April 2018 – Get the latest sports news, scores, standings and videos for the NHL, MLB, NBA, NFL, Olympics and more.
 

Month: April 2018

The NFL has taken another step toward improving player safety by prohibiting the use of lower-performing helmets.

According to Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated, six types of helmets will be banned immediately for 2018 while four more will only be allowed to be used by players who wore them last season. Per Vrentas, about 200 players wore one of the 10 prohibited helmets in 2017.

The NFL has worked to improve player safety with a variety of rules, most recently adopting a targeting rule that prevents players from lowering their heads on hits. However, utilizing the best equipment could potentially be an even bigger step to help players going forward.

Both of those decisions [with Nelson and Van Pelt] were made without him, one league source close to Rodgers told Robinson. In both situations, he had no influence with [the front office] before anything went down.

The team would be wise to do everything it can to make the two-time NFL MVP happy. The Super Bowl XLV MVP has just two years remaining on his deal. Upsetting him risks the possibility of his not giving them a hometown discount or even negotiating an extension at all.

I know he’s thinking about that stuff when it comes to the next contract because he should have earned a voice by now, the source added, per Robinson. In other places with [elite] quarterbacks, consideration is given to those guys. I think Aaron wants to be engaged in some decisions. But that’s just not the way it works [in Green Bay]. I think that’s obviously frustrating and it’s going to keep coming out.

Green Bay missed the postseason last season after going 7-9, a campaign in which a broken collarbone limited Rodgers to seven games. He passed for 1,675 yards and 16 touchdowns while posting a quarterback rating of 97.2.dolphins_085

Brett Favre, who officially suffered only a handful of concussions during his 20-year NFL career, said Thursday he may actually have suffered “thousands” of concussions.

Appearing on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today,” Favre admitted he is dealing with short-term memory loss, and he worries about developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the brain disease that plagues countless thousands of former football players.

Favre, 48, said the increased focus on concussions in recent years has led him to believe he had far more concussions than previously thought.

Favre played most of his career, 16 seasons, with the Packers, leading them to victory in Super Bowl XXXI. He is second all-time with 508 passing TDs and 71,838 passing yards.

Still, despite the discouraging news on Dotson’s meniscus, the Buccaneers could have him back in the fold well before the season starts. Rapoport reports that the veteran offensive lineman should recover in time for training camp.

Since arriving in Tampa as an undrafted free agent in 2009, Dotson has appeared in 100 games. He started 11 contests in 2017, all at right tackle.

After adding Cordy Glenn, the Bengals in the draft can either look to improve their offense or add a top defensive talent with their first-round pick. Hurst does not address a major need, but he is the type of defensive tackle the Bengals like.

After moving down from fourth overall, the Browns can get a high-upside defender in Josh Jackson and find themselves in the sweet spot for an offensive tackle later in Round 1. Williams is our top-rated offensive tackle, and in time, he can develop into the franchise left tackle Cleveland needs.

Cabinda says he believes Barkley has the chance to follow in the mold of former Eagles and current Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy.

“He’s very LeSean McCoy like, but bigger,” Cabinda said. “He can make you miss. He can run you over. He’ll jump over you. He’s very versatile in the passing game. You can spread him out in the slot. He can run routes form the backfield There are just so many ways he can beat you.”

Latest Giants 7-Round Mock Draft: Darnold, Chubb, or Barkley?dolphins_117

The weather forecasters got it predicting a lot of nonstop rain this weekend in the Motor City and it’s led to a lot of downtime for the Yankees .

The Yankees and Detroit Tigers were rained out on Saturday and, although it took a while, both ends of their Sunday doubleheader were washed out, as well. .

The rain began a few hours after the Yankees beat the Tigers 8-6 in Friday night’s series opener, a victory that highlighted by Aaron Hicks becoming the first franchise player  since Hank Bauer in 1956 to have a two-homer game that included an inside the parker.

The Yankees’ trip to Detroit was the second stop on a two-city roadtrip that began with two losses in three games last week in Boston.

Beginning Monday, the Yankees are home for 10 games in 11 games. They’ll face the Miami Marlins in interleague games Monday and Tuesday, host the Toronto Blue Jays from Wednesday through Sunday and then begin a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins a week from Monday.

For his career, Benwikere has made 111 tackles, two interceptions, 22 pass breakups, a sack and four fumble recoveries.

