Category Archives: Sports

Bucs re-sign Andrew Adams

In a flurry of roster moves coming off a 31-17 season-opening loss to the 49ers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed safety Andrew Adams, who picked off Cam Newton three times last year.

The Bucs face the Panthers Thursday night.

This move comes after the Bucs placed safety Justin Evans on injured reserve because of an Achilles injury. Evans started 21 games over the last two seasons before injuries to his feet forced him to IR last year. The team is hopeful he can return after eight games.

“That will totally depend on if he decides to have a procedure done,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians said. “There’s some fluid in there somewhere. … He was really pain-free for about a week, everybody was excited and then it all came back. So it’s really hard to deal with right now.” Adams was among the Lions’ roster cuts this preseason after the Bucs elected not to tender him this offseason. Tuesday was his first practice so he’s unsure if he’ll play Thursday night.

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“We’ll see. I just stepped in the meetings today,” Adams said. “I’m intaking a lot, but I like to consider myself pretty smart and pretty cerebral so I can remember a lot. And I’ve played football before so we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens.”

The Bucs also waived fourth-year offensive tackle Caleb Benenoch and signed offensive tackle Josh Wells.

Wells played in 39 games for the Jaguars, with nine career starts — five of them last season.

The Bucs selected Benenoch in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL draft. He had started 22 of 35 career games at both guard and tackle, but he was often inconsistent. Just three members of the Bucs’ seven-player 2016 draft class remain on their current active roster, although Ryan Smith is currently serving a four-game suspension.

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Dodgers clinch 7th NL West title, 1st playoff team

The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their seventh consecutive NL West title in fitting fashion, using two home runs by Corey Seager and a masterful pitching performance by Walker Buehler to beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 on Tuesday night.

After the final out, the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot this season gathered at the mound for a subdued celebration that included a wardrobe change for a pending champagne celebration in the clubhouse.

Los Angeles, coming off consecutive World Series losses to Houston and Boston and seeking its first title since 1988, will likely begin the postseason at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 3 against the NL wild-card team.

The Dodgers, with a power-packed lineup and imposing rotation, gained sole possession of first place on April 17 and never looked back. Their final pursuer was the Arizona Diamondbacks, who started the day a whopping 17½ games out of first place.

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This is the earliest that Los Angeles (94-52) has ever clinched the division, both in terms of date and games. The 1977 team did it in Game 151, and the 2013 club clinched on Sept. 19.

Last year, the Dodgers didn’t wrap up the division until the 163rd game of the season, defeating Colorado in a playoff on Oct. 1.

“I’d rather the early one versus the late one. We did the late one last year,” manager Dave Roberts said before the game. “I like this one just so you can really get it past you. Give guys rest, put guys in roles and positions you might face in the postseason.”

The Dodgers can now coast to the finish, although they have a shot at breaking the franchise record for largest final first-place margin, 13½ games in 1955. LA is also in the running against Houston and the Yankees for best record in the majors and home-field advantage throughout October.

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Raiders CB Conley carted off with neck injury

Football took a backseat for a scary moment during the third quarter of Monday’s game between the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders.

Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley was carted off the field on a stretcher after teammate Johnathan Abram’s leg hit his head. Myles Simmons of the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted the Ohio State product gave the fans a thumbs-up as he was carted off.

The Raiders ruled Conley out for the remainder of the game with a neck injury. After the game, head coach Jon Gruden told reporters, “He is going to be OK.”

“Don’t know his status for the next game, but most importantly, he’s all right. That was a scary hit that he took. But all the reports I have are very, very positive.” Abram tackled running back Royce Freeman along the sideline and was called for a personal foul penalty for initiating contact by lowering his helmet. As his body swung around, his leg hit Conley’s helmet, and the cornerback remained down for some time before he was placed on the stretcher.

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The Raiders offered no speedy phrase on Conley’s neck injuries other than to say he wouldn’t return to the game. He was changed by rookie Trayvon Mullen, who played perfectly but also surrendered Denver’s only landing, a 1-garden scoring move from Joe Flacco to Emmanuel Sanders.

Abram, the really hard-hitting first-round decide from Mississippi Point out, was penalized on the participate in for foremost with his helmet though bringing down Freeman. The personalized foul helped the Broncos inevitably get a area aim to lower Oakland’s direct to 14-six.

Oakland selected Conley 24th overall in the 2017 NFL draft. He missed training camp and the preseason because of a shin injury and played only two games as a rookie.

He bounced back last year with 37 tackles and three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown, in 15 games and appeared primed to break out in his third season.

