobs' reps, with veteran Kenyan Drake remaining in the team's gameplan as a pass-catching back out of the backfield. "We really like Barber, we think he's a heck of a back," Gruden said. "I like the way he runs and catches and picks up blitzes. "We're excited about this opportunity to see what we have." Barber, 27, rushed for 258 yards and 4 TDs on 94 carries in 16 games, two starts, for Washington last season. He had a career-best 871 rushing yards in 16 starts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in...
September 17
September 17

Former Miami Hurricanes football player Rashaun Jones pleads not guilty in killing ex-teammate Bryan Pata

MIAMI -- Former University of Miami football player Rashaun Jones pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges of killing a teammate outside a South Florida apartment complex in 2006. An attorney for Jones, 35, entered the plea during a remote court hearing after prosecutors formally filed second-degree murder charges against him. Jones, who was arrested last month, was long suspected in the death of Bryan Pata, 22. Jones was originally arrested on a first-degree murder charge, and prosecutors said he could still face that charge. But to indict him on that charge, prosecutors would have to present the case to a grand jury. Pata was expected to be an early pick in the 2007 NFL draft following his fourth and final season with the Hurricanes. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound (1.9-meter, 127-kilogram) defensive lineman was shot and killed outside his Kendall apartment the night of Nov. 7, 2006. Some witnesses claimed to hear arguing and then gunshots. Despite Pata having hundreds of...
September 17
September 17

New Orleans Saints likely to spend Week 3 practicing in Dallas, then return home

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The New Orleans Saints will likely spend one more week practicing in Dallas before they return home to New Orleans following their Week 3 game at New England, according to coach Sean Payton. The Saints have spent the past three weeks in the Dallas/Fort Worth area after evacuating for Hurricane Ida on Aug. 28. Although their home practice facility and the Caesars Superdome avoided major damage, there were widespread power outages in the New Orleans area and a lack of other services for weeks after the storm. The Saints wanted to make sure life would be back as close to normal as possible for players and staff members when they returned. The Saints' Week 1 "home game" was moved to a neutral site in Jacksonville, Florida, where they routed the Green Bay Packers 38-3 last Sunday. New Orleans' Week 2 and 3 games were already scheduled to be on the road at Carolina and New England, respectively. The Saints will make their actual home debut in the...
September 17
September 17

Green Bay Packers to place OLB Za'Darius Smith on IR with lingering back injury

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Za'Darius Smith managed to get himself ready for the Green Bay Packers' season opener after battling a back injury throughout training camp, but the Packers are shutting him down after he played only 18 snaps in the loss to the New Orleans Saints. They will place Smith on injured reserve, coach Matt LaFleur said Friday. It means he will miss a minimum of three games before he's eligible to return but could miss even more time than that. The Packers weighed keeping him on the active roster and limiting his playing time but instead decided to hold him out until at least the Oct. 10 game at the Cincinnati Bengals. "Why not try to get him as healthy as possible so we can have him more readily available, hopefully?" LaFleur said. Smith, who has made two Pro Bowls in as many seasons since he signed a four-year, $66 million deal with the Packers in 2019, is one of only three players in the NFL with 12-plus sacks in each of the past two...
September 17
September 17

Minnesota Vikings DE Everson Griffen in concussion protocol after car accident

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen suffered a concussion in a car accident this week after swerving to miss a deer, coach Mike Zimmer said Friday. Griffen, who landed on the injury report because of the concussion, has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals along with Anthony Barr (knee), Christian Darrisaw (groin) and Harrison Hand (hamstring). Griffen, 33, missed Thursday's practice after entering the concussion protocol. He rejoined the Vikings, with whom he spent his first 10 NFL seasons, after playing for Detroit and Dallas last season. According to a statement from the Minnetrista Public Safety Department, Griffen told officers at the scene that he lost control of the car when he swerved to miss the deer in the road. The car then left the road and crashed into a tree. According to police, Griffen suffered only minor injuries and he was treated at the scene by EMTs.
September 17
September 17

Dallas Cowboys OL Ty Nsekhe released from hospital after suffering heat-related illness, out Sunday

FRISCO, Texas --  Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Ty Nsekhe spent Thursday night in a local hospital after being taken by ambulance from practice because of a heat-related illness and will not play Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. Coach Mike McCarthy said Nsekhe, who is in his first year with the team, has since been released from the hospital. "Our medical staff felt it was best that he spend the evening in the hospital," McCarthy said. As the media were talking to Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper after practice Thursday, a Frisco ambulance made its way to the back entrance of The Star and EMTs went inside to aid Nsekhe. The scene was concerning, especially with what happened to the Cowboys last year when strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul collapsed in his weight room office and died two days later. "I think anytime you're dealing with heat issues, it's never comfortable," McCarthy said. "I think when an individual needs...
September 17
September 17

