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1 hour ago

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

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Every start he makes, every time he dominates, Walker Buehler burnishes a resume that's beginning to resemble those of the best postseason pitchers ever. All he did in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday was bolster his case. Buehler became the first pitcher in World Series history to record double-digit strikeouts in six innings, and his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates used big bats and small ball to overwhelm the  Tampa Bay Rays in a 6-2 victory that left the Dodgers two wins shy of their first championship since 1988. The postseason bona fides of Buehler, a 26-year-old right-hander, were already impressive. His six-inning, three-hit, one-run, one-walk, 10-strikeout performance ranked among his most dominant yet. The last pitcher as young as Buehler to strike out 10 in a World Series game? The Marlins' Josh Beckett in 2003. The only other Dodgers to punch out 10 and allow three or fewer hits in a World Series game?...
1 hour ago
1 hour ago

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

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

Sources: Antonio Brown reaches contract agreement with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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

Source: Antonio Brown working on contract with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources: Boston Red Sox interview Luis Urueta for managerial vacancy

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

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

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

Insurance broker offers COVID-19 health coverage for college athletics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cleveland Browns TE Austin Hooper out Sunday with appendicitis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Report: Trojans WR Munir McClain suspended amid possible fraud probe

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

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje make weight for title bout at UFC 254

One of the biggest UFC fights of the year is now official. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje successfully weighed in Friday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for their UFC lightweight title unification bout. Nurmagomedov and Gaethje each weighed right at the limit of 155 pounds. Nurmagomedov, the first fighter to hit the scale, stripped down naked to make the mark, needing the aid of a towel. He had his head in his hands and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw he had made weight. Nurmagomedov, ESPN's top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, comes in as the undisputed UFC lightweight champion, while the No. 8-ranked Gaethje is the interim champ. The two will compete to unify the belts on Saturday in the main event of UFC 254 on Yas Island, which the UFC has dubbed "Fight Island." ESPN has the undefeated Nurmagomedov ranked No. 1 in the world at lightweight, with Gaethje at No. 2. Nurmagomedov (28-0), 32, of Dagestan, is 12-0 in the UFC and has rarely even lost...
October 23
October 22

Carson Wentz leads Philadelphia Eagles' late-game surge to beat New York Giants

PHILADELPHIA -- Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles did it again, roaring back late in the game Thursday night to upend the New York Giants  22-21 and put themselves in the driver's seat in the lowly NFC East. In the process, the Eagles extended their winning streak over the Giants to eight games. After struggling for much of the evening, Wentz led a pair of touchdown drives in the fourth quarter and put the Eagles ahead with a beauty of a pass to running back Boston Scott down the right sideline for an 18-yard score with 40 seconds left. "I was pretty surprised we pulled it off. When I threw it, I thought it was a little high, but he plays bigger than he is," Wentz said of Scott, who is 5-foot-6. "Obviously, there are a lot of emotions there. It was kind of a big, exciting moment but a big kind of a sigh of relief because we know we left a lot of plays out there. But the way we battled and found a way at the end of the game was...
October 22
October 22

Big Ten will deem any football game canceled by COVID-19 a 'no contest'

The Big Ten will determine whether to cancel games this year based on COVID-19 testing positivity rates within a team, and if a game can't be played, it will be deemed a "no contest," the conference announced on Thursday. The Big Ten, which begins its season at 8 p.m. ET on Friday when No. 14 Wisconsin hosts Illinois, is attempting to play an eight-game conference season in eight weeks, plus a ninth game for all 14 teams during Big Ten champions week the weekend of Dec. 19. In order to compete in the Big Ten championship game, a team must play at least six games, according to conference tiebreaker rules that were also released on Thursday. On Sept. 16, when the Big Ten announced its return this fall, the conference also released specific, color-coded guidelines of green, orange and red to follow when determining if practices or games can continue. If the test positivity rate for a team exceeds 5%, a "team must stop regular practice and competition for a...
October 22
October 22

Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson says 'humbled' Antonio Brown deserves another chance

