Greg Olsen on IR, expected to miss about 6 games due to broken right foot

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen broke his right foot in a Week 2 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Olsen was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, but he could return.

Olsen broke his right foot in the first half against the Bills. When the Panthers came out of the tunnel to start the second half, Olsen was walking with crutches and sporting a walking boot. Carolina shortly announced that its star tight end would not return to the game, which the Panthers Brandon Carr Youth Jersey won 9-3. Olsen finished the game with one catch for 10 yards.

“First of all, the number of plays that these guys play, then Tobias Enstrom Womens Jersey take that to the next week, is really a competitive disadvantage,” said Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. “Guys get worn out. It’s hard to recover from one week to the next.”

Of course, there’s concern that we might see even more ties, with the shorter period leading to fewer scoring opportunities. There’s also a chance, however slight, that the team that wins the coin toss simply squats on the ball for almost the entire 10 minutes before kicking a field goal. But that’s only an extreme theoretical, and we’ll have to wait and see how teams adjust their strategies when a game goes into overtime this season.

Last season, the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks tied 6-6, and a London game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington ended in a 27-27 score.

The rules are about the same in the playoffs, except we go into a second period and beyond until there is a winner. Just like in the regular season, playoff overtime periods will be 10 minutes long. Of course, the New England Patriots didn’t need 10 minutes to finish their miracle comeback against the Atlanta Falcons — James White scored the game-winning touchdown on the opening possession to cap off the first overtime period in Super Bowl history.

Tim Shaw, who is battling ALS, named one of 6 Titans captains

The Titans announced their 2017 team captains with five of the team’s biggest leaders and one special surprise member, former linebacker Tim Shaw.

The addition of Shaw signifies the role his presence and fight against Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) has on the Titans locker room. Shaw remains a regular around the Titans facility during training camp, home and away games. He’s giving motivational speeches to the team as well.

“It is real special for Tim to be with us,” linebacker Wesley Woodyard, one of the Titans’ other captains, told the team website. “Nobody knows how many days you have on this earth, and him battling ALS, it shows the courage he has to keep going on. It is amazing to have him around, and we cherish him.”

A six-time Pro Bowl receiver, Owens is partnered with two-time DWTS champion Cheryl Burke. Fisher will dance with Sharna Burgess; Arlen, Val Chmerkovskiy; and Bella, Artem Chigvintsev.

Athletes have had success on the show, winning the Mirror Ball Trophy 10 times. NFL running back Rashad Jennings was last season’s champion, with former Chicago Cubs catcher and current ESPN commentator David Ross finishing second.

Graziano: 10. And yeah, I know what I said about Denver in the first question, but QB Tom Brady doesn’t love it there, and the Patriots have to lose at some point, right? Thought about giving them a loss to the Falcons or Chargers, but it’s tough to pick against them at home. So let’s say they get out of the gate 8-0 and then stumble in Denver. Even though I don’t love the Broncos this season.nets_024

Mike Ditka: Mitchell Trubisky’s debut better than any rookie performance of Tom Brady, Fran Tarkenton

Mike Ditka liked what he saw from Mitchell Trubisky in his NFL preseason debut. He liked it so much he brought up Tom Brady and Fran Tarkenton when talking about the performance.

“What I saw out of Trubisky for a rookie in his first game I thought was outstanding,” he said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t know too many rookies, including Tom Brady, Fran Tarkenton or anybody else that’s ever had that kind of a start. Now, one game doesn’t make a career — I understand that — but the kid looked awfully good, he looked awfully composed, he threw the ball very accurately. I thought he made good decisions all the way through; avoided the rush at times.”

To cover their bases, the Dolphins signed former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to a one-year deal and are working harder with backup Matt Moore.

For now, Tannehill will be doing what he can to help Cutler, Moore and the rest of the players and staff out from the sidelines.

“I know there’ll be times where he’ll be rehabbing at other facilities,” Gase said. “He’s got a good plan mapped out. He’s done a good job of communicating with our training staff, our doctors. They’re all kind of on the same page. I’m going to know when he’s not going to be here. There will be some weeks where he’s around a lot and he’ll be able to help the coaching staff and the players.”

Lindley won only one of his six starts for the Cards from 2012-’14, posting a dismal 50.8 completion percentage, a horrendous 2-11 TD-INT ratio and a microscopic 50.3 rating while averaging only 146 yards per game. Even worse, because of injury, he had to start a forgettable playoff game against the Panthers. He was 16-of-28 for 82 yards, a TD and 2 INTs, “good” for a rating of 44.3 while being sacked four times. Consider Tom Tupa, who was a much better NFL punter, as the close runner-up.dolphins_002

Cardale Jones going to Chargers is bad news for Robert Griffin III

Cardale Jones is getting a fresh start in Los Angeles.

The Bills fourth-string quarterback was traded to the Chargers Wednesday in exchange for a conditional draft pick, the team announced.