Dallas Cowboys OL Ty Nsekhe hospitalized with heat-related illness, out Sunday

FRISCO, Texas --  Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Ty Nsekhe spent Thursday night in a local hospital after being taken by ambulance from practice because of a heat-related illness and will not play Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. As the media were talking to Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper after practice Thursday, a Frisco ambulance made its way to the back entrance of The Star and EMTs went inside to aid Nsekhe. Coach Mike McCarthy said Nsekhe, who is in his first year with the team, has since been released from the hospital. "Our medical staff felt it was best that he spend the evening in the hospital," McCarthy said. The scene was concerning, especially with what happened to the Cowboys last year when strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul collapsed in his weight room office and died two days later. "I think anytime you're dealing with heat issues, it's never comfortable," McCarthy said. "I think when an individual needs to...
September 17
September 17

Diamondbacks 4, Padres 2

EDS: Padres 6, Diamondbacks 5, 10 innings; Optional. AP Photo CACL101, CACL104 SAN DIEGO -- The show of speed from rookies Everth Cabrera and Luis Durango turned into a win for the San Diego Padres. Cabrera's RBI single scored Durango from second base in the bottom of the 10th inning and gave the Padres a 6-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday. Durango, making his first major league start, opened the inning with his third infield single of the game. He stole second with one out and then beat the throw home from right fielder Justin Upton on Cabrera's single to help the Padres avoid a three-game sweep. Cabrera had three hits, including an infield single and a bunt single. Durango, who made his major league debut as a pinch-hitter on Tuesday night, had three infield singles, two of them bunts. A third bunt went as a sacrifice, although replays appeared to show he beat the throw to first. "Having guys like that on the base paths create havoc,"...
September 17
September 17

Miami Dolphins WR Will Fuller to miss Buffalo Bills game with personal issue

MIAMI -- Dolphins wide receiver Will Fuller will miss Sunday's game against the Bills with a personal issue, coach Brian Flores announced Friday. Flores didn't get into specifics but said the issue came as a surprise. "He has my support. Things happen," Flores said. "When they happen, they're not part of normal every day, it's a surprise from that standpoint. He's dealing with it. We'll support him." Fuller, 27, was set to make his debut with the Dolphins after serving a one-game suspension to start the season. He signed with Miami in March after spending the first five seasons of his career with the Houston Texans. He practiced Wednesday but was listed as absent from Thursday's practice while attending to his personal matter, which Flores said would hold him out of Friday's practice as well.
September 17
September 17

Brewers-Cubs Preview

A week and a half ago, the Chicago Cubs were quietly headed toward an end to another disappointing season, their 101st without a World Series title. The Cubs have since quietly crept back into the playoff picture and will try to continue their improbable run up the NL wild-card standings Wednesday night against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers. After dropping two of three in New York from Sept. 4-6, Chicago fell eight games behind Colorado for the wild card. The Cubs (75-68) have closed that gap by winning seven of eight, including Tuesday night's 13-7 victory over the Brewers (69-75). With 19 games remaining, they trail the Rockies by four in the loss column and are tied with Florida and Atlanta with 68 defeats. "Things didn't go the way we wanted, but it's not over," first baseman Derrek Lee told Chicago's official Web site. Chicago has averaged 6.5 runs over the last eight games to fuel its resurgence. The Cubs have also batted .289 and .295 with runners in scoring...
September 17
September 17

LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer 'building our own presence, identity' with new arena

LA Clippers chairman Steve Ballmer initially was content to play at Staples Center -- in the same building as the Los Angeles Lakers and the NHL's Los Angeles Kings -- when he bought the franchise for $2 billion in 2014. But within a year, Ballmer said he realized the Clippers needed to build their own arena if they wanted to build their own "identity." "We needed to say, 'We're our own guys. We don't play in the same place as the other guys. We're going to have our own identity,'" Ballmer told ESPN in a wide-ranging interview in advance of Friday's groundbreaking for the Clippers' new arena in Inglewood. Ballmer estimated the new arena, which will be known as the Intuit Dome and is scheduled to open for the 2024-25 season, will cost him upward of $2 billion -- essentially the same price he paid for the franchise just seven years ago -- but he truly believes it is imperative to the Clippers' success on and off the court. "I've never been in a place where you had...
September 17
September 17

