Colt McCoy injury could make RG3 Washington’s starter for Week 15

The ever-revolving door that is Washington’s quarterback position appears ready for another dispirited turn. A neck injury to Colt McCoy is threatening his status against the New York Giants, meaning Robert Griffin III could be in line to return to the starting lineup this weekend.

There’s been no official word on McCoy’s status, but the quarterback appeared in such discomfort while speaking to the media on Monday that Chris Russell of ESPN Radio 980 claimed “it’s hard to see him playing Sunday.” McCoy, who was clubbed in the neck while taking a blindside sack from Robert Quinn in a loss to the St. Louis Rams, suffered what was called a sprained neck by the team. McCoy was taken to the hospital for testing after the game and some reports indicate the injury may in fact be a pinched nerve.

The 2014 NFL season has been a great demonstration of something the league is proud to consistently produce: parity. There are 19 teams with winning records, and the distance separating, say, our seventh-ranked team with the 13th-ranked squad is paper thin. You can make arguments for shuffling the Cardinals, Cowboys, Lions, Ravens, Chargers, Steelers and Bengals (and I’m sure you will), but each club has distinct strengths and weaknesses that put them in this group.

Arizona got back on track this week with a comeback win at home against the Chiefs, further cementing its grip on a playoff berth. The Cards have a dominant defense — no one really questions that — but it’s their offense that many worry about. After losing Carson Palmer earlier this season, they’ll now be without Andre Ellington as well, and moving the football will be a constant battle for them. I’m not saying it can’t or won’t happen, but Drew Stanton is still a remarkably consistent 50 percent passer.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys stuck to their identity on offense and had no trouble taking out the Bears, setting themselves up nicely for a rematch with the Eagles this week. The Lions are starting to get some of their offensive mojo back with their second straight 34-point performance.8

Chiefs sign C.J. Spiller

The team announced on Friday that they have signed C.J. Spiller. Spiller is eligible to sign a contract as a free agent now because he was released by the Jets in December and never signed with another team.

Spiller¡¯s Jets stint was a brief one as he saw action in four games. He also played two games for the Seahawks after being released by the Saints in September. Spiller signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the Saints in 2015, but flopped in 13 appearances with the team before getting dropped from the roster altogether.

Spiller is now well removed from his best days with the Bills in 2012 and 2013 so it is a stretch to bank on him being a contributor for Kansas City. A more immediate question may be whether his arrival spells the end of Jamaal Charles¡® time in Kansas City. Charles has a cap number of over $6.1 million and the Chiefs would get it all back if they move on from a player who has played just eight games over the last two seasons due to knee problems.
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¡°From a fan¡¯s perspective, what a great game to watch and to see Tom and his greatness on display one more time. I mean, he didn¡¯t need to win that to prove that he¡¯s the G.O.A.T., but just another part of his legacy there.¡±
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Some might argue that Rodgers is actually a better quarterback than Brady right now, which isn¡¯t crazy to say considering their athletic differences and age gap. Rodgers is more mobile, has been equally consistent and has won an MVP of his own, but Brady has the long-term legacy that Rodgers doesn¡¯t.

Sources: MLB, union agree to use dugout signal for intentional walk

As part of its initiative to improve pace-of-game play, Major League Baseball has approved a change to the intentional walk rule, going from the traditional four-pitch walk to a dugout signal, team and union sources told ESPN’s Howard Bryant.

MLB has studied various ways to quicken games.

Elite Womens Kurt Warner Jersey ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported earlier this month that MLB had made formal proposals to the players’ union to usher in both raising the strike zone and scrapping the practice of lobbing four balls toward home plate to issue an intentional walk.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the league intends give the players’ association the required one-year notice that would allow management to unilaterally make rules changes.

Getting rid of the old-fashioned intentional walk would eliminate about a minute of dead time per walk. In an age in which intentional walks actually have been declining — there were just 932 all last season (or one every 2.6 games) — that time savings would be minimal. But MLB saw the practice of lobbing four meaningless pitches as antiquated.

Snyder took three years away from coaching K-State between 2005 and 2009, but these wins are all his. Texas has 12 FBS programs, and Snyder is nine for nine in his most recent game against each one he’s played. The Wildcats have never had a game against Houston, SMU, or Texas State, which is probably good for all of those schools.
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I do worry about injury. App State had less of it than most teams last year, and a change could mean relying on freshmen at running back, offensive line, defensive tackle, or cornerback. It’s hard to overcome that.

2017 NBA All-Star Eastern Conference roster preview: Giannis Antetokounmpo leads a litany of fresh faces

The 2017 NBA All-Star Game is just a few hours away, and the Eastern Conference has some new faces to pair with the usual suspects.

