Tagged in: return

Marty Mornhinweg returns to Eagles staff as consultant

Eight years after leaving the Philadelphia Eagles along with the Andy Reid regime, Marty Mornhinweg has returned to the team under another former Reid assistant, joining Doug Pederson’s 2020 staff as a senior offensive consultant.

First reported by ESPN’s Tim McManus, the news has since been announced by the Eagles. It comes almost exactly a month after Pederson added a slew of other offensive assistants in place of jettisoned coordinator Mike Groh, former Denver Broncos coordinator Rich Scangarello and former Mississippi State assistant Andrew Breiner among them.

Pederson will not carry an official offensive coordinator this campaign, in part because he’ll keep calling plays with a number of voices, including that of promoted passing game coordinator Press Taylor, chipping into game planning. Mornhinweg, however, brings a vast amount of experience to that side of the ball, not to mention a shared history with Pederson.

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Most recently serving as the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive coordinator from 2016-2018, the 57-year-old Mornhinweg is originally a disciple of Mike Holmgren, coaching alongside Reid with the Green Bay Packers from 1995-1996. He’s perhaps best regarded for his time with the Eagles (2003-2012), during which he helped guide the team to Super Bowl XXXIX as an assistant head coach and later transitioned the offense for Michael Vick’s 2010 MVP campaign.

Mornhinweg previously spent four years under Steve Mariucci with the San Francisco 49ers and served as the Detroit Lions’ head coach from 2001-2002.

Mornhinweg started with the Ravens in 2015 as the team’s quarterbacks coach then moved up to OC a year later in place of Marc Trestman. After Baltimore hired Greg Roman as his replacement for 2019, the longtime assistant spent this past season out of the league.

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Yankees´ Aaron Judge “frustrated”, hopes to play Opening Day

As the “car wash” of testing continues to determine the cause of discomfort in Aaron Judge’s right shoulder and pectoral area, the Yankees slugger expressed frustration with his situation on Thursday, but said that he is not ready to rule out being ready for the March 26 campaign opener versus the Orioles.

“The goal is always to be ready for Opening Day,” Judge stated. “You only need about 30 at-bats to get ready for the season. I’ve still got plenty of time for that. If I don’t get them here [in Grapefruit League games], I can go on the back field or go across the street [to Minor League camp] to get those at-bats. We’ve just got to get answers first.”

Judge said that he is continuing to experience issues in both his right shoulder and right pectoral area. After arriving at the Yankees’ Minor League complex in late January, Judge initially shut down his on-field hitting due to the shoulder issue. He resumed throwing at distances of up to 120 feet, but the pectoral injury occurred during indoor hitting versus coaches last week.

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General manager Brian Cashman has repeatedly declined to state the specific tests that Judge has undergone, though he is known to have had at least one MRI.

On Wednesday, Cashman estimated that Judge has been sent for somewhere between seven and 10 tests.

“The first thing is, we’ve got to get what it is,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone stated. “What we’re dealing with, what the prognosis is, what’s the course of action? I know we get wrapped up in Opening Day and is he going to be [ready] — I don’t know. I want to know what we’re dealing with, and hopefully have a timeframe in place that, ‘OK, this is how long it’s going to be before he’s back doing anything.’ And then we’ll be able to better make those evaluations.”

Though Cashman said earlier this week that he considers it unlikely to have Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the Opening Day lineup, Judge said that he later approached Cashman to clarify that conversation, and that Cashman told him he was speaking specifically about Stanton.

Judge played in 155 games during his 2017 American League Rookie of the Year Award campaign, hitting an AL-leading 52 homers and concluding second in AL Most Valuable Player Award voting.

Injuries have limited him to 228 of a possible 338 games in the last two years: 112 regular-season games in ’18 and 102 last season, plus 14 postseason games over that span.

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Mikey Garcia ready to erase doubts at welterweight against Jessie Vargas

For 39 professional fights, Mikey Garcia didn’t know what it felt like to lose. He’d risen through the ranks on his way to becoming a four-division world champion and being regarded as pound-for-pound one of the best fighters in boxing by taking the hardest challenges along the way.

