Tagged in: starter

Brandon Allen to replace injured Joe Burrow at QB for Cincinnati Bengals

Bengals quarterback Brandon Allen will take over for the injured Joe Burrow as the team’s starter, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

Allen, who has spent the entire campaign on the practice squad, will be making his fourth career NFL start on Sunday versus the New York Giants. The other three starts came with the Denver Broncos last season.

A sixth-round pick in the 2016 draft, Allen was picked up by the Bengals during training camp as a contingency option due to COVID-19. He was among the team’s final preseason cuts and was added to the practice squad.

NFL Network first reported that Allen would start for the Bengals. After the Bengals selected Burrow with the top overall pick in the 2020 draft, they opted not to add another quarterback to the 53-man roster.

On Monday, Bengals coach Zac Taylor said Allen filled that void because of the promotions allowed from the practice squad this season.

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“Whether he’s on the active roster or the practice squad doesn’t really matter,” Taylor said. “He’s still in the room doing that kind of stuff.”

Allen and Taylor have a familiarity with each other.

The two were with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 and 2018, when Taylor was an assistant coach. Taylor noted Allen’s experience with the team’s system when discussing the quarterback options for the rest of the season.

Burrow was placed on injured reserve Monday after he tore multiple ligaments in his left knee during last weekend’s 20-9 defeat to Washington. A timetable for Burrow’s surgery or eventual return is still uncertain.

Allen earns the nod as Cincinnati’s starter over second-year quarterback Ryan Finley. Finley, a 2019 fourth-round pick, started three games in 2019 as the Bengals evaluated their quarterback options ahead of the 2020 draft.

Finley served as the team’s primary backup quarterback the past two seasons but was 3-of-10 passing for 30 yards versus Washington.

“He’s in a tough spot there in the second half, but that’s life as a backup quarterback,” Taylor said. “You’ve got to get yourself ready to go. There’s things that I wish I could put him in a better position to get a better opportunity, but the bottom line is we didn’t get it done and weren’t able to get any points there in the second half to help us win.”

Also Wednesday, running back Giovani Bernard was held out of practice with a concussion, the team said. It wasn’t clear if he would be able to play versus the Giants. If not, the likely starter would be Samaje Perine.

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Injured starters Mike Clevinger, Dinelson Lamet not on San Diego Padres roster

San Diego Padres right-hander Mike Clevinger will not pitch in the wild-card round, and he could miss the remainder of the postseason with an arm injury that did not resolve during a bullpen session Tuesday, sources told ESPN.

Clevinger is not the only Padres starter with an injury. Dinelson Lamet, who concluded the season with a 2.09 ERA and was expected to be their No. 2 starter, is also out for the three-game, opening-round series versus the St. Louis Cardinals.

He has a biceps injury. San Diego named Chris Paddack its Game 1 starter in lieu of Clevinger. Padres general manager A.J. Preller announced Wednesday that Zach Davies will be the Game 2 starter, and if there’s a Game 3 it will be “all hands on deck.”

Right-hander Garrett Richards and left-hander Adrian Morejon also have started games for the Padres this year.

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The Padres obtained Clevinger, 29, from the Cleveland Indians at the trade deadline and expected him to lead their playoff rotation.

Clevinger left a Sept. 23 start after one inning, and while he has attempted to throw in the week since, concerns about his short- and long-term health persist, according to sources.

Rotation depth, while not vital in the wild-card round, will become paramount in the division series and championship series, during which there will be no off days.

The Padres acquired Clevinger, outfielder Greg Allen and a player to be named for a six-player package. Clevinger had fallen out of favor with the Indians after he and teammate Zach Plesac broke curfew during a trip in Chicago.

Teammates blamed Clevinger of lying to them and they criticized him during a meeting, following which he and Plesac were demoted. Beyond this year, the concerns about Clevinger’s arm are acute.

He has two years before he reaches free agency, and the Padres spent significant prospect capital at the deadline in hopes of him anchoring the rotation over the next few years as they try to obtain the franchise’s first championship.

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Joel Embiid out of 76ers’ scrimmage with calf issue

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid sat out Sunday afternoon’s scrimmage versus the Oklahoma City Thunder with right calf tightness.

The Sixers said before the scrimmage that Embiid started feeling tightness in the calf during Friday’s 90-83 triumph over Memphis in Philadelphia’s first action inside the NBA’s bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort. He is listed as day-to-day and will be reevaluated Monday.

“Not really,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said when asked if there is any frustration about Embiid missing time with an injury. “It’s the second game. “If this had happened three to four games into what we are calling the regular season, [yes]. There is always frustration, selfish frustration, and I know frustration, at times, for Joel. But initially, [we’re] just trying to be smart with everything and move on.”

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Brown said before Friday’s scrimmage that he hoped to get Embiid 18 to 20 minutes, but instead he ended with just under 13, scoring 10 points on 3-for-10 shooting to go with six rebounds and an assist.

He was the only starter to not play in the second half.

When asked whether Embiid could potentially miss any of the seeding games, which for Philadelphia started Saturday versus the Indiana Pacers — with whom they are tied for fifth place in the Eastern Conference — Brown side-stepped the question.

“I believe we’re just getting out in front of stuff, and being smart with it,” he said.

Brown said Al Horford, who has been benched in favor of second-year guard Shake Milton in the restart, would substitute Embiid in the starting lineup alongside Milton, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons, and that he looks at Embiid’s absence as an opportunity to get Horford some extended minutes.

“I feel that it’s an opportunity,” Brown said. “Truly — not coach speak, not political speak, truly — to play Al more, to put him with some different groups.” Embiid averaged 23.4 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 blocks per game while playing in 44 of Philadelphia’s 65 games this season prior to it being suspended in March because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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