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  1. DENVER (AP) — Colin Kaepernick called them his brothers. Dolphins teammates Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson were the only two players to kneel during the national anthem on the NFL’s opening Sunday Duke Riley Jersey , and Kaepernick, who is no longer welcome on an NFL sideline, made sure to offer his thanks to them via social media . “My Brothers (Stills) and (Wilson) continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed,” Kapernick said in his tweet. “They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. … Love is at the root of our resistance.” It was Kaepernick, then with the 49ers, who sparked the anthem controversy by kneeling during the pregame ritual in 2016 — his way of protesting police brutality and social injustice in America. Since opting out of his contract after that season, Kaepernick has been unable to land a job with an NFL team and is suing the league for collusion. But his voice is still being heard. Last week, Nike introduced an ad featuring the quarterback and his message: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” On Sunday, Kaepernick’s message got through to his friends in Miami. “I know he has our back,” Stills said. “Really, there has been a huge difference between when we first started protesting and now. A lot of people are reaching out and supporting us, so I really appreciate that. To everybody out there … let’s keep doing our best to make positive change and have these conversations and make our country a better place.” While Stills and Wilson were kneeling during the anthem Duane Brown Jersey , teammate Robert Quinn raised his fist. Niners receiver Marquise Goodwin did the same at San Francisco’s game at Minnesota. In Los Angeles, Chargers left tackle Russell Okung raised his fist. Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas and linebacker Brandon Marshall, and Seahawks linemen Duane Brown and Quinton Jefferson, retreated to their respective tunnels while the anthem played. At the peak of the anthem protests, as many as 200 players would partake. On most weeks last year, the Seahawks led the way with the most players doing something to make a statement. Though that number had fallen to 2 to start 2018, Brown wasn’t worried. “I made my decision. That was my decision,” he said. “I wasn’t paying attention to see what other teams or other players are doing.” The NFL briefly had a policy in place in May regarding the anthem, but rescinded it after the players union filed a grievance, which sent the league to the negotiating table with the union. Those talks are ongoing. Brown said he hasn’t heard any word from the union dissuading player protests during the anthem. “I don’t think that would be the best idea to try to get people to move on from it,” he said. “The country hasn’t moved on from it, so I’m not going to move on from it, either.” Among those keeping the issue front and center is President Donald Trump, who sent a tweet of his own several hours before Kaepernick’s Terron Armstead Jersey , taking digs at the NFL, and linking low ratings for Thursday night’s opener between Atlanta and Philadelphia (lowest for an opener since 2008) to players who refuse to stand for the anthem. “If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!” he tweeted. CBS and Fox, which carried Sunday afternoon’s games, have said they did not plan on televising the anthem. However, NBC did show the anthem on Thursday night (but not before Sunday night’s Bears-Packers game), and no players kneeled or protested in other ways. That included Malcolm Jenkins of the Eagles, who raised his fist during the anthem last season but did not for the opener. During pregame warmups, he wore a shirt that read “Ca$h bail = poverty trap.” Jenkins, a founder of the Players Coalition which was formed to tackle issues similar to those Kaepernick is concerned about, said he would like to move the focus away from the anthem. “I think there’s a huge need for us to turn the attention to not only the issues, but what players are actually doing in their communities to promote change,” he said. “We’re trying to move past the rhetoric of what’s right or what’s wrong in terms of the anthem Jason McCourty Jersey , and really focus on the systematic issues that are plaguing our communities.” Jerick McKinnon had a steep learning curve when he arrived in San Francisco as the highly paid featured back for the 49ers. After four seasons as mostly a backup in Minnesota, McKinnon was one of San Francisco's big-ticket additions in free agency this offseason and took some time to learn coach Kyle Shanahan's complex new offense. "When I first got here, I was lost. I was really lost," McKinnon said. "My head was spinning. It's different protections I have to learn, different concepts I have to learn and basically I have to take my whole way of thinking for four years and switch it up to a new one. I guess it's complex when you're new to it, but once you start studying it, you get it. I'm starting to get it." McKinnon has shown just that early in training camp. He broke a long run around the left side on the team's first 11-on-11 drill of the summer and also has made several catches out of the backfield. Those skills are why the 49ers gave the career backup a $30 million, four-year contract this offseason. McKinnon will get paid $12 million in 2018. Only Todd Gurley and Saquon Barkley have signed contracts that will pay them more this season, according to spotrac. But McKinnon feels no added pressure because of the high price tag. "I've had the same mindset I've had since my rookie year, which is coming in and working," he said. "A lot of guys get contracts and some of them get content. For me, it's about staying the same and continuing to work and showing my teammates how I work and what I bring to the table and pushing everybody around me." McKinnon spent four years in Minnesota after being drafted in the third round in 2014 out of Georgia Southern. He has rushed for 1,918 yards with an average of 4.0 yards per carry, has 142 catches for 984 yards Kyle Emanuel Jersey , and has scored 12 touchdowns. McKinnon had his most productive season last year, when he ran for a career-high 570 yards while setting personal bests with 51 catches for 421 yards. McKinnon replaces Carlos Hyde, who left as a free agent for Cleveland. McKinnon has more speed and is a better receiving threat than Hyde and should fit well into Shanahan's offense. But Shanahan said McKinnon's strengths start as a runner. "You have to be a good running back to truly get the effects of being good in the pass game because if you're only good in the pass game, then they can just treat you as a receiver and it's different," he said. "So, it starts with being a running back and we really like him as a running back. We studied every run he had in Minnesota. I think he fits in the type of runs we do very well. He's got the speed. He's got the cutting ability and he's got the toughness to run through arm tackles. Then the pass game is the huge bonus. He is a matchup issue. He's very good in his routes. ... Just versatility-wise, he's going to help us a lot." Having a running back who is a threat in the passing game is a crucial part of Shanahan's offense. The Niners ranked third in the NFL last year with 113 receptions out of the backfield, up from just 67 the previous year under Chip Kelly. While Hyde had a team-high 59 catches last season, he wasn't particularly productive. He averaged just 5.9 yards on those catches and turned only 28.8 percent of them into first downs. Those numbers are significantly below McKinnon's 8.3 yards per catch and 39.2 percent first downs as his skills make him a better option in the passing game. "Jerick is a unique talent," quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said. "He can do things out of the backfield. You can line him up in the slot. ... He can do so many different things that it's hard for a defense. What do you put on him? A linebacker, a safety, a corner? It's a pick your poison type of thing so it makes my job a whole lot easier." Womens Adrian Clayborn Jersey
  2. Running back Duke Johnson has spent the last three seasons with the Browns and he’d like to extend his stay in Cleveland a while longer. Johnson is heading into the final year of the four-year deal he signed as a 2015 third-round pick and said on Wednesday Marcus Gilchrist Jersey , via Pat McManamon of ESPN.com, that he’s started talking to the team about a contract extension. Johnson described himself as “very optimistic” that the two sides will strike a deal. Johnson split time with Isaiah Crowell over the last three seasons and made a big mark as a receiver out of the backfield. He had a career-high 74 catches last year and has 188 catches for 1,741 yards and five receiving touchdowns overall. He’s run the ball 259 times for 1 Aaron Rodgers Jersey ,085 yards and five touchdowns as well. Crowell has moved onto the Jets, leaving Johnson to share the backfield with free agent acquisition Carlos Hyde and 2018 second-round pick Nick Chubb. The Minnesota Vikings have signed four players who took part in their rookie minicamp, including wide receiver Chad Beebe Bruce Smith Jersey , the son of former Buffalo Bills wideout and folk hero Don Beebe. Beebe led Northern Illinois last season with an average of 14.9 yards per reception. His father was a wide receiver and special teams player on all four of Buffalo's Super Bowl teams . The Vikings also signed cornerback Craig James (Southern Illinois), fullback Johnny Stanton (UNLV) and linebacker Brett Taylor (Western Illinois) from their camp last weekend. Long snapper Nick Dooley, wide receiver Armanti Foreman Wil Lutz Jersey , defensive tackle Caushaud Lyons and fullback Kamryn Pettway were waived Monday by the Vikings to make room on the 90-man roster. Foreman and Pettway were signed a week ago as undrafted free agents. Houston Texans Elite Jerseys
  3. A look at where things stand in the NBA playoff picture Jerome Baker Jersey , with five days remaining in the regular season: — EAST UPDATE The top two seeds are locked up: Toronto is No. 1 going into the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time in franchise history, and Boston will open the playoffs as the No. 2 seed. Everything else is unclear. Philadelphia (49-30) now leads in the race for the No. 3 spot, passing Cleveland (49-31) by beating the Cavaliers 132-130 on Friday night. The 76ers, who haven’t been a top-three seed in the East since their run to the NBA Finals in 2001, would finish third if they end the season with wins against Dallas, Atlanta and Milwaukee. The Cavaliers have two games left, both against New York. So if Philly slips even once, Cleveland could return to No. 3 by sweeping the Knicks. Indiana (47-33) still has a chance at No. 3; to get there, the Pacers have to win out and have both the Cavaliers and 76ers lose out. That seems unlikely, and Indiana is probably heading for the No. 5 spot. Miami, even after a bad loss in New York, controls its fate in the race for No. 6. Milwaukee is No. 7 for now, and Washington – a loser of four straight, including a head-scratcher against Atlanta on Friday – has slipped to No. 8. — WEST UPDATE Five days left, five spots left to clinch Kenyan Drake Jersey , and six seeds left to decide. A frantic finish is coming to the West. Portland controls the race for the No. 3 seed, and Utah knows that if it wins out the worst it can finish is No. 4 – which is astounding, considering it got off to a 19-28 start and was 10 games out of the fourth spot. New Orleans (45-34) beat Phoenix to jump two spots to No. 5, and Minnesota (45-35) topped the Los Angeles Lakers to remain a half-game ahead of Denver for No. 8. Those two results mean four teams have exactly 45 wins going into Saturday, with Denver currently at 44 wins and the Los Angeles Clippers still able to get to 45 if they win out. — SATURDAY’S GAMES Some clarity might … finally … come to the West. – Denver at L.A. Clippers: