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Posted: 10/6/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Jets cornerback Rashard Robinson has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Robinson was arrested and charged with drug possession and carelessly driving in Morris County Womens Jared Goff Jersey , New Jersey, last December. Police accused Robinson of having marijuana-laced candy in his car, which they said smelled like marijuana.

The NFL announced the suspension Wednesday, a day before Jets veteran players are due to report for training camp.

Robinson will be eligible to participate in preseason practices and games. He can return to the team on Oct. 1.

The former LSU star was acquired from San Francisco last October for a fifth-round pick. He had just two tackles in limited action with New York, but made one start against Kansas City on Dec. 3.

AP NFL website:

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — After nine seasons without competition in the broadcast booth, Jon Gruden needed only a few plays of the exhibition season to get his old sideline persona back.

A holding call that wiped out a touchdown brought out the temper that earned Gruden a nickname from the slasher movie “Child’s Play” during his first stint as coach in Oakland.

“Chucky came out for a brief moment right there Jason Zucker Jersey ,” Gruden said.

It was a moment Raiders fans had been waiting for ever since Gruden was traded to Tampa Bay following the 2001 season. Oakland lost the Super Bowl to Gruden and the Buccaneers the following year and managed just one more winning record since.

The good will might have ended when the Raiders traded their best player before the start of the season, dealing elite pass rusher Khalil Mack to Chicago for a package that includes two first-round picks.

Owner Mark Davis had been recruiting Gruden since he took over the franchise following the death of his father, Al, in 2011, and finally got his man this past offseason with a $100 million, 10-year contract to replace Jack Del Rio following a 6-10 season.

“It’s an honor to be back here and it’s a great story, but I also just want to do everything I can to try to help this team win again Authentic Marcus Mariota Jersey ,” Gruden said. “I love the Raider fans, I love Oakland, and that’s the primary reason why I’m standing here.”

The love is mutual, as evidenced by the hundreds of fans who showed up at a preseason party hosted by Gruden at a local sports bar, and the excited crowds at the exhibition games.

But for all the nostalgia and Gruden’s talk of bringing the game back to 1998 when Al Davis first hired him as a head coach, Gruden will need to show his style has adapted since he last coached in Tampa Bay in 2008.

He has won over his players with his passion, knowledge and attention to detail Joonas Donskoi Jersey , but none of that will matter without results on the field.

“What you see is what you get. Rah-rah guy,” edge rusher Bruce Irvin said. “I’ve never seen a person’s face stay red for seven periods at practice. The whole practice he is just red. He’s a great motivator.”

Here are some other things to watch:

MISSING MACK: Mack held out for the entire offseason and training camp while seeking a long-term contract that came after he was traded to the Bears. His absence leaves a big void. He won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2016 and leads the NFL in QB pressures with 185 1-2 since entering the league, according to SportRadar. Oakland’s defense struggled the past few years even with Mack on the field. Gruden and new coordinator Paul Guenther will now need rookie Arden Key and veteran Bruce Irvin to make up for the loss.

DRIVE THE CARR: QB Derek Carr went from MVP candidate during a 12-win 2016 campaign to a struggling young passer a year ago as he dealt with an early-season back injury and suspect play from his receivers. Much has been made of how Carr will mesh with Gruden’s hard-driving personality, but the early signs are the two are hitting it off. Whether that leads to improved play remains to be seen. Carr will likely take more snaps under center in Gruden’s offense than he has in the past, but also will have more freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage.

“He has a photographic memory. It comes so easy to him,” Gruden said. “He’s got the offense mastered more than I do, that’s for sure.”

INSIDE PUSH: The Raiders struggled to generate consistent pass pressure the past few seasons even with Mack and Irvin on the outside because of a lack of an inside rush. That’s why Oakland used two draft picks to upgrade that spot by selecting P.J. Hall in the second round and Maurice Hurst in the fifth. Hurst had been projected as a first-round pick before being sent home from the combine with a heart issue that the Raiders say is not a concern. Hall and Hurst have shined in the preseason and figure to provide a big boost to the defense.

POUND THE ROCK: Gruden has stressed a power-running game since getting hired in January and has the pieces in place to make it work. Oakland has a stout interior of the offensive line with center Rodney Hudson and guards Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson. Marshawn Lynch played well in the second half of last season after coming out of retirement and looks even faster this year. Blocking tight end Lee Smith and fullback Keith Smith provide more support. Gruden hopes Doug Martin can regain the form that helped him run for more than 1 Daniel Winnik Jersey ,400 yards in 2012 and ’15.

COVER IT UP: The Raiders have been rotating through cornerbacks ever since Reggie McKenzie became GM in 2012. They hoped they solidified one of those spots last year when they drafted Gareon Conley in the first round, but he played only two games because of injuries. Conley looks healthy now and could be part of the most talented group of cornerbacks Oakland has had in years with free agents Rashaan Melvin, Leon Hall and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie also in the mix.

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VANCOUVER Youth Ben Roethlisberger Jersey , British Columbia (AP) The Vancouver Canucks have signed forward Jake Virtanen to a two-year deal with an average annual value of $1.25 million.

The 21-year-old had 10 goals and 10 assists in 75 games for the Canucks in 2017-18, setting career highs in games played, goals, assists, points and penalty minutes. His 155 hits led all Canucks forwards, while his 46 penalty minutes ranked fourth on the team.

In 140 games over three seasons with the Canucks, the 6-foot-1, 229-pound right wing has 34 points (17 goals, 17 assists) and 93 penalty minutes.

Virtanen was selected by Vancouver in the first round Justin Faulk Jersey , sixth overall, at the 2014 draft.

”We’re pleased to sign Jake to an extension,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in a statement. ”He adds physical presence and speed to our lineup and can help create offensive chances when going hard to the net. We look forward to seeing Jake take the next step in his game and consistently contribute to the team’s success.”

 

TORONTO — The Winnipeg Jets will have something to prove to themselves when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre.

The Jets know they cannot afford to continue to play the way they did in losing 6-2 to the Blackhawks in Chicago on Thursday to end a season-best six-game winning streak.

“We just weren’t prepared,” Winnipeg right winger Blake Wheeler said. “We came in and had a pretty bad morning skate. We just weren’t prepared to play the game. We were just really slow.”

The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, will be coming into the game after a 5-4 victory over the New York Islanders in Brooklyn on Friday night. It was the 17th time they have scored at least five goals in a game.

The Maple Leafs will have Leo Komarov, who has been out with a left leg injury, back in the lineup on Saturday. He was ready to return Friday, but Toronto decided to give him another day rather than have him play in back-to-back games.

