3 Dolphins offensive linemen questionable for Green Bay

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins could be without three injured starting offensive linemen Sunday at Green Bay.

Guard Ted Larsen (neck) is doubtful, and left tackle Laremy Tunsil (knee and ankle) and right tackle Ja’Wuan James (knee) are questionable. All three were limited in practice Friday, as they have been all week.

Defensive end Charles Harris (calf) was ruled out for the fourth game in a row. Linebacker Kiko Alonso (ankle) was added to the injury report after missing practice and is listed as questionable.

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Report: Bears expected to release TE Sims

Report: Bears expected to release TE Sims

The Chicago Bears are expected to release tight end

Report: Bears expected to release TE Sims

The Chicago Bears are expected to release tight end Dion Sims, who made just four starts in 2018 during a season that was cut short because of concussion issues, the NFL Network reported Wednesday.

Sims was scheduled to make $6 million in the final year of his three-year, $18 million contract with the Bears.

Sims, 28, had just two catches for 9 yards in 2018. Regarded more as a blocking tight end, he played in eight games last season and did not see action again after starting in a 41-9 victory on Nov. 4 over the Buffalo Bills.

In 2017, his first season with the Bears, he started in all 14 games in which he played, catching 15 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown.

In six seasons with the Miami Dolphins and Bears, the former fourth-round draft pick in 2013 out of Michigan State has 91 receptions for 888 yards and nine touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Woods: Masters grabbed my attention months ago

Woods: Masters grabbed my attention months ago

Woods: Masters grabbed my attention months ago

The PGA Tour has not even reached the East Coast yet in 2019 and already Tiger Woods has one eye trained toward the April 11-14 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga.

In fact, Woods admitted Wednesday, in advance of this weekend’s WGC-Mexico Championship in Mexico City, that the Masters grabbed his attention long before this week.

“(It) started probably back in October, November,” Woods at a Wednesday press conference in Mexico, of the major tournament he has won four times, including his most recent in 2005.

With the PGA Tour having already roared through Hawaii, California and Arizona, it will reach Florida next week for the Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Then there is the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, Fla., a tournament Woods has won eight times.

With four consecutive Florida tournaments on the horizon, Woods is starting to realize there is too much of a good thing ahead. He wants to find the sweet spot between too many rounds before the Masters, and not enough.

“From here on out, it’s very complicated,” Woods said. “That’s what I’m trying to figure out; how much to play, how much is too much, how much is not enough.”

The 14-time major winner, whose last grand slam tournament victory came at the 2008 U.S. Open, was tied for 15th at last weekend’s Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. He also finished tied for 20th at the Jan. 23-26 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, in La Jolla, Calif.

Unlike at last year’s Masters, when Woods finished tied for 32nd while just making his return from spinal fusion surgery, he sounds as if he has more confidence this time around.

“Last year was different, and in previous years it was nonexistent,” Woods said. “This year, to be able to ramp up a schedule and to be able to know what I can and can’t do going into the event, is a lot more comforting than this has been in the previous years because it’s been kind of an unknown going into that event.”

–Field Level Media

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Steelers GM: Brown trade requires ‘significant compensation’

Steelers GM: Brown trade requires 'significant compensation'

The Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers GM: Brown trade requires ‘significant compensation’

The Pittsburgh Steelers will attempt to trade disgruntled receiver Antonio Brown this offseason, but general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters Wednesday that they aren’t going to give away the All-Pro.

“We’re not going to move a significant player for less than significant compensation,” Colbert said.

After meeting with team president Art Rooney II on Tuesday, Brown announced on Twitter that both sides had decided to part ways.

“Had a great meeting with Mr.Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod #Boomin,” Brown tweeted.

Colbert told reporters that the Steelers weren’t yet engaged in trade talks, but he expected they would pick up. Still, he said Brown conceivably could return to Pittsburgh if there is “no trade that does not benefit the team.”

The GM also said Brown will not be allowed to select the team to which he is traded.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported in January that Pittsburgh likely would seek a second-round draft pick for the 30-year-old Brown. But Wednesday, his colleague Tom Pelissero said Brown probably would net the Steelers only a mid-round pick after months of drama.

