Posts Tagged ‘Sports’

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Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid felt he was targeted by the NFL for random drug testing that was not truly random during the regular season, but it does not appear his complaint is going to get him anywhere.

Back in November, Reid revealed that he had been selected for random drug testing for the fifth time since he signed with the Panthers on Sept. 27. That led him to conclude that the system “doesn’t feel very random,” which was basically an accusation that the NFL was trying to railroad him. On Tuesday, the NFL and NFL Players Association released a statement insisting there is no evidence of that.

 

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Vince Carter turns 42 years old on January 26th. He is the definition of a veteran, a man who has changed his game so much from his younger days in order to stay in the NBA. Carter has played for eight teams during his career, but many remember him primarily as a member of the Toronto Raptors.

Carter played it the first six-and-a-half seasons of his career in Canada, and he was one of the defining players of a young generation entering the league at the end of the 1990s. Carter left Toronto after a tumultuous final run that saw him benched at times, butting heads with Raptors management and coaching.

Fans in Toronto have come to re-embrace Carter in the years since his departure, and many seem to hold a soft spot for him.

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What’s a catch? Better yet, what’s a recovery? And what happens when there is no recovery?

That controversy briefly reared its ugly head early Sunday in the wild-card playoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears.

The good news is that the call on the field, ultimately, was correct. The bad news is that the sequence was confusing to viewers as it was unfolding.

In the moment, game officials were left to sort out a situation in which Mitchell Trubiskyhit receiver Anthony Miller with a pass just before halftime. Miller took a few steps before losing possession as Eagles defensive back Cre’von LeBlanc grabbed hold. The play was ruled an incomplete pass, but replays showed Miller securing and then losing possession of the ball, apparently making it a completion followed by a fumble. Here’s the kicker: No one recovered the ball, which was picked up by an official.

So often, defensive players scoop up a dead ball and run with it, not giving officials a chance to interfere. Better to suffer the momentary embarrassment of a touchdown or return that doesn’t count than to violate Coaching 101 and fail to play on until you’re certain the action is over. In the earlier Chargers-Ravens wild-card game, the Ravens’ Marlon Humphrey did just that, returning a Melvin Gordon fumble more than 100 yards, only to have officials determine that Gordon was down and that Humphrey’s return never happened.

Back to the Eagles-Bears situation. Because neither team gained possession, officials (correctly) stuck with their (incorrect) initial ruling, which was later explained by Al Riveron, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating.

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Trey Burton on Monday clarified the strange, 11th-hour injury that sidelined him from the Bears’ 16-15 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles that knocked his team out of the playoffs.

Burton said he came into the Bears’ practice Friday feeling a little stiff, but was able to fully participate for the duration of practice. When he got home on Friday, his groin felt stiffer, and then when he woke up Saturday morning it was “completely locked.”

“I had a tough time walking, tough time really doing anything,” Burton said. “Tried to do everything we could Saturday, Saturday night, really all day, and then Sunday morning. But it wouldn’t loosen up and let go. I wasn’t able to play.”

Burton initially said he thought he was fine after Friday’s practice and would be able to push through it, so he didn’t get any treatment. But he did mention his body has a history of locking up like it did when “it feels any threat,” and even in doing “everything possible” on Saturday, he said, he wasn’t able to go.

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DeMarcus Cousins is expected to make his highly anticipated debut with the Warriors on Jan. 18, sources tell Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Golden State will play the Clippers in Los Angeles that Friday night and then take on the Lakers two days later at the Staples Center.

Cousins is recovering from the torn Achilles he suffered last season with the Pelicans. He signed a one-year deal with the Warriors with the expectation of hitting the free-agent market again in 2019. The team can only offer him a modest raise on his $5.3 million deal, although reports indicate that Cousins might consider playing on a similar one-year deal during the 2019-20 campaign.

Playing with the Warriors will be different for Cousins. The pace and real title expectations are unlike anything Cousins has seen since he came into the league.

“They play faster than most other teams. It’s not even about the rust. That’s going to be part of the process. I’m aware of that. It’s about having my body in the best shape possible for an NBA game,” Cousins said last month.

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The NBA is just starting to flush out the poor contracts signed in an over-splurging summer of 2016, with the likes of Nicolas Batum, Evan Turner, and others receiving a handsome sum for little return in productivity. Yet one of the executives who spoke with Bleacher Report’s Ken Berger said Kevin Love’s four-year, $120 million extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers and John Wall’s four-year, $170 million extension with the Washington Wizards are “the two worst contracts in the league.”

Both contracts will pay these players a hefty sum of money into their mid-30s, but that is hardly the worst part of it. Love and Wall have been plagued by injuries during their respective careers, and while neither of them is currently enjoying the money from their extensions, they are currently out of action.

Love recently took back a presumed return date and is now noncommittal on a return, as the Cavs now boast the worst record in the league after LeBron James’ exit left them with a hollowed-out roster. Once a double-double machine, Love is no longer the board-inhaling, box-out bandit or the outlet pass king that made him a nightly triple-double threat as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

As the Texans prepare to face the Colts for the third time this season in today’s first wild card game, there’s one area in particular where they can feel very good: Their defensive line got the better of the Colts’ offensive line in both regular-season games.

Although the Colts’ offensive line was much improved this season, thanks in large part to the arrival of the great rookie guard Quenton Nelson, they struggled against the Texans’ defensive front. In the first game against the Texans, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was sacked a season-high four times, with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney getting two sacks each. In the second matchup, Luck was sacked twice. Luck was only sacked 18 times all year, the fewest sacks in the NFL, but one-third of those sacks came courtesy of the Texans.

Running the ball, the Colts consistently struggled to create holes against the Texans’ defense.