The MMQB’s Albert Breer described the pending contract between Clowney and the Texans as a “mega-extension.”

“[I like his] height, weight, [and] speed,” Gaine said of Clowney, not Albert Breer. “The production, the performance, the pass-rush ability. The guy’s a disruptive player. He plays the run well. So we’re doing our best to fortify our nucleus of players, and we’d like him to be a part of it.”

Second base
Cesar Hernandez (B), 31 percent, Philadelphia Phillies at Tampa Bay Rays: This is a bullpen game for the Rays in which they’ll trot out several relievers, as they’ve been doing and plan on doing every fifth game. In such instances, deploying a switch-hitter — especially one batting leadoff — is a strong tactical ploy. That said, the Phillies have a few moving parts in the infield, so make sure Hernandez is in the lineup.

Third base
Colin Moran (L), 25 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at Miami Marlins (RHP Jose Urena): Moran has been in a strict platoon, posting a .890 OPS facing right-handers. With a 13 percent walk rate and 15 percent contact rate, he’s in good shape against a pitcher who usually allows plenty of baserunners.

Another suspension: Carolina Panthers tight end Kent Taylor also was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 regular season for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substances policy. Taylor, who saw time on Carolina’s practice squad last season, is eligible to return to the Panthers’ active roster on Oct. 8 following the team’s Oct. 7 game against the New York Giants.

April 20 means different things to different people. Some people enjoy smoking marijuana, and to those folks, 4/20 is a celebration of that pastime. For NFL players, April 20 marks the day when the NFL opens drug testing for the new league year.

The league is strict about the testing protocols, even in the offseason. Once a player receives notice that they have to submit to a drug test, they have four hours to comply. This timetable isn’t flexible, even if a player is on vacation outside of the United States.

There are specific standards for each part of the process. If a sample is diluted, it’s treated the same as a positive test. If a player misses a drug test, the league views it the same way as testing positive. steelers_102

Lamar Jackson prefers game speed to the 40-yard dash

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson chose not to run the 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine or his Pro Day workout. After throwing nearly 60 passes for scouting on Thursday, he explained why he chose not to run.

“Game speed is going to tell it all,” Jackson told Mike Mayock of NFL Network. “You’ve go to catch me first.”

The venerable Packers wide receiver is the most notable, shocking cut so far, trumping the Dolphins’ decision to part ways with Ndamukong Suh. Rodgers moves on with recently extended Davante Adams and Graham as his go-to guys, but it’s sad to see Nelson leave.

Rodgers should be looking at all these QB contracts, led by those of Garoppolo and Cousins, and knowing he’ll get his relative discount contract double-checked again by the Packers. Martin, the best guard in the league, becomes a free agent in 2019. After what Norwell got, Martin should already hear all that cha-chinging coming out of Jerry Jones’ cash register.

It’s not clear yet whether Buck and Aikman will accept that offer. They’ll obviously want more money for more work, and they might object to the schedule. Buck, in particular, already has a busy schedule in the fall because he handles baseball postseason games for FOX. The network might need to give the pair some Sundays off to avoid burning them out.

FOX made a major five-year investment in Thursday nights and wants to find the right broadcast team. Other potential analysts whose names have surfaced include the recently retired Joe Thomas and Carson Palmer.

But, in an 82-games-in-176-days approach, there is only so much that any team can do to stay fresh.

“The demands of the schedule are insane,” Malone said, but he prefaced that remark by noting that when the NBA releases its regular-season schedule in August, every NBA head coach can spot something to grumble about.flames_014

Michael Jordan not looking to trade Kemba Walker, but ‘would listen to opportunities’

Michael Jordan isn’t prepared to let Kemba Walker go without some incentive.

In an exclusive interview with the Charlotte Observer on Monday, the Hornets owner made it clear he isn’t looking to trade his point guard but could be open to a deal that included an All-Star player in return.

