Browns’ Josh Gordon set to be activated this week, report says

Josh Gordon is set to return to the football field for the first time in nearly three years.

“I guess it was just my turn at that time,” Holiday said. “Obviously, we were down and I was having a rough game passing the ball.”

Rajon Rondo, who sat out the Pelicans’ collapse against Sacramento on Friday night, returned with 13 points and 18 assists.

Holiday said Rondo fueled New Orleans’ 44-point fourth quarter with his ability to push the pace and “get everybody a good shot.”

“My points are (thanks) to him,” Holiday asserted. “Right when he came back in, everything changed for me.”

Anthony Davis added 29 points and DeMarcus Cousins 23 for New Orleans, which looked out-of-synch in the third quarter and in danger of dropping a second straight at home.

The proposed initiative came about as the result of talks between league officials and the Players Coalition, a group consisting of about 40 players meeting with officials about social justice concerns.

However, not all players are happy with the negotiations led by Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas and 49ers safety Eric Reid both said Wednesday they have withdrawn from the group.

“The Players Coalition was supposed to be formed as a group that represents NFL Athletes who have been silently protesting social injustices and racism,” Reid and Thomas said in a joint statement released on their Twitter accounts. “However, Malcolm and Anquan can no longer speak on our behalf as we don’t believe the coalition’s beliefs are in our best interests as a whole.”

Accordng to ESPN, the NFL submitted its proposal to players Monday. Players will discuss the offer Wednesday night. Owners would also still have to vote on the proposal at the league meetings in March.panthers_013

Cutler throws an incomplete pass on third down near midfield and the Dolphins punt with three seconds remaining in the quarter.

Thy name is the Cleveland Browns. The NFL’s only winless franchise this season couldn’t even execute a trade-deadline deal to obtain a quarterback (Cincinnati’s A.J. McCarron) let alone squeeze lemon juice from DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan.

— Colin Kaepernick: Whether he could have provided better QB play than his peers is debatable. But we’ll never know for sure since Kaepernick’s political stance has made him persona non grata around the league and has led to a collusion complaint.

Given the fact that an unexpected NFC South team has made a deep playoff run the past two seasons, New Orleans is in good position to do it again in 2017 with some Superdome advantages in-hand.

“With Nike, I felt like it was an easy choice for me,” Fox said. “I’ve been wearing them for a long time, and they have my favorite shoes.”

While at Kentucky, it was his 25 year-old older brother Quentin Fox who let the younger Fox borrow from his extensive stash of size 12 and 12.5 sneakers.

Sam Darnold, QB, USC — Darnold may return to college, but the 6-4, 220-pound redshirt sophomore had himself a day. Darnold threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-34 passing. He also ran for 31 yards and a score in USC’s 38-24 win over Colorado.

Touchdown, Carolina. Newton finds Christian McCaffrey along the right sideline for a 2-yard score as the Panthers’ advantage grows to 38-14.
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The Rams are for real and it’s time everyone takes them seriously, especially opponents.

The NFC North is Minnesota’s to lose, and the Vikings are on a quest to be the first team to play in a Super Bowl in their home stadium.

With general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy, the Packers have built a strong reputation as a class organization that successfully rebuilds with drafted, homegrown players. It’s well deserved given Green Bay’s consistency over the years, with a Super Bowl XLV ring to show for it.

But other than left tackle David Bakhtiari and defensive tackles Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels, the successes have not fallen in line for the current roster. Either the Packers have been complacent in stockpiling the right talent by being too reliant on Rodgers, or that talent isn’t being maximized by the coaching staff.

Now here comes rookie Dede Westbrook ready to provide another threat in the passing game, just in time with fading No. 2 Allen Hurns on the shelf. When needed, tight end Marcedes Lewis can be a big factor as a short-to-intermediate “safe” target.

The offers were strong from the start, with each brand pitching north of a million dollars per year, along with additional incentives. Fox met with Under Armour founder Kevin Plank at the company’s Baltimore headquarters on May 15, impressing executives with engaged product questions and marketing conversations throughout their meeting. Fox had worn Under Armour during his early AAU days with the Houston Defenders.nike_bills-080

Heat top Celtics 104-98, snap Boston’s 16-game win streak

Goran Dragic scored 27 points, Dion Waiters had 26 with a pair of big 3-pointers in the final minutes and the Miami Heat held on to beat Boston 104-98 on Wednesday night, snapping the Celtics’ 16-game winning streak.

Perine carried 23 times for 117 yards, including his 1-yard TD.

Saints: Lattimore tried to return for the first defensive series of the second half, but came off the field soon after and went to the locker room. Defensive end Alex Okafor needed help off the field, favoring his left leg, in the fourth quarter.

I could feel him next to me and I could hear him saying, like, ‘Let me take it, let me take it.’ The minute I got it, I could feel him there and I just handed it to him, both of us recognizing that he’ll take the hit for both of us. That’s why you love Rob. He’s a teammate in every sense of the word and wants to win and is willing to put it on the line for the group.”

