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1 hour ago

Source - New Orleans Saints QB Taysom Hill to play through finger injury

METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill will try to play through a mallet finger injury that he suffered in Thursday night's loss to the Dallas Cowboys without having surgery, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Saints doctors determined that Hill suffered a mallet finger (the name for a ruptured extensor tendon at the tip of the finger), according to the source. However, Hill's injury was not as extensive as the one that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson suffered earlier this year, which did require surgery. Wilson suffered both a mallet finger and a a fracture-dislocation on a separate joint in the same finger. ESPN injury analyst and physical therapist Stephania Bell said it is viable for Hill to play without surgery, given that it is one isolated injury. "My expectation is that we will see them customize a splint that is similar to what they fashioned [Thursday] night that is open on the undersurface so he...
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2 hours ago

Football coach Mario Cristobal offered extension to stay at Oregon, sources confirm

Oregon has offered football coach Mario Cristobal a contract extension in hopes of keeping him in Eugene, sources confirmed to ESPN on Friday. There is increasing chatter that Cristobal would be the main target at Miami if the Hurricanes fire Manny Diaz. Cristobal, a Miami native, played and coached at Miami. As a player, he won two national championships with the Hurricanes under Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson. Sources told ESPN that this latest extension was "aggressive" and would be in the range of some of the other deals struck during this hiring cycle. In his fourth season at Oregon, Cristobal has already received extensions two of the past three seasons. Last December, Cristobal received a new six-year, $27.3 million deal taking him through the 2025 season. Counting incentives, including a Pac-12 championship, he could earn more than $5.5 million this season. Oregon faces Utah on Friday night in the Pac-12 championship game. Cristobal would owe Oregon a $9...
2 hours ago
2 hours ago

Source: New Orleans Saints QB Taysom Hill to play through finger injury

METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill will try to play through a mallet finger injury that he suffered in Thursday night's loss to the Dallas Cowboys without having surgery, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Saints doctors determined that Hill suffered a mallet finger (the name for an injured tendon at the tip of the finger), according to the source. However, Hill's injury was not as extensive as the one that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson suffered earlier this year, which did require surgery. Wilson suffered both a mallet finger and a fracture-dislocation. Hill was injured when he hit the middle finger of his right throwing hand against another player in the first quarter of Thursday's 27-17 loss. He played the remainder of the game with a splint on the finger and finished with four interceptions. "It took a little getting used to," Hill acknowledged after the game. "Anytime you're putting something else...
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Chicago Bears to start Andy Dalton at quarterback vs. Arizona Cardinals on Sunday

LAKE FOREST, Ill. --  Chicago Bears veteran quarterback Andy Dalton will start instead of rookie Justin Fields (ribs) on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, coach Matt Nagy announced on Friday. "As far as for the game, Andy Dalton's going to start on Sunday, Nick Foles will be the backup," Nagy said after practice. "Justin's making good progress, just not there yet medically for the clearance." Fields has not played since he injured his ribs against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 21. Despite a short turnaround last week, Dalton played well in Chicago's victory over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. Dalton passed for 317 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He became the first Bears quarterback to throw for 300-plus yards since Foles accomplished the feat last year. In other injury news, Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks (groin) has been ruled out, and wide receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring) is doubtful to...
3 hours ago
December 03

Washington Football Team's Landon Collins, J.D. McKissic ruled out Sunday

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Football Team must try to extend its three-game winning streak without two key players -- safety/linebacker Landon Collins and running back J.D. McKissic. Both were ruled out of Sunday's game at the Las Vegas Raiders because of injuries. Both players were hurt late in Monday's win over the Seattle Seahawks. Collins injured a foot, while McKissic suffered a concussion. Coach Ron Rivera said he didn't know how much time Collins would miss. It's a pivotal blow for Washington (5-6), as its recent hot streak vaulted it into the seventh and final playoff position in the NFC. Collins has become a key defensive player while transitioning to a hybrid safety/linebacker role. He has rushed the passer a lot more out of this look -- 20 times in the past five games combined compared to 10 times in the first six, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. He also handles a lot of the communication in the back...
December 03
December 03

Maryland Terrapins men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon steps down after 10-plus seasons

Less than one month into the college basketball season, Maryland announced Friday that head coach Mark Turgeon is stepping down, effective immediately. Turgeon had been in charge of the Terrapins since 2011, and he signed a three-year contract extension in April that was expected to keep him in College Park until 2026. He stood to make more than $17 million over the length of the new contract, but the Baltimore Sun reported last spring that the buyout was $5 million if taken before May 1, 2022. "After several in depth conversations with [athletic director] Damon [Evans], I have decided that the best thing for Maryland Basketball, myself and my family is to step down, effective immediately, as the head coach of Maryland Basketball," Turgeon said in a statement. "I have always preached that Maryland Basketball is bigger than any one individual. My departure will enable a new voice to guide the team moving forward. "Maryland Basketball has been my passion and focus for the...
December 03
December 03

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians hopes NFL keeps looking into vaccination statuses