The Jets (47-20-10) and the Maple Leafs (47-24-7) have both clinched playoff spots.

Winnipeg hopes to use the game against the Blackhawks as a warning.

“It’s definitely humbling Sven Andrighetto Jersey ,” said Jets right winger Bryan Little, who scored his 200th career goal Thursday. “You realize that when we don’t play our game, and we’re not ready to play, a game like that can happen. It’s a little bit of a wake-up call.”

“There wouldn’t be a piece of the game that was at the level that we’ve played at, or at the level you need to play at to win in the NHL,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “I don’t think it’s any one thing. The elemental part of our game is to play at a certain rate, a certain pace. We were well off that (Thursday).”

There could be another aspect to the game Saturday that will give the Jets incentive. The Maple Leafs defeated the Jets 7-2 in Winnipeg in October in the first game of the season.

By defeating the Islanders, the Maple Leafs reached 101 points for the season.

“I think that’s real important,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. “I always say J.T. Miller Jersey , I’ve had a lot of 100-point years over the years, and I think it’s a real indication of a good hockey club. It’s hard to get 100 points, you’ve got to be a good team to do it.

“I’m excited for our guys that have worked hard to get good enough that they can do that. Like I said, we’ve got four more opportunities to get better and get ready.”

Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist Friday.

“A good two points for us,” Matthews said. “Obviously, they’re a high-offensive team. They’ve got a lot of skill and firepower as far as that goes so you’ve got to find a way to contain them and obviously we’ve got some guys who can put the puck in the net as well. Probably not a fun game for the coaches, but probably a bit more fun for the players.”

Matthews has scored at least one point in each of the five games he has played since returning from a shoulder injury.

“He’s not as good as he’s been and he’s going to be better,” Babcock said. “I thought tonight was another step. I thought his first game and this game — it takes you a while to get your game back. He’s going to get a real test (Saturday), which is real positive for him. Back-to-back games Kyle Turris Jersey , a good grind, good for his conditioning. He’ll just keep getting better.”

As important as Matthews is to the Maple Leafs, he said the depth of the team is important.

“I think that’s one of the key things for this team is that we’ve got a lot of depth,” Matthews said. “A lot of guys who are skilled, can make plays and put the puck in the net so it definitely makes it tough in terms of matching up for the opposing team. Like you said, we’ve got three different guys (with 30 goals) on three different lines so it definitely helps.”

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Posted: 10/6/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch watched his team load the bases in front of hot-hitting Evan Gattis Michael Frolik Jersey , and all he wanted was the big designated hitter to send a drive to the outfield and keep the line moving.

Hinch had to settle for one that cleared the fence.

Cleared the bases, too.

Gattis crushed a go-ahead grand slam in the sixth inning Friday night, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa also went deep, and the Astros rolled past the Kansas City Royals 7-3 for their ninth straight win.

”We’re shaking hands after a lot of his at-bats,” Hinch said of Gattis, who has five homers in the first eight games of the Astros’ road trip. ”When guys are hot, there’s a ton of energy and a ton of fun.”

Charlie Morton (8-1) overcame another bout of wildness http://www.officialhockeyjetsshop.com/authentic-adidas-jacob-trouba-jersey , at one point walking three straight batters, to last six innings for Houston. He allowed four hits and four walks while striking out nine.

Brad Peacock, Tony Sipp and Collin McHugh each contributed a scoreless inning in relief to wrap up the Astros’ latest win. All but one during their streak has come away from Minute Maid Park.

”I think our guys are just methodically going through their days,” Hinch said. ”This is a long road trip and it’s a lot more fun when you’re winning.”

The Royals, meanwhile, have lost four straight and 10 of 11.

Jakob Junis (5-7) served up all three Houston homers, getting tagged for six runs on seven hits and a walk. It was his fourth straight loss Authentic Harrison Smith Jersey , his last win coming against the New York Yankees on May 18.

”We were putting some really good swings on it. We were hitting some balls hard,” Morton said with a grin. ”Really, I was just waiting for the dam to break.”

The Royals gave Junis some support early, jumping ahead 2-0 in the third on a two-out double by Mike Moustakas. It was a buoying at-bat considering the meek-hitting Kansas City lineup managed a single run in getting swept by Cincinnati during a two-game set this week.

It appeared the lead might stand, too, the way Junis breezed through the first three innings.

Bregman changed all that with his ninth homer of the season, a shot that just skirted the left-field foul pole. Correa added his 455-foot home run two batters later to tie the game.

Morton’s wildness allowed the Royals to regain the lead in the fifth Authentic Carl Gunnarsson Jersey , but Junis coughed it back up in the sixth. He gave up three straight one-out singles to load the bases for Gattis, whose soaring, 405-foot grand slam was the second of his career and third by the Astros this season.

It was also the second slam permitted by the Royals in their last two games.

”I was hoping we would get either a flyout or a mishit. I didn’t think I left it right over the plate,” Junis said. ”I thought it was up and away. He just put a good swing on it.”

ASTROS MOVES

Houston recalled 3B Tyler White from Triple-A Fresno and placed LHP Reymin Guduan on the paternity leave list. White was hitting .338 with 13 homers and a .444 on-base percentage, the second-highest in all of Triple-A. Guduan can miss no more than three games while on the paternity list.

ROYALS MOVES

Kansas City selected the contract of RHP Brandon Maurer from Triple-A Omaha and optioned RHP Jason Adam to the same club. Maurer was 0-2 with a 12.46 ERA for the Royals before he was sent outright to the minor league club on May 3. He’s worked 11 straight scoreless appearances at Omaha.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros RHP Joe Smith (elbow inflammation) rejoined the team, and Hinch said the reliever is ”pain free and the next step is to initiate a throwing program.” That could happen by the end of the weekend.

Royals OF Jorge Soler left after stumbling out of the batter’s box in the sixth. He was taken for X-rays that revealed a broken left foot. ”It will be awhile when your feet are hurt,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”They’re going to give it a CT scan or whatever. We’ll have a better idea. X-rays showed a positive break. We don’t think it’s a surgical thing right now. The CT scan will give us more of a look.”

UP NEXT

Struggling LHP Dallas Keuchel (3-8 Johnny Gaudreau Jersey Kids , 4.45 ERA) starts for the Astros and LHP Danny Duffy (3-6, 5.28) gets the nod for the Royals for a Saturday matinee with temperatures expected to approach triple digits.