“Whoever was anonymous, whoever said it is a coward, flat out,” defensive tackle Damon Harrison told SNY.tv. “I mean, if you’re not man enough to put your name behind something that you feel because that hasn’t been echoed to anybody in this locker room бн I mean, we could have talked it out if you feel that way. It could have went differently.

“For a guy to go through that, to have those emotions, to go the whole night before not sleeping very much and then to come out there and have some very pivotal plays in that game and make a huge difference, it says a lot about the guy,” Shanahan said. “And regardless of whether he played good or bad, the fact that he was out there and tried his hardest and tried to help us was the most important (thing).”
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NFL owners committee says Roger Goodell contract talks are ‘progressing’

The NFL’s Compensation Committee is continuing to move forward with a contract extension for commissioner Roger Goodell, despite reported efforts — and threats — by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement Monday.

Blank’s statement (via SportsBusiness Journal), on behalf of the committee tasked with negotiating the extension with Goodell:

However, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart denied that Goodell had submitted a written counterproposal, adding that there have been ongoing meetings and calls ahead of a reported conference call Monday involving the Compensation Committee.

“Someone on our team talked with him,” Walton said after the Lakers’ practice Saturday, without disclosing who it was. “It’s all part of the learning process.”

When asked to reveal who spoke to Ball, Walton said, “That’s a locker room thing, unless they want to share it. What our players talk about behind the doors I’m not going to repeat to the media.”

“I just try to get in there and break it up,” the 7-foot Lopez added. “I’ll just try to get in the middle of it. If someone throws a punch, maybe it’ll hit me. I can take it. Unlike [my twin brother] Robin, probably.”

Walton was not concerned with how some on the internet were critical of Ball walking away from the scuffle.

Trail Blazers: After scoring Portland’s first points, Napier followed with a 3 and two free throws to account for the Blazers’ first seven points. … The crowd greeted former Sixer Evan Turner with a loud round of boos. The 76ers drafted Turner second overall in 2010. … The Blazers had held seven of their last eight opponents under 100 points. … Forward Al-Farouq Aminu (ankle) missed his ninth straight game.
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he’s not about to think about letting it happen again.

Campbell let off the gas before — after he experienced accolades that followed his appointment as the head coach at Toledo in 2011 at age 32, though it’s doubtful anyone but Campbell himself noticed a drop in intensity. Still, he’s not about to think about letting it happen again.

“You’re constantly coaching,” he said. “You’re constantly teaching, and you’ve got to constantly remind yourself that our margin for error is so small. And it’s got to start with me.”

As NASCAR experimented with two-day weekends to save teams money and see if fans would like a more condensed schedule that included qualifying earlier Sunday — and as much as NASCAR has celebrated the final season of driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. — races like Sunday will do more for the sport than anything else.

“I got up in there and rooted him out of the way a little bit. … I was able to get through there, luckily, somehow,” Busch said. “I don’t know how.”

The dominoes there will ripple across the country, especially as other schools in other conferences start making their own decisions about their futures.

Even as much as NASCAR tries to manufacture drama, it needed some help. It got it from Joey Logano, who tried to ride out a flattening tire after contact, battling for third late in the race. If he pits, his Penske teammate Keselowski possibly cruises to the win. He didn’t and ended up spinning to have seven laps left in regulation.

To be fair, if Logano could have finished ahead of other playoff drivers and Keselowski for some reason didn’t win, that could have helped Keselowski. And it was refreshing that there apparently wasn’t a team order nor team concern in the Logano camp.

“I was surprised [he didn’t pit],” Busch said. “When it’s rubbing that bad, you know you’ve got about five, six, seven laps. … What’s crazy is I actually smelt it go from rubber to cords and knew it was coming. I knew he didn’t have much time left.”canadiens_296_21a70c255793463e-180x180

Sunday Night Football: Three takeaways from Steelers’ narrow win over Lions

The Steelers captured their third consecutive win Sunday night over the Lions to move to 6-2 and into a tie with the Patriots atop the AFC.

Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster enjoyed a breakout game in the 20-15 win while Le’Veon Bell added a touchdown of his own, and Pittsburgh’s defense didn’t break despite nearly 500 yards of Lions offense and multiple trips to the red zone.

Here are three takeaways from the Steelers’ win over the Lions.

“It’s been consistently brisk,” Westgate assistant manager Jeff Sherman said of the betting action on the Knights.

Vegas is the first franchise in NHL history to win eight of its first nine games during its debut season. But the real test comes as the Golden Knights hit the road to play six games in nine days, including matchups against four of the Original Six.

Asked on a busy college football Saturday what the SuperBook’s biggest decision was, Sherman responded playfully, “the Golden Knights not to win the Cup.”

At William Hill, 18 percent of all Stanley Cup futures bets have been on the Knights. The next-closest team, the Chicago Blackhawks, has just 7 percent of the bets. Nearly 50 percent of the bets on Vegas at William Hill were placed from Oct. 16 to Oct. 29.

While the majority of the bets on the Knights have been small in size, $10 and $20, there have been some larger wagers. Last week, the Westgate took bets between “$200 and $500” on the Knights, according to Sherman. And sportsbook operator CG Technology reported taking a $500 bet on Vegas when it was 100-1. That bet would net $50,000.blues-007

Harris only has two tackles, but his presence is starting to be felt.