As expected, LeBron James¡¯ sustained dominance has been rewarded with his 13th consecutive All-Star appearance, the longest-standing streak of its kind. His running mate, Kyrie Irving, makes his second consecutive All-Star start, and Carmelo Anthony replaces Kevin Love, who will miss six weeks to undergo knee surgery, as an All-Star reserve.
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But the rest of the conference is littered with new faces, including Bucks¡¯ star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who makes his first All-Star appearance as a starter. Below, we take a glimpse at what the Eastern Conference has to offer in the 66th annual East vs. West game hosted at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

He uses his incredible lower body strength to break tackles while his extra gear allows him to speed past most linebackers and into the secondary. Once he reaches that point, few defensive backs have the ability to take him down on their own. But Lynch isn’t the only dangerous runner in Seattle. Quarterback Russell Wilson finished 16th in rushing this season with 849 yards.

That figure placed Wilson among the top 10 for most rushing yards in a single season by a quarterback. Given that New England has struggled at times against the run (its defense ranked 14th against the run in DVOA during the regular season), the combination of Lynch and Wilson could prove especially effective during the Super Bowl.

The New England Patriots enter Sunday with a record of 14-4 counting the playoffs. The Seattle Seahawks also come in at 14-4.
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No wonder MiPS is all-in on the Mets

The 2014 National League Rookie of the Year appears fully recovered from an offseason procedure to move his ulnar nerve, a fairly common complication for pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery. Those elbow issues ended his 2016 season in early September, caused the biggest drop in average fastball velocity of any NL starter and wreaked havoc on his normally reliable fastball command. But deGrom said he was “almost guaranteed” by the doctors he’ll be back to his old self this season. Plus, the surgeons took a look at his reconstructed ligament and “said it looks great.”

Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler: The road back to the World Series starts and ends with their Amazin’ — and too often fragile — arms.

Hold on. Don’t book those hotel rooms quite yet. The Mets aren’t winning the World Series if they spend the next seven months talking about bone spurs and impingements and thoracic outlet syndrome — all fun topics that invaded their world pretty much nonstop last season. The road to winning the World Series is paved in basic math.

No tingling? No wonder MiPS is all-in on the Mets. Pain-free snapping? Forget about prop bets for the Super Bowl — I’m booking my flight to Vegas today so that I can put my entire holiday bonus on “A Met will win the 2017 Cy Young.” Eight or nine deep? Whatever you say, Sandy.

OK, OK, maybe I’m getting carried away here. In fairness to the Mets, they’re not the only ones asking fans to quaff the Kool-Aid. ‘Tis the (off)season, after all. That magical time of year when every big leaguer is supposedly in the best shape of their lives or working toward being in the best shape of their lives (even Pablo Sandoval!). A time when we all pretend that last year’s injuries and/or slumps and/or suspensions never happened.

the Cowboys will look to take care of him before he can sniff the free-agent market the way the Seattle Seahawks did with Russell Wilson.

Coach Ron Rivera recently said the team is prepared to use the tag on Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short, so expect that to happen. The Panthers still will attempt to sign Short to a long-term deal before the season, but the tag guarantees an important piece of the defense remains intact. Short has made it clear he wants to remain with the Panthers even if that means accepting the tag. Of course, cornerback Josh Norman said that last year, then didn’t sign the tag or show up for the start of organized team activities, and had it rescinded.
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In their best-laid plans, the Cowboys will sign Martin to a long-term extension this summer after picking up their fifth-year option for 2018 in the spring. That’s how they worked it with Tyron Smith in 2014 and that’s how they worked it with Travis Frederick in 2016. They have a good thing going with their offensive line and have shown a willingness to pay top dollar.

Ultimately they should avoid a possible contract stalemate with Martin, who is either the best or second-best guard in the NFL.

Of the players set to be unrestricted free agents in 2018, none rise to the franchise tag — or transition tag — designation. Maybe DeMarcus Lawrence could edge into that category with a hugely successful 2017, but he is coming off his second back surgery in as many offseasons and had one sack in 2016.

With the way it is looking now, the Cowboys would pick up the fifth-year option for Byron Jones in 2019, but he could be a franchise-tag possibility if he turns into a takeaway machine at safety.

Elite Youth Odell Beckham Jr Jersey And that brings us to Prescott. Under league rules, the Cowboys cannot extend his contract until after the 2018 season. If — and there remains an if after just one season — he continues to develop, the Cowboys will look to take care of him before he can sniff the free-agent market the way the Seattle Seahawks did with Russell Wilson.

the Celtics need more of that from Olynyk in order to remain near the top of the Eastern Conference standings

The Committee (of One) decided to invoke its executive powers and bump the Miami Heat up to the highly coveted 10th spot as a reward for the Heat’s completely unexpected 13-game winning streak.

Game Youth Steve Yzerman Jersey We know, we know: Miami’s streak just ended with Saturday’s road loss to the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers. Doesn’t matter.

Nor does it matter if the Heat eventually slide back into the bottom half of the rankings or miss the playoffs.

With a slew of teams around them (Atlanta, Utah, Indiana, Toronto and Oklahoma) all enduring a tough week, we decided to honor the Heat’s impressive achievement in part because we feel we’ve somewhat underplayed it to this point, as explained further when you scroll down to Miami’s comment.