That was certainly the case when Garcia jumped up two weight classes to battle IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in front of over 47,000 people at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, back in March of last year.

However, things didn’t go Garcia’s way, and Spence dominated from the opening bell to win a lopsided decision. Eleven months later, the fire is reignited, and Garcia comes back to the ring on Saturday versus Jessie Vargas at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, live on DAZN.

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“That fight isn’t indicative of who I am and what I’m capable of doing,” Garcia said. “The last fight doesn’t represent who I am. It was just one of those nights where I just couldn’t get off or do anything. I feel this a good way to get back on track against a big name in search of winning a world title in a fifth different weight class. I know there’s a lot more I can deliver, and that’s what this fight is all about.”

Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) had plenty of routes on who to take on for his in-ring return.

He could have easily taken a tune-up in the welterweight division. However, that’s not the mindset Garcia possesses.

It’s about taking the toughest matchups — ones that will further establish himself and help him be remembered after his career is over.

That’s why Garcia is excited about facing Vargas, who checks all the boxes that he’s looking for. Vargas (29-2-2, 11 KOs) is a former two-division world champion and has taken on Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley and brings an exciting style to the table.

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Sixers´ Joel Embiid returns from injury against Warriors

The Philadelphia 76ers held serve at home versus the Golden State Warriors 115-104 on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center.

Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 24 points and 10 rebounds in his first game back after missing nine matches with a torn radial collateral ligament in his left hand.

All five 76ers starters scored in double digits. Big man Al Horford was two assists shy of a triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight dimes. 

Raul Neto dropped 19 points off the bench, all in the first half.

Philadelphia led by only four points heading into the final quarter, but Embiid keyed a 9-0 run to start the fourth with a pair of buckets and an assist. Philadelphia never led by fewer than seven from that point forward. 

The match was the first in Philadelphia since Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Maria died Sunday along with seven others in a helicopter accident.

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The 76ers paid a pregame tribute by holding a moment of silence and sounding a bell nine times.

In what has became a leaguewide norm since Sunday, the two teams started the game with an eight-second backcourt violation and a 24-second shot clock violation in honor of Bryant’s Nos. 8 and 24 jerseys.

Embiid paid tribute to the former Laker for the night by changing his jersey number from 21 to Bryant’s 24, which he wore in the latter half of his career.

Bryant was born in Philadelphia and played high school basketball at Lower Merion High School in nearby Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

For the Warriors, D’Angelo Russell led all scorers with 28 points. Draymond Green added a near-triple-double with nine points, 12 assists and nine boards.

The 31-17 Sixers have won six of their last seven. The 10-38 Warriors lost their fourth consecutive.

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Kyrie Irving returns, leads Nets past Hawks

The Brooklyn Nets will take whatever they can get after seeing how much a healthy Irving means to them.

The point guard scored 21 points in 20 minutes in his return from an injured right shoulder, leading the Nets to a 108-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

Irving made a career-best 90.9 percent of his shots after missing 26 games with an impingement. The shoulder looked fine and his handle looked as good as ever while he dribbled his way around a hopeless Atlanta defense.

Energized by his return that still seemed a ways away just a week ago, the Nets led by 39 points and won their second straight after dropping seven in a row.

“We had a certain confidence about us tonight that I think we were missing during that streak,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “So great, great timing having him back.” Cam Reddish scored 20 points for the Hawks, who played without star guard Trae Young due to a left hamstring injury and lost their fourth straight.

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The Nets made it such an easy night that their fans didn’t need to worry about the scoreboard as they roared for Vince Carter’s two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

The 42-year-old former Nets star ended with eight points in his final road appearance versus the franchise.

“Obviously to come back here, and some of the other stops I’ve played for, and just kind of to receive a standing O for one last time is just great,” Carter said.

Irving started feeling pain in his shoulder early in the season, and he took himself out of the lineup after a game in Denver on Nov. 14. The Nets held up well without him for a while thanks mostly to Spencer Dinwiddie’s strong play, but had faltered recently, especially in crunch time.