The Minnesota Vikings have exercised their fifth-year contract option on cornerback Trae Waynes.

The move was made Monday by the Vikings, who drafted Waynes with the 11th overall pick in the first round in 2015. He was the first cornerback taken that year.

Waynes has been a starter for the last two seasons, opposite All-Pro Xavier Rhodes. Waynes has five interceptions and 35 passes defensed in his career and was credited by the Vikings with 72 tackles in 2017.

Picking up the option gives the Vikings a window of almost two years to sign Waynes to an extension before he can hit free agency. They have yet to reach a new deal with linebacker Anthony Barr, the 2014 first-round draft pick now in the final year of his rookie contract.

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Posted: 10/6/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
>One of the NFL’s better rivalries has plenty riding on its latest installment.Saints-Falcons on Thursday night also is one of the better midweek matchups on this year’s schedule.New Orleans leads the NFC South at 9-3 Womens Luke Kunin Jersey , one game in front of Carolina, which the Saints have swept, and two games in front of Atlanta, which gets two shots in three weeks at the Big Easy’s team. Considering that the Saints are 3-0 in the division, they truly are in charge in the division.“We have to turn the page fast to get to New Orleans,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “We’re right back into our division. It’s all there for us, we know that.”New Orleans, No. 6 in the AP Pro32, is a 1-point choice over No. 11 Atlanta. The Falcons badly need this one, but they’ve struggled in their spanking new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.Atlanta’s playoff chances take another hit.SAINTS Womens Randall Cobb Jersey , 28-24KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIPBefore discussing that, how about some kudos for Pro Picks hitting the exact scores on wins by the Steelers and Rams?The Chargers came through last week, and this one is a bit of a stretch given who we have left. Let’s try CINCINNATI.No. 1 New England (minus 11) at No. 24 Miami, Monday nightPatriots don’t have Gronk, which makes this a tiny bit closer.BEST BET: PATRIOTS, 33-10No. 7 Seattle (plus 3) at No. 9 JacksonvilleRussell Wilson is making pitch for MVP award.UPSET SPECIAL: SEAHAWKS, 24-23No. 12 Baltimore (plus 7) at No. 4 PittsburghAnother test Steelers will barely pass.STEELERS, 17-13No. 3 Philadelphia (plus 2 1-2) at No. 5 Los Angeles RamsAfter loss in Seattle, Philly phans getting antsy. Calm down.EAGLES, 27-24No. 2 Minnesota (minus 3) at No. 8 CarolinaVikings’ win here establishes them as NFC’s best. Sorry …PANTHERS Womens Will Butcher Jersey , 20-16No. 15 Oakland (plus 4) at No. 14 Kansas CityAFC West mess starts getting settled.CHIEFS, 22-20No. 21 Washington (plus 6) at No. 13 Los Angeles ChargersChargers do their part in AFC West.CHARGERS, 30-20No. 18 Green Bay (minus 3 1-2) at No. 32 ClevelandOddsmakers tempting us with this line. We’ll bite.PACKERS, 23-11No. 27 San Francisco (plus 3) at No. 25 HoustonNiners fans getting geeked by Garoppolo. But we like Houston here.TEXANS, 20-13No. 20 New York Jets (pick-em) at No. 30 DenverThis line shows how far Broncos have fallen, even at home.JETS, 27-19No. 10 Tennessee (minus 3) at No. 23 ArizonaTennessee’s AFC South competition, Jacksonville, slipped here. Titans won’t.TITANS, 21-20No. 16 (tie) Dallas (minus 5) at No. 31 New York GiantsBye-bye Ben factor makes us think this will be close.COWBOYS Leonard Fournette Jersey Black , 23-20No. 29 Chicago (plus 6) at No. 22 CincinnatiActually thought about this as Best Bet.BENGALS, 26-13No. 16 (tie) Detroit (OFF) at No. 26 Tampa BayLoser here might soon start coaching search.BUCCANEERS, 17-16No. 28 Indianapolis (OFF) at No. 19 BuffaloBills’ lengthy playoff drought about to continue, though they survive this one.BILLS, 13-102017 RECORD:Last week: Against spread (8-7-1). Straight up (11-5)Season Totals: Against spread (91-88-6). Straight up: (121-70)Best Bet: 8-5 against spread, 9-4 straight up.Upset special: 8-5 against spread, 8-5 straight up

A new #PFTPM is coming later today, if/when maintenance can fix the seat on this plane I’m sitting in and cross the Keystone state from the city that has six Lombardi Trophies to the town that finally has gotten its first. Until then, you can — and should — listen to the latest edition of the podcast, from Friday afternoon.

It features a one-hour conversation with聽Mark Leibovich of the New York Times Scott Darling Jersey , who has written聽Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times. The book officially became available for purchase today.

Leibovich brings a compelling and entertaining style of writing to a topic that has many compelling and entertaining characters. And Leibovich somehow finagled the kind of access to key NFL figures that, given the finished product, he probably won’t finagle again, if he plans on writing a sequel.

Then again, if enough people buy this book about the NFL, he’ll find a way to write another. Here’s hoping he does.

Here’s hoping you listen to his visit to the #PFTPM podcast.

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The Baltimore Ravens provided quarterback Joe Flacco with two new potential targets Wednesday Terrell Owens Jersey , agreeing to terms with wide receivers Ryan Grant and John Brown on the first day of free agency.

Addressing a position that is a top priority this offseason, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome added a pair of 27-year-olds he hopes can improve a passing attack that last year ranked 27th in the NFL.

To help make room for the newcomers, Newsome freed an estimated $5 million in salary cap space by cutting receiver Jeremy Maclin.

Grant has played in 64 games, including 15 starts, with the Washington Redskins. The 2014 fifth-round draft pick out of Tulane set career highs in 2017 with 45 catches for 573 yards and four touchdowns.

Brown has played four NFL seasons, all with Arizona. Selected in the third round of the 2014 draft, Brown has 173 career catches for 2,515 yards and 17 TDs.

The contracts are pending the passing of physicals. Grant reportedly received a four-year contract and Brown agreed to a one-year pact.

The Ravens are counting on Grant to continue the improvement he showed last season. Though he has never had a 100-yard receiving game and has scored only six career touchdowns, he ranked second on the Redskins in 2017 in catches and TD receptions.

Brown’s best season was in 2015, when he had 65 catches for 1 Kyle Lauletta Jersey ,003 yards and seven scores.

After a season in which Baltimore’s wideouts totaled 11 touchdown receptions, the team made no secret of its desire to bolster the receiving corps.