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Ravens expect CV Smith to miss multiple weeks due to knee injury

The Baltimore Ravens managed to kick the 2019 NFL season off in spectacular fashion. Unfortunately, it appears they did suffer a setback with cornerback Jimmy Smith.

Smith was forced to exit with a knee injury he suffered on only the second drive of the game. According to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, he is expected to be out for several weeks.

Smith went for an MRI on Monday and the tests showed a fairly significant injury for the veteran corner. Raven head coach John Harbaugh said that Smith suffered a Grade 2 sprain and that he will miss “multiple weeks” while recovering from the injury. There had been some concern that the injury would potentially require surgery after linebacker Patrick Onwuasor was seen inadvertently going into Smith’s knee.

This would have effectively ended his season before it essentially began. Fortunately, that does not appear to be the case after he was spotted standing on the sidelines for the duration of the 59-10 victory.

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The Ravens put an emphasis on shoring up their depth in the secondary this offseason. It is already being put to good use with Smith expected to miss some time and cornerback Tavon Young out for the rest of the year. Stepping up in his place will likely be cornerback Anthony Averett, who played well against the Miami Dolphins in the season opener.

Although Baltimore is confident in Averett’s ability to serve as a viable replacement, they will be counting the days until Smith’s return to his role as one of the most integral members of this defense.

Harbaugh complimented Averett for his tight coverage.

“Once he got his sea legs, he really played well,” Harbaugh said.

Baltimore’s secondary was once its deepest position. But nickelback Tavon Young suffered a season-ending neck injury in training camp, and now Smith will be sidelined for a stretch.

Over the next four games, the Ravens will face notable quarterbacks in Kyler Murray, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, Patrick Mahomes, the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player; Baker Mayfield, who threw for over 340 yards in each of his two meetings with Baltimore; and Ben Roethlisberger, who has won four of his past five meetings against the Ravens.

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Nadal wins 4th US Open title

Rafael Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev in an epic five-set match, 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 to win the men’s singles title at the 2019 US Open. It was Nadal’s 19th Grand Slam singles title, and fourth US Open title.

With Sunday’s victory, Nadal is just behind Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles, with 19. Novak Djokovic, the youngest of the ‘Big Three’ at 32-years-old, has a total of 16. Nadal also passed Djokovic with a fourth US Open title and is now one shy of Federer’s record five.

“Tennis is more than Grand Slams,” Nadal said after his win. “I feel honored to be part of this battle. All the things that I achieved in my career are much more than what I ever thought and what I ever dreamed.”

Fifth-seeded Medvedev, 23, came up short in the first Grand Slam final appearance of his career.  The pair came into the US Open with the most wins on the ATP Tour this year, Medvedev with 50 and Nadal with 46. Although Medvedev didn’t close out the season with the first Grand Slam title of his career, he still played an impressive summer, and was spectacular in the lead up hard court events and throughout his path to the US Open final. In Sunday’s final, Medvedev did what very few players on the ATP Tour can — rattle Nadal. He showed an immense amount of emotional maturity on court, and kept fighting for every single point.

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The last 12 Grand Slam tournaments have been won by Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic or Nadal. The last time a player outside the ‘Big Three’ won a major championship was when Stan Wawrinka defeated Djokovic in four sets at the 2016 US Open. In 2019, Nadal played in three Grand Slam finals, winning two of the three. He lost to Djokovic at this year’s Australian Open, but then extended his own record with a 12th French Open crown in Paris.

Sunday was the first five-set Grand Slam final against an opponent other than Federer or Djokovic, and the 19-time Grand Slam champion believes that Medvedev will have plenty more chances in his career. “The way that he played, is a champion way,” Nadal said of his opponent. “He has a great future. I really believe that he will be able to win Grand Slams. It’s impossible to predict the future. But his career looks very, very well.”

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Bell returns to football with TD in Jets’ loss

Playing for the first time in 20 months, running back Le’Veon Bell displayed his old Pittsburgh Steelers form, scoring a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the New York Jets’ 17-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Bell showed his entire skill set, finishing with 92 yards from scrimmage. He rushed 17 times for 60 yards, and he caught six passes for 32 yards. He played every offensive snap — 67 — which was impressive when you consider he was held out of the preseason.

“Honestly, it didn’t feel like (a long layoff),” Bell said. “It felt, like, normal. I went out there and I played football and I felt good, just being out there and having fun. I still had fun playing the game today. The outcome wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I’m a competitive guy, so I’m not happy we lost the game. I was happy I was able to compete again and came out of the game healthy.”

