Duchene took the high road, expressing admiration for Forsberg over the weekend.

“I don’t think it was meant to be anything personal. He and I have a great relationship. So I’m not taking it personally,” Duchene told The Denver Post. “I think he’s just commenting on the situation. A lot can get lost in translation.”

Torre said both Maddon and Baker, along with both team’s general managers, were part of an initial meeting on Tuesday concerning the outlook of getting the game in. But once the forecast called for no halt in the rain in the foreseeable future Tuesday night, the decision was made to resume the series on Wednesday.

The winner of the series will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS. The Dodgers will gain an extra day of rest after closing out the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.

“Both these teams, between us and Washington, I think whoever wins this series, we’ll be ready for that moment (to face the Dodgers),” Maddon said.

“Otherwise, I wouldn’t have made the challenge,” he said.

Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said the team practiced the 5-on-3 situation Monday, with the sixth attacker a bonus.

“Our guys did a really good job,” Laviolette said.

While the Panthers have been stymied trying to run the ball the past couple of weeks, the Eagles have appeared more balanced.

“I think that’s the big reason we’ve been able to be so successful,” Wentz said. “We’re able to move the ball in the air. We’ve been able to move the ball on the ground. I think that’s what makes us tough to defend at times.”tigers_051

McCown chased down Jackson and put his arm around the embattled coach.

Whitney Mercilus, LB, Houston Texans: Mercilus left the game during the Texans’ first defensive series, and he was quickly ruled out for the rest of the game due to a chest injury.

Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Kelce took a hard hit at the tail end of the second quarter and did not appear to start the second half. The Chiefs subsequently announced that Kelce was being evaluated for a concussion, and he did not return.

While the choice to shun the field goal was debatable, Jackson’s conclusion to bench an ineffective Kizer for Kevin Hogan was the right move.

Hogan threw two touchdown passes, a 21-yarder to rookie tight end David Njoku and a 41-yarder to Duke Johnson in the final two minutes to pull the Browns within 17-14.

Cleveland tried an onside kick, but Jets linebacker Julian Stanford recovered it and McCown knelt three times to run out the clock. It is the first time in his 15-year career that McCown has won three consecutive starts.

When the game ended, McCown chased down Jackson and put his arm around the embattled coach.

“I told him to hang in there,” McCown said. “Fight the fight.”

With his future growing cloudy, Jackson opened the second half with Hogan, who came into training camp as the team’s forgotten No. 4 quarterback. Hogan brought a spark, driving the Browns to a touchdown — and their first lead of the season — on the opening possession of the third quarter.x (9)

Go back and replay the Trevathan shot to Adams’ head.

The helmet-to-helmet impact is devastating, sending the receiver’s mouthpiece flying. Almost as soon as Adams hit the ground, players on both teams started frantically waving for medical personnel to race to his aid. He was taken off on a gurney, and the frightening images strongly suggested we wouldn’t be seeing him back in uniform for a while.

Trevathan was suspended for Monday night’s matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. The player who caused the brain injury would miss a game, but the player who suffered the brain injury would not.

It’s halftime in Dallas and the Cowboys currently hold a nine-point lead. Dallas had a chance to add to its advantage, but Prescott fumbled on the final play of the period. The Cowboys recovered, but the clock ran out. Prescott threw for 168 yards and three touchdowns in the half, while Aaron Rodgers tallied 107 yards and a score.

Dallas advances the ball to midfield and calls timeout with 25 seconds to go before the end of the half.

Touchdown Packers. Rodgers hands it off to Aaron Jones, who accelerates through a hole at the line of scrimmage and into the end zone for a 7-yard score. But, Mason Crosby again misses the extra point and Green Bay now trails 21-12 with 54 seconds remaining in the half.

On a second-and-8, Rodgers completes a 9-yard pass to Aaron Jones, moving Green Bay to the Dallas 7. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field confirmed. The Packers will have a first down with 58 seconds before halftime. x (6)

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ trailer to debut during Monday Night Football

The force is strong with Monday Night Football.

The official trailer for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” will debut during halftime of Monday’s matchup between the Bears and Vikings at Soldier Field, Lucasfilm announced Sunday.

The eighth installment of the Star Wars franchise is written and directed by Rian Johnson and will hit theaters Dec. 15. The movie will follow up the widely successful “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which was released in December 2015.