”We will be exploring all options in free agency and in the draft for targets for Joe (Flacco),” owner Steve Bisciotti said.

That was a focus last season, too, but Maclin did not live up to expectations.

Baltimore signed Maclin as a free agent in June, hopeful the accomplished pass catcher would regain the form he showed in 2015 with Kansas City, when he had 87 catches for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns.

But Maclin missed two games with a shoulder injury, two more with knee issues, and finished with only 40 catches for 440 yards and three touchdowns.

That Cameron Erving Jersey , along with the poor performance of 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman (10 catches, 77 yards, no TDs), left the Ravens looking for speed outside after finishing 9-7 and missing the playoffs for a third straight season.

Mike Wallace, who had 52 catches for a team-high 748 yards in 2017, became a free agent Wednesday. It is unclear whether the Ravens will attempt to bring him back the 31-year-old, nine-year pro.

Newsome’s pursuit of top-tier free agent receivers has been hindered by a tight salary cap, which likely contributed to Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins signing with other teams.

In an effort to free up salary-cap space, Newsome earlier this week cut running back Danny Woodhead and did not pick up the option on right tackle Austin Howard.

Maclin, Woodhead and Howard were all acquired before the 2017 season.

Also on Wednesday Spencer Ware Jersey , the Ravens extended tenders to seven exclusive-rights free agents, the most notable running back Alex Collins, the team’s leading rusher last year. The players still have to sign their tenders, but cannot negotiate with any other teams.

 

Right-hander J.T. Ginn says he will not sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers and will instead attend Mississippi State.

The 19-year-old from Brandon High School in Mississippi was selected with the 30th overall pick in last month’s amateur draft, which has a slot value of $2,275,800.

Ginn posted on Instagram , ”I had a lot to think about over the last month” and added ”after giving it a lot of thought I decided to pursue my lifelong dream of playing college baseball for the Mississippi State Bulldogs!!!”

The deadline for draft picks to sign, unless they have exhausted college eligibility, is 5 p.m. Eastern Friday. Two other first-round selections remained without agreements: right-hander Carter Stewart (selected eighth by Atlanta) and shortstop Matt McLain (25th by Arizona).

Shortstop Brice Turang Mike Evans Jersey , taken 21st by Milwaukee, agreed to a $3,411,100 signing bonus, $397,500 above his slot value.

This story has been corrected to show that Turang’s first name is Brice, not Bruce.

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On June 7 

On June 7 Dion Dawkins Jersey , the Colorado Rockies were tied for first place in the National League West and riding high. In the week since, the Rockies have lost five straight games and come to the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Friday with as many questions as answers about themselves as the season heads into the dog days of summer.

Colorado begins a three-game interleague series with the Texas Rangers, a team also in search of answers, at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

The Rockies will send right-hander Chad Bettis (4-1, 4.40 ERA) to the mound for the opening game and the Rangers will counter with Yohander Mendez (0-0, 0.00).

Colorado activated right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino from the disabled list Thursday, and manager Bud Black said Ottavino would go right back into his late-game role.

Ottavino had a 0.95 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings before going to the disabled with a left oblique injury. The team went 5-9 without him in the lineup.

“Otto feels that he wants to jump right back into the mix of pitching deep in the game,” Black told mlb.com. “He’s ready for that. He doesn’t necessarily want to ease back in. Physically, he made it a point of emphasis to get his body in the best shape possible in the offseason. The year before, it wasn’t the case.”

Ottavino did not see action in the Rockies’ 9-3 loss at Philadelphia but will be ready when Colorado takes on hapless Texas.

The Rangers will attempt to end a six-game losing streak that included a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in 11 innings in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

With one out and the bases loaded, the Dodgers‘ Austin Barnes dribbled what appeared to be a sure out at home in front of Rangers reliever Matt Bush. However Frank Gore Jersey , Bush’s throw to home for the force pulled catcher Carlos Perez off the plate, allowing Enrique Hernandez to score the deciding run.

Texas is now a season-worst 18 games back of the first-place Seattle Mariners and the Houston Astros in the American League West after suffering a two-game sweep by the Dodgers.

Bettis gave up three home runs and lasted just four innings in his last start, a home loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The good news is his velocity returned after a dip for three starts. He is a Lubbock, Texas, native who pitched at Texas Tech University.

Bettis will make his 14th start of the season and his eighth on the road. He has no-decisions and a 7.67 ERA in his past six starts since May 11.

Bettis has pitched against Texas only once, getting a no-decision on Aug. 11, 2016, in Arlington, a 12-9 Rockies win.

Mendez will make his first big league start Friday. In 10 minor league starts this season, he has an 0-6 record with a 5.26 ERA. In one relief appearance with the Rangers this year, he didn’t allow a run in two-thirds of an inning.

Mendez, who is ranked the Rangers’ seventh-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline Warren Sapp Jersey , has joined the ballclub from Triple-A Round Rock. He has been a September call-up for Texas each of the past two seasons, and featured with the Rangers earlier this season when he was called up May 3.

In 10 career major league appearances — all in relief — Mendez has posted a 0-1 record with a 7.31 ERA (13 earned runs in 16 innings).

“It’s going to be multiple starts,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said Wednesday about Mendez’s upcoming major league stint. “He’s going to have the opportunity to show us what he can do as a starter.

“We’re still in the business of winning baseball games,” Banister added. “It’s about development, but it is the big leagues, and you still develop and still give yourself the opportunity to win baseball games.”

Nearly four years ago, the NFL responded to its disastrous handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case by beefing up the Personal Conduct Policy, and by huffing and puffing about a new six-game baseline suspension for any player who is found to have committed similar offenses. On multiple occasions since then, the NFL has failed to impose a six-game suspension for a player who has committed similar offenses, and the league has failed/refused to explain the reason(s) for the departure from the six-game benchmark.

Here’s the key language: “With regard to violations of the Personal Conduct Policy that involve: (i) criminal assault or battery (felony); (ii) domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse and other forms of family violence; or (iii) sexual assault involving physical force or committed against someone incapable of giving consent Brett Favre Jersey , a first offense will subject the offender to a baseline suspension without pay of six games, with consideration given to any aggravating or mitigating factors.”

It’s possible that the NFL concluded that Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston‘s actions did not constitute “sexual assault involving physical force.” Unless the league specifically explains it that way, it’s impossible to know for sure. (It’s also odd that the NFL wouldn’t simply make all sexual assaults subject to a six-game suspension, without requiring physical force or an assault “committed against someone incapable of giving consent.”)