Irving got a cortisone shot on Dec. 24 and returned to full practice this week, just in time to return on his sister’s birthday.

“It’s not really a surprise for me,” Irving said of his performance. “I put in the work and when I do that I feel like the results will come.”

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Niners get kwon Alexander, others back for Saturday

Linebacker Kwon Alexander will be back on the field Saturday when the 49ers open the playoffs, but he likely won’t step into his old every-down role quite yet.

Alexander is just nine weeks removed from surgery to repair a torn pectoral. He returned to practice last week and still on IR.

The 49ers plan to activate him to the 53-man roster to play Saturday versus the Minnesota Vikings at Levi’s Stadium in the NFC divisional round.

The 49ers know what to expect from Alexander. But they also do not know exactly what to expect.

“I know Kwon will fly around,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told NBC Sports Bay Area. “He’ll hit. He’ll be energetic. He’ll get everyone going. I think everyone will feel his energy on the field. And we’ll see how it goes.

“We’re not going to throw him out there, just down-in and down-out. But we don’t have a plan, where it’s only going to be ‘this’ amount. He’s looked good in practice, but we’re also not laying people out in practice.”

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Rookie Dre Greenlaw played the weakside linebacker position during the second half of the season in Alexander’s absence.

Greenlaw made the big defensive play of the season in Week 17 when he stopped Seattle Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister just inches short of the goal line on a late-game fourth-down play.

The tackle preserved the 49ers’ 26-21 victory and wrapped up the NFC West and home-field advantage in the playoffs.

The 49ers’ three linebacker positions are similar, so the team will have some decisions to make on how they want to use Greenlaw and Alexander alongside middle linebacker Fred Warner.

Shanahan said a lot of the team’s in-game decision-making will be in reaction to Alexander’s effectiveness.

“You got to wait to see how the tackling goes and how he feels,” Shanahan said. “(He is) someone we’ll be communicating with throughout the game.”

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Nets´ Irving hopes to return within a week

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has hopes of being back on the court before 2020 gets too far along.

Irving has been out of the lineup for nearly two months because of a right shoulder issue. However, he told reporters Thursday he expects to be re-evaluated next week. Just being cleared to play is a big step to Irving.

“We just see where we end up in the next few days,” Irving said. “Realistically, we will re-evaluate tomorrow. See how I feel tomorrow. Then go Saturday — probably another practice.”

There is no exact date for his return, but Irving said Thursday he’s assigned himself a deadline of one week.

“Hopefully I get some game reps in addition to practice probably in the next week or so, it could be less than that but I’ll give myself a week.”

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Irving was able to fully participate in practices for the first time on Thursday, which included him going through some 5-on-5 contact drills, ESPN’s Malika Andrews reports. He said that a week and a half ago, he started to do 2-on-2 work with coaches as he slowly started ramping up his workload. 

When asked if there are any limitations about what he’s able to do, he said he has none “other than just keeping my shoulder maintenance program going before I get on the floor.”

Irving has played in just 11 games this season, averaging 28.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists.

In the latest NBA All-Star Voting returns, Irving ranks second in the Eastern Conference among guards with 1,351,997 votes. He saw nothing wrong with him being so up in the voting tallies despite playing in so few games.

“I put a lot of work in this league to be up there whether I’m playing or not,” Irving said. “If it’s an All-Star Game, then I would vote for myself as well.”

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Rugby: Wales fullback Williams to rejoin Scarlets from Saracens

Saracens fullback Liam Williams will return to Wales and rejoin his former side Scarlets at the end of the season, the two clubs announced on Thursday (Dec 26).

Williams helped Saracens to acquire the Champions Cup and Premiership double last season and was part of the Wales team who won this year’s Six Nations Grand Slam.

The 28-year-old is the first major player to announce his departure from Saracens after they were handed a 35-point deduction for breaching salary cap regulations and fined £5.36 million (US$6.95 million), a decision the club chose not to appeal.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saracens over the past three seasons,” Williams, who spent six years at Scarlets between 2011-2017, said in a statement. 