TAMPA, Fla. -- Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Friday that he believes the NFL needs to take a closer look at other teams after two of his players -- Antonio Brown and Mike Edwards -- and one former player, John Franklin III, were found to have provided fake vaccination cards. "We've done everything. There's a lot more to that story. I just hope they don't stop looking," said Arians, who two weeks ago said that he had no reason to believe Brown or any player falsified their vaccination status. But an NFL investigation revealed that the three players presented the team with fake vaccination cards, resulting in a three-game suspension. Carrying a fake vaccine card also is considered a federal crime and punishable by up to five years in prison. When asked if he believes there are other issues throughout the league, he said, "Maybe." The NFL told ESPN on Thursday that there are no plans to alter how teams collect and vet vaccination cards. A big reason for...
December 03
December 03

Portland Trail Blazers fire GM, president of basketball operations Neil Olshey

The Portland Trail Blazers fired general manager and president of basketball operations Neil Olshey on Friday following an independent investigation that determined he violated the team's code of conduct. "Out of respect for those who candidly participated in that privileged investigation, we will not release or discuss it," the Trail Blazers said in a statement. "We are confident that these changes will help build a more positive and respectful working environment." Joe Cronin will serve as interim general manager during the Trail Blazers' search for a permanent replacement, the team said. The Trail Blazers announced earlier this month that law firm O'Melveny & Myers was conducting an independent investigation into "concerns around workplace environment by non-player personnel at the practice facility." Olshey had created a hostile work environment, with instances of bullying and intimidation, according to a Yahoo Sports report at the time. Olshey, 56, had been a...
December 03
December 03

New York Giants QB Daniel Jones not cleared for contact, out vs. Miami Dolphins

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants will be without quarterback Daniel Jones for at least this Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, coach Joe Judge told reporters Friday. Jones has not been cleared for contact after suffering a neck strain during last week's win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Jones was believed to be injured while running the football on the second play, but he had said there wasn't really soreness until after the game. He was moving and throwing well at practice as a limited noncontact participant throughout the week. "At this point, he has not been cleared for contact, so we're going to go ahead and hold him out of this game," Judge said. "At this point, we don't feel 100% comfortable with him until the medical team clears him fully, so as of right now, we will rule him out." Mike Glennon is set to start in Jones' place. Jake Fromm, signed by the Giants this week off the Buffalo Bills' practice...
December 03
December 03

Notre Dame Fighting Irish elevate defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head football coach

Notre Dame has named defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman as its next head football coach, the school announced Friday morning. Freeman, 35, will be introduced on Monday during a 2 p.m. ET news conference and will coach the Irish in their upcoming bowl game. Freeman was in his first season in charge of Notre Dame's defense. He replaces Brian Kelly, who left Notre Dame to become LSU's head coach earlier this week. "It is an honor to be named the head coach of Notre Dame Football," Freeman said in a statement. "I am eternally grateful to both Father [John] Jenkins and [athletic director] Jack Swarbrick for giving me the opportunity to lead the exceptional men who make this program what it is. Notre Dame is a very special place and I look forward to pursuing a national championship with the most outstanding student-athletes, coaches and staff in college football." Notre Dame released a video on social media of Freeman being introduced to the team at a morning workout for the first...
December 03
December 03

Notre Dame Fighting Irish elevates defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head football coach

Notre Dame has named defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman its next head football coach, the school announced Friday morning. Freeman, 35, will be introduced on Monday during a 2 p.m. ET news conference and will coach the Irish in their upcoming bowl game. Freeman was in his first season in charge of Notre Dame's defense. He replaces Brian Kelly, who left Notre Dame to become LSU's coach earlier this week. "It is an honor to be named the head coach of Notre Dame Football," said Freeman in a statement. "I am eternally grateful to both Father Jenkins and [athletic director] Jack Swarbrick for giving me the opportunity to lead the exceptional men who make this program what it is. Notre Dame is a very special place and I look forward to pursuing a national championship with the most outstanding student-athletes, coaches and staff in college football." Freeman played linebacker at Ohio State and was an assistant with Kent State and Purdue before joining Luke Fickell's staff at...
December 03
December 03

Sources: Notre Dame Fighting Irish expected to announce hiring of Marcus Freeman as head football coach Friday morning

Notre Dame is expected to announce defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman as its next head football coach early Friday morning, sources told ESPN. An introductory news conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Monday, per sources. Freeman, 35, is completing his first season as Notre Dame's defensive coordinator. He will replace Brian Kelly, who left Notre Dame to become LSU's coach earlier this week. Freeman played linebacker at Ohio State and was an assistant with Kent State and Purdue before joining Luke Fickell's staff at Cincinnati as defensive coordinator. Freeman met with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick on Wednesday, according to sources. Swarbrick also met with offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, who announced to the team that he would remain for the 2022 season Wednesday night.
December 03
December 03

Michigan-Iowa Preview

Iowa is off to its best start in 14 years, but getting there hasn't been easy. It's uncertain which Iowa team will show up Saturday night when the 12th-ranked Hawkeyes try to remain perfect against Michigan in a Big Ten contest at Kinnick Stadium. Iowa (5-0, 1-0) has won nine straight dating to last season, and is undefeated through five games for the first time since 1995. The Hawkeyes haven't won their first six contests since going 7-0 under Hayden Fry in 1985. That was also the last time Iowa was ranked higher than Michigan (4-1, 1-1) heading into their game. The then-top-ranked Hawkeyes beat the No. 2 Wolverines 12-10 at Kinnick. Ranked 22nd last week, Michigan dropped out of the Top 25 after falling 26-20 in overtime at Michigan State last Saturday. The Wolverines have won the last three meetings with Iowa, but this will be the first matchup since 2006. The Hawkeyes last beat Michigan 30-27 on Oct. 4, 2003. Iowa, though, hopes it will show the same focus this weekend as it...
December 03
December 03