The Clippers have to win out, or the season ends. Denver must try to match that desperation. – Milwaukee at New York: Milwaukee is 10-12 since the All-Star break. Some momentum might help the playoff cause. – Oklahoma City at Houston: Means nothing to Rockets. Means plenty to Thunder, who still could get home-court. – New Orleans at Golden State: The Warriors embarrassed themselves at Indiana on Thursday. Will this be more of the same? – Portland at San Antonio: The Spurs are trying for a 21st consecutive playoff spot, and the Blazers are trying to lock up the No. 3 seed. – Brooklyn at Chicago has no playoff implication. — CURRENT BRACKET First-round matchups if the season ended Friday … East: 1-Toronto vs. 8-Washington, 2-Boston vs. 7-Milwaukee, 3-Philadelphia vs. 6-Miami, 4-Cleveland vs. 5-Indiana. West: 1-Houston vs. 8-Minnesota, 2-Golden State vs. 7-Oklahoma City, 3-Portland vs. 6-San Antonio, 4-Utah vs. 5-New Orleans. — NOTE OF THE DAY Philadelphia has a chance to set an NBA record – the longest winning streak to end a regular season. The 76ers have won 13 straight and have three games left. Win them all, and they would top the 15-game season-ending stretch by the Rochester Royals in 1949-50. The last double-digit streak to end a season was posted by San Antonio in 2011-12 Drew Bledsoe Jersey , when the Spurs won their final 10 games. Philly coach Brett Brown was an assistant under Gregg Popovich on that Spurs team. — QUOTE OF THE DAY ”You’ve got to go through whoever it is anyway.” – Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue, asked about the Eastern Conference seeding jumble. The Tennessee Titans seem confident that their young wide receivers will quickly make an impact this year. Injuries limited Corey Davis in his rookie year last season and Tajae Sharpe missed his second consecutive season after re-injuring his right foot . Taywan Taylor, the third-round pick a year ago, had his production fall off after a promising start. Rishard Matthews is the lone true veteran going into his seventh NFL season. So far, the Titans have added only a pair of veteran receivers that have a combined 59 NFL catches: Michael Campanaro and Nick Williams. "After your rookie year, you've just got to go," first-year Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. "We're counting on Corey, we're counting on Taywan, we're counting on Tajae and all of the guys." A vote of confidence or simply expectations, Davis said it doesn't matter to the receivers. "We're going to come out here, and we're going to do our job to the best of our ability," Davis said. "Rishard's a competitor, Tajae, Taywan, we're all going to come out here and compete day in and day out." Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk fired coach Mike Mularkey despite the franchise winning its first playoff game in 14 years. Tennessee replaced him with Vrabel Dwayne Allen Jersey , who hired Matt LaFleur from the Los Angeles Rams as his offensive coordinator. The primary reason for the moves were to get more out of quarterback Marcus Mariota and the Titans' offense, which ranked 23rd in the NFL averaging only 224.4 yards passing per game. Eric Decker, who led the receivers with 54 catches last season, wasn't brought back. Of the returnees, Matthews has been the team's top receiver since signing as a free agent in 2016. Sharpe has the most production of the other receivers after starting 10 of 16 games as a rookie with 41 catches for 522 yards. "We're all starting with clean slates," Sharpe said. "The new coaching staff, they weren't with us last year, so we all just have to prove ourselves. We just want to come back out here and compete and get one percent better every day and just keep working." The Titans' biggest hope for offensive improvement rests on Davis developing into the No. 1 receiver he was drafted to be. The 6-foot-3, 209-pound Davis struggled with injuries as a rookie with offseason ankle surgery limiting him until the final week of the team's offseason program, then he hurt a hamstring a week into training camp. That sidelined him for five games , and Davis finished with 34 catches for 375 yards starting nine of 11 games. He showed flashes of potential but didn't catch his first touchdown pass until the postseason. That was a one-handed grab for his first TD in the Titans' divisional loss at New England, and he added his second in the fourth quarter of the rout. "It's a lot of injuries, up and down, but this year's going to be different," Davis said. "Just got to stay healthy and go out and ball." Fully healthy C.J. Mosley Jersey , Davis, Matthews, Sharpe and Taylor spent time working out with Mariota in March. Even while learning a new offense, Davis said he believes he's ready to take advantage of a full offseason and be Tennessee's No. 1 receiver. The game has slowed down for Davis, and now he's busy building his timing with the quarterback he calls Ocho. Mariota said the second year for any player in the NFL is almost like a sigh of relief. "You understand the situation, you understand what's expected of you," Mariota said. "Everything's not brand new, so I mean I can't speak for him. But I think as you get older and as you continue to build up your years, the surroundings, the organization, everything just feels a little more comfortable." Authentic Womens Lorenzo Carter Jersey
  4. As free agency kicked off the start of a new football season Kentavius Street Jersey , the NFL sent a clear message to anyone paying attention: Colin Kaepernick, you’re still not wanted. Probably not ever. Oh, and while we’re at it, it’s pretty clear the owners have every intention of clamping down on any other players who tries to carry on Kaepernick’s legacy. Rattled by another big dip in the television ratings and an increasing number of empty seats, the league seems determined to banish peaceful protest from the playing field. While it’s quite a stretch to say those trends are intimately related – injuries, bad games and poor showings by several of the league’s most popular teams were surely bigger factors in the waning popularity – the guys sitting on what remains an enormous cash cow aren’t taking any chances. Since Kaepernick is the one who got this whole thing started by having the audacity to silently kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice – the nerve of that guy! – his career could very well be over. Never mind that he’s undoubtedly more talented than many of the quarterbacks who still have paying jobs. Just look at those who have already agreed to new deals heading into the 2018 season. – Kirk Cousins , who has a losing career record as a starter and has yet to win a playoff game. – Case Keenum , coming off a marvelous season with the Minnesota Vikings but definitely a candidate for one-year wonder. – AJ McCarron , who has just three starts in four years. – Mike Glennon , saddled with an awful career record of 6-16. – Tom Savage , who went 1-6 as the Texans‘ starter last season. – Chase Daniel, the epitome of a journeyman. – Josh McCown , who is 38 years old and Terrell Owens Jersey , despite the lack of any apparent success over his long career, keeps landing on his feet. While all those guys keep cashing checks, Kaepernick was working out privately on a field in Houston , quietly going through the grind with only the help of his personal trainers, apparently still hopeful of restarting his career. His optimism is likely misplaced. While there’s always a chance of some owner breaking ranks to sign Kaepernick, the possibility grows less likely with each passing day. If anything, the owners are intent on nipping social consciousness in the bud. Stephen Ross of the Miami Dolphins probably spoke out loud what most owners are saying behind closed doors when he was quoted as saying his players would be required to stand for the national anthem this season. Ross quickly backtracked, saying his comments were ”misconstrued,” but a statement explaining his position left no doubt that he’s had enough of taking a knee. ”I’m passionate about the cause of social justice, and I feel that kneeling is an ineffective tactic that alienates more people than it enlists,” he said. There was also a report from the Houston Chronicle that Texans owner Robert McNair doesn’t want to acquire players who have engaged in protests or might be likely to going forward. While the team quickly denied the report, McNair’s stance on such issues is apparent to everyone. At an owners meeting last year, he grumbled that ”we can’t have the inmates running the prison” – a remark that prompted most of his players to join arms and kneel before their next game . Meanwhile Cordrea Tankersley Jersey , the Seattle Seahawks cut ties with two of their most outspoken players, Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman . While a point could be made that these moves were strictly designed to clear room under the salary cap and rebuild an aging defense, one couldn’t help but wonder if their support of Kaepernick’s protest contributed to the moves. After clearly being blackballed last season, Kaepernick filed a grievance alleging the owners colluded to keep him out of the league . But it would probably take a mass walkout by all the fellow players to get him back on the field, and that’s not happening. There’s too much money at stake to risk it all for a single player, no matter how unjustly he’s been treated. Even if all the players could come together as one, chances are their protest would collapse as soon as they miss a few paychecks, just as it did during the infamous 1987 strike when a plethora of big-name players crossed the picket line. So, as we get started on a new NFL season, Kaepernick can expect to keep working out in solitude, at least until he decides on another line of work. A bunch of less-qualified quarterbacks will continue to hold jobs. The only message we can send: Shame on you, NFL. — Paul Newberry is a sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at pnewberry(at)ap.org or at Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his country’s diplomats to seek changes to international doping rules in the wake of the nation’s drug scandals. A month after the Winter Olympics took place without a full Russian team, part of the country’s punishment for past doping offenses Lester Hayes Jersey , Putin said the Foreign Ministry should try to alter the key treaty underpinning anti-doping work worldwide. He said Russian diplomats working with UNESCO should aim to ”refine” the existing International Convention against Doping in Sport so that ”the rules are fair and absolutely transparent.” In his first comments on sports matters since winning a fourth term in Sunday’s election, Putin said the government would continue to ”defend the sporting honor of our country and its clean athletes, (and) stand up for sport without politics or double standards.” Putin, in comments reported by state news agencies, didn’t say exactly what changes should be made or how they could be achieved. Short-term results are unlikely since the next conference on the convention isn’t due until next year. BASKETBALL CLEVELAND (AP) – Cavaliers forward Kyle Korver has been excused from the team to be with family following the death of a younger brother. The team issued a statement late saying Korver’s brother, Kirk, died earlier in the day. ”We extend our deepest condolences and heartfelt best to Kyle and his entire family as they go through this very difficult time,” the Cavs said. Korver is expected to miss Wednesday’s home game against Toronto. Kyle Korver, who is in his second season with Cleveland, left the Cavs last week after his 27-year-old brother became seriously ill in Iowa. Korver played in Monday night’s home win over Milwaukee, scoring 12 points. Korver’s personal situation comes one day after Cavs coach Tyronn Lue stepped away from the team for health reasons. The Cavs have also been dealing with an assortment of injuries as Rodney Hood, Tristan Thompson, Larry Nance Jr. and Cedi Osman have been sidelined. HOCKEY OTTAWA Allen