In the NFC, the 49ers would be a fascinating option. They have the quarterback, the cap space, the cash, the absence of a star receiver, and the need to create some excitement — and to have a pass-catcher who would get open against the likes of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters.

The Panthers also could be an intriguing possibility, but a trade and a major contract for Beckham likely would have to wait until after the ownership situation is resolved.

Not many other teams would provide a good fit for Beckham, either due to the team’s current quarterback situation, the current cap situation, the current roster situation, and other factors that would make the risk far outweigh the potential reward. So, to summarize, the Chargers, 49ers, and Panthers would seem to be the most likely potential destinations — if the Giants are inclined to trade him and if a trade partner would be willing to both compensate the Giants and significantly compensate Beckham.dolphins_013

“We’ve got a fundraiser going where people can donate an amount of money for every score we have. I think it’ll be a great thing.”

And a reminder that Tebow’s predecessor isn’t done striving for the greater good.

The NFL announced the suspension in mid-March. The report did not identify the performance-enhancing substance involved in the violation.

Burfict will be allowed to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

This will mark the third straight season the controversial linebacker has been suspended at the start of the year. He sat out the first three games of 2016 for repeated violations of player safety rules, including a jarring hit to the head of Steelers receiver Antonio Brown in the 2015 playoffs.

The NFL then suspended Burfict the first three games of 2017 for an illegal hit he made on a Chiefs player in a preseason game. He has also been fined and/or forfeited $2.9 million in salary during his career for violating NFL rules.

Below is a breakdown of the Packers’ schedule in 2018. Green Bay’s regular-season schedule, including dates and kickoff times, will be posted after it is made available by the NFL.

Toughest tests: Road games against the Seahawks and Patriots won’t be easy; Green Bay has lost the last three trips to Seattle, starting with the infamous “Fail Mary” game. It’s worth noting that Rodgers has never started a game at Gillette Stadium. The Packers also travel to the West Coast to face a beefed-up Rams team in what could be one of the most entraining games of the season.

Biggest breaks: The Packers avoid a trip to Atlanta, where the Falcons have scorched them three times in the last two seasons. The home schedule is very friendly. Keep in mind Green Bay finished 4-4 at home last season, and that included a 3-0 record with Rodgers.seahawks_042

Williams is slated to sign a one-year deal with the Chiefs, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Ronald Darby could still be moved . The Eagles have talent and depth at cornerback, returning starters Darby and Jalen Mills, plus 2017 draft picks Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas. Worley only added to that.

5. Worley wasn’t a lock to make the roster anyway . Worley was OK with the Panthers last season — Pro Football Focus graded him the 79th-best cornerback (of 120) in 2017 — and has good size (6-1, 205), but the Panthers essentially gave up on him, and if the Eagles drafted a cornerback with Worley around, he would have faced long odds for making the 53-man roster.

Do they want to take a quarterback as well? Might they nab Notre Dame offensive lineman Quenton Nelson, helping solidify what has been a truly dreadful unit over the last couple of years? Could they take North Carolina State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb in order to replace the departed Jason Pierre-Paul? Will they trade down in order to amass more picks and fill several holes on the roster?

Or will they stay put and become the third team in the last three years to use a top-five pick on a running back? According to the New York Post, that possibility might be more likely than any other. The Post reports that taking a quarterback and trading down are both unlikely, essentially narrowing down the options to Chubb and Penn State running back Saquon Barley.

That calling came through Desire Street Ministries, a Christian outreach group that Wuerffel became associated with during his time with the Saints. Formed in 1990, the ministry has expanded beyond New Orleans with Wuerffel now serving as its Atlanta-based executive director.

Desire Street’s goal is helping rejuvenate communities and mentoring the at-risk youth who are living there.seahawks_093

Dez Bryant has plenty of suitors after being released by the Cowboys, but he may not get his main wish of revenge.

Bryant has hinted that he hopes to play the Cowboys twice next season to get full revenge, with the Giants seemingly on top of his wish list. But according to NFL.com, the Ravens have shown the most interest in Bryant.

The Ravens have already signed Michael Crabtree and John Brown this offseason in an attempt to rebuild their receiving corps. Bryant would give them three veterans capable of making big plays for quarterback Joe Flacco.

While teams like the Bills and Chargers might look to move up for a top quarterback, it’s the teams that don’t need a quarterback (like the Colts, 49ers and Raiders) that might benefit most.