“The environment has undoubtedly developed me as a player and a person. “The opportunity to return home to the Scarlets was too good to turn down and I am incredibly excited about the future.”

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Williams played four times in this year’s Rugby World Cup and scored two tries before an ankle injury ruled him out of the semi-final versus eventual champions South Africa.

Signing a player of Williams’ calibre is a significant coup for Scarlets, whose potent backline already boasts several Wales internationals such as Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Rhys Patchell and Gareth Davies.

The 28-year-old is currently recovering from surgery to an ankle injury he sustained during the World Cup, which could make him a doubt for Wales’ Six Nations campaign, which starts on 1 February at home to Italy.

However, his Scarlets return will be welcomed by new Wales head coach Wayne Pivac. Once he is back with the region, where Williams formerly worked with the New Zealander, the full-back will be available for every Wales match and training session, which would not have been the case had he stayed in England.

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Maverricks´Luka Doncic scores 24 in return from sprained ankle

Luka Doncic’s return after missing nearly five full games with a sprained right ankle finished with the point guard contributing 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in the Dallas Mavericks’ 102-98 victory over the visiting San Antonio Spurs at American Airlines Center.

Doncic shot 9-of-23 (1-of-6 from three-point range) in 33 minutes en route to leading the 20-10 Mavs to victory. All five Dallas starters scored in double-digits, with Kristaps Porzingis adding 13 points and eight boards.

DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 21 points.

Doncic, who suffered the sprained ankle on Dec. 14 two minutes into his game versus the Miami Heat, didn’t look rusty after a 12-day absence.

Against San Antonio, Doncic played 32:39, about half a minute more than his season average.

”I’m not going to lie,” Doncic said. ”I was pretty tired.” Tired or not, he impressed Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

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”I hate to say this, he’s not Magic Johnson but it’s Magic Johnson-like in the sense that he sees the floor in that same way. He’s got a real intuitive sense and you can’t teach that. He’s just got it and he’s great at it. I’m not trying to put the Magic Johnson pressure on him, he’s not ready for that yet but he’s doing a hell of a job.”

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said that Doncic could have been even better.

”He had a few challenges early with rhythm and getting his legs under him. He got into a great flow as the game went on.”

Doncic said his ankle was good.

”I’m going to keep icing it. I’m young. I just want to play. I don’t want to miss no games.” The Mavericks (20-10) pulled within half a game of idle first-place Houston in the Southwest Division.

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Warriors´Draymond Green returns from 3 game absence

Another healthy body sure helped the Golden State Warriors, especially when that guy coming back was Draymond Green — an emotional, vocal leader of this young group who brings it on both ends.

Eric Paschall scored 25 points and the Warriors emphatically closed out a tight game after their failure two days earlier, holding off the Chicago Bulls 104-90 on Wednesday night for just their second victory at new Chase Center.

“Having Draymond back was a big deal. He settled us down,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Having nine instead of eight, it matters. You just have more to work with and more options.”

The latest injury news for the Warriors involved their coach.

Kerr cut his right hand breaking a clipboard. It happens at least once a season.

“It’s a mere flesh wound. I broke a clipboard. It’s one of two. I’m allotted two a year. This was No. 1,” Kerr said. “It always cuts in the same place. This was a little deeper one, I was a little more upset. I’m day to day. No stitches yet but we’ll see tomorrow.”

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Alec Burks added 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in just the second victory in 12 games for Golden State, which squandered a late lead Monday night in losing 100-97 to Oklahoma City while allowing the Thunder to score the game’s final 13 points. The Warriors snapped a three-game losing streak.

Green returned from a three-game absence because of a sore right heel and contributed seven points, eight assists and five rebounds in nearly 24 minutes.

Zach LaVine had 36 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Bulls, who now will try to avenge a 117-94 home defeat to the Trail Blazers on Monday night when they travel to Portland to play Friday.

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