He told the Mercury News that he didn’t feel quite like himself last week, but thought he could still be effective. Maybe this week he will feel more like himself after returning to full practice Friday for the first time in two weeks. His removal from the pregame injury report indicates the team’s improved confidence in his status heading into this week’s contest against the Indianapolis Colts.

John Brown, quadriceps, and J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals, hamstring, tooth (Q), 1:00 p.m. ET: Both of these receivers were listed as questionable last week, and both suited up on Sunday. Given that both were limited participants in practice daily, the expectation is that both will again be available on Sunday against the Eagles. These soft tissue injuries can act up during warm-ups, however, so fantasy owners should be sure to check pregame inactives.

Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars, ribs, (Q), 1:00 p.m. ET: Rib injuries are unpredictable in terms of how painful they are for an athlete. Lee did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, and his participation on Friday was limited. His status on Sunday may well come down to how he feels at game time.

x (2)

NFL expecting mixed bag of protests to President Donald Trump’s comments

The NFL is expecting mixed reaction Sunday to President Donald Trump’s comments about the league and protests, a senior NFL official has told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio.

The NFLPA denied Sunday that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and union chief DeMaurice Smith discussed how to handle President Trump’s statements about player protests.
“We expected a mixed bag today, on a team-by-team basis,” the official said.

The same official confirmed that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell talked to a number of players about their plans, including Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins, who is considered a leader and activist in seeking reform and change.

This is the third time Spence has dislocated his shoulder. The first one came in Week 4 last year against the Denver Broncos. He finished out the season with torn labrum, wearing a neoprene shoulder harness. Spence has not worn a harness since the surgery but said he will begin wearing it again.

Five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy aggravated his right ankle during the game, an injury he’s been dealing with since last week. He had on a walking boot in the locker room.

The Bucs were already without several key players on defense due to injuries and illness — defensive tackle Chris Baker (flu), defensive end Jacquies Smith (flu), cornerback Brent Grimes (shoulder) and middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (hamstring) did not play.a (9)

Rams’ Ethan Westbrooks arrested on gun charges

Rams defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks was arrested over the weekend in Kern County, California, for allegedly possessing a handgun that was not registered to him, ESPN confirmed Monday.

Westbrooks was initially pulled over for speeding Friday night, and the officer found a handgun inside the vehicle that was loaded with 13 rounds of ammunition. Records later revealed that the handgun was reported stolen in 2009, according to records from the California Highway Patrol.

The Rams player was booked in Kern County Jail in Bakersfield, California, located roughly 115 miles north of Los Angeles, and later posted bail. He practiced with the team in Thousand Oaks, California, on Monday afternoon.

Bolles didn’t practice Wednesday, but he returned to the field on Thursday with his left ankle and foot heavily taped.

He said he feared his season was over when he suffered the injury.

“I love this game, and it was something I thought this game was going to end sooner than I thought for the season,” Bolles said after Thursday’s practice. “Then they were telling me they didn’t really know what my diagnosis was … but then I knew I was going to be able to come back to it.”

Bolles initially was checked for an Achilles tendon injury and then was evaluated Monday morning to determine whether he had a fracture. After X-rays and an MRI on Monday, Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said Bolles had a bone bruise.

Meanwhile, Denver wide receiver Bennie Fowler III, who is listed as questionable for Sunday with a concussion, also is expected to play against the Bills, a source also told Schefter.
b (9)

Fantasy Focus Football Podcast board bets scoreboard for 2017

If you’re even a semi-regular listener to the Fantasy Focus Football Podcast, aka the 06010, you are likely aware that Matthew Berry and Field Yates occasionally will disagree on a player’s fantasy output, whether it’s for the season or a specific week during the NFL season.

With a nod to faithful listener and board bet historian, Nick Scott, who created the original 06010 board site, we’ve decided to give you a place to check the tally board throughout the season right here on the pages of ESPN.com.

We’ll keep it simple and just state the proposition bet, along with which side Matthew and Field took. Once there is a winner, we will add that, and change the “leaderboard” below. Good luck in your leagues this season!

Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders: For the second consecutive week, Cooper was held in single digits, following up his 7.3 PPR fantasy points with 1.6 on Sunday night. That was the third-lowest total in his 35-game NFL career, and he was started in 91.2 percent of ESPN leagues.

Justin Tucker, K, Ravens: Kickers can be wholly unpredictable, at the mercy of their offense, such as in Tucker’s case in a game his Ravens lost 44-7. His one-point fantasy score qualified for the “losers” list, though, as he was started in 93.8 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 3. Only five times in his 83 career NFL games has he scored one or zero points, and this was the first time that Tucker did so since 2015 Week 10 (also one).
o (9)

You’re still our favorite NFL kicker this week.