According to ESPN.com, it will be a seventh-round pick.

“The request came last week and was made to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Irving has expressed that he wants to go play in a situation where he can be a more focal point and no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James, sources said.”

Irving’s agent, Jeff Wechsler, did not confirm or deny the story.

If the former Duke guard were to be traded, he would be giving up his “supermax” option that he would be due once he got to free agency. He is locked up for three more years and due $60 million over that time.

Friday evening, Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports reported a source claims the Cavaliers and Knicks are in “serious talks” regarding a trade involving Irving and Carmelo Anthony, with a third team possibly involved.

The idea is for current players to be surrounded by and constantly reminded of the legacy they’re playing to uphold. The same effects are felt by the general public, for which two clichés come to mind while roaming The Star: “everything is bigger in Texas,” and “no expense spared.”

The Ford Center, which houses the Cowboys football operations facilities mentioned above, is a beast in itself even though it’s only a portion of The Star.

In addition to Cowboys practices and high school football games, Ford Center hosts soccer games, marching band competitions, track meets and commencement exercises. Its 12,000-seat capacity will expand to a currently unknown figure when it hosts concerts.t_rangers_048-115x115

76ers’ Jahlil Okafor, Robert Covington out for season

The 76ers will be without center Jahlil Okafor and forward Robert Covington for the remainder of the season.

Counting Friday night’s battle against the Cavaliers, the two starters will miss the last seven games of the regular season.

“Markelle’s a great player, but I feel I’m better than him,” Ball said on ESPN 710 LA. “I think I can lead a team better than him. Obviously he’s a great scorer — he’s a great player, so I’m not taking that away from him.”

Ball declared for the NBA draft after the Bruins were ousted from the NCAA Tournament, where he and Fultz are considered top prospects.

However, Ball and UCLA crushed the Huskies both times they met this season by at least thirty points.

Even though Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game, Washington only won nine games this season. Ball posted 7.7 assists per game and 14.6 points, but UCLA fared much better with a 27-3 mark.

Both are freshman, but UCLA’s success could give Ball an edge in the upcoming draft.

The Celtics run a lot of side pick-and-rolls with Thomas as the ball handler while overloading the weak side with shooters. It gives Thomas and the roller plenty of space without having to worry about a third defender obstructing his path to the basket.

As we’ve already touched on, Thomas is also comfortable playing without the ball in his hands. He told reporters in January that it’s nearly impossible for defenders to chase him around screens and catch up with him once he’s gained a step on them. It becomes especially useful in fourth quarters when teams begin to load up on him in an attempt to limit his touches because it means they have to account for him at all times.steelers_106

NBA center market continues to grow, but who still needs traditional big men?

Over the past few seasons, the NBA has built a burgeoning crop of talented centers. At the same time talented future stars joined the league, many NBA teams moved away from giving all 48 minutes to traditional centers, so the increase in supply met a decrease in demand.

For example, the Raptors ended up starting and finishing a few games with Serge Ibaka at center in their first-round series against the Bucks. While Toronto needs to have someone capable of logging minutes at the position, the two seasons and $32 million plus a $17.6 million player option owed to Jonas Valanciunas may be a little rich considering their prodigious luxury tax bill should both Kyle Lowry and Ibaka choose to return.

His versatility on offense and defense would be a welcome addition to the Trail Blazers roster. George can score at the rim, from midrange and behind the 3-point line, and he would make an immediate impact. Putting him in a lineup that already includes McCollum (23.0 points per game) and Lillard (27.0 points, 5.9 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game) would give Portland a 1-2-3 combination that all shoots close to better than 40 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line.

For the Trail Blazers, the eight seed in the Western Conference playoffs this past season, the triumvirate would put them in position to avoid another brutal first-round matchup like they had this year against the Warriors. It’d be a significant upgrade at the wing position over former No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner (9.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.8 apg), whom the Blazers inexplicably signed to a four-year, $70-million deal this past offseason, only to see him lose his starting gig to Mo Harkless (10.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg).falcons_042

Freddie Freeman to rejoin Braves Tuesday, start at third base

After 935 career major league games at first base, Freddie Freeman is set to make his debut on the opposite side of the infield.

The Braves activated Freeman from the disabled list Tuesday and said he would start at third base against the Astros later in the day.

Pagan’s attorney told the court his client lost his job and suffered public ridicule after the incident. Assistant Crown Attorney Rebecca Edward argued Pagan’s behavior was “unsportmanslike and definitely non-Canadian.”

Pagan also wrote an apology letter to Kim, who acknowledged Pagan before Wednesday’s game.

“People make mistakes, so I’m sure it’s not going to happen again. I appreciate it,” Kim said, via The Baltimore Sun. “Just the fact that he got punished for what he did, I think that was enough.”

But there were several accomplishments missing from Miami’s big season. The Dolphins continued an 8-21 skid against the Patriots, losing both their games against New England by a combined 28 points. Their postseason run featured fewer than three minutes in which they weren’t losing. Most glaringly, only one of the team’s wins came against an opponent with a winning record.

