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Thursday, September 29, 2016


Russell Wilson has ‘no doubt’ he will play on Sunday

Russell Wilson Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson definitely plans to play in Sunday’s game.

Wilson, who has been nursing a strained MCL, made it clear that he intends to play in Sunday’s game against the Jets.

The question is probably whether Wilson will be limited or not. If he’s hindered, the Seahawks may be at a disadvantage. For what it’s worth, it’s said that he feels great, but we won’t truly know until he takes the field and gives it a shot in an actual game situation.

Ben McAdoo on Odell Beckham playing defense: ‘Never say never’


The New York Giants are dealing with an injury crisis at safety, and coach Ben McAdoo might have to get creative to address the situation.

He even refused to rule out using Odell Beckham Jr. in a defensive role.

“Never say never,” McAdoo said of using Beckham defensively, via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

Beckham was coy when asked if he practiced the position.

Would the Giants really risk Beckham with the added possibility of injury? After all, they already had one silly scare recently. Still, it’s a fun possibility, and he might actually have the physicality to do that.

Jonathan Stewart won’t play against Atlanta, could miss 4 weeks


One of the many concerns for the 1-2 Carolina Panthers is the health of Pro Bowl running back Jonathan Stewart.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said on Thursday that Stewart will not play in Week 4 against the Atlanta Falcons and that he isn’t sure of Stewart’s timetable beyond that. However, Rivera did note last week that Stewart could be facing four weeks on the sideline, per Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.

Stewart, 29, was inactive in Carolina’s Week 3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings after getting knocked out of a Week 2 victory over the San Francisco 49ers with a hamstring injury. He had only managed 73 rushing yards on 20 carries for the season before getting hurt.

Cameron Artis-Payne got the start at running back against Minnesota, rushing 12 times for 47 yards. Fozzy Whittaker also got some decent work in with five carries for 22 yards.

While having the NFL’s premier dual-threat quarterback in Cam Newton will prevent the offense from suffering too much in Stewart’s absence, the lack of clarity in their backfield is yet another conundrum that the reigning NFC champs will have to solve.

H/T Rotoworld

Richard Sherman: NFL does not care about player injuries

Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman bluntly assessed the NFL’s level of concern for player injuries in a video on Thursday.

Speaking for the Players’ Tribune, Sherman said that players do accept the risks of football, but players simply are not protected by the NFL.

“You’re going to get arthritis in your knees, you’re going to probably have some stress in your back, your ankles are going to crack and pop all the time, and it’s just things that come with the territory, decisions and sacrifices that you knowingly make coming into this game,” Sherman said. “But the NFL really [couldn’t] care less.

“We really don’t have reason to trust the NFL and I don’t think they mind either way.”

Sherman believes the NFL has incentive to keep players like Cam Newton who may be injured on the field for financial purposes, “because it would affect the ratings, because it would affect the game.”

It’s not the first time Sherman has been critical of NFL executives, and he’s not afraid to tell it like it is. You have to wonder how many other players feel the same way.

CC Sabathia hoping to pitch beyond 2017 season


CC Sabathia has one year remaining on his current monster contract with the New York Yankees. The left-hander is nowhere close to as dominant as he was four or five years ago, but that does not mean he is considering retirement.

Sabathia, who has been with the Yankees since 2009, knows for certain that he wants to continue pitching beyond the 2017 season. If he can do it in New York, even better.

“I know I want to pitch after next year, but I haven’t thought about where or what,” the 36-year-old told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. “Hopefully it will be here. We’ll see.”

While his 8-12 record and 4.02 ERA this season is hardly vintage Sabathia, he pitched significantly better this year than he has in the previous two or three. The 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner may no longer intimidate opposing pitchers, but he is still very confident in his abilities.

“It’s definitely been an improvement. Health has been a big factor in that,” he said. “I feel like I’ve made big strides in becoming the pitcher I’ve been trying to become. I’m excited about it. As long as I’m healthy, I feel like I’ll be able to get big-league hitters out. I’ve proven that.”

Between his diminishing arm strength and the well-documented issues he has had in his personal life, Sabathia won’t be in line for a big contract when his current deal expires in a year. However, he is a left-hander who made 29 or more starts in each of the past two seasons. If he can do the same next year, he shouldn’t have trouble finding work.

“I just know myself,” Sabathia said. “I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries, I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”

We shall see.

Khris Middleton expected to miss 6 months after hamstring surgery

Khris Middleton

The recovery timetable of Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton is finally beginning to take shape, and it’s none too encouraging.