Brown, 30, is due a $2.5 million roster bonus on March 17. Pittsburgh can avoid payment by releasing or trading the seven-time Pro Bowl selection before that date.

He has three years remaining on a five-year, $72.7 million contract extension he signed before the 2017 season.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers clear way for RB Bell to be free agent

Steelers clear way for RB Bell to be free agent

Steelers clear way for RB Bell to be free agent

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell will be an unrestricted free agent.

The team will not use a transition or franchise tag on Bell, who sat out the entire 2018 season in a contract standoff, general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters Wednesday.

“Le’Veon is still a great player. We can’t afford to use any other type of tags,” Colbert said. “Le’Veon will be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year.”

Bell, who turned 27 on Monday, has posted three 1,000-yard seasons and earned three Pro Bowl selections since entering the league in 2013. He sat last season rather than collect $14.5 million under the franchise tag for a second consecutive season, when a long-term deal with the Steelers could not be reached.

In Bell’s absence, second-year back James Conner emerged as a reliable starter. He finished the 2018 season with 973 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.

Using the transition tag seemed unlikely, but the Steelers could have used that tag — expected to carry a one-season value of $9.5 million to $14.5 million — in a sign-and-trade scenario.

Sources recently told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin are tired of the drama with Bell and “have no desire to sign him to a long-term deal or place the transition tag on him with the intention of keeping him for one more season.”

The NFL’s new league year begins March 13.

Bell, in 62 NFL games (all starts), has rushed for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns on 1,229 carries, also catching 312 passes for 2,660 yards and seven scores.

–Field Level Media

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Agent: Vikings WR Thielen won’t hold out for contract

Agent: Vikings WR Thielen won't hold out for contract

Agent: Vikings WR Thielen won’t hold out for contract

Wide receiver Adam Thielen’s $5.85 million salary for 2019 puts him among the lowest-paid No. 1 receivers on any team.

And with two years left on the four-year, $19.25 million contract he signed in 2017, the Vikings might consider trying to extend the contract of the productive 28-year-old wideout. Or they could wait.

His agent, Blake Baratz, told SKOR North radio in the Twin Cities on Tuesday that Thielen will not hold out to force the Vikings to the negotiating table.

“Adam’s not that type of person,” Baratz said. “I would never condone a player to hold out or be disruptive if it wasn’t for a very valid reason, and (what’s not) a valid reason, to me, is both sides working in good faith to come to a conclusion that makes sense for everybody.”

The Vikings signed Thielen, who played collegiately at Minnesota State, as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He has played in all 80 games (46 starts) over five seasons and has caught 293 passes for 3,897 yards and 19 touchdowns.

In 2018, he had career highs in receptions (113), yards (1,373) and TDs (nine). He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

“This team has a lot of really good things in place for it, and I know they want to take care of Adam and I know they want Adam there and I know they want to reward Adam,” Baratz said.

“What exactly that looks like and when that happens, I can’t speak to yet, but I’m cautiously optimistic that everyone will come around and do the right thing.

“There’s not — no one’s being greedy. Everyone understands the situation and it’s really in their court. He has a couple of years left on his deal, but he’s earned a significant pay raise. Not to mention what he’s done on the field, he might be one of the best people in the entire National Football League and represents the city and the organization and state and frankly, the entire region unbelievably.”

–Field Level Media

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Rams’ Anderson: Gurley’s knee injury worse than thought

Rams' Anderson: Gurley's knee injury worse than thought

Rams’ Anderson: Gurley’s knee injury worse than thought

Los Angeles Rams running back C.J. Anderson said teammate Todd Gurley was “more hurt than what we thought,” which helps explain the star running back’s lack of usage late in the playoffs.

Gurley missed the final two regular-season games, dealing with a knee problem, after rushing for 1,251 yards and 17 touchdowns in 14 games. He also caught 59 passes for 580 yards and four scores.

He returned for the playoffs — with 16 carries for 115 yards against Dallas — but had only a combined 14 carries and two receptions in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LIII. Rams coach Sean McVay had declared Gurley’s left knee “100 percent” before the Super Bowl and Gurley was not on the injury report.