IOC to have tight COVID-19 countermeasures in place for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will have tight COVID-19 countermeasures in place to ensure the safety of all participants, the International Olympic Committee said on Friday. Just over a month after the closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Games, IOC president Thomas Bach said in an open letter that next year's Winter Games would also require strict measures amid the ongoing pandemic. "While the pandemic is far from over, I would like to reassure you that together with our Chinese partners and friends, we are sparing no effort to make these Olympic Winter Games safe and secure for everyone," Bach said. The Beijing Winter Olympics will be held from Feb. 4-20. "As we did in Tokyo, we are putting in place rigorous COVID-19 countermeasures to ensure the health and safety of all Olympic participants in Beijing," the IOC president said, urging teams to get vaccinated and offering support in this process. Olympic teams were urged by the IOC to request more Chinese vaccines ahead of the...
September 17
September 17

New York Giants' Daniel Jones - Kenny Golladay frustrated, but they'll work through it

LANDOVER, Md. -- New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones downplayed what appeared to be a heated discussion with wide receiver Kenny Golladay late in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's 30-29 loss to the Washington Football Team, saying that Golladay was simply "frustrated." Golladay, who had three catches for 38 yards on eight targets, was seen yelling in Jones' direction near the bench in the closing minutes of the game. "He was frustrated with the situation," Jones said afterward. "I don't think it was to me or anyone in particular." Golladay, who signed a massive free-agent contract that included $40 million guaranteed this offseason, has seven catches for 102 yards in his first two games with the Giants. He was not available for comment after the defeat, which dropped the Giants to 0-2 for the fifth straight season. New York coach Joe Judge said he saw Jones and Golladay "hugging in the locker room" but that he didn't know...
September 17
September 17

New York Giants' Daniel Jones: Kenny Golladay frustrated, but 'everything's good'

LANDOVER, Md. -- New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones downplayed what appeared to be a heated discussion with wide receiver Kenny Golladay late in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's 30-29 loss to the Washington Football Team, saying that Golladay was simply "frustrated." Golladay, who had three catches for 38 yards on eight targets, was seen yelling in Jones' direction near the bench in the closing minutes of the game. "He was frustrated with the situation," Jones said afterward. "I don't think it was to me or anyone in particular." Golladay, who signed a massive free-agent contract that included $40 million guaranteed this offseason, has seven catches for 102 yards in his first two games with the Giants. He was not available for comment after the defeat, which dropped the Giants to 0-2 for the fifth straight season. New York coach Joe Judge said he saw Jones and Golladay "hugging in the locker room" but that he didn't know...
September 17
September 16

HBO's 'Hard Knocks' will feature Indianapolis Colts in first-ever in-season episodes

The Indianapolis Colts will make their debut on the acclaimed HBO series "Hard Knocks" later during the regular season. It will mark the first time that the "Hard Knocks" franchise will follow a team during the regular season. "Hard Knocks," which features cameras going behind the scenes with teams, has followed them only during training camps in past seasons. "We could not be more thrilled to bring 'Hard Knocks' and the remarkable behind-the-scenes access it provides for the entirety of an NFL season," NFL Films senior executive Ross Ketover said in a statement. "Thanks to HBO, along with the incredible cooperation from the Colts, we are able to deliver a groundbreaking new edition of the series." NFL Films did four years of the "All or Nothing'' series for Amazon Prime Video, where it followed a team for the entire season, but those episodes were not available until the following summer. An intriguing storyline for the Colts so far is quarterback Carson Wentz,...
September 16
September 16

Aaron Rodgers says Green Bay Packers would be 'in big trouble' if they 'freak out' over one loss

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- People who gave Aaron Rodgers grief about his seemingly laid-back approach after the  Green Bay Packers' blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints in Sunday's season opener should know this: He was talking to his teammates more than he was talking to those on the outside. "If we're starting to freak out after one week," Rodgers said Thursday, "we're in big trouble." Rodgers prefaced it, of course, by acknowledging that the Packers have to perform much better than they did in their 38-3 loss to the Saints at a neutral site in Jacksonville, Florida -- a game that was one of the worst of Rodgers' career and his largest margin of defeat in a game he started and finished. It also was the worst loss in a season opener by a team that played in either the AFC or NFC championship game the previous season. If Rodgers' approach after the loss, when he called it "just one game," came across as cavalier, he explained on Thursday that he chose those...
September 16
September 16

Purdue's band to be without World's Largest Drum vs. Notre Dame, first time since 1979

The World's Largest Drum is officially too big for Notre Dame Stadium, Purdue said Friday. As a result, Purdue's All-American Band will play its first halftime performance without its giant bass drum for the first time since 1979. "According to a communication from the University of Notre Dame, our Band will not be permitted to take the World's Largest Drum through their tunnel and onto the football field for this Saturday's game," said Aaron Yoder, a spokesman for the university's bands and orchestras. "Notre Dame Athletics has restricted use of their main tunnel to their own football team and band, which is the only entrance large enough for the Drum. We have been told that visiting teams and bands have to use a separate tunnel that is much smaller. Our Drum is about 10 feet tall on its carriage and 565 pounds so it doesn't even come close to fitting in this other tunnel." Purdue had used the main tunnel to bring the drum out for their halftime show in previous matchups with the...
September 16
September 16

Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson mourns loss of mental-conditioning coach, 'best friend' Trevor Moawad

RENTON, Wash. --  Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson got emotional Thursday while remembering Trevor Moawad, a member of his inner circle who died this week from cancer at age 48. Moawad was Wilson's longtime mental-conditioning coach, business partner and, in the quarterback's words, his best friend. Asked about Moawad during his weekly news conference, Wilson paused, cleared his throat and prefaced his answer by telling reporters that the subject may be tough for him to talk about. "When I think about my relationship with Trevor, I think about a man who was humble, I think about a man who always served, who always gave back, who was always dedicated to working and helping everyone," Wilson said. "And everybody he helped, it seemed that they always got better." Wilson spoke for eight minutes straight about Moawad, first recalling when they met in 2012. Wilson was training ahead of the NFL draft at IMG Academy, where Moawad was the director of...
September 16
September 16

Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson mourning loss of mental-health coach, 'best friend' Trevor Moawad

RENTON, Wash. - Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson got emotional Thursday while remembering Trevor Moawad, a member of his inner circle who died this week from cancer at age 48. Moawad was Wilson's longtime mental-conditioning coach, business partner and, in the quarterback's words, his best friend. Asked about Moawad during his weekly press conference, Wilson paused, cleared his throat and prefaced his answer by telling reporters that the subject may be tough for him to talk about. "When I think about my relationship with Trevor, I think about a man who was humble, I think about a man who always served, who always gave back, who was always dedicated to working and helping everyone," Wilson said. "And everybody he helped, it seemed that they always got better." Wilson spoke for eight minutes straight about Moawad, first recalling when they met in 2012. Wilson was training ahead of the NFL Draft at IMG Academy, where Moawad was the director of performance,...
September 16
September 16

Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez ties Johnny Bench's HR record for catchers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  Kansas City Royals slugger  Salvador Perez tied Johnny Bench's record for homers in a season by a catcher with his 45th in a 7-2 loss to the  Oakland Athletics on Thursday. Perez hit a two-run homer in the first inning, matching Bench's total from 1970 for the most by a player who played at least 75% of his team's games at catcher. Perez is tied with Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the major league lead in homers and also leads the bigs with 112 RBIs. "We're witnessing a special season," manager Mike Matheny said. "We're witnessing a special player. To be able to be put in the conversation with one most would say is the best ever is pretty rare.'' His talent is not lost on the opposition. "Salvador, it seems like he's hitting a home run a day against everybody,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "You can't miss against him right now.''  Perez, 31, is three homers away from matching Jorge Soler's team record from...
September 16
September 16

Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez ties Johnny Bench's HR record for catcher

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  Kansas City Royals slugger  Salvador Perez tied Johnny Bench's record for homers in a season by a catcher with his 45th in a 7-2 loss to the  Oakland Athletics on Thursday. Perez hit a two-run homer in the first inning, matching Bench's total from 1970 for the most by a player who played at least 75% of his team's games at catcher. Perez's 112 RBIs leads the majors this season while his 45 home runs are tied for the most with Vladimir Guerrero Jr.  Perez, 31, is three homers away from matching Jorge Soler's team record from 2019. Soler extended the Royals' record by 10. Perez also tied Mike Sweeney for second on the club's all-time list with 197. George Brett holds the club record with 317. After bouncing back from an elbow injury that caused him to miss all of the 2019 season with an elbow injury, Perez has been on a tear. His 56 home runs in 2020 and 2021 are the most in MLB over that span while his 144 RBIs rank third.  If...
September 16
September 16

Pittsburgh Penguins-Tampa Bay Lightning, Seattle Kraken-Vegas Golden Knights to usher in new NHL on ESPN slate

ESPN will open its first season of a new NHL TV contract with an Oct. 12 doubleheader, including the first game for the  Seattle Kraken. The season opens with the  Pittsburgh Penguins visiting the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Kraken at the Vegas Golden Knights at 10 p.m. ET. The Kraken will play their first home game Oct. 23 against Vancouver on ESPN+ and Hulu. ESPN, ESPN+, Hulu and ABC will feature 103 exclusive broadcasts during the regular season. More than 1,000 out-of-market games will be on ESPN+. ABC coverage will include Saturday games beginning in February. ESPN+ will feature at least one exclusive Tuesday night game every week from Oct. 19-Dec.28. ESPN+ and Hulu will also have a game every Friday night until January, and a Thursday night game for the rest of the season. ESPN+ and Hulu will stream their first game Oct. 15 when Minnesota visits ...
September 16
September 16

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby rooting for Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin to break goals record