“We bred him, we chose him, we groomed him to be a good player for us,” Jordan said. “I’m not looking to trade Kemba, but I would listen to opportunities.”

When he gets the ball off a Stotts play call and a Lillard pass, Blazers basketball can be beautiful.

But when they’re on the floor together as the primary guard pair, the results haven’t been all that spectacular. In the 1,046 minutes Lillard and McCollum have played together, the team’s offensive rating is 106.8. That’s solid, but only slightly higher than the overall team total (105.0).

With the caveat that two-man ratings don’t tell the whole story, it’s worth looking into their teammates, and which ones help get them going.

Love played only three minutes in Saturday’s loss to OKC, missing both his shots. He is averaging 18.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game this season.

The Cavs have fallen to third place in the Eastern Conference, six games behind the Celtics and have reportedly been interested in making a trade before next month’s deadline.

Sidney Crosby’s continued dominance of the Flyers helped the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins move back into first place.

Conor Sheary scored two goals, Crosby had three assists and Pittsburgh surged into the top spot in the Metropolitan Division with a 5-2 victory over the Flyers on Wednesday night.

Phil Kessel, Jamie Oleksiak and Evgeni Malkin also scored for the Penguins, who have won three straight. Pittsburgh (39-25-4, 82 points) moved one point ahead of idle Washington and three in front of third-place Philadelphia.giants_255

With the Super Bowl complete, the 2018 NFL Draft order is finally set.

We’ve already seen one major quarterback move this year, with the Redskins opting to trade for Alex Smith instead of paying Kirk Cousins. It looks as though the 2018 NFL offseason will be one of the most intriguing in recent memory, especially regarding quarterbacks.

The 2018 NFL Draft will see teams fighting to move up the board for new franchise passers. In this mock draft, two teams trade into the top 10, and a host of offensive linemen are drafted in Round 1.

Said Romeo Crennel of Belichick: “He halfway liked that people were calling him ‘Doom.’ That way he didn’t have to be nice to anybody.”

“I kept waiting for somebody to say that he was too intoxicated to get on the plane or that he had a stolen item,” fellow traveler Marcus Certa told the Star Tribune. “The TSA and the feds are more concerned how much pot you have, not that you have a seat stolen from a stadium.”

A Vikings fan in attendance said he saw Eagles fans breaking seats following Philadelphia’s victory.

“I heard a few cracks and turned around to see Eagles fans with beer in their bellies and smiles on their faces snapping off a seat back,” Zak Fick told the Star Tribune. “They kicked a hole in a seat and busted the whole thing off. Three seats right there in 307.

Wentz has said he expects to be back for the start of the regular season, but that will be a challenge. And even before Wentz got hurt, there were concerns about his fearless, physical and athletic style of play — as dazzling as it was at times — putting him in the way of unnecessary harm.

Foles, a former high school basketball superstar, showed off his own athleticism with his nifty TD reception in the Super Bowl. But the reason the Eagles got such terrific play from him in the playoffs was Foles playing within himself, within the offense, often within the pocket, thanks to an extra week to prepare.
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Jones had “mini-open repair” surgery performed by Dr. Robert Anderson to repair the Achilles

Coach Doug Pederson acknowledged that Jones not being exposed to the physicality of the sport in a long time “is a little bit of a concern” but said he is doing well healthwise.

Jones had “mini-open repair” surgery performed by Dr. Robert Anderson to repair the Achilles — a less-invasive procedure that has netted good return rates for NFL players since it was introduced in 2012. The average time of return to play from the mini-open is about nine months, which is about how far out from surgery Jones is now. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs came back from the procedure in just over five months and posted double-digit sacks in each of his next two seasons.

“We’re seeing guys come back at a higher rate and equaling performance at a much more consistent pattern than what, at least historically, has been talked about and kind of been the black cloud around this injury in the past,” said Dr. Kirk McCullough, who, along with Anderson, released a study in 2014 on the results of their mini-open repairs on NFL athletes.