ATP criticised for not joining WTA action on China in response to Peng Shuai safety concerns

The governing body of men's tennis has been criticised for not joining the Women's Tennis Association in suspending tournaments in China over the treatment of former doubles world No. 1  Peng Shuai. The Association of Tennis Professionals, in a statement released a day after the WTA opted to take decisive action given concerns surrounding Peng and the safety of other players, said it will continue to monitor the situation. Martina Navratilova and Andy Roddick were among the players to criticise the ATP's stance. "The situation involving Peng Shuai continues to raise serious concerns within and beyond our sport," ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said. "The response to those concerns has so far fallen short. We again urge for a line of open direct communication between the player and the WTA in order to establish a clearer picture of her situation. "We know that sport can have a positive influence on society and generally believe that having a global presence...
December 03
December 03

Dallas Cowboys' Mike McCarthy calls win over New Orleans Saints 'great experience' for team

NEW ORLEANS -- Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy knew watching Thursday night's game from a hotel in Frisco, Texas, would be difficult. He just didn't know how difficult. The good news is McCarthy's Cowboys beat the  New Orleans Saints 27-17 to end a two-game losing streak and open up more room over the Washington Football Team in the NFC East with five games to play. "It was rough, I'm not going to lie," McCarthy told ESPN via phone after the game. "I'm proud of the guys and how it all turned out, but I don't ever want to do this again." McCarthy was placed in COVID-19 protocols over the weekend after testing positive, and Dan Quinn took over the head-coaching role Thursday. Five other coaches, including offensive line coach Joe Philbin and assistant offensive line coach Jeff Blasko, and two players ( Terence Steele and Nahshon Wright) missed the game. "Adversity win, ugly win, however, you want to define it, you have to have these wins,...
December 03
December 02

Commissioner, MLBPA executive director's divergent views show big gap remains on first day of lockout

IRVING, Texas -- Separated by 12 miles physically and a million philosophically, the commissioner of baseball and his counterpart at the players' union spent Day 1 of Major League Baseball's lockout of the players ramping up their rhetoric, illustrating the significant gap the parties must bridge before the game returns. Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark spoke within 90 minutes of one another Thursday morning, Manfred from the Texas Rangers' gleaming new stadium in Arlington and Clark at the Four Seasons Dallas at Las Colinas, the hotel that hosted failed talks leading to the ninth work stoppage in the game's history and first in 26 years. Less than 12 hours into the lockout, the sides publicly staked out their positions with far more detail than either had previously revealed. Manfred called the lockout "not a good thing for the sport" and "bad for our business" but had deemed it "necessary" in a letter he released minutes...
December 02
December 02

Phoenix Suns set franchise record with 18th straight win

Even with history looming as it approached a franchise record win streak, Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams said he tried not to bring it up to his team. But after a 114-103 victory Thursday night over the visiting  Detroit Pistons set a franchise mark with 18 consecutive wins, Williams allowed himself time to reflect. "But it is really cool to be a part of something like that," Williams said. "To win like this, the way we've won, guys out of the rotation, losing [ Devin Booker to injury], the relentless attitude of our team, the way we stick together, it makes it really cool. "Obviously it's hard to win in this league. But we're not satisfied. We talk about stretching it out but it takes the right things to do that. So we've taken it one game at a time." The 18th win topped the previous franchise mark of 17 set by the 2006-07 Suns, who went on to finish 61-21. The streak also ties the 2019 Bucks for the longest of any NBA team in the last five seasons....
December 02
December 02

Memphis Grizzlies set NBA record after beating Oklahoma City Thunder by 73 points

The game was long decided and the Memphis Grizzlies starters were relegated to cheerleaders on the bench when John Konchar got a steal and headed to the basket. His right-handed dunk gave the Grizzlies a 145-67 lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder with 3:02 left and a new franchise record for points in a game. That 78-point advantage was Memphis' biggest lead on Thursday night, but by the time it was over the Grizzlies were still 73 points ahead. Their 152-79 win over the Thunder shattered the NBA record for the largest margin of victory. "At that moment, I didn't know it was a franchise record,'' Konchar said. "I just kind of saw the lane, and I dunked it. But it's awesome.'' The 73-point margin easily topped the previous mark, which was Cleveland's 68-point win over Miami. The Cavaliers topped the Heat 148-80 on Dec. 17, 1991. "Tonight is not necessarily who we are,'' Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. "I think we've definitely shown that from a...
December 02
December 02

Memphis Grizzlies sets NBA record after beating Oklahoma City Thunder by 73 points

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies broke the NBA record for margin of victory on Thursday night, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 152-79. The 73-point margin easily topped the previous mark, which was Cleveland's 68-point win over Miami. The Cavaliers topped the Heat 148-80 on Dec. 17, 1991. "Tonight is not necessarily who we are,'' Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. "I think we've definitely shown that from a competitive standpoint. This isn't indicative of who our team is.'' Memphis used 12 players and nine of them reached double figures in scoring, with Jaren Jackson Jr.'s 27 points leading the way for the Grizzlies. Memphis was without its best player, injured guard Ja Morant.   It was 72-36 at halftime and the Grizzlies just kept adding to the lead, eventually pulling ahead by as many as 78 -- the largest lead in any game since at least 1996-97. The Thunder flirted with being on the wrong end of the record last season, trailing...
December 02
December 02