CHICAGO -- Since they entered the NHL in 2005, Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals have battled each other for scoring titles, individual awards and postseason glory. But as the generational talents enter their 17th season together, Crosby said he's rooting for his rival to make hockey history and break Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky's career scoring record of 894 goals. "I hope he does. I told him today that I hope he does," said Crosby, who was attending the NHL players media tour here with Ovechkin. "It would be awesome. He's in range." Ovechkin, 35, enters the 2021-22 season with 730 goals in 1,197 career games. He signed a five-year contract extension with the Capitals in the offseason. Given his scoring averages, there's a chance he could break the record in that span. "I don't even think about it right now, to be honest," Ovechkin said this week. "Because it's too far. It's a long way. And...
September 16
September 16

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins to change number away from 85 formerly worn by Chad Johnson

CINCINNATI -- Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins has made up his mind: This will be the last season he wears No. 85. Initially, Higgins told Pro Football Focus' "Fantasy Football Podcast" that he would switch to No. 5, his college number, if he scored 10 touchdowns this season. However, he removed that qualifier Thursday and said the change will happen in large part because of another No. 85 who used to play for the Bengals: Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson. "I keep seeing on Twitter, 'Ochocinco 2.0,'" Higgins said. "I don't want to be a 2.0. No disrespect to Chad. He's a great receiver, this and that. I just don't want to be a 2.0 for myself, man. I want to be Tee Higgins, 1.0, No. 5." Johnson was one of the most colorful and prolific players in team history. In addition to legally changing his last name to Ochocinco at one point and being known for his touchdown celebrations, he also leads the franchise in several career categories, including receptions,...
September 16
September 16

San Jose Sharks' Evander Kane says he thinks he'll be cleared by NHL

San Jose Sharks star Evander Kane says he believes he'll be cleared in the NHL's investigation into accusations from his estranged wife that he wagered on his own games and threw games for gambling purposes. "Obviously [the accusations are] incredibly false. It's unfortunate that transpired, and it's unfortunate that those false allegations were made," Kane told ESPN's Linda Cohn in an interview that aired Thursday on Outside the Lines on SportsCenter. "I understood the magnitude of them immediately. I know [they're] not true. I know none of what she was saying was true. I was very confident, comfortable with knowing that I was going to be exonerated and am going to be exonerated of those allegations." Anna Kane alleged on Instagram on July 31 that the 12-year veteran wagered on NHL games "with bookies" and had a gambling addiction. "How does the NHL let a compulsive gambling addict still play when he's obviously throwing games to win money?" she wrote in one post. NHL...
September 16
September 16

Eric Bieniemy says focus on Kansas City Chiefs, not USC Trojans opening

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy would not say whether he would have an interest in the vacant head-coaching position at USC. "I am where my feet are,'' Bieniemy said Thursday as the Chiefs continued their preparation for Sunday night's game at the Baltimore Ravens. "When it's all said and done, I am focused on the task at hand. I'm not worried about anything, where my name is being mentioned. My job right now is to make sure that we're preparing for this weekend's opponent. "If USC reached out to me right now, my answer would be 'I am preparing for this team to play against the Baltimore Ravens.' That's how I roll ... My job is to make sure that we're ready to play a complete, sound, 60-minute football game so that we can come out and win the game.'' USC fired coach Clay Helton on Monday, two days after a 42-28 home defeat to Stanford. Donte Williams was named the Trojans' interim coach.  League sources told ESPN's...
September 16
September 16

Sources: New York Giants to start Billy Price at center, shift Nick Gates to guard against Washington Football Team

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants' offense and quarterback Daniel Jones will be working with a new center Thursday night against the Washington Football Team, with the plan being for recently acquired Billy Price to get the start while Nick Gates slides over to left guard, according to multiple sources. Gates started all 16 games last season and Week 1 this year at center. He has started one game in the NFL at guard, Week 15 of the 2019 season in a 36-20 win over the Miami Dolphins in the last start of Eli Manning's career. Running back Saquon Barkley rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns in that contest. The shifting on New York's offensive line is a result of starting left guard Shane Lemieux being sidelined by a knee injury. Lemieux tried to play through the injury in the opener but failed to make it through the first half. He has been placed on injured reserve. So the Giants are electing to insert Price into...
September 16
September 16

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Chris Westry suffers torn meniscus, source says

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The injuries continue to relentlessly pile up for the Baltimore Ravens just two weeks into the regular season. Ravens backup cornerback Chris Westry is expected to miss at least a month with a torn lateral meniscus, a source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler on Thursday. Westry was third among the team's cornerbacks with 33 snaps played in Monday's loss to Las Vegas. The Ravens lost Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters to a season-ending knee injury last week. If Westry is placed on injured reserve, he would become the 15th player to go on IR this year for Baltimore -- and the ninth player over the past 24 days. The Ravens worked out four cornerbacks Tuesday, including veteran Buster Skrine. The cornerbacks on the active roster are Marlon Humphrey, Anthony Averett, Jimmy Smith and Tavon Young. Smith (ankle) didn't play in the opener and has been limited in practice this week. The injury news could get...
September 16
September 16