Bailey Jersey , Ontario (AP) – The Ottawa Senators say the son of captain Erik Karlsson has died. Erik and Melinda Karlsson were married last year and announced in November they were expecting their first child in the spring. Karlsson had been posting on social media about his son’s upcoming birth, most recently sharing a photo of he and Melinda on Feb. 19 with the caption ”just me and my little family.” Karlsson sat out Ottawa’s 7-2 loss to Florida on Tuesday night. The team released a statement saying the Karlssons had ”the collective thoughts and prayers of the Ottawa Senators organization, the city of Ottawa and entire hockey community.” The team requested privacy for the family. PRO FOOTBALL LOS ANGELES (AP) – Buffalo Bills receiver Zay Jones has been arrested in Los Angeles following a naked, bloody argument with his brother, Vikings receiver Cayleb Jones. A police spokesman says the player, whose legal name is Isaiah Avery Jones, was arrested Monday night after officers responded to a disturbance in downtown Los Angeles. Officer Luis Garcia says Jones was breaking glass doors and windows when officers arrived and was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism. The arrest was first reported by TMZ, which posted video of a nude Zay Jones pushing his brother in what appeared to be the hallway of an apartment building. Jail records showed Jones was being held Tuesday on $20,000 bail. The Bills said in a statement they were still gathering information about the incident and declined further comment. LOS ANGELES (AP) – Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin was charged Tuesday with threatening two former teammates who had harassed him in the NFL and with threatening his former prep school classmates, Los Angeles County prosecutors said. Martin pleaded not guilty to four felony counts of making criminal threats and a misdemeanor charge of carrying a loaded firearm, district attorney’s office spokesman Greg Risling said. A post on Martin’s Instagram page last month showed a shotgun and referred by name to the private Harvard-Westlake prep school in Los Angeles that he once attended. The post also included mentions of the Instagram usernames of former Miami Dolphins players Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey and said suicide and revenge were the only options for a victim of bullying. Authentic Womens Rasheem Green Jersey
  5. This was a bonus win for Sofia Goggia. Having packed away the World Cup downhill title a day earlier Jack Tatum Jersey , Goggia claimed victory in the final super-G of the season on Thursday. Goggia dominated, finishing 0.32 seconds ahead of Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany. Meanwhile, Tina Weirather successfully defended her discipline title. ”It’s crazy because I wasn’t even thinking about this race,” Goggia said. ”After Korea (where she won Olympic downhill gold) I had made winning the downhill title my goal. So I was exhausted yesterday after achieving that. ”But today I felt good and I had hardly any problems on the way down, without any pressure whatsover,” the Italian added. ”This just rounds things off.” Also, Vincent Kriechmayr made it two wins in two days by taking the final men’s super-G. In a shortened race, the Austrian finished a narrow 0.04 seconds ahead of Christof Innerhofer, while Aksel Lund Svindal and Thomas Dressen tied for third, 0.08 behind. Kjetil Jansrud, the Norwegian who had already clinched the season-long discipline title, finished sixth. Lindsey Vonn was faster than Goggia at the first checkpoint but lost her balance briefly midway down and finished third, 0.53 behind. ”It’s nice to close out the season with a podium in super-G and to end the season on a high note,” said Vonn, who achieved only one other podium result in the discipline this season – a victory in Val d’Isere, France, in December. Vonn’s focus for next season will on breaking Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86 World Cup wins. Her victory on Wednesday in the downhill was her 82nd. ”I’m four (wins) behind and I feel like I’m in a good place, picking up steam Tyreek Hill Jersey , confident and relatively healthy, so that will be my focus from here on out,” Vonn said. Weirather finished sixth, while Lara Gut, the only skier who had a chance of catching the skier from Lichtenstein, lost control early in her run. Ester Ledecka, the surprise Olympic super-G champion, also went out early. Weirather ended the season with an 86-point advantage over Gut. Anna Veith placed third, 122 points behind. Weirather’s second title adds to a large family haul that includes seven small crystal globes won by her mother, Hanni Wenzel, three for her uncle, Andreas Wenzel, and one by her father, Harti Weirather. It was the fifth win of Goggia’s World Cup career. Attacking a course set by her coach Giovanni Rulfi, Goggia bowed to the crowd upon seeing her time in the finish area. It was a sparse crowd, though, on a day when the temperature dipped to minus-17 degrees C (1 degree F). ”It was a pretty tricky super-G and I tried to ski smart,” Goggia said. ”I told my coach Russell Bodine Jersey , `Hey Gianluca, you put poetry on the slope today.”’ It was the third career victory for Kriechmayr, who tied with teammate Matthias Mayer to win the downhill on Wednesday. Jansrud ended the season with an 80-point advantage over Kriechmayr. Svindal was third, 126 points behind. ”It’s been a very good season. I started it off with a victory and managed to get on the podium in most of the other races,” Jansrud said. ”But I’m very happy to have decided the result in Kvitfjell when I look at the results today.” Counting four of Svindal’s five titles and Jansrud’s third, Norwegians have won the super-G globe for seven straight seasons. ”Seven times in a row is pretty insane,” Jansrud said. ”If there’s a secret I’m not going to say what it is.” TAMPA, Fla. (AP) As a veteran quarterback accustomed to ever-changing roles, there’s little Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t experienced during a 14-year NFL career. He’s been a starter and a backup – several times. Now, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are counting on him to help them weather Jameis Winston’s three-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. And then head back to the bench. ”I thought I had seen and been through it all,” said Fitzpatrick, who’s entering his second season with his seventh pro team. ”But another year, another different situation.” Not that the 35-year-old is complaining. Fitzpatrick signed with Tampa Bay before last season, knowing coach Dirk Koetter sought him purely as a backup. ”I’ve learned that you view it as a one-game-at-a-time opportunity. That’s just the way it is in this league,” Fitzpatrick said. ”In 2015, when I played with the (New York) Jets, I was a backup and ended up (playing) the whole year with the situation there,” he added. ”In 2016 Earl Thomas III Jersey , I was a starter and I ended up getting benched three times. Every year is different. You have to take it game by game and just go from there.” Fitzpatrick, who turns 36 in November, entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams in 2005. In addition to the Bucs and Jets, he’s also played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans, completing nearly 60 percent of his passes for 26,991 yards, 173 touchdowns and 136 interceptions. He’s one of just four players in NFL history – along with Vinny Testaverde, Gus Frerotte and Chris Chandler – to throw TD passes with seven different teams. Winston, suspended following the league’s investigation of an allegation that he groped a female Uber driver during a ride in March 2016, will miss games against New Orleans, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to begin the season. Fitzpatrick rejected the notion that his role is to ”save the season.” ”The season hasn’t even started yet. … It’s a cliche, but it’s one game at a time. You have to look at it that way,” Fitzpatrick said. ”Not even based off last year, talent-wise, looking at the team we have out here, I’m in the huddle on offense Deion Sanders Jersey , and it’s a pretty exciting huddle to be in as a quarterback looking at some of those guys.” With Winston missing three games and portions of two others because of injury, Fitzpatrick went 2-1 as a starter a year ago. Three seasons ago, he threw for a career-best 3,905 yards and 31 TDs with the Jets. Koetter noted that Fitzpatrick has 119 career starts and said he has total confidence in the veteran’s ability to handle the offense. ”We’re fortunate enough to have him,” Koetter said. ”We saw what he could do when he was our starter last year for three games. There’s no reason for us to be afraid of Ryan playing quarterback for us. He’s going to play fine.” And Winston, who’s allowed to practice during training camp and play preseason games, intends to do whatever he can help Fitzpatrick and No. 3 quarterback Ryan Griffin, a fifth-year pro who’s never taken a snap in a regular-season game. ”As a teammate first, I understand it’s about this team and I am going to be there for Fitz as much as I can,” Winston, entering his fourth season, said. ”But it’s also about getting Ryan (Griffin) ready as well,” the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner added. ”My influence on this team is going to be positive, and I’m going to be their best support system they have.” — Womens Jaire Alexander Jersey
  6. Spotting opponents an early lead hasn’t been a problem lately for Anthony Rizzo and the Chicago Cubs. Rizzo drove in his second run of the game in the seventh inning to snap a tie Khairi Fortt Jersey , Kyle Schwarber followed with a solo homer in the eighth and the Cubs rebounded from an early three-run deficit to edge the Detroit Tigers 5-3 on Tuesday for their fifth straight win. The other team has scored first in each of Chicago’s recent victories, but the Cubs have kept chipping away. ”We know we’re a good team,” Rizzo said. ”We just have to string together good at-bats.” The Cubs did just that again on Tuesday. With one out in the seventh, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist singled off Tigers reliever Daniel Stumpf (1-4). Rizzo’s slow bouncer up the middle resulted in a force of Zobrist at second, but Jose Iglesias’ throw to first was too late to double up Rizzo and Heyward scored from third to put Chicago ahead for the first time, 4-3. Schwarber hit his team-leading 17th homer to right against a steady wind off Lake Michigan in the eighth. Trailing 3-0, Albert Almora, Jr. and Heyward each drove in a run with a double, then Rizzo followed with an RBI single in Chicago’s three-run fifth. Rizzo has just one homer in his past 20 games – and 12 this season – after launching at least 31 in each of the past four seasons. But the Cubs slugger says the longball isn’t always the best approach. ”You get down and start battling (at) two strikes Derrick Shelby Jersey , it’s not about hitting a homer,” Rizzo said. ”It’s just about putting the ball in play and we’re doing a good job at that.” Justin Wilson (3-2), the second of Chicago’s four relievers, pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the win. Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save in four chances. The Cubs’ bullpen allowed just one hit after starter Kyle Hendricks labored through five innings, allowing three runs and seven hits in a no-decision. In his past six starts, the right-hander is 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA. ”They didn’t beat him up by any means today,” manager Joe Maddon said. ”It’s just that it wasn’t a typical surgeon-like procedure from Kyle. He looks good, he’s just not executing.” Detroit leadoff hitter Mikie Mahtook had three singles and scored a run. Niko Goodrum drove in a run with a double, and Jeimer Candelario and James McCann each had an RBI as the Tigers lost their 12th game in their past 14. Tigers starter Michael Fulmer went six innings and allowed three runs – all in the fifth – and seven hits. ”He had really good stuff Dwayne Harris Jersey ,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. ”He got a couple of pitches up a bit, but they kind of put them in the right place. ”It wasn’t like they were lashing them, but they put them on the outfield grass, kind of like what we did to them early.” The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first. After Mahtook and Nick Castellanos led off with singles, Candelario drove in a run with a groundout. Goodrum’s double to the right-field corner scored the second run. The Tigers added a run in the fourth on McCann’s RBI single. The Cubs tied it 3-all in the fifth. Pinch-hitter Tommy LaStella, Almora and Heyward led off with consecutive doubles to cut it to 3-2, then Rizzo’s hit with one out tied it. WINDY CITY TIGER INF/OF Jim Adduci, called up from Triple-A Toledo on Sunday, was in Detroit’s lineup at first base and singled and scored in his first game this season. The 33-year-old attended Evergreen Park High School in Chicago’s south suburbs and grew up a fan of both the Cubs and White Sox. Adduci’s father Forrest Lamp Jersey , also named Jim, played a total of 70 games with three major league teams in the 1980s and was at Wrigley Field on Tuesday. TRAINER’S ROOM: Cubs: INF/OF Kris Bryant (left shoulder inflammation) probably will return Wednesday or Friday, Maddon said after the game. The Cubs star has been sidelined since June 22. … RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps inflammation, right elbow impingement/inflammation) rejoined the Cubs after seeing Dr. Keith Meister in Texas on Friday and getting a cortisone shot. Maddon said he still hadn’t yet talked to the right-hander about his progress following the injection. UP NEXT: Tigers LHP Francisco Liriano (3-4. 3.99) takes the mound against Cubs LHP Jose Quintana (6-6. 4.31) on Wednesday afternoon in the finale of the two-game interleague set. Liriano has lost both of his starts since coming off the disabled list (right hamstring strain) on June 23. Quintana has two losses and three no-decisions in his past five starts and hasn’t won since May 31. — The Chargers received good news on cornerback Trevor Williams. He avoided a high-ankle sprain, according to Jack Wang of the Southern California News Group. Williams will play in the preseason at some point, per Wang, but the Chargers have no reason to rush him back. Williams, 24, was injured Tuesday when he got his feet tangled with receiver Mike Williams. Trainers helped Trevor Williams off the field Marshal Yanda Jersey , and he was on crutches, with a walking boot on his left foot when he departed the locker room. The Chargers were due some good news, having already lost tight end Hunter Henry (ACL), tight end Austin Roberts (ACL) and cornerback Jason Verrett (Achilles) for the season. Williams’ absence will give Michael Davis, Jeff Richards and undrafted rookie Tony Brown more reps. Authentic Womens Minkah Fitzpatrick Jersey
  7. With Dez Bryant gone Jaleel Johnson Jersey , the Dallas Cowboys have to decide if they will use their top pick on a receiver for the first time since taking him eight years ago. The answer on going that high to get another target for quarterback Dak Prescott, as it was before Bryant's release this month, is an emphatic "maybe." Dallas has the 19th pick in the first round Thursday night. "I think we recognize that we've got a hole to fill with Dez," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Tuesday. "Those receivers we'll have rated first, second, third, fourth, fifth-round receivers, we'll have them rated with or without Dez at those levels." Dallas decided that Bryant's dramatic decline in production in the three years since he signed a $70 million contract made him not worth the $12.5 million he would have been owed in 2018. Early in the offseason Ricardo Allen Jersey , Jones also alluded to what he called the distraction of the drama that sometimes surrounded the emotional Bryant. The Cowboys made a strong play for Sammy Watkins, who chose Kansas City in free agency. They added Allen Hurns, who showed potential as a top target in Jacksonville but never had the numbers to support that label. Dallas also signed journeyman Deonte Thompson. Some of the top receivers in the draft visited the Cowboys, including Alabama's Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore of Maryland. Another intriguing prospect, Courtland Sutton, played a few miles from the home of the Cowboys at SMU. Even without a few rookies, the receiver room will be crowded in the offseason and at training camp with the Cowboys trying to get back to the playoffs after missing last season coming off an NFC-best 13 wins in 2016, when Prescott was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Terrance Williams, the No. 2 receiver behind Bryant the past five years Lyle Alzado Jersey , returns, although he had offseason surgery for a broken right foot and isn't expected to be ready until camp. Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer, both slot receivers, figure to have roster spots, with Switzer as the primary kick return man. Noah Brown, a seventh-round pick last year, had an increasing role late in the season. "When you lose a player the stature of Dez, obviously he was a No. 1 receiver, he was paid like he was a No. 1 DeForest Buckner Jersey , and you don't replace that," executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones said on his radio show last week. "Obviously we're not going to do it that way with the group that we have now. There's a lot of teams that go about it with numbers and with different skillsets." Here are some things to consider with the Cowboys hosting the draft for the first time, and with the draft in a stadium for the first time: OTHER NEEDS Linebacker stands out because of Sean Lee's history with injuries and lingering uncertainty over Jaylon Smith's recovery from a devastating knee injury from college. The Cowboys also decided to let the steady and versatile Anthony Hitchens go in free agency, the second straight year they've turned a key defender loose. Last year, it was safety Barry Church, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Cowboys target that position first. PICKS RUNDOWN The Cowboys have 10 picks, with multiple selections in the fourth and sixth rounds. A trade would be more likely if they had multiple picks in an earlier round, but Jerry Jones has never been afraid to move up or down on draft night. Dallas moved up three spots to get Bryant at No. 24 in 2010. HITS, MISSES AND BARGAINS Dallas has one of the NFL's best offensive lines because of first-round choices Travis Frederick (2013) and Zack Martin (2014). Ezekiel Elliott was the NFL rushing leader as a rookie in 2016 after going fourth overall Travis Benjamin Jersey , the highest pick for the Cowboys in 25 years. Prescott is easily the biggest bargain as a fourth-rounder the same year Dallas got Elliott. Defensive Randy Gregory didn't work as a second-round gamble in 2015 when he tested positive for marijuana at the combine. He was suspended all last season. The Cowboys just picked up the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of defensive back Byron Jones, picked ahead of Gregory. Jones, who is moving back to cornerback from safety, has two years to try to live up to first-round billing after falling short so far. Former Philadelphia Eagles player and "America's Got Talent" finalist Jon Dorenbos is sharing in the Super Bowl magic despite not playing with the team last season. The Eagles posted a video Thursday on Twitter of Dorenbos receiving a Super Bowl ring. Dorenbos was a popular figure in the Eagles locker room, known for his gregarious personality and for entertaining teammates with magic tricks. He was traded to the Saints before the start of last season but retired in September when it was discovered he needed heart surgery, ending his football career. Dorenbos learned magic as a kid to help him cope with the death of his mother, who was killed by his father. He performed on NBC's "America's Got Talent" in 2016 and finished in third place. Womens Nate Solder Jersey
  8. The Chargers told Antonio Gates already they weren’t bringing him back in 2018. They have made it official Larry Warford Jersey , bidding him farewell and wishing him the best in his efforts to continue playing. 鈥淎ntonio is not only one of the best Chargers of all-time, but he鈥檚 one of the best football players in the history of our game,鈥?General Manager Tom Telesco said, via Ricky Henne of the team website. 鈥淗e has meant so much to this organization — both on the field, off the field, in San Diego, in Los Angeles — and we can鈥檛 say enough about the type of person he is, and player. These decisions are really, really difficult. . . . There aren鈥檛 many guys like him that come along, and I鈥檝e been doing this for 20 years and have had a chance to be around some special players — some special Hall of Fame players — but nobody greater than what he did at his position.鈥? Gates made eight Pro Bowls and five times was selected All-Pro. He ends his Chargers’ career as the team’s all-time leader in receptions (927) Vinny Curry Jersey , receiving yards (11,508) and touchdowns (114). 鈥淎ntonio鈥檚 contributions to our organization over the past 15 years cannot be overstated, and I want to thank him for what he has meant throughout his career to our family, his teammates, our staff and Chargers fans everywhere,鈥?Controlling Owner and Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos said. 鈥淗e鈥檚 the consummate professional. Humble. Kind. Giving. Thoughtful. A pillar of the community who has been a true role model to so many — both on the field and off. And while we know his story includes a trip to Canton, no matter what the next chapter holds, Antonio will always be a beloved and important member of the Chargers family. We look forward to honoring him at the appropriate time.鈥? Gates turns 38 in June and played less than 50 percent of the team鈥檚 offensive snaps last season, but he wants to continue playing if anyone will give him a chance. Deshaun Watson was back in a game this week for the first time since surgery to repair a right knee injury in November, and although he didn't play long Jerry Rice Jersey , he relished his return. "I just played five snaps, handed the ball off, threw one pass," Watson said. "So, it wasn't too bad. Good to just go out there for a couple plays and then watch everyone else perform." The Houston Texans quarterback is looking to build on his limited action as the team prepares for two practices with the San Francisco 49ers next week before hosting them in their second preseason game on Saturday. Watson's health and development in his second year will be critical as Houston tries to bounce back from a season filled with injuries during which the team went 4-12 for its first losing season since 2013. Though he played in just seven games before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in practice, Watson gave the Texans optimism that he'll be the answer to their longtime problems at the position. He threw for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns and ran for 269 yards and two more scores after Houston traded up to select him with the 12th overall pick in the 2017 draft. Saturday was the team's first practice back in Houston after the Texans spent the first part of training camp in West Virginia. Although they had to adjust to the hotter temperatures at home, Watson and the Texans got a boost from working out in front of several hundred cheering fans. "The climate ... it's hot and muggy but at the end of the day we have to come out here and play football and perform and just focus on our task," he said. "So, it's always good to have the fans around and show love. They give us energy and high hopes for this season." The 22-year-old said he's grown a lot since arriving in Houston last season and is looking forward to building on what he did last year. "Just really (grown) as a person as a whole and then just the knowledge of the game Odell Beckham Jr Jersey ," he said. "Just being able to understand the offense, understand what the defense is doing and just play faster, just go out there and play and not overthink things." Coach Bill O'Brien, who worked with Tom Brady when he was an assistant with the Patriots, has enjoyed watching Watson develop and is looking for ways to help him take another step. "I think there's areas where he and I need to grow together, like in the red area," he said. "We're a little bit behind there but we have to work together on that and see if we can execute better down there, but I think there's a lot of areas where he's gotten better and better, and he'll only get better and better because he works at it and the experience he gets will really help him." Watson is working behind a revamped offensive line this year after last year's group allowed the second-most sacks in the league. So far, he likes the way the unit is coming together. "Guys just building chemistry Montee Ball Jersey , working hard each and every day, never complaining," Watson said. "They make mistakes, but at the end of the day they correct those mistakes and don't make it twice, just like everyone else on the offense. Just guys that love to play football. They have a passion about going in ... and putting in the work, and (are) passionate about winning." Authentic Womens Michael Dickson Jersey