But Gurley rushed just 10 times for 35 yards in the 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots.

“The injury was a little bit more than what everybody in the building thought, including himself,” Anderson said Tuesday on FS1’s “Undisputed.”

Anderson said he would call the injury a sprained knee. Gurley suffered a torn left ACL in 2014.

“Obviously, it’s the same knee injury he’s had before in his career,” Anderson said.

“I had surgery on my meniscus and once you have a knee, you always have a knee. So it aggravates, and if he was getting a lot of touches earlier in the year — obviously him being one of the best running backs, that probably was the case.”

Anderson, was signed with the Rams for the final two regular-season games, had 46 postseason carries. Gurley had 30.

Gurley led the NFL with 21 touchdowns and 17 rushing scores during the regular season. He notched his third 1,000-yard rushing season in four years since the Rams took him with the 10th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

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Jets RB Bell won’t play in preseason

Jets RB Bell won't play in preseason

New York Jets running back Le'Veon

Jets RB Bell won’t play in preseason

New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell will not play in the preseason, head coach Adam Gase told reporters Sunday, meaning his first action since the end of the 2017 season will come in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills.

Gase told reporters the decision was reinforced by starting linebacker Avery Williamson tearing his ACL in Thursday’s preseason game.

“I was 99.9 percent sure what we were going to do,” Gase said of the plan for Bell. “The (Williamson injury) probably made it 100.”

Williamson, the team’s leading tackler in 2018, went down while playing with backups against the Atlanta Falcons in the second quarter Thursday night. Gase said Saturday he regrets having Williamson play so late.

“Looking back on it — hindsight is 20/20 — I wish I would’ve gotten him out of there a series earlier,” Gase said. “I talked to him. It’s on me. I’m the one who has to make that call and get him out of there. We didn’t. It’s a shame because he was having a good camp.”

Bell, who sat out all of 2018 in a contract dispute with Pittsburgh, hasn’t had a preseason carry since the 2016 season. He told reporters this week he would be fine without playing until the regular-season opener.

“I don’t really necessarily need (preseason reps),” Bell said. “If I get them, they’ll help. But I don’t think I’ll need them. I think once we get out there … football is football. I’ve been playing for so long. It naturally will come back to me. I’ll get adjusted to the game … in a couple plays and I’m ready to go.”

Bell, 27, signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets in March.

He rushed for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns and caught 312 passes for 2,660 yards and seven scores in five seasons (62 games) with the Steelers from 2013-17.

–Field Level Media

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Stricker named U.S. Ryder Cup captain

Stricker named U.S. Ryder Cup captain

Stricker named U.S. Ryder Cup captain

Steve Stricker officially was named the captain for the 2020 United States Ryder Cup team on Wednesday, ending months of speculation that the Wisconsin native would head up the U.S. team at Whistling Straits next year.

At his pre-tournament press conference at the WGC-Mexico Championship, Tiger Woods said that Stricker was “the overwhelming choice for us on the committee.”

Stricker, who turns 52 on Saturday, will be the 29th U.S. Ryder Cup captain — and the first without a major title on his playing resume. However, he has a wealth of Ryder Cup experience, having played in the event three times and serving as an assistant three others.

Born in Edgerton, Wis., Stricker still calls Madison home. He has 26 career professional wins, including 12 on the PGA tour. His best finish in a major was runner-up in the 1998 PGA Championship.

“I am truly humbled by this opportunity,” Stricker said. “I’m very competitive. We want to win this more than ever and I’m here to help in any way I can. It’s truly an honor.”

The Americans were dominated by Team Europe in Paris last year, losing 17 1/2 to 10 1/2 at Le Golf National. Stricker knows Whistling Straits intimately, and the U.S. side hopes that gives the team an edge.

“It looks like an ocean out there, not one of the Great Lakes,” he said. “It’s challenging to the eye.”

Eight of the 12 spots on the U.S. team will be decided by points, with the final four captain’s picks being announced three weeks before the start of the event on Sept. 1, 2020.

Stricker also said that 2018 captain Jim Furyk will be among his vice captains.

“Communication is my biggest thing,” Stricker said. “Being up front with (the players) and knowing what I expect from them is the biggest thing.”