RENTON, Wash. -- Russell Wilson says he believes Antonio Brown deserves another chance to play in the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback is hoping it's with his team. "I think Antonio definitely has taken those steps [in the right direction], and like I said, nobody's perfect," Wilson said Thursday. "From the conversations I've had with him, he's really been remorseful and he's been humbled along the way. Like I said, I pray that he can continue to grow, just like anybody." Wilson has lobbied for the Seahawks to sign the suspended wide receiver, both in public and directly to the organization. That led to a handful of Brown-related questions when Wilson met with reporters a day after ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Seahawks are positioned to make a push to sign Brown with his suspension eligible to end after Week 8. Wilson said he has gotten to know Brown over the past four or five years. The two worked out together this summer at Wilson's San...
October 22
October 22

No. 19 recruit Skyy Clark commits to Kentucky over UNC, UCLA, Memphis

Five-star junior Skyy Clark committed to Kentucky on Thursday, choosing the Wildcats over North Carolina, UCLA and Memphis. Clark becomes the third top-20 junior to announce his commitment, joining  Emoni Bates (No. 1, Michigan State) and Dior Johnson (No. 11, Syracuse). "It has been a blessing to be recruited by John Calipari and his staff," said Clark, whose lead recruiter was assistant coach Joel Justus. "He is not only a legend in college basketball but in the world of basketball. Any player that loves the game and dreams of playing at the next level has Kentucky on their list. Everyone knows how well he treats his players. He is an amazing coach and a better person. I love Coach Cal, he keeps it real and makes no promises." A 6-foot-2 point guard from The Ensworth School (Tennessee), Clark is ranked No. 19 in the ESPN 60 for the 2022 class. Kentucky emerged as the clear favorite after the Wildcats...
October 22
October 22

Las Vegas Raiders place four starting offensive linemen on reserve/COVID-19 list

The Las Vegas Raiders have placed four starting offensive linemen and safety Johnathan Abram on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced Thursday. All five players -- center Rodney Hudson, guards Gabe Jackson and Denzelle Good, tackle Kolton Miller and Abram -- were deemed high-risk contacts Thursday, sources told ESPN, confirming an NFL Network report. All missed their second consecutive day of practice Thursday while in quarantine. With tackle Trent Brown already on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the Raiders could potentially be without all five starting offensive linemen for Sunday's game against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With Brown and the other four starters on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the Raiders have just five remaining offensive linemen on their 53-man active roster, along with two practice-squad offensive linemen. NFL rules stipulate that teams must have at least eight offensive linemen on...
October 22
October 22

Ron Rivera cites 'gut feelings' for Washington Football Team quarterback change

ASHBURN, Va. -- It wasn't just quarterbacks that Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera changed recently; for many, it was his message that also took multiple turns. Fans and some media criticized Rivera for mixed messages. But Rivera said that's just the way he coaches, going by instincts and switching plans when needed. "It does look a little inconsistent, but the consistency is that I'm going to make them based on what I know, on my gut feeling on things," Rivera said. "Hopefully, they're good decisions. If they're not, we'll know and I'll take responsibility, that's for doggone sure." In the past couple of weeks, Rivera was criticized for changing his message -- from supporting quarterback Dwayne Haskins after his three-interception game in Week 3, vowing to endure his growing pains, to benching him a week later. In truth, multiple sources say there had been concerns before the benching and some in the organization predicted it would happen soon -- if...
October 22
October 22

Sources: Las Vegas Raiders place four starting offensive linemen on reserve/COVID-19 list

The Las Vegas Raiders will place four starting offensive linemen and safety Johnathan Abram on the reserve/COVID-19 list after all five players were deemed high-risk contacts Thursday, sources told ESPN's Paul Gutierrez, confirming multiple reports. Center Rodney Hudson, guards Gabe Jackson and Denzelle Good, tackle Kolton Miller and Abram all missed their second straight day of practice Thursday while in quarantine. The players' placement on the reserve/COVID-19 list was first reported by NFL Network. With tackle Trent Brown already on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the Raiders could potentially be without all five starting offensive linemen for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With Brown and the other four starters on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the Raiders have just five remaining offensive linemen on their 53-man active roster, along with two practice-squad offensive linemen. NFL rules stipulate that...
October 22
October 22