Michigan Wolverines football team to wear jersey patch honoring Oxford High School shooting victims

The Michigan Wolverines and Detroit Lions will take special steps this weekend to honor the victims in the Oxford High School shooting that took place in the state this week. The Wolverines will wear a special patch in the Big Ten championship game Saturday, and the Lions will have a helmet decal and wear special T-shirts during their game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The shooting occurred on Tuesday when a 15-year-old student at Oxford High School shot and killed four students and injured seven others, including a teacher. To pay tribute to those victims and the local community, Michigan will wear a patch in the shape of a "Block O" to represent Oxford and will feature the initials "TM" and the number 42 with four blue hearts below it. The "TM 42" pays tribute to Tate Myre, a sophomore football player at Oxford who was one of the four students killed. The other three victims being honored through the four hearts on the patch are Hana St....
December 02
December 02

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James clears health and safety protocols after returning negative tests

LOS ANGELES -- LeBron James has been cleared to return to the lineup for the Lakers' game against the LA Clippers on Friday after a brief stint in the NBA's health and safety protocols, the league announced Thursday. James has returned eight negative tests since returning to Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon, sources told ESPN, after the Lakers star returned an initial positive test for COVID-19 in Sacramento on Tuesday morning. The Lakers chartered an airplane to fly James from Sacramento back to L.A., sources said. In the days following Thanksgiving, the league introduced more rigorous testing with its teams, hoping to monitor any cases that could have surfaced from players expanding their circles around the holiday. In a statement on Thursday, the league said James didn't in fact test positive, and the NBA detailed the chain of events that led to him missing the Kings game and being reinstated. "James was originally placed in the Protocols on Tuesday,...
December 02
December 02

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James cleared to return after two negative tests

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has cleared the NBA's health and safety protocols after he returned two negative PCR tests within a 24-hour period, the league announced Thursday. James is eligible to play Friday night against the LA Clippers. James entered protocol Tuesday and did not play in the Lakers' 117-92 win over the Kings that night. The NBA said James' tests "delivered conflicting results," including a positive test that was collected Monday. Additional testing confirmed that James "is not a positive test," the league said.
December 02
December 02

Bronco Mendenhall to step down as Virginia Cavaliers football coach

Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall is stepping down after the team's upcoming bowl game, he said Thursday.  Mendenhall, 55, said it was solely his decision to leave. "I would love to say there's been this buildup and a long amount of epiphanies and thought, but clearly this week there was a sense of clarity to me that I needed to step back from college football and reassess, renew, reframe and reinvent -- with my wife as a partner -- our future and the next chapter of our lives," he said. "I was requested to stay by our athletic director. I was requested to stay by our president. It's my decision only." The Cavaliers have gone 36-38 in his six seasons, including a 2019 ACC Coastal Division championship and the team's first New Year's Six appearance in the Orange Bowl. Virginia finished 6-6 this season, the fifth straight year the Cavaliers are bowl-eligible. Mendenhall said he started thinking about his future on Sunday, and decided in fairly short order he needed to...
December 02
December 02

ESPN 300 RB Raleek Brown joins former Oklahoma Sooners football coach Lincoln Riley at USC Trojans

Lincoln Riley flipped another football recruit from Oklahoma on Thursday, when ESPN 300 running back Raleek Brown committed to  USC. Brown is the No. 60-ranked recruit overall and the No. 6-ranked running back, out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California. He had been committed to Oklahoma, but decommitted from the Sooners on Wednesday. Brown was vocal about the impact he felt when Riley left Oklahoma for USC. "That changes everything," Brown said after Riley changed jobs. "I had a good relationship with all [the Oklahoma coaches], so that will really change everything." Riley was also able to get a commitment from ESPN Junior 300 quarterback Malachi Nelson, the No. 3 recruit in the 2023 class, after Nelson had decommitted from the Sooners as well. USC's recruiting class took a hit when the program announced it was firing Clay Helton in September. The Trojans lost commitments from ESPN 300 quarterback Devin Brown and five-star corner Domani...
December 02
December 02

ESPN 300 RB Raleek Brown joins former Oklahoma Sooners coach Lincoln Riley at USC Trojans

Lincoln Riley flipped another recruit from Oklahoma on Thursday, when ESPN 300 running back Raleek Brown committed to  USC. Brown is the No. 60-ranked recruit overall, the No. 6 running back out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California. He had been committed to Oklahoma, but decommitted from the Sooners on Wednesday. Brown was vocal about the impact he felt when Riley left Oklahoma for USC. "That changes everything," Brown said after Riley changed jobs. "I had a good relationship with all [the Oklahoma coaches], so that will really change everything." Riley was also able to get a commitment from ESPN Junior 300 quarterback Malachi Nelson, the No. 3 recruit in the 2023 class, after Nelson had decommitted from the Sooners as well. USC's recruiting class took a hit when the program announced it was firing Clay Helton in September. The Trojans lost commitments from ESPN 300 quarterback Devin Brown and five-star corner Domani Jackson after Helton...
December 02
December 02

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown suspended 3 games for COVID-19 violation