An outside cornerback group led by Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby has held its own this season in Jones’ absence but has had some letdowns over the past few weeks.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta alum, 48, is sprinkling her fabulosity onto her new HSN collection inspired by Trolls, the animated DreamWorks film out November 4.Are we doing our game a disservice by shrinking it down to a Strat-O-Matic six, seven pitchers to get through a game when we already know we’re trying to speed up the Cheap Hockey Jerseys game?always knew he wanted to be involved with sports some capacity.Miami Former All-American defensive end Calais Campbell’s sub par 2007 became even more frustrating, as leveled the defender eight times, producing two touchdown-resulting blocks over his opponent.1 seed coming .This year, through 78 , he’s at .331 .491 and rising.Then watch that highlight again.
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Shurmur got a raw deal with his first opportunity because it came in Cleveland.

If the Giants choose to keep Steve Spagnuolo as their defensive coordinator, he and Shurmur worked together with the Rams before. Shurmur also has appeal in helping develop Manning’s successor.

The Saints’ first win (of eight straight, before last week’s loss to the Rams) was against the Panthers in Week 3. That was also the first loss for the Panthers. It took the Panthers longer than it should have to shake the Jets last week, and they had real problems stopping Robby Anderson. That would seem to be a problem against the Saints, but maybe not these Saints, because their offense now keys off Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. That offense against the Panthers defense will be a show in itself … and that makes none other than Cam Newton the X-factor.

No freshman finished with more TFL than Schooler (13.5), who also finished 13th in the Pac-12 in tackles (88), picked off two passes, racked up four sacks and forced a fumble, emerging as one of the league’s top all-around linebackers.

If Schooler was the rising star on Arizona’s defense, Fields wasn’t far behind. He led the team with 91 tackles, had four sacks and an interception. Fields and Schooler’s 179 tackles were tops among freshman teammates in the nation.

There couldn’t have been a better stretch for the 49ers to start the Jimmy Garoppolo era — the Bears and, now, the Texans. Garoppolo engineered a win without a touchdown in Chicago last week, and that’s possible in Houston, too. Of all quarterbacks who have started at least half their teams’ games, the only ones with lower passer ratings than Tom Savage (71.8) are Brett Hundley and DeShone Kizer. This is for Garoppolo-watchers only.eagles_033_354e8896957f8b77-180x180

The Arizona Coyotes finally have a homestand — and some momentum, too.

The team with the NHL’s worst record will now learn if it is capable of winning at home after figuring out — even if it took a quarter of the season to do so — how to win on the road.

The Cowboys have taken massive gut punches with no Ezekiel Elliott, no Tyron Smith and no Sean Lee. This isn’t too much about Dak Prescott, and this has nothing to do with Jerry Jones. The offense and defense haven’t been this lost together for a while.

The Chiefs are still huge favorites to win the AFC West, with the Football Power Index giving them a 90.7 percent chance of winning the division for the second consecutive time.

Oakland goes three-and-out after its first drive ate up almost eight minutes of game action.

Miami picks up two first downs but can’t move the chains again. The Dolphins punt it away to Oakland, which will start its drive near its own 15.

Field goal, Raiders. Derek Carr completes three passes for 59 yards to Jared Cook, moving Oakland into the red zone. The drive stalls after short gains on first and second down and an incomplete pass on third down. Giorgio Tavecchio enters and kicks a 36 yard field goal to give the Raiders an early 3-0 lead.

Donald Payne, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Payne exited the game in the first quarter and was declared questionable to return with a hamstring injury.

Derron Smith, S, Cleveland Browns: Smith sustained a knee injury in the first quarter against the Jaguars and was designated as questionable to return.rays_510

Players, famous fans ready for Game 7 of World Series

It was no slugfest like Sunday’s Game 5, but Tuesday’s Game 6 delivered on excitement. The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Houston Astros 3-1 to send the World Series to a Game 7 to take place Wednesday in Los Angeles.”