Source: Minnesota Vikings' Danielle Hunter to have season-ending neck surgery

EAGAN, Minn. -- The Vikings will forge through the remainder of the season without their top two pass-rushers, one of whom has not seen the field in 2020. Hours after Minnesota traded Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens, recouping much of the draft capital they sent to Jacksonville when they acquired the defensive end in August, a league source confirmed to ESPN that Danielle Hunter will undergo season-ending neck surgery to repair a herniated disc. NFL Network first reported the news of Hunter's surgery. Hunter's injury was initially described as a "tweak" by coach Mike Zimmer and was expected to keep him out six to eight weeks, according to a source. The defensive end's last practice was Aug. 14, the Vikings' first day of practice during training camp. Hunter, who had 54.5 sacks through five seasons and back-to-back Pro Bowl honors, signed an extension in 2018 and is set to be under contract for the next three seasons. In spite of his...
October 22
October 22

NFL moves Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Las Vegas Raiders game to Sunday afternoon

The NFL announced Thursday that Sunday's Buccaneers- Raiders game, originally scheduled for 8:20 p.m. on NBC, now will start at 4:05 p.m. on Fox. The league said it made the move "out of an abundance of caution to ensure that a game would be available for fans on Sunday Night Football." The Seahawks- Cardinals game will now be played Sunday night. Raiders tackle Trent Brown was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, and the team sent home all five of its starting offensive linemen from practice as part of contact tracing. In its statement, the league said it still expects Buccaneers-Raiders to be played Sunday.
October 22
October 22

NBA draft to be held virtually at ESPN studios on Nov. 18

The 2020 NBA draft on Nov. 18 will be held virtually and hosted from ESPN's studios in Bristol, Connecticut, the NBA and ESPN announced Thursday. Commissioner Adam Silver will be in studio at ESPN to announce the selections for the first round, and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum will be in studio to announce the second round. Top players will join the telecast virtually. The NBA draft presented by State Farm will air live on ESPN, ESPN Radio and the ESPN App at 7 p.m. ET.
October 22
October 22

Utah admits error in Lauren McCluskey's death, settles for $13.5 million

The University of Utah announced a $13.5 million settlement with the family of slain track and field athlete Lauren McCluskey on Thursday, saying for the first time that her death had been preventable. McCluskey, a 21-year-old heptathlete at Utah, was shot and killed on Oct. 22, 2018, by a man she had dated briefly, Melvin Shawn Rowland. Rowland killed himself later that night when cornered by police. In a news conference Thursday on the school's Salt Lake City campus, university president Ruth Watkins read a statement expressing the school's regret after McCluskey, her mother and friends had reached out for help numerous times before she was killed. "The university acknowledges and deeply regrets that it did not handle Lauren's case as it should have and that, at the time, its employees failed to fully understand and respond appropriately to Lauren's situation," Watkins said. "As a result, we failed Lauren and her family." McCluskey's parents, Jill and Matt, filed a federal...
October 22
October 22

Floyd Mayweather critical of the growing number of title belts

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the latest voice to criticize the growing number of championships in boxing. In an interview ahead of a title fight between Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz, Mayweather chastised those in boxing for the litany of title belts throughout the sport, especially the sanctioning bodies with multiple champions within a single division. "This is not good for the sport of boxing," Mayweather said in an interview with Showtime. "Now when a fighter fights, every fighter is a champion." There are four major recognized sanctioning bodies: the WBA, WBO, IBF and WBC. The WBA has "super" versions of its belt, one of which is held by Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) heading into his fight against Santa Cruz (37-1, 19 KOs). Mayweather admitted that even his promotional company deserves blame for the trend. The former pound-for-pound champion's comments came less than a week after a lightweight unification bout between Teofimo Lopez and Vasiliy Lomachenko. Lopez, who won via...
October 22
October 22