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been suspended three games for violating the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols, the league announced Thursday. The league and players' union found that Brown was among three players who misrepresented their vaccination statuses. A former personal chef of Brown's said earlier this month that the wide receiver had obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccination card over the summer. Also suspended for three games were Buccaneers backup safety Mike Edwards and free-agent wide receiver John Franklin III, whom Tampa Bay waived in August. All three players accepted their discipline and will not appeal, according to the NFL. Brown's and Edwards' suspensions are without pay. Both will be eligible to return to the Buccaneers' lineup for the team's Dec. 26 game against the Carolina Panthers. The NFL and NFLPA negotiated the length of the suspension ahead of Thursday's announcement, sources told ESPN's Dan Graziano. All...
December 02
December 02

Brittney Griner hopes to erase distance from Baylor, see jersey retired

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner says it would mean a lot to her to have her jersey retired at Baylor despite not attending a game at the school since her falling out with former Bears women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey more than eight years ago. "I've seen that special moment with a lot of my teammates and friends at their schools where they gave their all," Griner said Thursday of the thought of getting her jersey retired. "I met my wife at Baylor. Baylor's in my blood. I love the school. I love Waco. And it would mean a lot to me, honestly. It's something I would definitely cherish and love." Griner, speaking from Ekaterinburg, Russia, where she plays overseas, said she wishes both her alma mater and Mulkey well. Griner and Mulkey had a falling out in the spring of 2013, after Griner told reporters she was encouraged to keep quiet about her sexuality while at Baylor. Griner came out publicly before being drafted No. 1 overall by the Mercury in 2013. She...
December 02
December 02

Soreness in surgically repaired foot delays return of New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson

METAIRIE, La. -- Zion Williamson's return to the NBA floor has been delayed because of soreness in his surgically repaired right foot, the New Orleans Pelicans announced Thursday afternoon. Williamson was supposed to participate in his first full practice on Thursday but was held out because of the soreness he had been experiencing in the past few days. While not a sharp pain, the soreness has persisted. The team does not believe it will be a major issue moving forward, but they are proceeding with caution. "It's a part of the process," Pelicans coach Willie Green said. "When you're dealing with injuries and you ramp up some, there's a possibility you can deal with a little bit of soreness which he's dealing with now." The most recent set of imaging on Nov. 24 showed no additional damage, so the team does not believe there has been a reinjury or new injury. Williamson had progressed to 4-on-4 full-court work, but the team will dial back his workload over the next...
December 02
December 02

What we do in the shadows: Locked-out players play into MLB's scrubbed pages

NEW YORK -- Within minutes of locking out players Thursday amid contentious negotiations on the next collective bargaining agreement, Major League Baseball scrubbed all remnants of player likenesses off its official properties such as MLB.com, replacing player photos with generic silhouettes. In response, players decided to lean all the way in. Players started to change their profile pictures on Twitter to the generic player silhouettes in solidarity and as a response to the league's action. The decision to do so was not an organized, calculated move by the Major League Baseball Players Association but rather started off as a joke in a small player text group chat, according to New York Mets pitcher Trevor Williams, one of the first to change his profile picture. "It was just being silly," Williams told ESPN. "It's a meme. When you think about it, by us posting a picture of what MLB does, we're doubling down on what they're doing. It's not supposed to be...
December 02
December 02

Steve Addazio out as Colorado State football coach after two seasons

Steve Addazio is out as Colorado State football coach after two seasons, the school announced Thursday. Colorado State finished 3-9 this season and lost its last six games. Addazio was ejected from the season-ending, 42-point loss to Nevada because of two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. "The decision we have made today is not one we take lightly," Colorado State athletic director Joe Parker said in a statement. "I am grateful to Steve Addazio and his coaching staff for their steadfast commitment to our student-athletes, both athletically and academically, to developing men of high character, and reinvigorating our locker room with a culture of toughness and accountability. However, after a thorough review of where our program stands today and our outlook for the future, looking at the totality of factors, I felt this was a necessary step." Addazio's buyout dropped from $5 million to $3 million on Thursday. Colorado State was 1-3 in Addazio's first campaign in...
December 02
December 02

Nebraska Cornhuskers QB Adrian Martinez enters football transfer portal

Nebraska record-setting quarterback Adrian Martinez, a three-time captain, entered the NCAA's football transfer portal Thursday. Martinez, who is listed as a graduate transfer in the portal, has made 38 starts for the Huskers over his four-year career, including the first 11 games this year before a shoulder injury sidelined him for last week's finale against Iowa. He underwent surgery Nov. 24. "I don't think that decision will take too long," Nebraska coach Scott Frost said Nov. 24 when asked about Martinez's future plans. "I want what's best for the program and definitely want what's best for Adrian." Martinez served as a captain in each of the past three seasons, and he holds Nebraska career records for total offense (10,792), completions (670) and 250-yard passing games (16). He also holds single-season records for completion percentage (71.5 in 2020) and games with 300 or more yards of total offense (7 in 2018). "The University of Nebraska will always be a place I...
December 02
December 02