San Jose Sharks' Evander Kane thinks he'll be cleared by NHL

San Jose Sharks star Evander Kane says he believes he'll be cleared in the NHL's investigation into accusations from his estranged wife that he wagered on his own games and threw games for gambling purposes. "Obviously [the accusations are] incredibly false. It's unfortunate that transpired, and it's unfortunate that those false allegations were made," Kane told ESPN's Linda Cohn, in an interview that aired Thursday on Outside the Lines on SportsCenter. "I understood the magnitude of them immediately. I know [they're] not true. I know none of what she was saying was true. I was very confident, comfortable with knowing that I was going to be exonerated and am going to be exonerated of those allegations." Anna Kane alleged on Instagram on July 31 that the 12-year veteran wagered on NHL games "with bookies" and had a gambling addiction. "How does the NHL let a compulsive gambling addict still play when he's obviously throwing games to win money?" she wrote in one post. NHL...
September 16
September 16

Britt Reid's felony DWI trial scheduled to begin April 18

The trial of former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid, who is facing a felony driving while intoxicated charge, is scheduled for April 18. The date was set Thursday morning at a virtual hearing. Reid and his attorney, J.R. Hobbs, participated by videoconference. The charge stems from a Feb. 4 incident. Reid is alleged to have been driving drunk when he hit two cars that were stopped on the side of an entrance ramp to Interstate 435. The wreck left a 5-year-old girl with a traumatic brain injury, and injured another child. If convicted of the Class D felony, Reid, 36, could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison. He is a son of Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who hired him to coach linebackers. Charges were filed April 12. He entered a not guilty plea. Kansas City prosecutors say Reid had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.113 based on a sample taken two hours after he barreled into two vehicles on I-435. Reid was driving 83.9 miles per hour -- in a posted 65...
September 16
September 16

Panthers 3, Senators 1

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- New Senators goalie Pascal Leclaire stopped 14 of 16 shots in Ottawa's 3-1 loss to Florida in both teams' preseason opener Tuesday night. Scott Timmins and Kamil Kreps put Florida ahead in the first period and David Booth added a goal in the second. "It was good to get that first one in. It's totally different from practice and I'm glad it's done," Leclaire said. "I felt OK in the beginning and I started to feel better as the game went on. Every year is the same. The first one is always a rough one and then you start from there." Alexandre Picard put the Senators up 1-0 on his shot from the blue line through traffic to beat Florida goalie Scott Clemmensen. Ottawa played without stars Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Alex Kovalev. "You train so hard over the summer, and no matter what you do it's playing games that gets you into game shape," Booth said. "You don't want to be the best in your first game of the season, you...
September 16
September 16

Baltimore Ravens promote veteran RB Devonta Freeman to active roster

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens promoted running back Devonta Freeman to the active roster Thursday after he spent one week on the practice squad, the team announced. Freeman, 29, joins Ty'Son Williams and Latavius Murray in Baltimore's revamped running backs group. The Ravens signed Freeman to the practice squad Friday, one day after Gus Edwards suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice. A two-time Pro Bowl player, Freeman was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Aug. 31 after spending a month with the team. Last season, Freeman gained 172 yards rushing and scored one touchdown in five games with the New York Giants. In Monday's season-opening 33-27 loss in Las Vegas, the Ravens split the touches between Williams (12 for 94 total yards and one touchdown) and Murray (10 for 28 yards). Baltimore went with Williams primarily in the first half before leaning more on Murray in the second half. Freeman provides more...
September 16
September 16

Baltimore Ravens promoting veteran RB Devonta Freeman to active roster, agent says

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens are promoting running back Devonta Freeman to the active roster Thursday after he spent one week on the team's practice squad, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Freeman, 29, joins Ty'Son Williams and Latavius Murray in Baltimore's revamped running backs group. The Ravens signed Freeman to the practice squad Friday, one day after Gus Edwards suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice. A two-time Pro Bowl player, Freeman was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Aug. 31 after spending a month with the team. Last season, Freeman gained 172 yards rushing and scored one touchdown in five games with the New York Giants. In Monday's season-opening 33-27 loss in Las Vegas, the Ravens split the touches between Williams (12 for 94 total yards and one touchdown) and Murray (10 for 28 yards). Baltimore went with Williams primarily in the first half before leaning more on...
September 16
September 16

Las Vegas Raiders DT Gerald McCoy out for rest of season with knee injury, source says