The team announced on Thursday that Middleton underwent successful surgery to repair his ruptured left hamstring and is expected to miss approximately six months.

The 25-year-old was hurt earlier this month in preseason workouts. Training camp is just getting underway, but a six-month absence would put Middleton’s return around late March, near the very end of the regular season.

Without their rising 3-and-D wing for the foreseeable future, it will take a total team effort for the Bucks to fill the massive crater he leaves in their lineup. Milwaukee’s recent acquisition of Michael Beasley should help keep the offense serviceable, but Jabari Parker will likely be asked to defend the perimeter more often and possibly to expand his range out to the three-point line. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s length/athleticism may also have to wielded as a central component of the Bucks’ defensive identity, while the team could be forced to slow the pace and play more heavily through the post passing and interior scoring of Greg Monroe as a makeshift method of floor spacing.

Cowboys reportedly worried about ‘irresponsible’ behavior from Dez Bryant


Dez Bryant has had a number of off-field issues over the years since he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, and the team is reportedly concerned that they could all ultimately add up to a shortened career.

According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, Bryant missing meetings has been a “continuing problem” for the Cowboys and has been going on for quite some time. However, his reasons are typically innocent — like the time he missed treatment and was fined because he was buying sandwiches for the training staff. Still, his antics aren’t always laughed off.

“The problem is Bryant remains overwhelmingly irresponsible and lacking in common sense,” Cole said Thursday. “This causes the Cowboys to wonder just how long he’ll be able to play at a premier level.”

Bryant’s reason for missing his MRI on Monday is a prime example of his lack of maturity. It’s a well-known fact that he is an emotional player, and that contributes to him being able to play at such a high level. Still, there are many times where he has trouble honing it in.

When things are going great, Bryant is one of the best players in the game. When the Cowboys struggle and he isn’t feeling 100 percent healthy, he has a tendency to lose focus. That’s basically what Cole is referring to.

Photo: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Ryder Cup heckler becomes legend after Henrik Stenson calls him out (Video)


We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the Ryder Cup on Thursday, and it was only a practice round. Believe it or not, we can thank a heckling fan for that.

When European golfers Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan found themselves unable to make a 12-foot putt (they supposedly missed it six times), a fan began giving them a hard time and said even he could knock it down if given the opportunity. Henrik Stenson, who was playing with McIlroy, Sullivan and Justin Rose, called the guy out on it and told him to give it a shot. Rose even laid a $100 bill on the green and told him he could keep it if he hit the putt.

Geess what? The guy buried it:

And he even took a shot at Rory’s height by asking if he could use Dustin Johnson’s putter instead! It doesn’t get any better than that.

McIlroy has always been a great sport when it comes to fan interactions (even in this touchy situation), so we’re not surprised he gave the guy a chance to shine. Did he envision the fan draining the putt on his first attempt? We know the answer to that.

Report: Texans have no long-term concerns about health of JJ Watt

JJ Watt

J.J. Watt is likely going to miss the rest of the 2016 season, and with a rather significant list of back injuries to his name, some are worried about his long-term future.

The Houston Texans, reportedly, don’t think there will be a problem going forward as far as his health goes.

It’s good news, though we’re not certain how they can be sure. After all, Watt feared for his career during the offseason. Another back injury definitely has to make some people worry.

Dez Bryant responds to Skip Bayless calling him out over missed MRI

Dez Bryant

Like many other talking heads across the country, Skip Bayless used a portion of his show on Thursday morning to debate why Dez Bryant failed to show up for his MRI at the Dallas Cowboys facility earlier in the week. But apparently if Skip wanted the real answer, all he had to do was ask.

After Bayless sent a couple of teaser tweets telling viewers to tune into “Undisputed” to watch him and Shannon Sharpe discuss the drama surrounding Bryant, Dez called Skip out.

Prior to seeing the tweet, Bayless speculated that Bryant’s latest injury “crushed his psyche” and he went home and “went in the mental tank.” He also said he believes the star receiver went AWOL and needed Jerry Jones to go to his house to get him to show up to work.

When informed of Bryant’s reply, Skip welcomed him on the show. The Big Lead captured a video from before and after Bayless was made aware of the tweet:

When you hear the reason Cowboys coach Jason Garrett gave for Bryant boycotting his MRI, you get the idea that Skip was on the right track. Regardless of his rationale, Bryant acted immaturely.

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