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Brewers’ Corey Knebel to miss at least six weeks with injured hamstring

Milwaukee Brewers All-Star closer Corey Knebel was placed on the disabled list Friday due to a left hamstring injury and is expected to be out at least six weeks.

All in all it’s about the best news the Brewers could expect after Knebel collapsed while holding the hamstring after throwing a pitch in Thursday’s loss to the Chicago Cubs.

“It really worried me yesterday, but today I woke up and it felt a lot better,” Knebel said before Friday’s game against the Cubs.

Knebel, 26, was getting some work in during a blowout loss when he went down. He was helped off the field by the training staff and was in “a lot of pain” after the game. Manager Craig Counsell said the team will use a variety of relievers to close out games in Knebel’s absence, but if someone emerges, then that person could get the majority of opportunities.

“They’ve been doing a great job,” Counsell said of his bullpen. “They’ve been very efficient. We’ve rarely had to get other guys up to cover their innings. If we continue on that mode of operation, we’ll be just fine.”

The Brewers bullpen is 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA entering play Friday. It was 3-for-3 in save opportunities before Knebel went down. Jacob Barnes, Jeremy Jeffress, Dan Jennings and even lefty Josh Hader now could get the call in the ninth for the Brewers.

As for Knebel, he had no issue with pitching in a non-save situation, as the Brewers determined he needed the work after not throwing for five days. He considered the injury a fluke.

“I was prepared like I normally [am],” Knebel said. “It was just one of those freak accidents.”

Knebel had 39 saves last season as the Brewers fell just short of the postseason.

Griffin had previously rejected an offer from the Ravens as well as the Cardinals last offseason because he felt the teams weren’t good fits, though he appears to have changed his mind about Baltimore.

Griffin, 28, was selected by the Redskins with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and remained in Washington until he signed with the Browns in 2016. The Heisman Trophy winner has remained a free agent since the Browns released him in March 2017.

He hasn’t played since the final week of the 2016 season.

Snell left a little more than five minutes into the game when he turned an ankle when he stepped on a teammate’s foot while chasing a Knicks player around a screen. He returned in the second quarter and had 10 points.cardinals_056

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NFL free agent news: Former Packers S Morgan Burnett signs with Steelers

Help at safety is on the way to Pittsburgh.

Former Packers safety Morgan Burnett agreed to terms on a three-year contract worth nearly $14.5 million with the Steelers after visiting the team Tuesday, NFL Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

The Steelers, who recently signed linebacker Jon Bostic to a two-year deal, have been hunting for help at safety since releasing veteran Mike Mitchell last week. Burnett could be just the boost Pittsburgh’s lagging defense needs, and many Steelers players have already chimed in to express their excitement.

“Let him pitch,” Hurdle said. “Let him show you who he is and what he is. Don’t need to write the end of the story now.”

The Reds have similar hopes for Mahle (1-1), who limited the Cubs to one hit in six innings in his 2018 debut. Mahle’s second start was rockier. He needed 29 pitches to get out of a first-inning jam and maneuvered in and out of trouble until the fifth. Josh Harrison singled, and Polanco followed with his home run. Starling Marte doubled and scored on Josh Bell’s single before Dickerson connected.

“I think he deserves the conversation,” Gore said. “He’s been good for us.”

The Pistons are 151-176 under Van Gundy as their coach and president of basketball operations. His 2015-16 team was swept in the first round of the playoffs.

Detroit (38-43) will finish the season Wednesday night at Chicago, failing to earn a spot in the postseason for the third time in Van Gundy’s four years.

Injuries were a big problem. Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson were in the lineup together for only four games.

“We probably need a few more games with them playing on the same team if we’re going to be good,” Van Gundy said. “Still have to own the 38 wins right now. You can’t run from that.”

Gores isn’t necessarily against allowing Van Gundy to lead both the front office and the bench.

“I see value in the front office and the court being connected,” he said.
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Brett Jones signs RFA tender with Giants

The Giants started their offseason program on Monday and center Brett Jones ended any chance that he’d be leaving the team as a restricted free agent.

Jones was tendered at the second-round level earlier this offseason and the team announced on Monday that he has signed that tender. They also announced the return of tight end Ryan O’Malley, who was an exclusive rights free agent.

Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (right hip strain) and 3B Brandon Drury (severe migraines) were both put on the 10-day DL. Sabathia’s MRI results were clean and the club hopes he misses just one start. Drury has been dealing with serious headaches, which have been causing blurry vision. He will undergo tests beginning Monday and there is no timetable for his return. … INF Tyler Wade (flu-like symptoms) received IV treatment and was feeling a little better after experiencing a fever, shakes and dry heaving on Friday. … C Gary Sanchez (leg cramps) was improving after limping off of the field Friday. `’At this point it appears to be minor,” manager Aaron Boone said. … RHP Ben Heller on Friday underwent Tommy John surgery, which also involved removing a bone spur from his right elbow.

RHP Mike Wright Jr. faces LHP Jordan Montgomery in the series finale on Sunday. The 25-year-old Montgomery made five starts against Baltimore last season, going 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA.

Lions coach Matt Patricia and G.M. Bob Quinn both spent time with Cassel in New England and apparently think he’ll be a positive veteran presence in the locker room — even if they hope Stafford stays healthy and Cassel never actually gets on the field.

The Chiefs have made significant offseason roster changes in hopes of moving closer to their first championship appearance since Super Bowl IV. One of them was giving Mahomes a new fleet-footed target to work with through the free-agent signing of wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

“We’re gonna be even more explosive,” Hunt said. “You know we’ve got some weapons out there, Tyreek (Hill) and Travis (Kelce), too. That’s a lot of speed out there.”

A more dangerous deep passing game to scare defenses should make Hunt even more effective than he was during a breakout 2017 campaign in which he set the Chiefs rookie rushing record with 1,327 yards. Despite such success, Hunt believes he has plenty of room for improvement heading into his second season.
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Jerry Jones hopeful suspended Cowboys DE Randy Gregory will be reinstated for 2018

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed that suspended defensive end Randy Gregoryis preparing to apply to the NFL for reinstatement.

And Jones said the Cowboys are helping him in the process.

Gregory missed the entire 2017 season after being suspended for one year for repeated violations of the NFL’s Policy for Substances of Abuse.

Gregory became eligible for reinstatement, but has yet to officially apply.

He is an NFL-caliber player with one hand, and he is as charismatic as any athlete you’ll find. He is the most intriguing player in this year’s draft, and you can bet he will be a top jersey seller almost immediately after some team picks him. Just ask Hughes, who ran through coverage drills with Griffin on Thursday. Hughes dropped the first ball thrown his way, which he figured was nerves, and then he watched Griffin pick off a throw easily, with one hand and one arm swallowing the ball. Hughes found himself inspired, and started catching everything in sight.

Ever since the moment the season ended, Dez Bryant’s time in Dallas looked like it was coming to an end. What was already a murky future became even more muddled when the Cowboys signed Bryant’s possible replacement, Allen Hurns.

The rumors constantly have been flying about regarding when the former Pro Bowler will be released, and now, we finally have our timetable.

The Cowboys reportedly plan to release their star wideout following the NFL draft.

You don’t have to say it’s over until it’s over, but Bryant’s party in Dallas is certainly winding down.

The big issue with Bryant is that he simply isn’t the top wide receiver he’s paid to be. He hasn’t broken 70 catches, 1,000 yards, or 10 touchdowns in three years despite being paid like a top-10 receiver.
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Jordy Nelson said his goodbyes to Green Bay less than 48 hours ago, and now he has his new team.

As for the Patriots, they’re suddenly in the tackle market.

They might make a renewed effort to sign LaAdrian Waddle and move either him or Marcus Cannon to left tackle, but that would be a downgrade at a key position.

After recording a career-best 559 yards on 54 receptions in 2016, the former Iowa star earned a $22 million extension with $10.1 million in guarantees at the end of training camp last summer. He will finish his four-year NFL career with 89 catches for 881 yards and six scores.

Fiedorowicz wasn’t the only Houston tight end beset by head injuries last season. Backup Stephen Anderson missed time with a concussion in September, while No. 2 tight end Ryan Griffin’s season ended in November due to a concussion of his own.

Needless to say, the Texans will be in the market for help at the position this offseason.

The Titans are about to make a mammoth offer to Taylor Lewan, who (like all offensive tackles) owes Nate Solder a thank-you card, but Kline was a useful run-blocking guard for the Titans over the past couple of years.

It’s no surprise that the Tennessee braintrust wanted to keep another ex-Patriots player around, but it didn’t have to break the bank to re-sign Kline.

His four-year, $26 million deal contains $12 million in guarantees, which is midtier starting guard money.