Floyd Mayweather critical of number of title belts

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the latest voice to criticize the growing number of championships in boxing. In an interview ahead of a title fight between Gerovnta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz, Mayweather chastised those in the sport for the litany of title belts throughout the sport, especially the sanctioning bodies with multiple champions within a single division. "This is not good for the sport of boxing," Mayweather said in an interview with Showtime. "Now when a fighter fights, every fighter is a champion." There are four major recognized sanctioning bodies: the WBA, WBO, IBF and WBC. The WBA has "super" versions of its belt, one of which is held by Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) heading into his fight against Santa Cruz (37-1, 19 KOs). Mayweather admitted even his promotional company deserves blame for the trend. The former pound-for-pound champion's comments came less than a week after a lightweight unification bout between Teofimo Lopez and Vasiliy Lomachenko. Lopez, who won via unanimous...
October 22
October 22

Sources: Baltimore Ravens to take a look at WR Dez Bryant

The Baltimore Ravens are planning to bring in wide receiver Dez Bryant for evaluation, and if they think he's a fit they would sign him to their practice squad, sources confirmed to ESPN's Ed Werder on Thursday. The move to the practice squad would give Bryant a chance to get in game shape, sources said, adding that the team thinks he can help as a physical presence. The Ravens have been courting the 31-year-old Bryant for years. He worked out for the team in August but left without a deal. Bryant is attempting to become the second Pro Bowl wide receiver to miss two full seasons and then return to the NFL since the 1970 merger, according to the Elias Sports Bureau (Josh Gordon was the first). Bryant hasn't played in a game since December 2017. The Ravens attempted to sign Bryant in April 2018. However, he turned down a multiyear offer from the team then because he wanted a one-year deal and a chance to prove himself, in hopes of getting a bigger long-term deal in 2019,...
October 22
October 22

Philadelphia Eagles put TE Zach Ertz on IR, remove G Matt Pryor from reserve/COVID-19 list

The Philadelphia Eagles have placed star tight end Zach Ertz on injured reserve because of an ankle injury. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported earlier this week that Ertz, who suffered the injury during Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens, was expected to miss three to four weeks. Ertz was hurt in the second half and tried to reenter the game after having his ankle taped, but he pulled up while running a route in the fourth quarter and was unable to finish. He will miss at least three games on injured reserve. The Eagles play the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys the next two weeks and then face the Giants again on Nov. 15 following a Week 9 bye. The NFL trade deadline is Nov. 3. Any thought of trading Ertz, who is at a stalemate with the Eagles over a contract extension and has voiced his frustration publicly, is complicated by the injury and the IR designation. Ertz, 29, entered the season with more catches through the first seven...
October 22
October 22

Baltimore Ravens trade for Minnesota Vikings DE Yannick Ngakoue

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens have traded for Minnesota Vikings pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue, adding a critical component to the NFL's stingiest defense. The Ravens will send a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick to the Vikings for Ngakoue, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Ngakoue will fly to Baltimore in the next 24 hours to go through COVID-19 testing so he can be ready to join his new team next week, after the Ravens come off a bye and start preparations for its Week 8 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Baltimore, which leads the NFL in fewest points allowed per game (17.3), had long been long been pursuing a pass-rusher. The Ravens had attempted to acquire Ngakoue in recent months, according to sources, and tried to work a deal for Jadeveon Clowney before the start of the season. Ngakoue had hoped to land in Baltimore all along. He grew up in Bowie, Maryland, and starred at Maryland...
October 22
October 22

Philadelphia Eagles place TE Zach Ertz on IR, remove G Matt Pryor from reserve/COVID-19 list

The Philadelphia Eagles have placed star tight end Zach Ertz on injured reserve because of an ankle injury. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported earlier this week that Ertz, who suffered the injury in Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens, was expected to miss three to four weeks. Ertz will miss at least three games on injured reserve. A Pro Bowler each of the past three seasons, Ertz has 24 catches for 178 yards and a touchdown in 2020. The Eagles also activated offensive lineman Matt Pryor from the reserve/COVID-19 list in a corresponding roster move Thursday. Pryor had been placed on the reserve list Friday and missed Philadelphia's loss to Baltimore.
October 22
October 22