The NFL possibly decided that “mitigating factors” justified a reduction from six games to three, like they initially did when dropping former Giants kicker Josh Brown’s suspension from six games to one. (MDS has listed other similar instances that didn’t result in a six-game suspension.) Without sharing the information as to why the reduction was made, however, it’s impossible for anyone to assess whether the reduction was sensible or justified.

In Brown’s case, the league defended the lack of transparency in reducing the suspension by pointing to the privacy rights of the victim. In Winston’s case, there should be no similar concern. The victim made a report to her employer and then, inspired by the #MeToo movement, she told her story to the media. If the NFL believes that the conduct generally requires a six-game suspension but that mitigating factors require it to be cut in half, the league shouldn’t keep it secret.

Of course Russell Okung Jersey , it’s entirely possible (if not probable) that the league cut the suspension in half simply as part of the effort to make a deal with Winston, pursuant to which he wouldn’t file an internal appeal (or external litigation) and he would in turn control the messaging, in an effort to best conceal the details as to what he did and, in turn, to prevent a #MeToo firestorm that could result in the Buccaneers having no choice but to part ways with him.

Whatever the reason, the league deserves scrutiny and criticism for not explaining why Winston got only three games, when the policy would seem to require at least six — and when “similar misconduct before joining the NFL” would justify an enhancement of the penalty beyond six games.

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On June 7 Dion Dawkins Jersey , the Colorado Rockies were tied for first place in the National League West and riding high. In the week since, the Rockies have lost five straight games and come to the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Friday with as many questions as answers about themselves as the season heads into the dog days of summer.

Colorado begins a three-game interleague series with the Texas Rangers, a team also in search of answers, at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

The Rockies will send right-hander Chad Bettis (4-1, 4.40 ERA) to the mound for the opening game and the Rangers will counter with Yohander Mendez (0-0, 0.00).

Colorado activated right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino from the disabled list Thursday, and manager Bud Black said Ottavino would go right back into his late-game role.

Ottavino had a 0.95 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings before going to the disabled with a left oblique injury. The team went 5-9 without him in the lineup.

“Otto feels that he wants to jump right back into the mix of pitching deep in the game,” Black told mlb.com. “He’s ready for that. He doesn’t necessarily want to ease back in. Physically, he made it a point of emphasis to get his body in the best shape possible in the offseason. The year before, it wasn’t the case.”

Ottavino did not see action in the Rockies’ 9-3 loss at Philadelphia but will be ready when Colorado takes on hapless Texas.

The Rangers will attempt to end a six-game losing streak that included a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in 11 innings in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

With one out and the bases loaded, the Dodgers‘ Austin Barnes dribbled what appeared to be a sure out at home in front of Rangers reliever Matt Bush. However Frank Gore Jersey , Bush’s throw to home for the force pulled catcher Carlos Perez off the plate, allowing Enrique Hernandez to score the deciding run.

Texas is now a season-worst 18 games back of the first-place Seattle Mariners and the Houston Astros in the American League West after suffering a two-game sweep by the Dodgers.

Bettis gave up three home runs and lasted just four innings in his last start, a home loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The good news is his velocity returned after a dip for three starts. He is a Lubbock, Texas, native who pitched at Texas Tech University.

Bettis will make his 14th start of the season and his eighth on the road. He has no-decisions and a 7.67 ERA in his past six starts since May 11.

Bettis has pitched against Texas only once, getting a no-decision on Aug. 11, 2016, in Arlington, a 12-9 Rockies win.

Mendez will make his first big league start Friday. In 10 minor league starts this season, he has an 0-6 record with a 5.26 ERA. In one relief appearance with the Rangers this year, he didn’t allow a run in two-thirds of an inning.

Mendez, who is ranked the Rangers’ seventh-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline Warren Sapp Jersey , has joined the ballclub from Triple-A Round Rock. He has been a September call-up for Texas each of the past two seasons, and featured with the Rangers earlier this season when he was called up May 3.

In 10 career major league appearances — all in relief — Mendez has posted a 0-1 record with a 7.31 ERA (13 earned runs in 16 innings).

“It’s going to be multiple starts,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said Wednesday about Mendez’s upcoming major league stint. “He’s going to have the opportunity to show us what he can do as a starter.

“We’re still in the business of winning baseball games,” Banister added. “It’s about development, but it is the big leagues, and you still develop and still give yourself the opportunity to win baseball games.”

Nearly four years ago, the NFL responded to its disastrous handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case by beefing up the Personal Conduct Policy, and by huffing and puffing about a new six-game baseline suspension for any player who is found to have committed similar offenses. On multiple occasions since then, the NFL has failed to impose a six-game suspension for a player who has committed similar offenses, and the league has failed/refused to explain the reason(s) for the departure from the six-game benchmark.

Here’s the key language: “With regard to violations of the Personal Conduct Policy that involve: (i) criminal assault or battery (felony); (ii) domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse and other forms of family violence; or (iii) sexual assault involving physical force or committed against someone incapable of giving consent Brett Favre Jersey , a first offense will subject the offender to a baseline suspension without pay of six games, with consideration given to any aggravating or mitigating factors.”

It’s possible that the NFL concluded that Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston‘s actions did not constitute “sexual assault involving physical force.” Unless the league specifically explains it that way, it’s impossible to know for sure. (It’s also odd that the NFL wouldn’t simply make all sexual assaults subject to a six-game suspension, without requiring physical force or an assault “committed against someone incapable of giving consent.”)

The NFL possibly decided that “mitigating factors” justified a reduction from six games to three, like they initially did when dropping former Giants kicker Josh Brown’s suspension from six games to one. (MDS has listed other similar instances that didn’t result in a six-game suspension.) Without sharing the information as to why the reduction was made, however, it’s impossible for anyone to assess whether the reduction was sensible or justified.

In Brown’s case, the league defended the lack of transparency in reducing the suspension by pointing to the privacy rights of the victim. In Winston’s case, there should be no similar concern. The victim made a report to her employer and then, inspired by the #MeToo movement, she told her story to the media. If the NFL believes that the conduct generally requires a six-game suspension but that mitigating factors require it to be cut in half, the league shouldn’t keep it secret.

Of course Russell Okung Jersey , it’s entirely possible (if not probable) that the league cut the suspension in half simply as part of the effort to make a deal with Winston, pursuant to which he wouldn’t file an internal appeal (or external litigation) and he would in turn control the messaging, in an effort to best conceal the details as to what he did and, in turn, to prevent a #MeToo firestorm that could result in the Buccaneers having no choice but to part ways with him.