The No. 65 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Fiedorowicz is hanging up his spikes after suffering four concussions — including two that resulted in separate trips to injured reserve last season — from December of 2016 to December of 2017.

Here are their numbers with and without Lee in the lineup: Split Yds/Carry Run First Down% Pass Rating Opposing QBR Lee on field 3.5 22.9% 86.6 48.2 Lee off field 4.9 25.0% 106.8 65.3 Seems pretty straightforward.

The Cowboys were a disaster with their best defensive player on the sidelines.

Makes sense.
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Why the Angels are poised for a playoff run in 2018

Almost a week into the exhibition games of spring training, some of the storylines of the upcoming season are gaining clarity, and among them is the case for which teams might surprise us by making the postseason after missing it in 2017.

In the National League, the Phillies have a strong case thanks to their youth, and in the American League, the addition of a few key veterans has the Angels poised to make their own surprise run at the postseason.

The Angels acquired Justin Upton at the waiver deadline last season, and he has been a steady power hitter for about a decade. Upton’s defense has always been a little wobbly, but with a career ISO of .210, he can more than make up for a weak glove with his bat. Upton was acquired to try to make a push for the wild card last season, but his greatest contribution to the Angels will come with what he can offer over a full season.

In Green Bay, Kizer will have time to develop and the Packers can attempt to mold him into the player the Browns thought they were getting when they took him at No. 52 overall.

Aaron Rodgers is still the starter, but the Packers saw very little to believe that Brett Hundley is a player worth developing much longer. Kizer can be that player and learn from one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks without the pressure that he had in Cleveland.

If pitchers and catchers could communicate with each other with actual words, with headsets or earpieces, the trips to the mound wouldn’t be necessary. Opposing teams can’t steal signs if there aren’t signs to steal, y’know? And if there are no signs to steal, there’s no need to be worried about stolen signs and far fewer reasons for time-consuming mound visits.
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Joe Johnson to sign with Rockets, report says

Veteran shooting guard Joe Johnson is nearing a deal with the Rockets after completing his contract buyout with the Kings on Saturday, according to ESPN.com .

Johnson, 36, started just three games for the rebuilding Kings this season, averaging 7.3 points per game. He averaged at least 14 points per game in every season from 2003-2015.

Tuesday’s loss, if only temporarily, knocked the Nuggets out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoff standings. Though the Clippers (32-27) and Nuggets (33-28) flipped spots, Denver is just two games back of fifth place in the tightly packed conference.

Ball hasn’t been allowed to speak to reporters since the Lakers announced they were treating the knee as a long-term one injury (he initially was listed as day to day and questionable the day after he suffered the sprain).

That was three weeks ago this past weekend, and a sprained MCL typically takes one to three weeks to heal.

Ball has missed 10 games with the injury, on the heels of a shoulder injury that sidelined him for six.

The Lakers (21-31) have five games before the All-Star Game, two at home this week before three on the road going into the break.

But Ross told the newspaper that he felt the message being sent by kneeling players was unpatriotic and anti-military, an interpretation that was taken by President Donald Trump.

Last season, Dolphins coach Adam Gase had established a team rule requiring players to either stand for the anthem or stay in the tunnel, but he later told players that if they wanted to kneel, they could do so and wouldn’t be punished.

Ross was in New York on Monday to be honored with the ROBIE Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation. On its website, the foundation recognized Ross’ work in the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality to improve race relations and drive social progress.

The deal was also completed without consulting James, one source with knowledge of the situation told The Athletic. (Koby) Altman called James when it was essentially done and informed him of what was happening.lions_107

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Frazier went for an MRI on Friday.

We’ll see what the results are from that, Boone said, and just continue to gradually build his workload and see how he responds to different things.

Also on Friday, the Yankees signed veteran Adam Lind to a minor league contract, giving them a backup option to Greg Bird at first base.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that although Lind has outfield experience, he was added for his glove at first base and the possibility for his bat off the bench.

Zimmer said tight end Kyle Rudolph and Bradford went skiing last week. Rudolph told KFAN that he underwent surgery recently on his right ankle, which he injured during a game at Carolina.

Whether Bradford can stay healthy is Zimmer’s chief concern.

It’s his history of being hurt, Zimmer said. That’s the monkey wrench in the whole thing. Can you believe he’s going to play the 15 games he did two years ago or he’s going to play the one game where he hit the turf this year? That’s the big dilemma.

Russell Wilson is spending the week with the New York Yankees in Tampa, Florida, as part of the latest spring training tour for the onetime minor league baseball player-turned-four-time Pro Bowl quarterback.