  9. Gerard Gallant took time out from preparing for the Stanley Cup finals to watch a Little League game this week Jimmy Smith Jersey , something that might be surprising to those who think there is little in Las Vegas besides showgirls, craps tables and nightclubs. There is a real city beyond the Las Vegas Strip, though, and that isn’t a surprise to the Vegas Golden Knights coach or the rest of a team that has embraced a city that has eagerly embraced them back. They play here, and they also live here. Turns out hockey works in the desert – even for real hockey guys. ”It’s been, for all of us, one of the neatest experiences of our lifetime,” general manager George McPhee said. ”Maybe the neatest, most unique experience. Las Vegas has been a wonderful place to live and work.” The love affair between a city and its new team wasn’t totally unexpected. Las Vegas was, after all, a town starved for major league sports. But no one could have expected a hockey team would also help a city deal with its grief after a gunman killed 58 people on the Las Vegas strip just days before the team’s home opener. They’ve done that and more, thrilling a town that’s hard to impress on a remarkable run to the finals in their first year of existence. ”We knew we couldn’t heal everyone,” goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. ”But we wanted to give (the city) something to cheer for, to be proud of their team.” They call themselves the ”Golden Misfits” because they all ended up in Las Vegas after being discarded by other teams. Even Gallant was unceremoniously dumped from his last job, kicked off the team bus after being fired by the Florida Panthers. They came to this gambling city wanting to be wanted again. And a city that waited 112 years for a major sports franchise to call its own responded with open arms. The games are all sellouts, of course. But the practices have also become events to see and be seen Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jersey , with hundreds of fans crowding the team’s practice rink in the planned community of Summerlin where most players live. And everywhere people wear Golden Knights hats and shirts and talk about strange things like icing and forechecking. ”I see it every day of practice when you got 800 people watching our practices,” Gallant said. ”It’s definitely not one on one with people, but you see the fan support that we get is unbelievable. They love our players, they love our team, and they love what’s going on, and I know our players appreciate the things they do for us.” One of those players showed that Thursday night at another Little League game. Alex Tuch was watching the son of an assistant coach play, but a lot of other people at the ballpark were watching him. As word spread that a Golden Knights player was in the stands, kids of all ages surrounded Tuch, who graciously obliged one picture request after another. For some, the bond between city and team started developing when billionaire Bill Foley plunked down $500 million and Las Vegas was awarded an expansion franchise. For others, it began when Foley announced the team would be called the Golden Knights and started selling season tickets. For many, though, it came when Deryk Engelland – a Las Vegas resident for more than a decade – stood on the ice before the first home game with hardly a dry eye in the crowd. It was nine days after the massacre of fans at a country music concert just down the street from the T-Mobile Arena where the Knights play, and emotions were raw. England’s speech was short, his message poignant. ”I know how special this city is,” he told the crowd. ”To the families and friends of the victims Chase Allen Jersey , know we will do everything we can to help you and our city heal. ”We are Vegas Strong.” Engelland, a defenseman, had scored only 22 goals in eight years in the NHL prior to that game. But he scored one that night and, for a brief moment at least, gave a grieving city something to cheer about. And it was Engelland who was chosen on a team with no captains to accept the trophy for winning the Western Conference finals from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. ”After Oct. 1, those first games … you want to play for the city, the people that were affected by it,” Engelland said. ”To make this run, it’s awesome for us, but it all comes back to the city and the people affected by that.” In a city that values winners, it helps that the team McPhee put together is a big winner. That was unexpected by most in hockey, who figured the Knights would finish last in their division like most expansion teams do, even though the NHL made sure they had a lot of good players to choose from. Now they’re playing for one of the great trophies in sports: the Stanley Cup. ”It’s been fun to watch,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. ”Nobody could’ve anticipated it. Our goal was that they be playing meaningful games in March and April, and if they were lucky, they might make the playoffs. Whoever could have predicted that they’d be on this run?” Not many Kalen Ballage Jersey , and that includes the bookies on the Las Vegas Strip. They made the Knights as much as a 500-1 underdog to win the Stanley Cup, and will likely lose several million dollars if it actually happens. It just might, and they don’t seem to care. The bookies live here, too. And they want to see the Stanley Cup paraded down the Las Vegas Strip. —- AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno and AP stringer W.G. Ramirez contributed to this report. —- Tim Dahlberg is a n The Green Bay Packers are jumping right into a midseason-like practice schedule in the first week of training camp. Right back into a routine as they seek to erase the sting of an unusual season without the playoffs. Players reported to camp Wednesday for physicals, with the first practice on Thursday. The franchise is also embarking on a yearlong celebration of its 100th anniversary. "We just felt it was best that we get right into the in-season schedule. There's routine and regularity that you chase each and every year because every one of your teams is different, every training camp is different," coach Mike McCarthy said. This one a little more so than usual for a team accustomed to making postseason runs. The Packers' streak of eight straight playoff appearances ended with a 7-9 record last season. They were doomed by a collarbone injury to two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers and familiar problems on defense. "We're looking forward to a healthy Aaron Rodgers," general manager Brian Gutekunst said in addressing team shareholders on Wednesday night. Gutekunst replaced Ted Thompson as GM in January. McCarthy brought in new coordinators on defense (Mike Pettine) and offense (Joe Philbin) among several coaching staff changes. The Packers replenished the injury-ravaged cornerback group by taking Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson with their first two draft picks, and bringing back veteran Tramon Williams. Receiver Jordy Nelson was cut in a cost-cutting move, while tight end Jimmy Graham was signed to bolster the passing attack. "Well I think as you stand here today, and I don't think anybody cannot say this if they're just being totally honest and transparent, we all should be better for the negative experiences that we've encountered in the past," McCarthy said. McCarthy is entering his 13th year as Packers coach, having won the Super Bowl in the 2010 season. He received a one-year extension to his contract last year, extending him through 2019. This might be a crucial season in determining his long-term future in Green Bay. "You learn a lot in this business about the mistakes and the ability to overcome adversity and all those because, hey Eli Apple Jersey , this is going to be a rough ride to get to where we want to go, and when we get there it's going to take probably our best to get it done," McCarthy said. It starts with practices that begin at midday now, as opposed to recent camps that had field sessions beginning earlier in the morning. The coach himself is an early-riser, having arrived at Lambeau at 5:40 a.m. on Wednesday. But some players had already beaten him to the stadium, having lined up already at the training room. "I've never seen so many guys so excited to get their physicals before," McCarthy said. "I think that's a record." HEADED INDOORS: The first team shareholders meeting to be held at night also became the first to be held from the stadium's media auditorium. A threat of thunderstorms forced the Packers to change their plans. Fans were encouraged to watch the meeting on televisions on concourses or at the stadium restaurants. The Packers are the only publicly-owned franchise in the NFL. Team president Mark Murphy reported about 5.9 million shares of stock held by more than 361,000 shareholders. ANTHEM: Murphy expressed optimism that the league and NFL Players Association would reach agreement on a conduct policy for players during the national anthem. "We've had some good discussions with them," he said. "I'm hopeful and optimistic we can reach a resolution." TV TIME: The Week 9 game at New England was the top matchup requested by each of the league's television partners this year, Murphy said. The prime-time game Nov. 4 will be televised on NBC. ROSTER MOVES: The team signed receivers Adonis Jennings and Kyle Lewis, while placing receiver Michael Clark and rookie guard Cole Madison on the reserve/did not report list. Clark, who had four catches for 41 yards in two games last season, plans to retire after one NFL season. Madison, a fifth-round draft pick out of Washington State, is dealing with a personal matter. Womens Rashaad Penny Jersey