Whatever the reason, the league deserves scrutiny and criticism for not explaining why Winston got only three games, when the policy would seem to require at least six — and when “similar misconduct before joining the NFL” would justify an enhancement of the penalty beyond six games.

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, the Colorado Rockies were tied for first place in the National League West and riding high. In the week since, the Rockies have lost five straight games and come to the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Friday with as many questions as answers about themselves as the season heads into the dog days of summer.

Colorado begins a three-game interleague series with the Texas Rangers, a team also in search of answers, at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

The Rockies will send right-hander Chad Bettis (4-1, 4.40 ERA) to the mound for the opening game and the Rangers will counter with Yohander Mendez (0-0, 0.00).

Colorado activated right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino from the disabled list Thursday, and manager Bud Black said Ottavino would go right back into his late-game role.

Ottavino had a 0.95 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings before going to the disabled with a left oblique injury. The team went 5-9 without him in the lineup.

“Otto feels that he wants to jump right back into the mix of pitching deep in the game,” Black told mlb.com. “He’s ready for that. He doesn’t necessarily want to ease back in. Physically, he made it a point of emphasis to get his body in the best shape possible in the offseason. The year before, it wasn’t the case.”

Ottavino did not see action in the Rockies’ 9-3 loss at Philadelphia but will be ready when Colorado takes on hapless Texas.

The Rangers will attempt to end a six-game losing streak that included a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in 11 innings in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

With one out and the bases loaded, the Dodgers‘ Austin Barnes dribbled what appeared to be a sure out at home in front of Rangers reliever Matt Bush. However Frank Gore Jersey , Bush’s throw to home for the force pulled catcher Carlos Perez off the plate, allowing Enrique Hernandez to score the deciding run.

Texas is now a season-worst 18 games back of the first-place Seattle Mariners and the Houston Astros in the American League West after suffering a two-game sweep by the Dodgers.

Bettis gave up three home runs and lasted just four innings in his last start, a home loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The good news is his velocity returned after a dip for three starts. He is a Lubbock, Texas, native who pitched at Texas Tech University.

Bettis will make his 14th start of the season and his eighth on the road. He has no-decisions and a 7.67 ERA in his past six starts since May 11.

Bettis has pitched against Texas only once, getting a no-decision on Aug. 11, 2016, in Arlington, a 12-9 Rockies win.

Mendez will make his first big league start Friday. In 10 minor league starts this season, he has an 0-6 record with a 5.26 ERA. In one relief appearance with the Rangers this year, he didn’t allow a run in two-thirds of an inning.

Mendez, who is ranked the Rangers’ seventh-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline Warren Sapp Jersey , has joined the ballclub from Triple-A Round Rock. He has been a September call-up for Texas each of the past two seasons, and featured with the Rangers earlier this season when he was called up May 3.

In 10 career major league appearances — all in relief — Mendez has posted a 0-1 record with a 7.31 ERA (13 earned runs in 16 innings).

“It’s going to be multiple starts,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said Wednesday about Mendez’s upcoming major league stint. “He’s going to have the opportunity to show us what he can do as a starter.

“We’re still in the business of winning baseball games,” Banister added. “It’s about development, but it is the big leagues, and you still develop and still give yourself the opportunity to win baseball games.”

Nearly four years ago, the NFL responded to its disastrous handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case by beefing up the Personal Conduct Policy, and by huffing and puffing about a new six-game baseline suspension for any player who is found to have committed similar offenses. On multiple occasions since then, the NFL has failed to impose a six-game suspension for a player who has committed similar offenses, and the league has failed/refused to explain the reason(s) for the departure from the six-game benchmark.

Here’s the key language: “With regard to violations of the Personal Conduct Policy that involve: (i) criminal assault or battery (felony); (ii) domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse and other forms of family violence; or (iii) sexual assault involving physical force or committed against someone incapable of giving consent Brett Favre Jersey , a first offense will subject the offender to a baseline suspension without pay of six games, with consideration given to any aggravating or mitigating factors.”

It’s possible that the NFL concluded that Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston‘s actions did not constitute “sexual assault involving physical force.” Unless the league specifically explains it that way, it’s impossible to know for sure. (It’s also odd that the NFL wouldn’t simply make all sexual assaults subject to a six-game suspension, without requiring physical force or an assault “committed against someone incapable of giving consent.”)

The NFL possibly decided that “mitigating factors” justified a reduction from six games to three, like they initially did when dropping former Giants kicker Josh Brown’s suspension from six games to one. (MDS has listed other similar instances that didn’t result in a six-game suspension.) Without sharing the information as to why the reduction was made, however, it’s impossible for anyone to assess whether the reduction was sensible or justified.

In Brown’s case, the league defended the lack of transparency in reducing the suspension by pointing to the privacy rights of the victim. In Winston’s case, there should be no similar concern. The victim made a report to her employer and then, inspired by the #MeToo movement, she told her story to the media. If the NFL believes that the conduct generally requires a six-game suspension but that mitigating factors require it to be cut in half, the league shouldn’t keep it secret.

Of course Russell Okung Jersey , it’s entirely possible (if not probable) that the league cut the suspension in half simply as part of the effort to make a deal with Winston, pursuant to which he wouldn’t file an internal appeal (or external litigation) and he would in turn control the messaging, in an effort to best conceal the details as to what he did and, in turn, to prevent a #MeToo firestorm that could result in the Buccaneers having no choice but to part ways with him.

Whatever the reason, the league deserves scrutiny and criticism for not explaining why Winston got only three games, when the policy would seem to require at least six — and when “similar misconduct before joining the NFL” would justify an enhancement of the penalty beyond six games.

Adidas P.K Subban Jersey
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ATLANTA (10-6) vs LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-5)

Saturday Blidi Wreh-Wilson Jersey , 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC

OPENING LINE – Rams by 5

RECORD VS. SPREAD – Atlanta 7-9, Los Angeles 9-7

SERIES RECORD – Rams lead 47-29-2

LAST MEETING – Falcons beat Rams, 42-14, Dec. 11, 2016

LAST WEEK – Falcons beat Panthers 22-10; 49ers beat Rams 34-13

AP PRO32 RANKING – Falcons No. 9, Rams No. 4

FALCONS OFFENSE – OVERALL (8), RUSH (13) Cris Carter Jersey , PASS (8).

FALCONS DEFENSE – OVERALL (9), RUSH (9), PASS (12).

RAMS OFFENSE – OVERALL (10), RUSH (8), PASS (10).