Baltimore Ravens finalizing trade for Minnesota Vikings DE Yannick Ngakoue

The Vikings and Ravens are finalizing a trade to send defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to Baltimore for a 2021 third-round draft pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Ngakoue will fly to Baltimore in the next 24 hours to go through COVID-19 testing so he can be ready to join his new team next week after it comes off its bye and returns to start preparations for its Week 8 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Baltimore has attempted to acquire Ngakoue multiple times in recent months, according to Schefter. Ngakoue hoped to land in Baltimore all along. He grew up in Bowie, Maryland, and starred at Maryland before being drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016. The Vikings had acquired Ngakoue in August by trading a 2021 second-round pick and 2022 conditional fifth-round pick to the Jaguars. Ngakoue, who had been given the franchise tag by the Jaguars in the offseason, agreed to a one-year,...
October 22
October 21

Tampa Bay Rays' Brandon Lowe homers twice in Game 2 win over Los Angeles Dodgers

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Through all the struggles, all the moments when it looked like he should be dropped down in the lineup or out of it altogether, Brandon Lowe believed. He had built himself into one of the American League's best hitters, and no slump -- not even one during the playoffs -- could derail that. The Tampa Bay Rays kept believing in Lowe too. In Game 2 of the World Series, both were rewarded handsomely for their faith. Lowe became the first player to hit two opposite-field home runs in a World Series game, and the Rays' bullpen bent but didn't break as they held on for a 6-4 victory Wednesday night to even the series at one game apiece. "Yeah, those felt really good,'' Lowe said. "It felt great to kind of get back and contribute to the team. They've been doing so well for the past month. It felt really good to get back and actually start doing stuff again.'' The 26-year-old Lowe, an All-Star in 2019 as a rookie and a down-ballot MVP...
October 21
October 21

Miami Dolphins' decision to start Tua Tagovailoa 'heartbreaking,' Ryan Fitzpatrick says

One day after Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores elevated rookie Tua Tagovailoa to starting quarterback, the recently demoted Ryan Fitzpatrick said the timing of the move "broke my heart," as he wonders whether he has started his last NFL game. "I was shocked by it. It definitely caught me off guard. It was a hard thing for me to hear yesterday, just kind of digesting the news. My heart just hurt all day. It was heartbreaking for me," Fitzpatrick said Wednesday. "Flo kind of said what he said and said what he said to you guys as well, and that's the decision and the direction that the organization is going in." "Obviously we've talked in the past, me and you guys, about how I'm the placeholder and this eventually was going to happen," Fitzpatrick added. "It was just a matter of kind of when, not if. It still just ... it broke my heart yesterday. It's a tough thing for me to hear and to now have to deal with, but I'm going to do my best with it." The...
October 21
October 21

Penn State Nittany Lions men's basketball coach Pat Chambers resigns after internal investigation

Pat Chambers resigned Wednesday following an investigation by Penn State into allegations of inappropriate conduct by the longtime men's basketball coach. In a statement, Penn State said new allegations surfaced after The Undefeated reported in July that Rasir Bolton -- who transferred from Penn State to Iowa State in the summer of 2019 -- said he decided to leave the Nittany Lions because Chambers made a reference to a noose around Bolton's neck. Bolton told The Undefeated that he recalled Chambers saying, "I want to be a stress reliever for you. You can talk to me about anything. I need to get some of this pressure off you. I want to loosen the noose that's around your neck." "The new allegations surfaced shortly after The Undefeated's article and a review was conducted jointly by Penn State's Affirmative Action and Athletics Integrity offices," Penn State said in its statement. Chambers said in a statement provided to ESPN that he made the...
October 21
October 21

Penn State Nittany Lions men's basketball coach Patrick Chambers resigns after internal investigation