Bell sparked the lifeless Jets offense in the third quarter, scoring on a 9-yard pass from Sam Darnold. Bell lined up as a wide receiver, split to the left, and he beat linebacker Matt Milano on a corner route to the goal line.

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The surprising late-week shake-up underlines the team’s concerns about the depth along their offensive line. They also traded for tackle Korey Cunningham and guard/tackle Jermaine Eluemunor just before final roster cuts. Health and durability will be as crucial for this group as any on the team.

Seconds later, Bell did it again, showing off his ball skills on the two-point conversion. It came on an adlib play, with Darnold eluding pressure. The quarterback scrambled 38 yards behind the line of scrimmage before lofting a pass into the back of the end zone.

Bell, who prides himself on having basketball skills, outjumped safety Siran Neal to give the Jets a 16-0 lead.

Bell, 27, who sat out last season because of a contract dispute with the Steelers, told Gase at the start of the practice week that he was ready for a full workload.

“Don’t hold back,” he told Gase, the playcaller.

He didn’t. Bell was the focal point of the running game, as no other back had more than two carries. The Jets’ prized free-agent addition began the day with 7,996 yards from scrimmage. He eclipsed the 8,000-yard mark on his first carry, reaching that plateau faster than any player in NFL history. He did it in 63 games; Eric Dickerson did it in 64.

Because Bodine was on the Patriots’ roster after Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, he will still receive a Week 1 paycheck from the Patriots. But if he returns to the team at some point after Sunday’s game, his contract won’t be fully guaranteed as it would have been if he was on the roster after 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Bodine was scheduled to earn a base salary of $1.9 million in 2019.

The Boston Globe first reported the Patriots’ intention to release Bodine, who appealed to the Patriots, in part, because of his experience (74 career starts).

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Patriots releasing Bodine after a week

After just one week, the Patriots are parting ways with Russell Bodine. They intend to release the veteran center and re-sign offensive lineman James Ferentz, according to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe.

As is often the case with the Patriots’ roster-shuffling at the bottom of the depth charts, Bodine’s departure doesn’t necessarily mean the team is moving on for good. According to Mike Reiss, the “door is not closed” for Bodine to return to the Patriots later in the season.

The Patriots acquired Bodine from the Bills last Friday for a 2020 sixth-round pick. Furthermore, the move essentially confirms Karras as the starting center for the 2019 season after usual starter David Andrews was placed on season-ending injured reserve; he was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs recently.

Ferentz, 30, is entering his fifth year as a pro after playing the past two seasons in New England. He spent the entire 2017 season on the Patriots’ practice squad, then signed to the 53-man roster last November. Ferentz played eight offensive snaps in 2018, all in Week 10 against the Titans. The Pats activated him for one other game, their Week 9 win over the Packers.

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The surprising late-week shake-up underlines the team’s concerns about the depth along their offensive line. They also traded for tackle Korey Cunningham and guard/tackle Jermaine Eluemunor just before final roster cuts. Health and durability will be as crucial for this group as any on the team.

Because Bodine was on the Patriots’ roster after Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, he will still receive a Week 1 paycheck from the Patriots. But if he returns to the team at some point after Sunday’s game, his contract won’t be fully guaranteed as it would have been if he was on the roster after 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Bodine was scheduled to earn a base salary of $1.9 million in 2019.

The Boston Globe first reported the Patriots’ intention to release Bodine, who appealed to the Patriots, in part, because of his experience (74 career starts).

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Packers beat Bears in Opener

For the next few days, the Green Bay Packers will have the best record in football. 

The Packers (1-0) kicked off the 2019 NFL season Thursday night with a 10-3 road win over the rival Chicago Bears (0-1). A year after overcoming a 20-0 deficit to beat Chicago in Week 1, Aaron Rodgers came through again with 203 passing yards and a touchdown.

Green Bay also stepped up defensively to hold the Bears without a score for the final three quarters.

Mitchell Trubisky was held to 228 passing yards and an interception on 26-of-45 passing in a rough outing as Chicago fell to 0-1 for the sixth straight season.

Everyone went into the game ready to discuss the Bears defense, but it was the Packers defense that turned heads in Week 1. The unit ranked just 22nd in points allowed last year but made several key changes, including adding former Bears safety Adrian Amos as well as pass-rushers Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith.

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Green Bay finished with five sacks and 11 quarterback hits while forcing Trubisky to move around the pocket and out of his comfort zone. Amos then made the clutch interception in the end zone to seal the game for Green Bay.