The way Carroll sees it, Wilson is going to use this time to train his body one way or another. What difference does it make if he’s taking batting practice and fielding grounders?

Obviously you’re very proud he’s going to represent our great country, said Bailiff, who might make a last-minute trip to see his former player. Anything can go wrong when you’re doing it — you know, you see track athletes getting disqualified coming out of the blocks — so you’re just proud for him that his hard work has paid off. We love it when he comes back to Houston, and we maintain a locker for him (in the) Rice football locker room that says Sam McGuffie that has Olympic rings on it. We’re quite proud of Sam.patriots_001

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Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson killed by suspected drunken driver

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson was struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver early Sunday morning, Indiana State Police told the Indianapolis Star. Jackson was 26.

“We were heartbroken to hear the news of Edwin Jackson’s passing,” the Colts said in a statement. “Edwin was loved by all in the Colts organization. We admired his outgoing personality, competitive spirit, and hard-working mentality. He was well-respected among all with whom he crossed paths, and he will be greatly missed in our locker room and throughout our entire organization. We also understand that another person lost his life in the accident, only adding to our sorrow on this day. We are shocked and saddened by this tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of both men during this difficult time.”

On February 12, the Colts announced that the Irsay family would be establishing the Edwin Jackson Memorial Scholarship. According to the Colts, the scholarship “will be a separate fund within the Indianapolis Colts Foundation, will honor Jackson’s life and legacy and will be awarded annually to a qualified student applicant. “

Jackson entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2015 with the Arizona Cardinals and was scooped up by the Colts, where he remained on the practice squad his entire rookie season. He played in all 16 games for Indianapolis in 2016 — starting eight — but spent 2017 on injured reserve.

Non-exclusive tags are most commonly used. It means a team will pay the tagged player no less than the average of the five highest salaries at the player’s position, or 120 percent of the player’s cap number from the previous season, whichever is greater. The player is allowed to negotiate with other teams, but his current team can match any offer sheet. If a player’s current team declines to match another team’s offer, it will be awarded two first-round draft picks as compensation.

Exclusive tags are more rare. Only Broncos linebacker Von Miller (2016) and Saints quarterback Drew Brees (2012) have received the exclusive tag since 2012. The salary is calculated the same for players issued non-exclusive tags. The only difference is that the tagged player cannot negotiate with other teams.jays_264_2169e1045b17bca9-180x180

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Arkansas State followed through with a threat to sue Miami over the canceled 2017 game that was originally scheduled for Sept. 9 at Arkansas State.

The game was canceled due to the threat of Hurricane Irma, which changed games for numerous teams in and around Florida.

The lawsuit was filed in Arkansas’ Craighead County court late on a Friday afternoon, and you can read it in its entirety here. The gist of the whole deal is that Arkansas State claims Miami must pay $650,000 to the Red Wolves, as part of the contract the teams signed in 2013. The crux of the Red Wolves’ complaint centers on three pegs:

In Arkansas State’s letter, the school mentions other schools rescheduling games, including Florida State’s rescheduling of the ULM game from September to Dec. 2. (That wouldn’t exactly have been possible for Miami, which played Clemson in the ACC Championship that day.)

Here’s where college football game contracts come into play. Most of them have language that addresses cancellations. Here’s what this game’s said:

This contract shall be void with respect to any of the games in the event that it becomes impossible to play such game(s) by reason of unforeseen catastrophe or disaster such as fire, flood, earthquake, war, [epidemic] confiscation, by order of government, military, or public authority of prohibitory or injunctive orders of any competent judicial or other government authority. Notice of such catastrophe or disaster shall be given as soon as possible. No such cancellation shall affect the parties/ obligations as to subsequent games covered by this contract. Any games not played as scheduled shall be rescheduled as such exigencies may dictate or permit.

ASU argues that doesn’t apply here, since the disaster was in Florida, not Jonesboro, while Miami argues its travel back home would’ve been difficult.

This Miami-Arkansas State thing obviously has some moving pieces, and there will likely be a lot of back-and-forth between the two sides’ lawyers. We’ll see if Miami simply ends up paying the school, the two work out a date to reschedule, or whatever else.

Shaq was looking for an extension from the Lakers before he was traded to the Heat, but the beef between he and Bryant had gotten so big that, had the Lakers extended their big man, Bryant would’ve demanded a trade to the Bulls.

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