Arizona Coyotes deny report that team is for sale, moving to Houston

The Arizona Coyotes say they're staying put. The team vehemently denied a Forbes report on Thursday citing an unnamed banking source that the Coyotes are up for sale "with the idea of [a] buyer eventually moving the team to a new arena in Houston." Arizona quickly issued a statement in response. "This is false. Totally false," the statement read. "We're not selling. We're not moving. The Coyotes are 100 percent committed to playing in Arizona." This was the latest in a string of relocation rumors surrounding the Coyotes, and not the first involving a potential move to Texas. Back in 2018,  Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta reportedly met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to have "preliminary talks" about buying the NHL club and moving it to Houston. Fertitta declined to comment, and nothing more was reported about a pending partnership. At the time, hedge fund manager Andrew Barroway held a 51% controlling interest in the Coyotes, which he purchased...
December 02
December 02

Nebraska Cornhuskers QB Adrian Martinez enters transfer portal

Nebraska record-setting quarterback Adrian Martinez, a three-time captain, entered the NCAA's transfer portal Thursday. Martinez, who is listed as a graduate transfer in the portal, has made 38 starts for the Huskers over his four-year career, including the first 11 games this year before a shoulder injury sidelined him for last week's finale against Iowa. He underwent surgery Nov. 24. "I don't think that decision will take too long," Nebraska coach Scott Frost said Nov. 24 when asked about Martinez's future plans. "I want what's best for the program and definitely want what's best for Adrian." Martinez served as a captain in each of the past three seasons, and he holds Nebraska career records for total offense (10,792), completions (670) and 250-yard passing games (16). He also holds single-season records for completion percentage (71.5 in 2020) and games with 300 or more yards of total offense (7 in 2018). "The University of Nebraska will always be a place I can call...
December 02
December 02

Steve Addazio out as Colorado State football coach after two seasons, sources say

Steve Addazio is out as Colorado State football coach after two seasons, sources told ESPN on Thursday. Colorado State finished 3-9 this season and lost its last six games. Addazio was ejected from the season-ending, 42-point loss to Nevada because of two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Addazio's buyout dropped from $5 million to $3 million on Thursday. Colorado State was 1-3 in Addazio's first campaign in 2020, a season shortened because of COVID-19 issues. Addazio was previously the head coach at Boston College (2013-19) and Temple (2011-12). He was a part of Urban Meyer's staff at Florida for the Gators' national championships in 2006 and 2008. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg contributed to this report.
December 02
December 02

Sources: Former champion Jan Blachowicz to return in March against Aleksandar Rakic

The UFC is finalizing a light heavyweight matchup in early 2022 between former champion Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic, multiple sources confirmed to ESPN. Contracts have not been signed; however, both sides have agreed to the bout, per sources. Once finalized, it will headline a UFC Fight Night event on March 26.  Blachowicz (28-9) is a little more than one month removed from losing his 205-pound championship to Glover Teixeira at UFC 257 in October. The Polish standout claimed the belt in 2020 and began 2021 with a high-profile title defense against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. He lost the belt to Teixeira via second-round submission. Prior to that loss, Blachowicz had won five in a row and worked his way onto ESPN's Top 10 pound-for-pound list. Rakic (14-2) is a rising title contender from Austria, who will likely punch his way to a championship bout if he defeats Blachowicz. The 29-year-old is 6-1 since signing with the UFC in...
December 02
December 02

New Orleans Saints' Taysom Hill to start at QB vs. Dallas Cowboys, source says; RB Alvin Kamara won't play, sources say

METAIRIE, La. -- Taysom Hill will make his first start at quarterback this season for the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night, a source told ESPN, after he practiced fully all week with a partially torn plantar fascia that has limited him since Week 10. However, the Saints' offense won't be at full strength against the Dallas Cowboys, as running back Alvin Kamara and offensive tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk will all be inactive, sources told ESPN's Dianna Russini. Kamara practiced on a limited basis all week but is still ramping back up from the injury that has now sidelined him for four games. Backup running back  Mark Ingram is a full go after he also missed last Thursday's loss to the Buffalo Bills with a knee injury. Armstead did not practice all week despite returning to the lineup Thursday night. And Ramczyk, who had missed the past two games, practiced on a limited basis Monday before being held out...
December 02
December 02

Giannis Antetokounmpo's 'sneaky' layup off glass lifts Milwaukee Bucks over Charlotte Hornets

MILWAUKEE -- As Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo charged toward the basket during the closing seconds of a tie game against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night, he knew he was going to have to get creative to score. So, Antetokounmpo flipped the ball off the bottom of the glass with a finger roll to guide it into the hoop and seal a 127-125 victory for the Bucks. His heroics capped off a 40-point, 12-rebound, 9-assist performance and helped lead the Bucks to their eighth consecutive victory. "If you just go normal, most likely you're going to get blocked, so you've got to be sneaky with it," Antetokounmpo said after the game. "I'm getting old. I'm not able to dunk on people anymore, so I've got to be sneaky." Sneaky isn't usually a word used to describe Antetokounmpo's game, especially considering what a dominant force he can be in the paint. But even his teammates, who are used to seeing him pull off incredible feats with regularity,...
December 02
December 02

IOC says it has held second video call with Peng Shuai

The International Olympic Committee has held a second video call with former doubles world number one Peng Shuai amid concerns about the Chinese tennis player's wellbeing, the IOC said in a statement on Thursday. The IOC said it held the call just before the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) announced an immediate suspension of all tournaments in China due to concerns about the player's wellbeing. The IOC and its president Thomas Bach first talked to Peng on Nov. 21.  "We share the same concern as many other people and organisations about the wellbeing and safety of Peng Shuai. This is why, just yesterday, an IOC team held another video call with her," the IOC said. "We have offered her wide-ranging support, will stay in regular touch with her, and have already agreed on a personal meeting in January," it said, adding Peng appeared to be "safe and well given the difficult situation she is in." Beijing is hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics in February. The...
December 02
December 02