Additionally, first-round pick Darnell Savage made his presence felt with some excellent closeouts down the field

Though you don’t want to overreact to one game, the talent is there for the Packers to have a top-10 defense in 2019. The last time they ranked inside the top 10 in either points or yards allowed, they won the Super Bowl to conclude the 2010 season.

Green Bay’s defense has been a problem as of late, ranking outside the top 20 in points in each of the last three years. This has put a lot of pressure on Rodgers to carry the team with his offense, something no one can do every game.

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Nadal to face Berrettini in Semifinals

Three-time champion Rafael Nadal defeated Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in the men’s singles quarterfinals of the US Open on Wednesday and will take on Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the semifinals.

The No.20 seed Schwartzman put up firm resistance against Nadal and twice fought back from double-break deficits in the first two sets, but the Spaniard found another gear at crucial moments to secure the victory after two hours and 47 minutes’ battle.

“Straight sets but big challenges especially after the first two sets, having 4-0 and 5-1 and losing both breaks in a row, but I know how good he is when he’s confident,” Nadal said.

“I’m so happy how I accepted the situation and challenge and kept going, point after point. Here I am in the semifinals. I’m super happy, it means everything.”

In the semifinals, the Spaniard faces Berrettini, who beat Frenchman Gael Monfils 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(5) over three hours and 56 minutes in another quarterfinal. “He’s one of the best players of the world. When he’s playing well, he’s able to win against everybody,” Nadal said. “Tonight was for me [a] tough match. I’m very happy for the victory.”

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However, when it mattered most, Nadal maintained the more consistent level, advancing to his eighth semi-final in New York. The Spaniard has long been dominant in major quarter-finals, improving to 33-7 at this stage of Slams with five of those losses coming at the Australian Open. This is Nadal’s 11th tournament in 2019, and he has reached at least the last four in 10 of them.

“Diego is playing unbelievable. I need to play my best in the next round to have the chance to be in the semi-finals,” Nadal said after his fourth-round victory. That prediction proved to be spot on.

Nadal crushed 35 winners and broke serve eight times to find a way to win against an opponent who refused to back down. Many times, Nadal’s unrelenting groundstrokes typically push players further behind the baseline as a match wears on. But Schwartzman tried to go blow-for-blow with the second seed, playing aggressively whenever possible.

His effort was not enough, though, as Nadal earned a semi-final showdown against Matteo Berrettini, who had never made a Slam quarter-final before this tournament. The Italian outlasted Frenchman Gael Monfils in an epic five-setter earlier in the day. It will be the pair’s first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.

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Titans put kicker Succop on IR, sign Santos

Just five days from kickoff and the Tennessee Titans will be calling upon a new addition to do their kicking off.

Tennessee is placing kicker Ryan Succop on injured reserve and signing veteran Cairo Santos, the team announced Wednesday.

Succop passed his physical on Aug. 19 and was taken off the physically unable to perform list, but his status has clearly taken a negative turn. Succop, arguably the most successful Mr. Irrelevant, reportedly underwent offseason knee surgery.

Having begun his career in Kansas City in 2009, the 32-year-old booter has played the last five seasons in Tennessee and is on the heels of a 2018 campaign in which he converted 26 of 30 field goals (86.7 percent) and 28 of 31 extra points (90.3 percent). Meanwhile, the Titans will turn to the foot of Santos, a five-year veteran who also got his start in Kansas City. In 2018, Santos spent time with the Rams and Buccaneers, converting 14 of 18 FGs (77.8 percent) with 22 of 23 PATs made (95.7 percent).

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“I think we’ll be ready to rock and roll by the time I get to Cleveland [for the regular-season opener], for sure,” Succop said on Aug. 21. “I think the progress that I’ve made in the last three or four weeks has really taken off.”

Tennessee signed Succop to a five-year, $20 million contract extension in February 2018. He posted an 86.7 field goal percentage last season.

“I reached out to Ryan, that is someone who I admire and respect. I told him I’m only here to make every single kick and worry about one game at a time,” said Cairo Santos.

“I’ve been used to it the last couple of years. You know I stepped in with the Bears, Rams and then Bucs mid-season, so it’s not really something you think about. I go about my business and I know what the expectations are of me, so I just focus on getting that done,” added Santos.

There are new things that come along with kicking for a new team, including how Santos preferences on the hold-down. “I don’t think it will be an issue at all we’ve had a chance to talk (Beau Brinkley and Brett Kern), and how I like my holds leaned is very similar if not the same as Ryan’s so there shouldn’t be any adjustments there,” said Santos.

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