RAMS DEFENSE – OVERALL (19), RUSH (28), PASS (13).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – Rams’ first playoff game in 13 years is against defending NFC champions. … Falcons were NFL’s highest-scoring team last year. Rams were tops this year. … Falcons in postseason for second straight year after last season ended with memorable collapse in Super Bowl. … Falcons routed Rams 42-14 at Coliseum in December 2016. Rams coach Jeff Fisher was fired next day Jonathan Cooper Jersey , eventually paving way for Sean McVay, who went to high school near Atlanta. … QB Matt Ryan making sixth playoff trip in 10 years. He had 20 TD passes this season after throwing 38 last year as league MVP. … Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur was Ryan’s quarterbacks coach last season. … Falcons’ offense didn’t flow under first-year coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who coached USC at Coliseum until getting fired in 2015. … Falcons put starting LG Andy Levitre on injured reserve this week, changing O-line dynamic with Rams line-wrecker Aaron Donald looming. … Falcons WRs Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu remain among NFL’s best duos, combining for 2,147 yards and eight TDs. … Rams GM Les Snead was in Falcons’ front office for 13 years, and assistant GM Brian Xanders worked for Falcons for 14 years. … Rams earned first winning season and NFC West title since 2003 and first playoff berth since 2004 season with spectacular one-year transformation under McVay, now youngest coach to make playoffs in NFL history Marcus Gilchrist Jersey , breaking record set by 33-year-old Ray Flaherty with Washington in 1936. … No rookie head coach won NFL playoff game in any of past four seasons. … Rams hosting wild-card playoff game for second time in franchise history, first since December 1984 in Anaheim. Rams haven’t had playoff game at Coliseum since Jan. 7, 1979. … Rams are only 4-10 at Coliseum in two seasons since relocation, going 3-4 this year. … LA went from 32nd in NFL in scoring in 2016 to first in 2017. … RB Todd Gurley led NFL with 2,093 yards from scrimmage and 19 total TDs. … Rams LT Andrew Whitworth was key to turnaround. He is 0-6 in playoffs during career spent previously with Cincinnati. Whitworth is one of six Rams with playoff experience. … Counting on new K Sam Ficken after Pro Bowl selection Greg Zuerlein got hurt last month. … Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was Falcons defensive coordinator and interim head coach in 2003. … Rams’ last playoff game was at Atlanta in January 2005. Michael Vick ran for 119 yards in Falcons’ 47-17 win. … Rams are second team in NFL history to host playoff game in temporary home stadium. Minnesota did it three years ago.

 

Football players should be careful about how they approach fans who run on the field, lest they face a lawsuit.

Last week a fan ran on the field at a Canadian Football League game and was flattened by Marcell Young, a defensive back for the B.C. Lions. Now that fan says Young injured him, and he has hired a lawyer.

The fan’s lawyer released a statement saying he 鈥渟uffered serious injuries Kurt Coleman Jersey , including a mild traumatic brain injury, as a result of being violently struck by BC Lions player Marcell Young.鈥?/p>

The fan was fined $115 for trespassing. He obviously didn’t belong on the field, although the CFL (and the NFL, and any sports league) would probably prefer that players let security handle it, rather than get involved in apprehending runaway fans themselves. In the days of Mike Curtis, a player could get away with decking a fan. But these days, fans can be quite litigious.

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Not even the signing of free agent Case Keenum could keep the Broncos from staging yet another quarterback competition this offseason.

This time it’s a battle for the backup job.

After bypassing a quarterback in a draft that was deep on passing prospects Bobby Wagner Jersey , general manager John Elway declared that Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly would duke it out for the No. 2 job.

That served as a vote of confidence in Lynch, his 2016 first-round pick who hasn’t been able to win the starting job, and a golden opportunity for Kelly, ”Mr. Irrelevant” in 2017 as the last player picked in the draft.

”With Paxton, we still think he is young. We are not kicking him to the curb. He can still develop. When we drafted him two years ago, we knew it was going to take some time,” Elway said. ”Paxton is going to compete with Chad for that backup spot. We are not going to bring another one in for OTAs.”

That marked the first time Elway had publicly mentioned Kelly as having a chance to win a roster spot a year after missing his entire rookie season while recovering from wrist and knee surgeries.

”I thought of it as, OK, perfect, I can get more reps,” Kelly said Saturday after serving as the only quarterback during a 90-minute walkthrough that capped the Broncos’ three-day rookie orientation. ”I just look at it as another opportunity to get better each and every day and each and every rep.”

Kelly’s offseason work habits have resulted in a reshaped body.

Kelly said ”eating a lot of spinach and chicken paid off instead of fried food. … I came here and knew I needed to move around and get back to my old playing weight back in early college and high school. So Rex Burkhead Jersey , I’m kind of feeling I can move around and so some things with my legs but also be powerful in throwing the ball.”

Kelly has impressed both on and off the field.

”Well, I’ve been proud of Chad overall,” coach Vance Joseph said. ”I mean, he’s been here every day. He’s worked his butt off. And he’s changed his body. Last year he was a little tubby kid. He is really lean now. He’s eating right. He’s working hard. He’s definitely put the work in.

”And he’s throwing the ball really well right now.”

So much so that bare hands are a bad idea for receivers, suggested tight end Jake Butt.

”He can rip that thing now,” said Butt, who also sat out his rookie season. ”You’ve definitely got to wear gloves. He’ll be spinning that bad boy pretty tough. He’s learning the offense, he’s taking leadership, he’s doing a great job.”

Joseph insisted Lynch was handling himself fine, too.

In March, the Broncos declared Keenum the starter as soon as he signed. In April Elandon Roberts Jersey , they said Lynch would have to beat out Kelly for the backup job.

”I think Paxton’s done a good job, also,” Joseph said. ”I think for Paxton and for our football team, it’s been a weight off all of our backs to have a starting quarterback and have everyone’s role defined from Day 1.”

He said that allows Lynch to ”relax and get better each day and not worry about a competition.”

Joseph suggested Lynch could learn how to handle adversity from Keenum.

”Case has been through some ups and downs throughout his career. So, he can learn from Case on how to handle those things,” Joseph said. ”And it takes time to be an NFL quarterback. And you would hope with Case being here, he can sit back and relax and get better as a quarterback and not worry about being the guy right now and just compete to be our backup.”

When Derrick Favors can find ways to impose his will, good things happen for the Utah Jazz.

Favors has been quietly, albeit effectively, getting it done against the Oklahoma City Thunder, playing in the shadows of Utah rookie of the year candidate Donovan Mitchell and Jazz center Rudy Gobert.