Profuse thanks, as always, go to ESPN Stats & Info and the Elias Sports Bureau — with ESPN research ace Micah Adams running the point — for the considerable background data they all supply to assist the Committee (of One) in its efforts to arrange things here properly.
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Olynyk seems to be sticking with the man bun more often lately. He has worn a headband just twice (both wins) since the start of the new calendar year, while the bun has been featured in 16 of his past 17 games.

Since the start of January, Olynyk is averaging 11 points per game on 57.5 percent shooting overall, including a 38.8 percent mark beyond the 3-point arc. Olynyk scored 19 points — matching his second-highest output of the season — while aiding a strong bench effort as the shorthanded Celtics defeated the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.

Regardless of hairstyle, the Celtics need more of that from Olynyk in order to remain near the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Boston enters the final week before the All-Star break as the No. 2 team in the East and sits just 2.5 games back of the defending champ Cleveland Cavaliers (and 2.5 games ahead of the surging Washington Wizards).

NHL Trade Rumours: Will the Sens Move on From Curtis Lazar?

The NHL trade deadline is right around the corner, and the Senators are surely going to be monitoring the market to see if they can make an upgrade. However, while they might look to add a player, they could also be subtracting one: Curtis Lazar.

He is not going to be traded for certain, but trade rumours have been swirling for the past few months due to his poor play this season. This is not just speculation either, as multiple sources have reported that the Senators are receiving calls on Lazar.

Dreger: “Teams are calling Ottawa #Sens GM Pierre Dorion. They’re asking about Curtis Lazar.”

Along with Dreger, Elliotte Friedman heard similar things regarding Lazar. Hear is what Friedman had to say about the situation:

Unfortunately, teams like the Blue Jackets and the Atlanta Thrashers weren’t so lucky in their head coaching options. Columbus had to fight with the Wild all the way, as both teams expanded in 2000. Dave King was the first head coach of the Blue Jackets, beating out former Calgary Flames coach Brian Sutter and Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Bryan Trottier for the job.
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Elite Chris Thompson Jersey King didn’t last a full three seasons with the Blue Jackets, and his NHL head coaching career ended in 2003. Sutter enjoyed three seasons as the Blackhawks’ head coach, but only made the playoffs once before his contract wasn’t picked up by new general manger Dale Tallon. Trottier won a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche as an assistant coach, but he lasted just 54 games as the Rangers’ head coach in 2002-03.

Patriots Super Bowl parade 2017: Time and TV schedule for championship celebration

Live coverage of the Patriots’ Super Bowl parade, with the best GIFs, videos, and pictures from a snowy, happy day in Boston.

After battling back from a 25-point deficit in Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons, the New England Patriots are the champions of the NFL world again. Quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick, and the franchise itself all now have five Super Bowls.

Brady, a four-time Super Bowl MVP, threw for 466 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also engineered the game-winning drive where running back James White ran in a two-yard touchdown to give New England a 34-28 victory in overtime.

At the end of the game, Brady said, “we’re bringing this sucker home.” And he was right.

Soon after the win, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh congratulated the Patriots and announced that the victory parade would be on Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET.

The parade route, via the the city of Boston, will begin at Boylston Street, turn on Tremont Street near Boston Common, and will conclude at city hall.

However, fans should expect rain, snow, sleet, and wind during the parade. John R. Ellement of the Boston Globe said there will be gusts up to 30 miles per hour.

If you don’t want to watch in the snow, NESN has a live stream of the parade available:

Patriots fans are used to victory parades. After all New England had four more before this one. Inclement weather shouldn’t stop fans from stop fans in Boston from coming out and cheering for their beloved Patriots.

Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott has called Easley the best safety to ever play.

Easley’s wife was pregnant in Seattle, so he decided to fly back home before seeking medical attention. But he would never play another snap in the NFL.

Easley was angry at the Seahawks organization for a long time. He said the large amounts of Advil he took for pain relief contributed to the kidney ailment and argued the team knew about his condition before the 1987 season but didn’t tell him.

No relationship existed between the Seahawks and one of their most legendary players until 2002, when the organization, under owner Paul Allen, reached out to Easley about being inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor.
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It was then that a friend informed Easley he was the only defensive starter on the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team to not yet be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Dale Weise Limited Jersey Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott has called Easley the best safety to ever play. And coaching guru Bill Walsh said Easley was a Hall of Fame player. But according to Easley, coaches didn’t even play him at his best position during his seven-year NFL career.

“I don’t have any doubt in my mind, not one iota of doubt, that I would have been a better free safety in the NFL than a strong safety,” Easley said.

Mack’s eight-game sack streak led the NFL, and he finished with 11 sacks. He is only the second Raiders player to be honored since the award began in 1971, joining cornerback Lester Hayes, who was feted in 1980.

“He’s unique in the sense that there may be a guy or two in the league that can get to the quarterback better than him, and there may be a guy who’s better at the point of attack, but nobody’s better at both,” Raiders Hall of Famer Howie Long told me about Mack late in the season.

“He’s great in a phone booth and he’s great in space. He’s a six-story building and his elevator’s on Floor 3. He can still evolve and grow. … He has an opportunity to be a generational player. How many people can say that?”