  10. The NFL has abandoned San Diego. The AAF may be embracing it. Via Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union Tribune Jarvis Jenkins Jersey , the upstart Alliance of American Football is “on track” to make the Chargers’ former home one of the three remaining locations of the initial eight AAF franchises. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 have any information to share at this time,鈥?a league spokesman recently told Krasovic on the issue. It would be a great development for a city that remains a preferred destination, and it could be a great rebound opportunity for fans that would like nothing more than to stick it to the NFL by supporting a non-NFL professional football team. If San Diego gets one of the three remaining teams, that leaves two others (#math) to still be awarded. Maybe other former NFL cities like St. Louis and (soon) Oakland will get them. Richard Sherman has been cleared to practice for the San Francisco 49ers at the start of training camp. Sherman joined San Francisco after getting released by rival Seattle following season-ending surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon. He was unable to participate in the offseason program but pronounced himself 100 percent when he reported to camp Wednesday and will take part in the team’s first practice Thursday. Sherman earned a $2 million bonus for passing his physical under a contract he negotiated himself following the injury that ended his season last November. Sherman consulted with former Lakers great Kobe Bryant on what it takes to come back from that kind of injury and always believed he would be ready for the start of camp. ”It was a grind,” he said. ”But I think it was more like one of those things that you can look at optimistically or pessimistically. You can look at it as, `Woe is me, why did this happen to me? Why do I have to go through this?’ Or you could look at it as Chris Godwin Jersey , `I needed another great challenge and I needed another mountain to climb.’ That’s how I treated it.” Coach Kyle Shanahan said the initial plan for Sherman will be to practice the first two days, take a day off Saturday and then return to the field Sunday. The 49ers will take Monday off and the team will see how Sherman has responded to figure out what’s next. ”We trust what he thinks and how he works,” Shanahan said. ”A lot of it is up to Richard. If he’s being too aggressive, it’s our job to pull him back. It’s a matter of time when he gets back and we want to be smart with that.” Six players will open camp on injured lists, although most are expected back relatively soon. Guard Jonathan Cooper (knee), receiver Trent Taylor (back) and linebacker Dekoda Watson (calf) are on the physically unable to perform list. Linebacker Malcolm Smith had a lower leg injury while working out on his own recently and will begin camp on the non-football injury list, along with rookies Marcell Harris and Kentavius Street DeAndre Washington Jersey , who were hurt when they were drafted. But having a healthy Sherman to start camp is a big boost for a team full of optimism after winning the final five games last season under quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to finish 6-10. The midseason acquisition of Garoppolo from New England turned around a struggling franchise that had lost 24 of 27 games before he took over as starter late last season. ”I don’t think anybody is thinking about last year,” Sherman said. ”It was a 6-10 team that didn’t make the playoffs. The few positives that come from last year, you can appreciate them, but it’s still a 6-10 team that was picking in the top 10 in the draft. There’s not a lot to celebrate. That’s the way to approach it. Guys are hungry, they’re excited to go out there and prove this is a great team that can win ballgames.” Sherman talking up the 49ers is an odd change following his years tormenting the franchise when he played for Seattle. He made the deflection that led to an NFC title-clinching interception in January 2014 before trash-talking Michael Crabtree and then memorably celebrated a Thanksgiving night win over the 49ers the following season by eating a turkey leg at midfield at Levi’s Stadium. Now he’s mentoring young cornerbacks such as Ahkello Witherspoon, trading tips with Garoppolo, and quickly turning into a locker room leader. ”He’s been pretty much the exact opposite of what I thought Ramon Humber Jersey ,” veteran left tackle Joe Staley said. ”I thought he was going to be annoying like he was annoying to me when he was in a Seahawks uniform but he’s been nothing but great.” The 49ers are also hoping Sherman can get back close to his level of play during his prime in Seattle when he was perhaps the game’s top shutdown cornerback. He was a first-team All-Pro for three straight seasons starting in 2012, leading the league with eight interceptions in 2013. Sherman still was one of the better cornerbacks the past three seasons, ranking second in the NFL by allowing just 49.2 percent of passes against him to be caught, according to Pro Football Focus. He said he feels re-energized after the injury. ”I’m not saying you get complacent, but you get bored,” he said. ”It’s a routine. You go out there and play 16 games, play at a high level and do your best and you enjoy it Hunter Henry Jersey , but sometimes when you throw a wrench in the plans kind of helps you. It wakes you up. It reignites the fire. It takes you back to where you need to be.” NOTES: Second-round WR Dante Pettis signed his rookie deal late Wednesday afternoon. … The 49ers signed OL JP Flynn to a two-year deal and DLs Will Sutton and Cedric Thornton to one-year contracts. DB Don Jones, OL Jamar McGloster and DL Blaine Woodson were waived to make room on the roster. — Adidas Dylan Larkin Jersey
  11. The Colts claimed receiver Zach Pascal off waivers from Tennessee. They waived receiver Kayaune Ross in a corresponding move. Pascal spent time on the Titans鈥?active roster and practice squad as a rookie in 2017 but did not see game action. He participated in Washington’s 2017 offseason program and training camp as an undrafted free agent before being waived during final cuts on September 2. He started 41 of 49 career games at Old Dominion Charles Woodson Jersey , making a school-record 233 receptions for 3,193 yards and 30 touchdowns. Ross signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent on May 18. He participated in the team鈥檚 rookie minicamp on a tryout basis before being signed. He played 18 games in two seasons at Kentucky, making 21 catches for 296 yards and one touchdown. Taylor Hall doesn’t love public speaking, and the New Jersey Devils forward’s nervousness grew while the NHL Awards show moved along. But after Hall and the hockey world watched moving tributes to the Humboldt Broncos and the victims of two mass shootings, he was ready to accept the Hart Trophy with the proper perspective. ”It’s not all about you,” Hall said. ”It’s not all about winning awards. It’s about enjoying life and doing what you love.” Hall was named the NHL’s most valuable player Wednesday night, becoming the first New Jersey player to win the award after edging Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon in a close vote. The hometown Vegas Golden Knights also went home with four trophies in recognition of their incredible expansion season from a celebratory and occasionally somber evening at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Hall, who finished sixth in the league with 93 points, beat out fellow first-time Hart finalists MacKinnon and Anze Kopitar of Los Angeles. Hall got 72 first-place votes and 1 Cassius Marsh Jersey ,264 total points in the voting, while MacKinnon got 60 first-place votes and 1,194 points. Hall likely got the nod over two worthy contenders because of the way he carried the Devils offensively while they rebounded from a last-place finish in the Eastern Conference and reached the playoffs for the first time in five years. Hall put together a 26-game points streak during the season, and he finished with 41 more points than rookie Nico Hischier, New Jersey’s second-leading scorer. ”If there is one thing I’m proud of, it’s to be the first Devil to win MVP,” Hall said. ”At the start of the season, people wrote us off. People have wrote me off, and it feels pretty good standing up here now.” Indeed Vic Beasley Jersey , the award is a sweet validation for Hall, who was traded by Edmonton to New Jersey for defenseman Adam Larsson just two years ago. The Oilers gave up on the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft, but Hall never gave up on reaching his potential. He reached it on the Devils’ top line with Hischier, forming a potent scoring tandem with the Swiss rookie. ”I was a good player for a long time, and I feel what really brought me to the next level was being in Jersey, playing with my teammates, drafting Nico No. 1 overall and getting to play with him as a centerman all season long,” Hall said. ”I think probably the biggest reason why I’m up here today is No. 13 (Hischier) on my team, and the trust that (general manager) Ray Shero and (coach) John Hynes have put in me.” While Hall closed the show with the biggest trophy Will Dissly Jersey , the Golden Knights were big winners as well. Coach Gerard Gallant won the Jack Adams Award, and George McPhee was named the NHL’s general manager of the year in recognition of the Knights’ immediate growth into champions of the Pacific Division and the Western Conference. High-scoring Knights forward William Karlsson won the Lady Byng Trophy for the player best combining sportsmanship and ability. Defenseman Deryk Engelland also won the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award for his actions during his team’s breakthrough season in the wake of the shooting massacre on the Las Vegas Strip shortly before their first game. ”It’s been a remarkable season,” Engelland said. ”(We had) a great group of guys. They did a tremendous job putting the group together. For myself, I know there’s a lot of other guys in our locker room that could be here right now in my place. It’s just an honor, and once we look back on the season, it’s pretty special.” Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman won his first Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman, while New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal won the Calder Trophy in a landslide as the league’s top rookie. Nashville’s Pekka Rinne won his first Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie, while Kopitar won his second Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward. Connor McDavid won the Ted Lindsay Award as the NHL’s most outstanding player in a vote of the players’ union membership, but the Edmonton Oilers star was not a finalist for the Hart Garry Gilliam Jersey , which he won last year. New Jersey veteran Brian Boyle won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey after putting together an All-Star season in the wake of his cancer diagnosis and healthy problems for his young son. The NHL also welcomed the survivors of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash onto the stage late in the show for an emotional tribute. Darcy Haugan, the late coach of the Broncos, was honored with the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award. Gallant was an obvious choice over Colorado’s Jared Bednar and Boston’s Bruce Cassidy after he masterminded the most spectacular expansion season in recent sports history. The Golden Knights went 51-24-7 and handily won the Pacific Division before winning 13 postseason games and reaching the Stanley Cup Final in their first playoff campaign. Engelland was honored for his leadership and contributions to society. The veteran defenseman already was a Las Vegas resident when the Golden Knights acquired him, and he emerged as a public face of the team during its inspirational performances in the wake of the shooting. Kopitar was named the NHL’s top defensive forward for the second time in three years after a standout all-around season. Hedman beat out Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty for the Norris after scoring 17 goals and racking up a plus-32 rating in another dominant season for the Lightning. Barzal was the runaway winner of the Calder after scoring 85 points in 82 games for the Authentic Womens Hayden Hurst Jersey