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who thought Beathard was going to be anywhere near an NFL franchise quarterback during his collegiate career at Iowa. Even as he compiled a 21-7 record as the Hawkeyes’ starter, he averaged just 148 yards per game as a senior.

Since Sept. 25 of last year, Kansas City is 0-3 SU and ATS against Pittsburgh and 16-2 SU and 14-4 ATS against all other opponents. Kansas City was the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL before suffering its loss on Sunday.

While the Chiefs may not be able to solve the Steelers, they haven’t had much trouble solving the Raiders in recent years. Kansas City is 11-3 SU and ATS in its last 14 road games against Oakland per the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Raiders seemed to have picked up where they left off in 2016 when they stormed out of the gate with a 2-0 SU and ATS record. But since then, Oakland is 0-4 SU and ATS, failing to take advantage of Derek Carr’s return in last Sunday’s 17-16 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

But with the offensive revival under head coach Sean McVay, no newcomer has made more of a difference than Whitworth. He has only surrendered one sack in the entire season and is tops in the NFL per Pro Football Focus’ Pass Block Efficiency.

This year, Harris only has two tackles, but his presence is starting to be felt. “Yes, the last game I though he was disruptive, high energy,” head coach Adam Gase said of Harris’ development early this season. “He was flying around the field. That was what we’ve been expecting. You can throw the stats out the window. That doesn’t mean anything to me. When the quarterback feels you and he’s getting rid of the ball because he feels like you’re creating pressure on the side of the ball you’re rushing from or in the run game, if you’re doing your job, which our defense has been the majority of the time, where everybody is playing team defense, that’s why the run game has changed.”lakers_050

The Lions also run the risk of letting the Packers run away from them in the NFC North.

Claiming that the Lions’ offense can get healthy against the Saints’ defense is really just a saying in this case. Matthew Stafford is apparently actually injured. The Lions defense showed vulnerability against the Panthers, and while Drew Brees and this offense presents different challenges, the Lions unit has a lot to prove.

Aaron Rodgers is trying to put away the NFC North a lot earlier for a change, no matter what problems have plagued the Packers. Case Keenum and Jerick McKinnon can give the shorthanded Vikings a chance in every game if the defense can hold up. But Rodgers will consistently find who’s covered by Trae Waynes — and not Xavier Rhodes or Harrison Smith — and Minnesota won’t keep up.

Following a 2-1 victory on Monday that provided the Cubs with a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series, Arrieta has the chance to propel Chicago into a third straight NL Championship Series appearance.

In the back of his mind, though, Arrieta understands the Tuesday start could represent the final time he takes center stage for the home team at Wrigley Field.

Lue coached Green as an assistant coach in Boston under Doc Rivers. With their bond established, Lue called up Green this past summer with an offer to join Cleveland to play backup minutes behind LeBron James and Kevin Love. Green made $15 million for the Orlando Magic last year but put up career lows across the board — 9.1 points on 39.4 percent shooting overall, 27.5 percent from 3 and 3.1 rebounds per game. The Cavs were offering only a veteran minimum deal of $2.1 million. Why did Green accept?

“Look around the locker room,” he said. “Look at the opportunity we have … to learn from LeBron and (Dwyane) Wade now. … I had that opportunity when they called and now I have it. It was a no-brainer to pick Cleveland to win the championship this year.”tigers_015

Varlamov, Avs aim to build on solid start vs. Bruins

Strasburg threw a bullpen session Monday. Baker said there is an illness going around his team, which he attributed to the weather, air conditioning at their hotel and Wrigley, and the “time of the year for mold around Chicago.”

“We decided to stay with Tanner because, No. 1, you know, he was slated,” Baker said. “Didn’t work out for Stras for his bullpen day, and we’re all creatures of habit, and plus, we’ve got full confidence in Tanner. And Stras, it would have been better, because he’s feeling under the weather, like a lot of my team is.”

The Cubs and Nationals took batting practice and the grounds crew got the field ready before bringing out the tarp. The rain started to fall about a half-hour after the game was supposed to start. With more showers in the forecast, Major League Baseball then called it off.

Chicago leads 2-1 in the best-of-five series going into Game 4, now scheduled for Wednesday at 4:08 p.m. EDT. There is rain in the forecast for early in the day.

Lundqvist also was credited with a goalmouth stop on Stastny during a St. Louis power play in the third. New York’s goalie finished with 20 saves.

“I think I played a pretty solid game,” Lundqvist said. “But it’s not the start you’re looking for.”

Adam Cracknell made his Rangers debut. New York picked up the 32-year-old right wing off waivers Monday from Dallas. He wore No. 25 and skated on the fourth line with Paul Carey and David Desharnais. … Prior to the game, New York announced rookie Filip Chytil had been assigned to AHL Hartford, and Andrew Desjardins was released from his professional tryout. .. St. Louis announced it had reached an agreement with San Antonio to be the Blues’ AHL affiliate.
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