Some Texans players considered staging a walkout Friday due to McNair’s comment, a source told ESPN’s Sarah Barshop. Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ absence from practice was directly related to McNair’s comment. Running back D’Onta Foreman also did not practice over the comment, sources told Barshop.

The Bills really have just one “gimme” game left, at home against the Colts in Week 14. They still need to play the Patriots and Dolphins twice, and they go to the Jets on Thursday. They also draw two more division leaders in the Saints and Chiefs. Their other game is a trip to LA to face former offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn’s Chargers.

Kansas City has the fewest giveaways entering its Monday night game against Denver, and New England and New Orleans were tied for third-fewest going into Week 8. Los Angeles has done a pretty good of job protecting the ball, too.

He called out goalie Matt Murray, wondering whether the wiry 23-year-old had “good reflexes from day one.” He referred to the Penguins—who brought 19 players from last year’s team, seven of whom were born in the United States, all of whom are white—as “true champions and incredible patriots.” Then he praised their handsomeness. “In fact, I actually don’t like standing in front of them,” Trump said. “We always like unattractive teams, right?” (The crowd laughed.)ducks-092

Casey said he has been in touch with European captain Thomas Bjorn.

Casey has said he was not bitter about being left off the 2010 Ryder Cup team when he was No. 9 in the world, rather that his priority was to his family in Arizona, and playing two tours meant too much time on the road. Being entrenched in the top 50 and changes to the minimum events required for European Tour membership make it easier. What persuaded Casey was a long conversation with his wife, Pollyanna, who didn’t want him to look back in five years and wish he had rejoined the European Tour.

Along with talking with his wife, Casey said he has been in touch with European captain Thomas Bjorn.

“Thomas has been a massive support,” Casey said. “He’s assisted in me making the decision with his confidence and his backing of me and my game. But also hasn’t sort of crowded me, hasn’t pressured me in any way. He’s just been there as an ear, which has been wonderful.”

“That is how I was brought up,” Ball said Monday after practice. “I am not going to change. … It is a team game; we all play for each other, obviously we win and lose as a team. But I like to take the blame when we lose.”

“It’s just what my dad taught me,” he added. “When I started at 6, he has been coaching me the same way my whole life.”

Ball said it’s also a trait he sees in his favorite player, who will often be quick to take responsibility.

New York beat Cleveland for the first time since Oct. 30, 2014 — James’ first game back with the Cavaliers after playing four seasons in Miami — a span that covered 10 games.
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Colts vs. Titans odds 2017: Indianapolis over a touchdown underdog for Monday Night Football

But one guy saw all of this transpire and thought only of how he could make a big dig at one of his favorite targets. What, he wondered, does this mean for LeBron James?

Skip Bayless, who is highly paid to blab for the poorly rated Fox Sports Undisputed show, tweeted: If Gordon Hayward is gone, maybe for the season, LeBron’s path to losing a sixth finals gets even easier.

Jimmy Graham has managed only one touchdown this season, but his 2.9 OTD suggests a turnaround is on the way. Graham has registered six end zone targets in five games, which is tied for fifth in the NFL. Graham’s playing time has been similar to in 2016, and his target share has jumped from 18 percent to 20 percent. Graham is a solid, high-floor TE1 and a potential buy-low target this week.

According to Nielsen data cited by ESPN.com, an average of 15 million people have watched NFL games this season, down about 7.5 percent from the 16.2 million average through Week 6 last year.

If Gordon Hayward is gone, maybe for the season, LeBron’s path to losing a sixth finals gets even easier.

That policy states that the players should stand for the anthem, and some have suggested the league would seek to change that to must stand. Goodell said in a memo to teams last week that the NFL prefers for players to stand during The Star-Spangled Banner.

The commissioner on Tuesday called the discussion with the players very productive and important and said it reflected our commitment to work together on issues of social justice.sabres_012