A little later, Clemson wide receiver Deon Cain and Georgia running back Sony Michel would be the offensive cogs to covet, while two edge rushers, Florida State’s Josh Sweat and Wake Forest’s Duke Ejiofor, stand out for their second second-rounder.

Going into the third round, USC defensive tackle Rasheem Green and Louisville edge rusher Trevon Young are appealing. If New England does not take Jackson or Rudolph early, the best quarterback targets to close Day 2 are Washington State’s Luke Falk and Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta.

Rlley Ferguson, QB, Memphis. Ferguson at 6-4, 215 pounds has prototypical, Brady-like size with the natural accuracy and efficiency from the pocket the Patriots demand. He’s a little thin and needs to improve his footwork, mechanics and delivery, but those are coachable aspects of his game. Although other positions would provide the Patriots more short-term help, all eyes will be on who New England tabs as Brady’s new successor.seahawks_127

Robert Kraft has joined the legion of athletes who think rapper Meek Mill should not be in prison.

The Patriots owner visited Mill at the state prison in Chester City in Pennsylvania along with fellow billionaire, entrepreneur Michael Rubin.

“Amazing young man. I know how I’d feel if I was in the situation he is,” Kraft said outside the prison, via NBC Philadelphia. “Every time I see him, I just come away more impressed. He’s very intelligent. And makes it clear to me we have to do something with criminal justice reform.”.

Offensive tackle: The Patriots suddenly are shaky in blindside pass protection without Solder, as their best options now are the re-signed LaAdrian Waddle, free-agent flyer Matt Tobin and 2017 third-rounder Antonio Garcia. They could afford to let Fleming walk because of the projected healthy return of stud right tackle Marcus Cannon from his season-ending ankle injury. So look for New England to target a big, athletic presence who can complement Cannon.

Linebacker: Dont’a Hightower had his 2017 season cut short by a torn pectoral. Kyle Van Noy often struggled after signing an extension in September. Marquis Flowers was re-signed, but he’s not a real starting option. Versatility, depth and playmaking upside are all lacking at this position; it’s something Belichick will address now that he has his hands more on the defense without Patricia.

“I hate surgery,” Collins told NorthJersey.com via text. “And then I’m thinking I’m fine and excited about this season, being on the field for OTAs. It’s a bone. It’s going to come back stronger, so it shouldn’t affect nothing I’m trying to do [moving forward].”

Collins earlier this week told reporters on a conference call that his arm was “100 percent” but insisted Wednesday that he wasn’t lying when he made that assessment. Instead, he said he was surprised when doctors told him another procedure would be best.

At 24, he is entering the last year of his rookie contract, and, according to NorthJersey.com, the rugged safety who was an All-Pro in 2016 is expected to be a key player in new coordinator James Bettcher’s defense.seahawks_013

It’s possible (maybe even likely) at least five quarterbacks will fly off the board in the first round of this year’s draft: Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson.

If the draft does unfold that way, it would be the first time that happened since 1999. That year, the Browns selected Tim Couch first overall, the Eagles took Donovan McNabb second, the Bengals drafted Akili Smith third, the Vikings grabbed Daunte Culpepper 11th and the Bears took Cade McNown 12th.

Among that group, McNabb was the only one who had a great career. Culpepper’s was solid. The rest, especially Couch and Smith, were tremendous busts.

If you are going Devils in your pool, there is only one line to pick from. Taylor Hall has been playing more often than not with Kyle Palmieri and Nico Hischier of late, with Palmieri being the stronger choice of the two. After Sami Vatanen took over power-play duties when March rolled around, Will Butcher spent the final weeks of the season wrestling them back in time for the playoffs. Butcher is the better choice on defense.

A good example? The Raiders had two scouts at the Spring League watching Johnny Manziel, according to ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert. Manziel could have played in Canada (and perhaps will eventually), but by using the Spring League as a showcase, he allowed NFL teams to see him training and in game situations they might not otherwise see.

One of the more talented communications people I’ve ever known, Randall Liu, is leaving the NFL office after 18 years. Every journalist I know who covers the league will miss him.

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution included an interesting nugget in this story about Matt Ryan’s excitement to have Julio Jones back and practicing this offseason.

Ryan told Ledbetter that “he’s heard Jones is working out or has consulted with” Hall of Famer Terrell Owens this offseason.la_kings_013