  12. A pair of two-homer performances. A bases-loaded triple Deatrich Wise Jr Jersey , followed by another triple. So many unusual things went into Chicago’s biggest comeback of the season that even the White Sox had trouble keeping track. No matter. They’ll take it. Daniel Palka and Avisail Garcia each homered twice, and Yoan Moncada tripled with the bases loaded in the 12th inning as the White Sox pulled off their biggest comeback and beat the Cincinnati Reds 12-8 on Tuesday night. ”Well, a lot going on today,” manager Rick Renteria said. It was a night of non-stop offense, right from the outset. Trailing 7-2 after five innings, the White Sox pulled even in the ninth on Garcia’s solo homer off Raisel Iglesias, then pulled it out with the help of a couple of Reds errors. ”That last inning was tough,” said Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett, whose error opened the way. The White Sox loaded the bases with a walk and two errors. Moncada’s opposite-field triple off Jackson Stephens (2-1) broke the tie, and Yolmer Sanchez followed with another triple. Hector Santiago (3-3) fanned six in two innings as the White Sox extended their domination in the interleague series. They’re 17-5 all-time against the Reds, including 11-3 in Cincinnati. ”Surreal Evan Engram Jersey ,” said Chicago starter Lucas Giolito, who gave up three homers but wound up on the winning side. ”From my perspective, I didn’t get the job done. It’s an awesome feeling that these guys play hard behind you.” Jim Riggleman was ejected by plate umpire Eric Cooper during Chicago’s winning rally, his first ejection as the Reds’ interim manager. They had words as Riggleman was signaling from the dugout for an intentional walk. ”Then he made some comment that I didn’t like,” Riggleman said. ”That’s kind of how the whole game went.” The Reds got the better of a free-swinging game early on, surging ahead 4-0 before Giolito could record an out. Jose Peraza opened with a triple, Gennett hit his 14th homer , Joey Votto walked, and Eugenio Suarez followed with his 17th homer . Suarez performed a salsa dance with Votto after he crossed the plate. Adam Duvall added a three-run shot into the upper deck in left field in the fifth inning off Giolito for a 7-2 lead, the second time in his career that the right-hander has allowed three homers in a game. Anthony DeSclafani also gave up a career-high three homers – two by Palka and one by Garcia, who went 3 for 6 and extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games. INTERLEAGUE The White Sox are 4-10 in interleague play this season. The Reds are 7-2. The loss snapped their streak of six straight wins against the AL. LONG TIME COMING The last time the White Sox and Reds played an extra-inning game was Game 6 of the ”Black Sox” World Series in 1919. Chicago won that game 5-4 in 10 innings at Crosley Field. HOMECOMING Giolito started the Futures Game as part of the All-Star festivities at Great American Ball Park in 2015 and pitched two scoreless innings . SLOPPY Austin Hooper Jersey , SLOPPY The Reds committed a season-high four errors – two by Suarez at third, one by Peraza at shortstop and one by Gennett at second base. ROBBED … SORT OF Sanchez’s triple in the 12th came on a weird play. Right fielder Brandon Dixon stretched above the wall and grabbed the fly ball – robbing Sanchez of a homer – but the glove flipped off his hand as he hit the wall and the ball deflected back onto the field. TRAINER’S ROOM White Sox: Jose Abreu was out of the lineup a day after he fouled a pitch off his left ankle. X-rays were negative. Abreu pinch hit in the 11th inning and grounded out. Reds: Homer Bailey threw 103 pitches in 6 2/3 innings of a rehab appearance for Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday night, giving up one run and seven hits while fanning eight. Bailey has been sidelined since June 2 by a sore right knee. UP NEXT White Sox: Dylan Covey (3-3) is 0-1 with a 12.71 ERA in his last three starts, walking 12 in 11 1/3 innings and giving up 16 runs. Reds: Sal Romano (4-8) went 1-2 with a 3.90 ERA in five June starts. He’s been limited to five innings in four of his last six starts. — DETROIT (AP) — Sam Darnold showed he could recover from a careless mistake — a promising trait for any rookie quarterback. What the New York Jets displayed on defense and special teams may have been even more encouraging for Darnold and his teammates. Darnold threw an interception on the very first snap of his NFL career — and it was run back for a Detroit touchdown — but New York’s quarterback shouldn’t sweat that too much after the Jets stormed back and routed the Lions 48-17 on Monday night. Darnold threw for 198 yards and two touchdowns, and the Jets also scored on defense and special teams. “We’re going to play better every game, that’s our goal,” wide receiver Quincy Enunwa said. “Obviously you can’t always make it happen, that’s going to be what we’re striving for. All three phases being successful, scoring on all three phases. When you can do that, you can be a pretty good team.” Darnold earned the starting job after the Jets drafted him third overall in this year’s draft. His performance alone was cause for excitement Monday, but on this night Terron Armstead Jersey , New York seemed to have a pretty solid cast around him as well. The Jets intercepted Matthew Stafford four times in a dismal debut for new Lions coach Matt Patricia. “Give the Jets credit. They obviously are the ones that played well tonight,” Patricia said. “We have to do better, I have to coach better and we have to play better.” New York scored 31 unanswered points in the final 9:36 of the third quarter after the Lions had tied it at 17. Darron Lee returned an interception for a touchdown, and Andre Roberts scored on a 78-yard punt return 67 seconds later. What we learned from New York’s resounding win: REBOUND Darnold’s start to this game was pretty much the worst-case scenario. On the first play from scrimmage, his ill-advised throw sailed toward the left sideline and was picked off by Quandre Diggs, who returned it 37 yards for a 7-0 lead. That was Darnold’s only major error, however. He not only showed he could play well in prime time on the road, he also showed he could handle adversity. The 21-year-old Darnold was the youngest quarterback to start a season opener since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. He was also the first quarterback to win his first start by 31 or more points since Tom Brady in 2001, per ESPN Stats & Info. STUCK IN NEUTRAL The Lions were unimpressive in the preseason, but it’s always tough to tell how much that really matters. This opener confirmed this team has issues. It was the most lopsided loss for Detroit in an opener since a 45-0 shellacking at Washington in 1991. (Of course, the Lions ended up making the NFC title game that season). Detroit had scored at least 25 points in seven straight season openers Dontae Johnson Jersey , an NFL record. That streak is now over. Perhaps most distressing, the Jets said they had a read on Stafford’s signals. “We were calling out their plays as he was getting up to the line,” Lee said. NO BALANCE Detroit did a lot to try to shore up the running game this offseason, drafting Kerryon Johnson and adding LeGarrette Blount. It was enough of an overhaul that Ameer Abdullah was inactive for the opener. The Lions ended up with 39 yards on 15 carries. Blount ran four times for minus-3 yards. Not a good sign. “I know it sounds crazy, but we’re a lot better football team than we showed,” tackle Taylor Decker said. “I think we all know that and we’re all secure and comfortable with that. We’ll get better moving forward.” X-FACTOR? Maybe it was just poor coverage by Detroit, but Roberts also had a 43-yard punt return in the first quarter in addition to his touchdown. EXPECTATIONS One victory doesn’t make the Jets a Super Bowl team, but the lopsided nature of this one is hard to ignore, and now New York has winnable games the next two weeks against Miami and at Cleveland. Detroit is at San Francisco next weekend. Authentic Womens Cassius Marsh Jersey
  13. President Trump has railed against NFL players who took a knee during the playing of the national anthem as unpatriotic over the last two years while ignoring the stated reasons for the protests but that changed a bit on Friday. Those reasons center on inequality in the treatment of minorities by law enforcement in the United States and the President said during a press gathering ahead of his trip to the G-7 meeting that players have “seen a lot of abuse Shaun Alexander Jersey , they’ve seen a lot of unfairness” during their lives. He also invited players to make known people they think have been treated unfairly and promised to look into those cases. “I’m going to ask all of those people to recommend to me — because that’s what they’re protesting — people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system. And I understand that. I’m going to ask them to recommend to me people that were unfairly treated and I’m gonna take a look at those applications and if I find and my committee finds that they’ve been unfairly treated than we’ll pardon them. Or at least let them out.” There’s no way to pardon or let out people who are dead after run-ins with law enforcement, of course. Those deaths and the response to those deaths by law enforcement agencies and the justice system are a major part of what spurred the protests in the first place and were not addressed by the President on Friday. The Kansas City Chiefs headed into training camp in late July content with a pair of veterans in Daniel Sorensen and Eric Berry as their starting safeties. Now, there's a good chance neither will start in their season opener Sunday. Sorensen broke a bone in his lower leg during training camp and had surgery about a month ago, and is starting the season on injured reserve. Berry has been dealing with a heel injury that not only kept him out most of training camp but sidelined him during practice on Wednesday. The exact nature of his injury hasn't been disclosed, but Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder put a positive spin on it Wednesday by saying the five-time Pro Bowl selection is "getting better every day." "We'll see if he can practice and we'll just go from there," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "I want to see what he's got, if and when he does that. But then I'll make the decision, what I see there." Berry may be the only player on the entire Chiefs roster who could conceivably play without having practiced in a month. But even for him, Reid conceded Latavius Murray Jersey , that would be asking a bit much, especially with the season opener coming on the road against Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers. "If he doesn't practice today, which he's not, we go with the next man up and they roll. That's how we go," Reid said. "We're used to that here, just philosophically, at all positions." So instead of having a pair of veteran starters in Sorensen and Berry, the Chiefs are poised to start Ron Parker 鈥?who was cut by the Falcons last week and re-signed with Kansas City over the weekend 鈥?and either Eric Murray or fourth-round draft pick Armani Watts. Parker spent the past four seasons with the Chiefs before signing with Atlanta as a free agent, so he's at least familiar with defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's scheme. But he admitted it's a challenge to get up to speed in such a compressed timeframe for a division rival. "I'm just preparing myself like I do any other time. Whatever the coaches ask Robbie Gould Jersey , whatever they need," he said. "I feel like especially being in Bob's system and knowing what's going on, that's going to maximize my abilities. That's the good thing coming back to Kansas City." Parker played well his first three seasons with the Chiefs but appeared to take a step back last year, and that's part of why he was released. He said a high ankle injury sustained in training camp played a part in that, and that he's glad to begin a season healthy again. He just hopes it will be with Berry by his side. "I've been playing with Eric," Parker said, "so I can just look over there and I don't have to say a thing. We know what each other is doing. With the other guys, we have to communicate with each other, of course. But everything is coming together." Murray has appeared in 30 games over his first two seasons Blake Martinez Jersey , starting twice, so he at least lends a bit of experience to the defensive backfield. Watts showed flashes in the preseason 鈥?he picked off two passes in the finale against Green Bay 鈥?but hasn't been in the regular-season fire. It speaks volumes that Parker, who just rejoined the team, already has been peppered with questions by the rest of the young guys in the defensive backs room. "It's difficult," he said, "but the trust those guys have in me, and the trust I have in those guys, everything will take care of itself. We'll handle our business." NOTES: WR Byron Pringle, who hurt his hamstring in the Chiefs' preseason finale and was put on IR Deadrin Senat Jersey , had an MRI exam that also revealed a hernia. Burkholder said the rookie underwent surgery Tuesday. "He has an extended recovery ahead of him, and in the meantime the hamstring will heal," Burkholder said. ... Burkholder said Sorensen continues to do rehab work in the pool, but it will be a couple more weeks before the Chiefs have a timetable for his return. "He's where he's supposed to be right now," Burkholder said. Womens Fred Warner Jersey