When the team won, it wasn’t exactly convincing, either. The Dolphins needed overtime to defeat the one-win Browns. Two wins over the 7-9 Bills came by a combined six points. Victories over the Jets, Rams, 49ers, and Chargers were all by seven points or fewer.
warriors_049-115x115

NFL free agency 2017: Where the top 100 free agents have signed

There’s no shortage of optimism for NFL fans in the spring, and nothing says hope springs eternal like a brand new free agent acquisition. The player your team just signed is totally going to be the difference this year; you just know it!

While there are a few names still on the market, most of the biggest money has already been spent in the weeks since NFL free agency began on March 9.

Grooming a young franchise quarterback is an art, not a science.

For a team to overcome high QB bust odds, it needs to know everything about itself and everything about the quarterback in question. That’s what teams like the Bears and Texans need to do in 2017.

It’s getting harder to be patient and sit a quarterback given the demands on coaches and offenses to produce quick turnarounds. In more cases, the so-called rushing quarterbacks into action is the only option.

The Texans and Bears in 2017 are faced with such conundrums with Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky, respectively. The Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes) and Browns (DeShone Kizer) might even find themselves in similar situations by the time training camp arrives.

But which approach — start or sit the rookie franchise passer — has been preferred in the league’s recent passing-boom history?

SN’s Vinnie Iyer and Tadd Haislop look back at franchise-hopeful quarterbacks drafted over the last 14 seasons and determine whether one plan truly is better than the other.

Editor’s note: This list, updated from its 2016 version, includes last year’s rookie quarterbacks for additional context.nike_steelers_3004

Do the Texans get Tony Romo now?

The deal leaves Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden as the team’s quarterback options, a situation the franchise’s front office is unlikely to settle with. Drafting a young quarterback doesn’t fit the team’s win-now construction. It’s unlikely anyway — Houston doesn’t make its first-round choice until the 25th pick, and without a second-rounder to use as trade bait, has few avenues for moving up.

The most likely candidate to absorb the team’s newfound extra $10 million in cap space and void behind center is Tony Romo. The four-time Pro Bowler was the focus of trade talks Thursday, one day after reports emerged he would be released by the only franchise he’s ever known. While the transaction front remained quiet on Thursday afternoon, reports rolled in the Texans weren’t interested in adding Romo and his expensive contract as is.

The #Texans, who clear $10M in cap room, have space for Tony Romo. They will not be trading for him.

That leaves an opportunity for a desperate and quarterback-hungry team like the Broncos or Jets to swoop in and snag the veteran. If that happens, the best available passer left is Jay Cutler — and selling your fans on what amounts to a swap of a second-round pick for a passer who is 17-29 in his last four seasons as a starter would be unpleasant.

Biggest strength: WR Allenzae Staggers and RB Ito Smith give the Golden Eagles a pair of scary, experienced weapons for breaking in a new quarterback.

Biggest question mark: There’s a new quarterback, and since-departed Nick Mullens set the bar high. Plus, an all-or-nothing defense is breaking in new safeties. Yikes.

Biggest 2017 game: In theory, either the trip to UTSA (Oct. 7) or Louisiana Tech (Oct. 21) could decide the C-USA West.

Summary: Southern Miss was ridiculously volatile in 2016, and the combination of thrilling upperclassmen and newcomers at key positions could make the Eagles even more so. That’s the way things should always be in Hattiesburg.

8

Who is Adam Shaheen?

Right now, Shaheen is a small-school tight end who left lower-level Ashland University after his junior season. After the combine, he very well could be a hottest prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft. That may seem strange considering Ashland has only had three players taken in the draft. But Shaheen is a 6’6, 277-pound former basketball player who should test well.

Who will size matter for the most?

The point of the combine is to get medical checks and true measurements of players. The latter could have just as big of an impact for a few players. While teams know the true size of senior prospects, they’ll eagerly anticipate hearing about the underclassmen who entered the draft. For Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, measurements will matter the most. Thomas’ draft range is right around the top 10, and if he has good arm length, he could secure a high spot. If he’s smaller than expected, teams will wonder what position in the NFL suits him the best.

In 2008, the Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders, and Kansas City Chiefs finished in a three-way tie for the No. 3 pick. The Falcons came out on top and selected quarterback Matt Ryan, who was named the NFL’s MVP for the 2016 season.

The stakes won’t be quite as high for the coin flip in 2017, but the Vikings, Colts, and Eagles all will be impacted by its result.

The NFL draft places the worst teams at the top of the order and the best at the bottom. So the Cleveland Browns are set to pick first after a 1-15 season and the New England Patriots are owners of the last selection of the first round after winning the Super Bowl.

For teams that finish with identical records, the tiebreaker is the strength of schedule. A team that faced a weaker schedule will pick before a team that faced a tougher slate.
12