Kickers are the IT professionals of football. They tend to work outside of a traditional team structure, do a job everyone understands in theory but not at all in actual execution, and when they fuck up, everyone gets very angry indeed.

I love them. I love everything about them. I love their lone wolf status. I love that they’re essentially uncoached, leaving it up to them to figure out how the hell they’re supposed to kick a misshapen lump of pig upwards of 60 yards.

It doesn’t seem like this would be an orchestrated scenario Alex Smith like I attributed the Blount situation of 2014 to being. But it could be. It also could be hypocritical to want a player to do the same thing Blount did to the Steelers to another franchise. But I can live with some hypocrisy on my record.

Will this happen? Originally I found it very unlikely of a scenario. I figured that Timmons would likely only get a 1-game ban from his new team and eventually all would be forgiven. Or I thought the Dolphins would wait and cut him in the off-season and the Steelers could sign him back at the vet-minimum, but now with the suspension now in play, this could actually come to fruition.

As off-base and improbable as all this might still be, it’s sure fun to speculate. I would love to see No. 94 back at the veteran minimum, and he might accept it to get back to the Steel City.

Doubtful to occur, but nobody expected Joe Haden to ever be in black and gold either. But we need to remember that the Steelers have done nothing but prove they are all-in for 2017, so anything can happen.

o (9)

Nothing is nicer than Gronk’s 69th touchdown

Not only that, but, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com, Gronk’s stats are actually littered with 69s. The touchdown isn’t all we have to celebrate: He’s also at 69.4 yards per game, and his catch percentage is 69.6 percent. What are the odds? I can only chalk it up to divine intervention. If Gronk’s story truly is a Greek myth, Zeus is up there on Mount Olympus, drinking a High Life in his La-Z-Boy with his feet up on the coffee table, watching football and patting himself on the back for orchestrating such a momentous occasion.

Look, I know this sounds like one big joke, and that’s probably because it is.

Reid became head coach in Philadelphia in 1999, took the franchise to a Super Bowl but never won one. He was fired in 2012 and now is in his fifth season in Kansas City. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie decided the Eagles needed a new voice, a new style, a new plan. Lurie is on his second coach since — first Chip Kelly, now Doug Pederson — who happens to have been Reid’s offensive coordinator in Kansas City and who spent 12 years in the league with Reid as a player or coach.

Reid disagreed with Lurie’s decision. It hurt him to leave Philadelphia, a team and a town with which he shared special bonds. He has built a fast and strong team in Kansas City.

Gruden and Washington seek to avoid a huge 0-2 hole.

This game should feature plenty of offensive wizardry.

The sting of losing it for Gruden would be severe. No veteran NFL coach wants to lose to a guy who is in only his second NFL game as a head coach. Especially one he tutored. Especially considering a Washington fan base that is already fretting and antsy.
o (7)

The Bengals realize they’re terrible, and there’s not a damn thing they can do about it

Two games into the season — both at home — and the Bengals still haven’t scored a touchdown. They’re the first team to “achieve” that feat since the Bears … in 1939. Good job, guys!

Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick gave the most honest assessment of the team — “We suck.”

For all their faults as a team, at least Bengals players were pretty honest about who they are after losing one of the ugliest Thursday Night Football games we’ve ever seen:

Maybe. Cincinnati held another awful team to 266 yards, TOTAL yards. The Texans didn’t even top 100 yards passing. The Bengals prevented the Texans from converting their only red-zone opportunity and had them 0-1 on goal-to-go. Houston only converted four of 15 third downs.

Kizer left the Browns’ loss to the Ravens on Sunday with a migraine, but was able to return to the game. He didn’t play well, though. He completed less than 50 percent of his passes for 182 yards, no touchdowns, three interceptions, and he also lost a fumble. Why, he played so poorly that he looked like a bona fide Browns quarterback.

Hue Jackson said after the game that he’s not concerned about Kizer’s confidence. And there’s probably some validity to that.

“He didn’t play as well yesterday, but the sky isn’t falling down by any stretch of the imagination,” Jackson said Monday via the team’s website. “This guy is everything I think he is.”

The Ravens defense has been a force so far. They dominated the Bengals, shutting them out 20-0, with four picked Andy Dalton passes and a forced fumble. So the way Baltimore played against the Browns is just par for the course so far.
0 (9)