  14. Julius Peppers isn't done playing football just yet. The 38-year-old free agent re-signed with the Panthers on Wednesday James White Jersey , agreeing to a one-year contract. The deal is for $5 million, with $2.5 million guaranteed, a person familiar with the situation said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team does not release financial terms of contracts. "I am fired up to have him back," Panthers coach Ron Rivera told The Associated Press. "It was amazing to have him as part of what we are trying to build and I think he can help us get to the next level." The Panthers also officially announced acquisition of Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith in exchange for cornerback Daryl Worley, which was reported last week . Peppers had contemplated retirement after the Panthers went 11-5 last season and made the playoffs as a wild card team. Earlier this year Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis and center Ryan Kalil both said this will be their last season. Peppers could also be another player making a farewell tour in 2018. Peppers is entering his 17th NFL season, including his 10th with the Panthers. A nine-time Pro bowl selection, he returned to Carolina last season and had a productive season with 11 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Peppers helps provide some depth at defensive end after starter Charles Johnson was released earlier this offseason. Peppers' 154 陆 sacks are the fourth-most in NFL history. He needs six sacks to pass Kevin Greene and move into third place on the NFL's all-time list. The North Carolina native was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Panthers following a successful college career with the North Carolina Tar Heels. He played his first eight seasons in Carolina before joining the Chicago Bears in 2010. He played four years there and three more for the Green Bay Packers before returning to Carolina last year. Peppers has played in 250 career games, tied for seventh-most of any defensive player in NFL history and has played in 160 straight games, the second-longest of any defensive player. He was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Peppers leads all active players with 20 career fumble recoveries and ranks second in forced fumbles (49) in the NFL since 2002. His 11 career interceptions rank second all-time for defensive ends. Smith brings needed speed to the team's wide receiver position. He said in a conference call Wednesday that he's thrilled to join the Panthers and have a chance to play with quarterback Cam Newton, whom he has worked out with in the past. "The Eagles were very open about the trade Mike Daniels Jersey , so I wasn't blindsided," said Smith, who had 36 catches for 430 yards and two touchdowns while starting 14 games last year for the Super Bowl champions. "But this is one of the places I wanted to be and I'm happy that it played out that way." Smith played one season with former Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith in Baltimore and said he's like a "legit big brother I can talk to about anything." The Panthers lost unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Star Lotulelei to Buffalo on Wednesday after he signed a five-year deal with the Bills. __ With the playoffs just days away, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue typically would have his lineup rotations set by now. Nothing has been typical about this season for the Cavs. Lue said Thursday that he plans to use a 10-player rotation for Cleveland’s opening-round series against the Indiana Pacers, but that things could change depending on injuries, matchups and performances. ”I will play 10,” Lue said after the Cavaliers watched film on the Pacers, who went 3-1 against Cleveland this season. ”We’ll just see how it looks and if one guy is not great this round, then it might be nine.” Lue and his staff have been juggling lineups and using different combinations on the floor for months, forced to adjust and re-adjust, first because of injuries and then by a slew of trades that transformed the team. Lue refused to name his full starting lineup for Sunday’s Game 1. He revealed previously that four of them will be LeBron James Mitch Morse Jersey , Kevin Love, Jeff Green and George Hill. The other spot could go to veteran shooter Kyle Korver, who has been slowed by a foot injury and whose status remains uncertain. ”He’s getting better,” Lue said of Korver, who also missed time recently following his brother’s death. ”I’m not sure if he’s 100 percent yet, but he’s getting better and that’s all you can ask for.” If Korver isn’t ready, Rodney Hood, one of four players acquired at the trade deadline, will likely start. He’s been slowed by a sore left Achilles, but Lue said Hood’s ”ready to go.” As for Cleveland’s reserves, Jordan Clarkson Dave Casper Jersey , J.R. Smith and Jose Calderon are in the rotational mix, with forwards Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance Jr. being used depending on whom Indiana has on the floor. One of the holdovers from Cleveland’s past three Finals teams, Thompson played extended minutes in the second half of Wednesday’s loss to New York while Nance rested, a sign that Lue might be leaning toward him playing more. Thompson was excused from Thursday’s practice because of the birth of his daughter. Lue trusts all his players. He’s had no choice following a turbulent regular season in which he didn’t always know who would be available until moments before tipoff. But Lue has depth and intends to use it. Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley’s philosophy in the playoffs was: ”You rotate eight players. You play seven. You use six and you trust five.” Not Lue. Not this year. ”You usually go nine,” he said. ”I think we’ve been nine in the past, but I think it’s going to be important to go 10 for us because I like Clarkson being on the floor with a point guard, so that makes us play 10.” Hill, who has plenty of playoff experience with San Antonio, Indiana and Utah, said Cleveland’s versatility may give the Cavs an advantage. ”I’ve been on a team that played a 10-man rotation in the playoffs, but I haven’t been on a team this deep Kevin King Jersey , so I think we’ll have a lot of great guys that we can throw out there on the court with big lineups, small lineups,” he said. ”I think we can play any type of style.” For Hill, the matchup against the Pacers represents a homecoming, as he played for IUPUI and spent five years with the Pacers. It’s also a chance to win a championship with James, a former playoff nemesis. Hill played on those Pacers teams that were eliminated in three straight postseasons by James and the Miami Heat. That can’t happen this time. ”The good thing is we got the best player in the world playing for us,” Hill said. ”So I’m very excited about that. I don’t got to get put out by him this year, which I did a lot in my career. So, I’m happy to be on the other side.” — Authentic Womens Braden Smith Jersey
  15. 6. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-12) LAST SEASON: Andrew Luck missed entire season after having surgery for partially torn labrum. Without Luck Rashaan Melvin Jersey , Colts struggled. Jacoby Brissett showed promise after being acquired in cutdown weekend trade. Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton struggled, at times, usually because of no viable supportive deep threat. TE Jack Doyle had breakout season and made first Pro Bowl. Defense improved throughout season but Indy couldn't hold leads, couldn't close out games, couldn't generate consistent pass rush. Missed postseason for third straight year, finished with first losing record since 2011 and coach Chuck Pagano was fired hours after season finale. Eventually, Frank Reich took over for Pagano after winning Super Bowl ring with Philadelphia. THEY NEED: DE Darian Thompson Jersey , OL, LB, CB, WR, RB. THEY DON'T NEED: QB, TE, K. POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: DE Bradley Chubb Kalen Ballage Jersey , North Carolina State; RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State; G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame; CB/S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama; LB Roquan Smith, Georgia; LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech. OUTLOOK: GM Chris Ballard wants to build through draft and has been looking to acquire extra picks to speed up process. Already pulled off deal with Jets, picking up two seconds this year and another next year. And he may not be done. If one of top QBs is still available at No. 6 and QB-needy team is willing to pay right price Melvin Ingram Jersey , Ballard says he could trade down again. If not, Colts are content staying at No. 6 and filling any number of needs. Chubb is considered best pass rusher in class and could help Colts move up from No. 31 ranking in sacks. Barkley is special and would replace recently departed Frank Gore. Nelson would help solidify interior offensive line and should help keep healthy Luck upright, if QB plays. Fitzpatrick could play anywhere in secondary that has lost both opening-day starters from 2017. Smith and Edmunds have made visits to team headquarters and would provide help in young, thin linebacking corps. Richie Incognito tells The Associated Press he's back home training in Arizona and feeling great, two weeks after the former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman spent three days in a mental hospital following an alleged outburst at a south Florida gym. Without discussing the outburst, Incognito wrote in a text to The AP on Wednesday that he is still pursuing continuing his NFL career for a 12th season. He focused a majority of his message thanking friends and fans for their support, and specifically singled out former teammate Phil McConkey Jersey , center Eric Wood. Incognito referred to Wood as a pillar of the community and added: "When I would have a dark day, he was a bright shining light that helped me through. I owe him a lot." Incognito also thanked the Bills and team owners Terry and Kim Pegula for providing him an opportunity to resurrect his career. The Bills signed Incognito in January 2015 after he spent 18 months out of football following his role in the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal. He referred to his three seasons in Buffalo as being some of his fondest memories. Incognito then closed his message by saying he hopes to sign with another team so that he can come back to Buffalo to beat the Bills, before adding a smiling face emoji wearing sunglasses. The 34-year-old Incognito has had a tumultuous offseason. Two weeks ago, police placed Incognito in a mental hospital after he allegedly threw weights and tennis balls at gym employees and another patron, and told officers the government is spying on him. In April, Incognito abruptly fired his agent and then retired by posting a note on Twitter before having a change of heart. The Bills granted his request to be released to potentially sign with another team on May 21. Authentic Womens Nate Solder Jersey