MLB, MLBPA fail to reach new labor agreement; league in 1st lockout since 1990

IRVING, Texas -- Major League Baseball locked out its players early Thursday morning, certifying the game's first work stoppage in more than a quarter-century after months of talks yielded little progress toward a new labor contract. The long-anticipated lockout, which the league told the players' union it would initiate once the previous collective bargaining agreement expired after 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday, ends the transaction frenzy that led up to its imposition and sends the industry into a dark period with scant light in sight. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred expressed disappointment in the lockout but said he believes it is "the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season."  "Despite the league's best efforts to make a deal with the Players Association, we were unable to extend our 26 year-long history of labor peace and come to an agreement with the MLBPA before the current CBA expired," Manfred wrote in a prepared statement. "Therefore, we have been forced to commence a lockout...
December 02
December 02

X-rays negative on back of Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns

X-rays on the lower back of Karl-Anthony Towns came back negative Wednesday night, the  Minnesota Timberwolves star told reporters.  Towns had to leave the game with 2:14 remaining after injuring himself on a dunk during the team's 115-107 loss to the Washington Wizards. Towns scored only two of his 34 points in the final period -- and that was when he got free along the baseline for a dunk. After slamming the ball through, his momentum caused his body to fall horizontally, and he appeared to land on his tailbone. "I feel better than I thought I was going to feel," Towns said after the game. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
December 02
December 01

Boston Red Sox send Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee Brewers for Jackie Bradley Jr., two prospects

The Red Sox and Brewers swung a significant trade Wednesday night just ahead of the lockout, with Boston shipping outfielder  Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee for a package centered around Jackie Bradley Jr. Bradley, 31, was a mainstay for Boston from 2013 to 2020, starring defensively in the outfield before the Gold Glover signed a two-year deal with the Brewers last offseason. In 2018, when the Red Sox won a franchise-record 108 games and the World Series, he was the AL Championship Series MVP. A lifetime .230 hitter never known for his offense, he struggled even more at the plate in Milwaukee, batting .163 last season with six homers in 134 games. Renfroe was a major surprise for the Red Sox in 2021, posting career bests in batting average (.259), runs scored (89), doubles (33), extra-base hits (64) and RBIs (96), while slugging 31 home runs. He tied for the major league lead with a career-high 16 outfield assists. Renfroe, 29, adds power to...
December 01
December 01

UFC president Dana White says he tested positive for COVID-19 after Thanksgiving gathering

UFC president Dana White tested positive for COVID-19 this week and is currently in isolation in his Las Vegas home, he said on "The Jim Rome Podcast" on Wednesday. White, 52, said he and his immediate family tested positive after spending the Thanksgiving holiday together in Maine. White resides in Las Vegas, but was born in the Northeast and frequently visits his estate in Maine. White confirmed on the podcast that he is vaccinated, and said he consulted his close friend and UFC commentator Joe Rogan for advice after his diagnosis. The UFC president said he is already feeling better and wants to attend a UFC Fight Night event on Saturday in Las Vegas if he is able to test negative. "You're supposed to stay home and stay away from other people for 10 days," White said on the podcast. "That's what I'm doing. If I test negative, then I will absolutely, positively be there. I'll keep testing every two days until I'm negative and then I'm going to get back to work ASAP." In terms...
December 01
December 01

Notre Dame's Marcus Freeman leading candidate to be next head football coach, sources say

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, with mounting support from players and recruits, has emerged as the leading candidate to become the Fighting Irish's head football coach, sources told ESPN on Wednesday. No deal has been finalized, and several steps remain before Freeman can be formally announced as head coach, sources said. Freeman, 35, is completing his first season as Notre Dame's defensive coordinator. Brian Kelly, who left Notre Dame to become LSU's coach earlier this week, has pursued Freeman to join his staff as defensive coordinator. Freeman on Wednesday met with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, according to sources. Swarbrick also met with offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, who Wednesday night announced to the team that he would remain for the 2022 season. Several Notre Dame staff members and players expect Freeman to be the team's next head coach. Freeman played linebacker at Ohio State and was an assistant with Kent State and Purdue, before...
December 01
December 01

Los Angeles Dodgers, Chris Taylor agree to 4-year, $60 million deal, sources say

The Los Angeles Dodgers reached agreement Wednesday with versatile All-Star Chris Taylor on a four-year, $60 million deal that includes a club option for a fifth season, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan. Taylor, 31, earned his first All-Star selection with the Dodgers in 2021, hitting .254 with 20 home runs, 73 RBIs and 13 steals. He saw the majority of his playing time as a center fielder and at second base, but he also saw action at the other outfield positions as well as shortstop and third base. He long has been revered by his Dodgers teammates and coaches for his defensive versatility, offensive approach and quiet professionalism. Since the start of the 2017 season, Taylor has appeared in 88% of the Dodgers' games, has played six positions, has batted .265/.343/.461 and has accumulated 14.1 FanGraphs wins above replacement. Taylor had received a qualifying offer worth $18.4 million for one year, but he turned it down to enter free agency. Financial terms for...
December 01
December 01