But a healthy Favors is making an impact.

The Jazz have returned to Utah with the series tied 1-1 Muhammad Wilkerson Jersey , thanks in no small part to Favors. He tallied career playoff highs of 20 points and 16 rebounds in Utah’s 102-95 road win on Wednesday.

Jazz coach Quin Snyder will start Favors at power forward alongside Gobert beginning with Game 3 on Saturday. But he will also utilize him as a backup center to spell Gobert. Favors has done his part to make playing alongside Gobert work by extending his shooting range to improve offensive spacing. He has also made himself an effective roller.

”He’s always been a good pick-and-roll player, regardless of `position,”’ Snyder said. ”We’ve never really thought of him as one position or the other. We’ve thought of him as a basketball player and tried to have him understand his strengths and then play to his strengths.”

Indeed. In the first two playoff games against the Thunder, Favors is averaging 13.5 points on 52 percent shooting and 10.5 rebounds.

It is exactly the type of impact Favors envisioned making when fighting to reclaim his body from knee and back injuries that afflicted him for the better part of two seasons.

”I’m back to being 100 percent,” Favors said. ”Back healthy. Back moving the way I know I can move and playing the way I know I can play. It’s a big advantage for us.”

There’s no question having Favors at full strength has improved Utah’s ability to counter a Thunder team featuring the potent trio of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. The veteran forward/center offers versatility on both ends of the court honed through playing multiple positions as circumstances dictate.

Crashing the boards definitely tops the list when checking off Favors’ strengths. He ranks second on the Jazz roster in rebounding behind Gobert with 7.2 rebounds per game.

When Favors is active on the glass, it can change the direction of a game for Utah. In Game 2 against Oklahoma City, he grabbed eight offensive rebounds through the first 2 1/2 quarters. By contrast, the Thunder totaled six offensive boards as a team in the same stretch.

”His length and his strength allow him to get his hands on balls,” Snyder said. ”He’s got such good hands that even when he keeps the ball alive, usually something good happens.”

Favors’ willingness to go full throttle around the basket has turned him into a reliable complimentary player on offense. He rolls to the basket with consistency and Chris Doleman Jersey , more often than not, it pays off for him.

It has turned Favors into a legitimate offensive presence again. He averaged 9.5 points on 48.7 percent shooting while limited to 50 games a year ago. This season, Favors is scoring 12.3 points per game while shooting 56.3 percent from the floor.

”Other teams and other opponents, they look and see I’m 6-foot-10 and think I’m a 5 man or whatever, so they try to take advantage of it,” Favors said. ”It just feels good to be able to go out there and move the way that I know that I can move and be able to play the way I know that I can play and teams can’t take advantage of it.”

Favors is focused on staying aggressive as the series with the Thunder shifts to Utah. He is having fun playing basketball again and wants to make sure Oklahoma City continues to feel his presence on both ends of the court.

His teammates certainly do and they understand what a difference it can potentially make as the Jazz battle to keep going in the postseason.

”He’s been like that all year,” Mitchell said, ”but he’s definitely turned it up with what he can do.”

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Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess put together his best NFL season in 2017.

After posting 54 catches for 844 yards and nine touchdowns in his first two seasons Matt Haack Jersey , Funchess finished last year with 63 catches for 840 yards and eight touchdowns. His numbers spiked after he moved up a rung in the pecking order when the Panthers traded Kelvin Benjamin and sent him into the final year of his contract on a high note.

Funchess said on Wednesday that he’s not thinking about an extension right now and General Manager Marty Hurney suggested the team will wait to see how 2018 plays out before working out a future with Funchess.

“Devin really made huge strides last year,” Hurney said, via the Charlotte Observer. “And he hopes to continue to do the same this year. It’s a continued development year. You want to see a guy put back-to-back years together.”

Hurney brought in Torrey Smith, Jarius Wright and first-round pick D.J. Moore at receiver this offseason, so Funchess will have more competition for Cam Newton‘s attention than he did in the second half of 2017. Seeing how that plays out will be an important data point for the Panthers to consider when it comes to Funchess’ future with the team.

Just as the Golden State Warriors had hoped Stephone Anthony Jersey , Stephen Curry is poised to return from a left knee injury to play in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals Tuesday night against New Orleans.

Coach Steve Kerr listed the two-time MVP as probable Monday with the idea that he’s a go to play as long as no issues arise with Curry’s sprained left knee in the morning shootaround or before the game. Kerr didn’t say whether Curry would start or come off the bench but he won’t have a minutes restriction.

”He’ll want to get his legs underneath him,” Kerr said after practice. ”So we’ll try to find that balance between being cautious and letting him go a little bit.”

Golden State leads the best-of-seven series 1-0 after a 123-101 rout in the opener Saturday.

Curry has a history of returning to the court from injury and finding his groove immediately.

”I expect him to be who he is,” Kevin Durant said Monday. ”I’m not saying it’s guaranteed to happen. But he puts in the work and prepares himself right when he’s put in that position, so when he comes out and he plays well it’s not a surprise to me at all.”

Curry participated in his first full-contact practice in more than a month last Thursday and then scrimmaged Friday 5-on-5. On Sunday, Curry scrimmaged with some of the reserves before the Warriors brass and medical staff determined he is ready for game action again.

”Right from that window up there I had one eye on the game tape and one eye on Steph. I had a good vantage point LaDainian Tomlinson Jersey ,” Kerr said. ”He came out of it good. I talked to him afterward and he came out well. Feeling good today, went through the whole practice, so I’d be very surprised if he didn’t play. But just for caution issue, we’ll wait `til tomorrow to see how he’s feeling.”

Curry was injured March 23 in the same game where he had come back from a six-game absence with a right ankle injury.

”He needs rhythm,” Kerr said. ”The only factor in terms of allowing him to play is health Len Dawson Jersey , and he’s ready to go. He’s been cleared. Now it’s a question of rhythm and how much time we give him, and that’s important. He needs to get his groove back.”

Curry also missed 11 games in December with a sprained right ankle.

He played in only 51 of 82 regular-season games for the defending champions.

”It’s been interesting. Obviously when I’m out there I’ve been playing well, playing at a very high level, we’ve been winning” Curry said. ”You have some kind of unfortunate situations, landing on somebody’s foot Robert Alford Jersey , being in the wrong place at the wrong time, whatever the case is, missing games. The back of my mind I know I’m still durable, I’m still a player that’s expected to be out there every single night helping my team win. And that confidence in myself has never wavered.”

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