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Gerald McCoy suffered a season-ending left knee injury in Monday night's Week 1 overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens, a source confirmed Wednesday. Raiders coach Jon Gruden said Tuesday that he feared McCoy had suffered a "long-term" injury, the same day it was revealed that right guard Denzelle Good had suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and was lost for the season. McCoy and Good were placed on injured reserve Wednesday. The Raiders signed defensive tackle Damion Square and guard Jordan Simmons in corresponding moves. Square, who was on the Chicago Bears' practice squad, played for Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley with the Chargers. Simmons, who was on the Seattle Seahawks' practice squad, began his career with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2017. The Raiders also made a move on their practice squad, signing veteran safety Ha...
September 16
September 16

WRAPUP 1-Soccer-Ronaldo sets Real off on home final quest

* Ronaldo strikes twice as Real Madrid beat FC Zurich 5-2 * Real take first step on journey to "home" final * Manchester United edge Besiktas 1-0 * Wins for Chelsea, AC Milan, Bayern Munich By Kevin Fylan LONDON, Sept 15 - Two goals from the world's most expensive player helped Real Madrid beat FC Zurich 5-2 to take the first step on a journey they trust will take them across Europe and all the way back home. Cristiano Ronaldo struck Real's first and helped them recover from a nasty bout of nerves by adding a second free kick late in the Champions League Group C opener on Tuesday. Real, who will host this season's final at their Santiago Bernabeu stadium, had played themselves into trouble after letting a 3-0 halftime lead slip to 3-2 but ultimately they had far too much in attack for debutants Zurich. Their tussle at the Letzigrund provided the night's best entertainment on the return of European football's elite club competition. Manchester United, who lost to Barcelona in...
September 16
September 15

Bucks make Lisa Byington first women's full-time TV play-by-play announcer in major men's pro sports

The Milwaukee Bucks have named Lisa Byington as the team's new television play-by-play announcer on Bally Sports Wisconsin, making her the first woman to handle full-time TV play-by-play duties for a major men's professional sports team. Byington replaces longtime Bucks announcer Jim Paschke, who retired following the 2020-21 season after serving as the team's television play-by-play announcer for the previous 35 years. Bucks and Fiserv Forum president Peter Feigin announced Byington's hiring Wednesday. In a statement, Byington said she was "absolutely thrilled" at the opportunity "to work with a first-class franchise and a championship organization like the Milwaukee Bucks." "I know that I will be stepping into the role long-held by Jim Paschke, and I appreciate his passion for the team and the memorable moments his voice will always be a part of," Byington said. "I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge his work and commitment to the franchise, and it's my honor to be the...
September 15
September 15

Chris Livingston commits to Kentucky, giving Wildcats three five-stars in 2022 basketball class

Five-star forward Chris Livingston committed to Kentucky on Wednesday, giving the Wildcats their third five-star prospect in the 2022 class and the lead for the No. 1 recruiting class. Livingston chose John Calipari's program over Georgetown and Tennessee State, after removing Memphis from his list earlier this month. "The history of the school and the basketball program attracted me," Livingston told ESPN. "What Coach Cal has done with past players has been impressive. He is a down-to-Earth guy. For a coaching legend, he is easy to talk to. I like how he stays connected with his former players." Livingston, whose aunt, Lisa, ran track at Kentucky in the 1990s, took a visit to Kentucky back in June and also took trips to Georgetown and Tennessee State in August. After Memphis made a push for Livingston in August, Kentucky regained momentum and has been the clear favorite the last few weeks. And the Wildcats' fans made it known. "They have...
September 15
September 15

Paul Azinger to Brooks Koepka: If you don't love Ryder Cup, don't play

Paul Azinger's history with the Ryder Cup goes back more than 30 years, and it's hard to find anyone more passionate about the competition, even now in his role as a broadcaster. So the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup captain didn't hold back Wednesday when asked about Brooks Koepka, who disclosed in a recent  Golf Digest interview that he was frustrated by the way the event takes an individual player away from what he is accustomed to doing at a regular event. "I'm not sure he loves the Ryder Cup that much, if he doesn't love it he should relinquish his spot and get people there who do love it,'' Azinger said. "Not everybody embraces it. But if you don't love it, and you're not sold out, then I think Brooks -- especially being hurt -- should consider whether or not he really wants to be there. And if you add the Bryson [DeChambeau] dynamic to that, that would be an even easier decision for him.'' Koepka, 31, injured his left wrist and withdrew during the third round...
September 15
September 15

Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence will miss 6-8 weeks with broken foot, sources say