Notre Dame's Marcus Freeman leading candidate to be next head coach, sources say

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, with mounting support from players and recruits, has emerged as the leading candidate to become Fighting Irish head coach, sources told ESPN. No deal has been finalized, and several steps remain before Freeman can be formally announced as head coach, sources said. Freeman, 35, is completing his first season as Notre Dame's defensive coordinator. Brian Kelly, who left Notre Dame to become LSU's coach earlier this week, has pursued Freeman to join his staff as defensive coordinator. Freeman on Wednesday met with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, according to sources. Swarbrick also met with offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, who Wednesday night announced to the team that he would remain for the 2022 season. Several Notre Dame staff members and players expect Freeman to be the team's next head coach. Freeman played linebacker at Ohio State and was an assistant with Kent State and Purdue, before joining Luke Fickell's...
December 01
December 01

Source: Veteran lefty Rich Hill joins Boston Red Sox on 1-year deal

Free-agent left-hander Rich Hill has agreed to a one-year deal to join the Boston Red Sox, a source told ESPN's Jeff Passan on Wednesday. The agreement was first reported by The Boston Globe. Hill, an 18-year veteran who will be 42 next season, was a combined 7-8 with a 3.86 ERA for the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays last season in 158 2/3 innings. He was 6-4 with a 3.89 ERA in 19 starts for the contending Rays when they traded him to New York on July 23 for right-hander Tommy Hunter and minor league catcher Matt Dyer. The deal comes one day after the Red Sox reached agreement with fellow left-hander James Paxton on a one-year, $10 million contract with a two-year club option, sources told Passan. Paxton, 33, is recovering from Tommy John surgery and should be back pitching in 2022.
December 01
December 01

Free-agent pitcher Marcus Stroman reaches 3-year deal with Chicago Cubs; contract for $71 million, sources say

CHICAGO -- Marcus Stroman rushed to the airport and caught a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago as soon as he got the word from his agent. The right-hander arrived just in time with a lockout looming, agreeing to a three-year contract that sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan is for $71 million. And the Cubs landed one of the top remaining starting pitchers on the free-agent market on Wednesday. "It's one of the best franchises in all of sports and fan bases as well, so it's extremely appealing to me," Stroman said. "It sells out every single night. To pitch in front of that electric crowd is something that kind of draws me." Stroman announced he was leaving the New York Mets for Chicago in a series of tweets hours before the labor contract between players and owners was set to expire. The Cubs later confirmed the deal. The deal includes an opt-out after the second season, sources told Passan. Stroman will make $25 million in 2022, $25 million in 2023 and $21 million...
December 01
December 01

Free-agent pitcher Marcus Stroman says he's reached deal with Chicago Cubs

Marcus Stroman has reached a deal with the Chicago Cubs, the right-hander announced Wednesday on social media. "CHICAGO! @Cubs," Stroman posted to Twitter. "Chicago has always been one of my favorite cities," he added in a separate post. "Culture and passion everywhere. Beyond excited to pitch in front one of the best fan bases in all of sports. Thank you to everyone in the city for the warm welcome. I can feel it. Let's get to work!" Terms of the deal have yet to be announced. Since recovering from a torn ACL suffered during spring training in 2015, Stroman has been one of baseball's steadiest pitchers. With the omission of a 2020 season when he first missed the beginning due to a torn calf muscle before opting out, Stroman ranks tied fifth for games started, eighth in innings pitched and 16th in fWAR (15.4), posting FIPs of 3.71, 3.90, 3.91, 3.72 and 3.48. Stroman makes his money by attacking batters with four pitches: a sinker, a slider, a splitter and a cutter,...
December 01
December 01

College Football Playoff board unable to decide on expansion; talks to resume in January

GRAPEVINE, Texas -- On Wednesday morning, College Football Playoff staff members had a hotel meeting room reserved for a potentially historic news conference to announce playoff expansion -- a floor-to-ceiling backdrop with the CFP logo, a two-team audio/visual staff with a sound system and a lectern and chairs for the media. By early afternoon, it was all disassembled. "I thought there was a chance we'd get to the end today," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. "We didn't, and there were good and appropriate reasons why we didn't." The CFP's board of managers were unable to agree on an expanded format and instead will meet again in January at the national championship game in Indianapolis. Wednesday's meeting was the group's sixth in-person gathering since the CFP announced on June 10 it was considering a 12-team proposal; that includes two meetings in Chicago and four more here in Texas. Now another meeting looms in Indianapolis, where the 11 presidents and chancellors who...
December 01
December 01

Seattle Seahawks sign veteran Adrian Peterson to practice squad

SEATTLE -- The Seahawks are taking a look at Adrian Peterson to see what the veteran running back might have left in his Hall of Fame career. Coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Wednesday that the Seahawks signed the 36-year-old Peterson to their practice squad as a potential reinforcement for their banged-up backfield. "Excited to see if he can help us out and give us a little something," Carroll said. "He's a player that I've known forever -- way back to his high-school days -- and admired him tremendously over the years. Always disappointed we didn't get him back in the day, but like I just told him, we finally got him. So I'm looking forward to seeing how he does and where he can fit in. He's an incredible competitor and a great guy, so I'm anxious to give him a chance to get on the field with our boys." Peterson was waived last week by the Tennessee Titans, who signed him after losing star Derrick Henry to a broken foot. He carried 27 times...
December 01

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