Penn State head coach Pat Chambers resigned Wednesday following an investigation into inappropriate conduct that stemmed from a former player saying Chambers made a reference to a noose around the player's neck. Chambers said in a statement provided to ESPN that he made the decision to take "a break to re-set and chart our path forward," but the school announced it accepted his resignation following an "internal investigation of new allegations of inappropriate conduct by Chambers." In July, Iowa State guard Rasir Bolton -- who transferred from Penn State in the summer of 2019 -- said he made the decision to leave the Nittany Lions because Chambers made a reference to a noose around Bolton's neck. Bolton told The Undefeated in July that he recalls Chambers saying, "I want to be a stress reliever for you. You can talk to me about anything. I need to get some of this pressure off you. I want to loosen the noose that's around your neck." "The new allegations...
October 21
October 21

Las Vegas Raiders' Trent Brown to COVID-19 list, O-line sent home

HENDERSON, Nev. -- With the Las Vegas Raiders preparing to place right tackle Trent Brown on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team sent home all five of its starting offensive linemenon Wednesday due to contact tracing, coach Jon Gruden said. "I guess they were around Trent," Gruden said in a video call with reporters. "I can't get into things any more than that. But hopefully we'll get some players back tomorrow, or for Sunday." The Raiders (3-2) are coming off their bye week and play host to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium. "How happy am I? I'm not happy," Gruden said. "I'm concerned. I'm really more concerned about Trent [and] his health than anything. This is COVID and I am concerned about anybody that has it or is near it." Gruden previously said he had the virus during the offseason. The Raiders' starting offensive line the last time they played, at Kansas City on Oct. 11, included left tackle ...
October 21
October 21

Las Vegas Raiders' Trent Brown to COVID list, O-line sent home

HENDERSON, Nev. -- With the Las Vegas Raiders preparing to place right tackle Trent Brown on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team sent home all five of their starting offensive linemen on Wednesday due to contact tracing, coach Jon Gruden said. "I guess they were around Trent," Gruden said in a Zoom call with reporters. "I can't get into things any more than that. But hopefully we'll get some players back tomorrow, or for Sunday." The Raiders (3-2) are coming off their bye week and play host to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium. "How happy am I? I'm not happy," Gruden said. "I'm concerned. I'm really more concerned about Trent [and] his health than anything. This is COVID and I am concerned about anybody that has it or is near it." Gruden previously said he had the virus during the offseason. The Raiders' starting offensive line the last time they played, at Kansas City on Oct. 11, included left tackle ...
October 21
October 21

Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott says there's no one thing that will fix fumbling woes

FRISCO, Texas -- As Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott looks to correct an issue that has led to four lost fumbles in six games, he has studied every fumble he ever has had. He did not want to give away any conclusions that he came to -- "I don't want to give away all my weaknesses right here," he said jokingly -- but the issues came down to holding the ball tighter and the opposition making good defensive plays. "I just think I need to not put myself in vulnerable situations. I've just got to lock in and focus," Elliott said. "I don't think there's a specific answer. All I can do is give myself, watch as much film as I can, gather as much information as I can and try to use that to help me. But I don't think there's an exact answer on how to fix these fumble problems I've had this year." Elliott has lost four fumbles after losing just five in the first four years of his career, and his giveaways this season have accounted for 28 points by the opposition....
October 21
October 21

Miami Dolphins' decision to start Tua Tagovailoa broke Ryan Fitzpatrick's heart

One day after Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores elevated rookie Tua Tagovailoa to starting quarterback, the recently demoted Ryan Fitzpatrick said the timing of the move "broke my heart," as he wonders whether he has started his last NFL game. "I was shocked by it. It definitely caught me off guard. It was a hard thing for me to hear yesterday, just kind of digesting the news. My heart just hurt all day. It was heartbreaking for me," Fitzpatrick said Wednesday. "Flo kind of said what he said and said what he said to you guys as well, and that's the decision and the direction that the organization is going in." "Obviously we've talked in the past, me and you guys, about how I'm the placeholder and this eventually was going to happen," Fitzpatrick added. "It was just a matter of kind of when, not if. It still just ... it broke my heart yesterday. It's a tough thing for me to hear and to now have to deal with, but I'm going to do my best with it." The...
October 21

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