Magic withstand massive game from Hassan Whiteside, beat Heat in season opener

Evan Fournier scored 23 points, Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 13 rebounds and the Orlando Magic held off the Miami Heat 116-109 in their season opener Wednesday night.

Peterson wasn’t the only older guy who showed out for the Cardinals. Carson Palmer went 18-of-22 with 283 yards, three touchdowns, and one pick. Larry Fitzgerald had 138 yards and a touchdown.

“Obviously a day for old guys,” head coach Bruce Arians said after the game, via Darren Urban of the team’s official website.

Peterson didn’t look old while he was juking the daylights out of the Buccaneers defense.

The Bucs came into the game with the eighth-ranked rushing defense. They were giving up an average of 87.2 yards per game on the ground.

The Vikings declined Peterson’s option after the 2016 season and he landed in free agency. But Peterson is 32, and he was coming off a knee injury that kept him off the field for most of last year. He averaged just 1.9 yards per carry with the Vikings last year. These factors raised questions about his future in the league.

Manning didn’t even get a chance to make the tackle. Peterson made a hard cut left and zoomed past him. Zoomed past everyone, really — a razor cutting onions. At the 45, he still hadn’t been touched. Tillman and Lance Briggs were behind him. They stayed behind him.

“Peanut is faster than almost every running back in the NFL,” Hillenmeyer told me. “Up to that point in Peanut’s career and my career, I’d never seen him not catch a running back.”

When they passed midfield, Peanut hit another gear. Only problem is that Peterson did too. On a 73-yard touchdown run, Peterson was untouched.


Colin Kaepernick still wants to play in a league where Matt Cassel, Josh McCown are starters

Colin Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since the 2016 season came to a close. He’s not counting out a 2017 return, however. In fact, he’s grinding as hard as ever to get there.

The veteran quarterback, known as much for his social activism as his five seasons as the 49ers’ starter, has been working out six hours a day in preparation for his return to the field.

Green Bay sits atop of the NFC North at 4-1, and it’s coming off the heels of a 35-31 comeback victory against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5. The Packers average 27.4 points per game, which is tied for sixth-best in the league. Green Bay’s offense — led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers — averages 245 passing yards per game, good for 11th in the league.

After the change at QB, Keenum guided three scoring drives in the second half to lead the Vikings past the Bears, 20-17. Since there is a lot of uncertainty on the Vikings’ offense, Minnesota may have to depend on its defense to win this game. Minnesota employs the 11th-best defense in the NFL, and this unit played a huge role in the team’s win against Chicago.

“It’s kind of a blur,” Peterson said later about the run. “The guys created a hole. I pressed the line of scrimmage and that cutback was there and it was a big gap. And it was off to the races.”

The run was off-tackle to the left, with the Vikings line absolutely demolishing the Bears front seven. Urlacher and Hunter Hillenmeyer were manhandled, mostly legally. Peterson had the first down before a Bear made contact.

That was safety Brandon McGowan, who squared up, got his shoulders low, put his helmet into Peterson’s thighs, and got whipped into oblivion with his legs spinning beneath him.falcons_014

Astros beat Red Sox 5-4 in Game 4, advance to ALCS

The Houston Astros poured back onto the field after advancing to their first AL Championship Series, posing for pictures with the Green Monster as a backdrop before a few players bellyflopped in the puddles in the infield dirt.

“I’m hoping this doesn’t go to hell and back on the labor board,” Rathke said. “I think Mr. Jones should just say, ‘I stepped out of line.’ Fine. … We’re not looking for blood.”

According to the NFL’s game manual, players are not required to stand for the anthem; however, it is written that they “should” stand at attention.

On Tuesday, commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to NFL teams expressing a belief that “everyone should stand for the national anthem” and that the dispute surrounding the issue is “threatening to erode the unifying power of our game.” He spoke of a plan that will be reviewed with the teams at next week’s league meeting, which would “include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues.”

Mission accomplished, as New York earned its first win of 2017 with a shocking upset victory over Denver, 23-10.

The Broncos, meanwhile, fell to 3-2 in the AFC West. The silver lining for Denver was the fact that division-leading Kansas City also lost Sunday.

On the field, Kaepernick would get a chance to show he still has it in an offense where a mobile quarterback works. This would be the best set of receivers Kaepernick has played with and a chance for him to show he can still play. Green Bay has enough talent to win the NFC North but also has enough flaws, especially on defense, that Kaepernick would have to prove himself.

Dusty Baker sticking with Tanner Roark as illness, ‘AC’ and ‘mold’ affecting team

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg won’t start Wednesday’s rescheduled National League Division Series Game 4 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field despite being on regular four days’ rest.

With Strasburg under the weather, Washington manager Dusty Baker decided to stick with Tanner Roark, who was slated to start Tuesday before the game was postponed due to inclement weather.

Embiid is expected to be ready to play for the Sixers on opening night on Oct. 18 against Washington but could initially face minute restrictions as part of the rehab process on his knee.

Embiid is the centerpiece of a Sixers revival that will include the debuts this season of the NBA’s two previous first overall picks, Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons. The Sixers signed two veteran free agents this summer, guard JJ Redick and forward Amir Johnson.

With two outs, Todd Frazier pulled a 78 mph curve to deep left and it landed smack on the foul line for an RBI double. A frustrated Bauer gestured with his hand when he didn’t get a strike-three call on a checked swing by Aaron Hicks, who soon singled home a run.

Brett Gardner singled and, after a mound visit from Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, Judge had a gritty at-bat. The rookie slugger was 0 for 11 with nine strikeouts in the series before fighting back from 0-2 to a full count and lining a two-run double to the left-field wall on one hop.

“Just had to grind it out,” Judge said.

President Donald Trump is suggesting the U.S. change its tax laws to punish organizations like the NFL if members are “disrespecting” the national anthem or flag.

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.

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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.
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