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys defensive end  DeMarcus Lawrence suffered a broken foot in Wednesday's practice that will force him to miss six to eight weeks, according to sources. It is a giant blow to a defense that did not generate a sack in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and could also be without its second-best pass rusher, Randy Gregory, on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. Lawrence was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday's practice but immediately had an MRI, which revealed the break. Lawrence did not practice for most of training camp because of offseason back surgery, but he recorded six tackles, two quarterback pressures and forced a fumble against the Buccaneers. He has 45.5 sacks for his career and is a two-time Pro Bowl pick. Lawrence tweeted on Wednesday that he "will be back & ready." As for Gregory, coach Mike McCarthy did not sound hopeful before practice about him passing COVID-19...
September 15
September 15

Lamar Jackson says he's not dwelling on past losses as Baltimore Ravens prepare to face Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Heading into Sunday night's showdown, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson downplayed his winless record against Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Jackson is 0-3 against Mahomes -- losing to him in each of the past three seasons -- while going 30-5 (.857) against the rest of the NFL. This marks the fifth instance in the past 25 years of one NFL MVP quarterback losing his first three starts opposite another MVP quarterback, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. "It's not about me and Mahomes," Jackson said after Wednesday's practice. "Not to me, probably to everyone else. But it's the Ravens versus the Kansas City Chiefs." Mahomes won the NFL MVP in 2018, and Jackson followed that up in 2019 by becoming the league's second unanimous selection. The only quarterbacks to lose their first four starts against another MVP quarterback were Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan. Both did so against ...
September 15
September 15

Bucks make Lisa Byington first female full-time TV play-by-play announcer in major men's pro sports

The Milwaukee Bucks have named Lisa Byington as the team's new television play-by-play announcer on Bally Sports Wisconsin, making her the first woman to handle full-time TV play-by-play duties for a major men's professional sports team. Byington replaces longtime Bucks announcer Jim Paschke, who retired following the 2020-21 season after serving as the team's television play-by-play announcer for the previous 35 years. Bucks and Fiserv Forum president Peter Feigin announced Byington's hiring Wednesday. In a statement, Byington said she was "absolutely thrilled" at the opportunity "to work with a first-class franchise and a championship organization like the Milwaukee Bucks." "I know that I will be stepping into the role long-held by Jim Paschke, and I appreciate his passion for the team and the memorable moments his voice will always be a part of," Byington said. "I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge his work and commitment to the franchise, and it's my honor to be the...
September 15
September 15

Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence will miss multiple weeks with broken foot, sources say

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys defensive DeMarcus Lawrence sustained a broken foot in Wednesday's practice that will force him to miss multiple weeks, according to sources. It is a giant blow to a defense that did not generate a sack in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and could also be without its second-best pass rusher, Randy Gregory, Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. Lawrence was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday's practice but immediately had an an MRI, which revealed the break. Lawrence did not practice for most of training camp because of offseason back surgery but he recorded six tackles, two quarterback pressures and forced a fumble against the Buccaneers. He has 45.5 sacks for his career and is a two-time Pro Bowl pick. As for Gregory, coach Mike McCarthy did not sound hopeful before practice about him passing COVID-19 protocols in time to play against the Chargers. "If you look at the history,...
September 15
September 15

Arizona Cardinals' Chandler Jones, coming off five-sack game, not thinking about potential new contract

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals pass-rusher Chandler Jones wasn't thinking about the potential financial windfall during his five-sack performance Sunday against the Tennessee Titans that kicked off the last season of his contract. Or was he? "I was more thinking getting the ball, so [quarterback] Kyler [Murray] can go score another touchdown, to be honest with you," Jones said about his fourth sack. Then Jones winked, which said it all. It is the latest chapter to the start of the ninth NFL season for the 31-year-old, who sat out OTAs and minicamp over the summer in protest of wanting either an extension or a new deal. He said Wednesday that he had requested a trade, but referred all questions about the request to general manager Steve Keim and his agents, Joe Panos and Ethan Lock. Jones, who is set to earn $15.5 million this season, said he's going to let his agents handle the business side of his career while he plays. "I'm just playing...
September 15
September 15

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley listed as questionable Thursday against the Washington Football Team

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is officially listed as questionable for Thursday night against the Washington Football Team as he attempts to play for the second time in five days while returning from a major knee injury. The expectation, barring a setback, remains that Barkley will play, a source told ESPN. Barkley and coach Joe Judge have said throughout the week that they believe he'll be ready. Tight end Evan Engram (calf) will not be available for the Giants (0-1) against Washington. Starting left guard Shane Lemieux (knee) and outside linebacker Cam Brown (hamstring) have also been ruled out. Barkley admitted Tuesday that playing two games four days apart while coming back from a torn ACL in his right knee was not ideal. He tore the knee ligament in Week 2 of last season, had surgery in October and started the summer on the physically unable to perform list. He didn't face his first contact until...
September 15

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