–Field Level Media

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Seahawks WR Metcalf to have knee surgery

Seahawks WR Metcalf to have knee surgery

Seattle

Seahawks WR Metcalf to have knee surgery

Seattle Seahawks rookie receiver D.K. Metcalf is scheduled to have minor knee surgery on Tuesday, head coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Sunday.

Carroll declined to put a timetable on Metcalf’s expected absence, but he said “there’s optimism” for a return for Week 1 of the regular season.

“The (doctors) really have a clear look already at the MRI, what it is and think it’s a really quick recovery, likely,” Carroll said. “That still all has to happen. I think we are going to keep him in town and get the work done right away and be very optimistic about the way he can get back.”

“We are disappointed for him because he was off to a fantastic start, but I don’t think this is going to derail him for long,” Carroll added.

Metcalf practiced all week — including Friday, the last session before Sunday’s preseason game in Minnesota — but Carroll said the team discovered this week that there were issues in Metcalf’s knee. He did not play Sunday, as the Seahawks lost 25-19 to the Vikings.

The Seahawks took the 21-year-old 64th overall in April’s draft out of Ole Miss. During his three-year career with the Rebels, Metcalf missed most of 2016 with a foot injury and the second half of 2018 due to a neck injury.

Seattle’s top rookie, first-round defensive end L.J. Collier, was already out with an injury. He injured his ankle during training camp and could miss regular-season time.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Raiders likely to play in Oakland in ’19

Report: Raiders likely to play in Oakland in '19

Report: Raiders likely to play in Oakland in ’19

The Oakland Raiders could wind up staying in the city for two more seasons, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

The Raiders announced plans to move into a new stadium in Las Vegas before the 2020 season, but their lease to play their home games in Oakland expired at the end of the 2019 season.

Owner Mark Davis attempted to push the team for a one- or two-season stay in San Francisco — sharing a venue with baseball’s Giants — but that plan never got off the ground.

Despite a contentious history between the two sides, the Raiders and the Oakland Coliseum Authority resumed negotiations earlier this month, and the Chronicle reported that an announcement about a new, short-term lease could be made in the next two weeks.

“It’s for one year for sure, with an option for the second year,” a source told the Chronicle.

The two sides reportedly have agreed to a $7.5 million deal for the 2019 season with an increase to $10.5 million for the following season, should the Raiders need to utilize the facility for a second year.

The option for 2020 would kick in if the new $1.8 billion stadium in Las Vegas isn’t game ready.

The Raiders had a plan in place to play in Oakland in 2019, but Davis pulled out after the city joined a lawsuit seeking damages from the team. The Raiders had also discussed playing their home games in Santa Clara at Levi’s Stadium, sharing the venue with the 49ers.

–Field Level Media

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DE Clark could get rare franchise tag from Seahawks

DE Clark could get rare franchise tag from Seahawks

DE Clark could get rare franchise tag from Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks could use the franchise tag option for the first time since 2010 if they can’t agree on a contract with defensive end Frank Clark before the March 5 tag deadline.

Clark, 25, will become a free agent on March 13 if no agreement is reached and likely would be pursued by many teams. He led the Seahawks with 13 sacks in the regular season, and head coach Pete Carroll said he wants him back.

“We’ll figure it out, somehow, and work at it,” Carroll told The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Christmas Eve. “It’s a big issue.”

Clark told The News Tribune in January that he expects to remain with the Seahawks in the upcoming season, if not beyond.

“At the end of the day, I just feel like whatever’s in my coach’s plans, whatever’s in our guys’ plans, I think they are going to take care of it,” Clark said after the Seahawks lost to the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs.

Based on the defensive end market, the Seahawks likely would be paying Clark – their second-round draft pick in 2015 – at least $15 million a year in a new contract.

Whether he signs a new contract or is franchise tagged, Clark will be looking at a significant raise in 2019. He earned $943,938 in the final year of his rookie deal last season.

The franchise tag for defensive ends next season projects at about $18 million.

Seattle has been successful in negotiating contract extensions for most of its stars this decade, including quarterback Russell Wilson and defensive backs Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman.

As a result, the last player to receive the franchise tag was kicker Olindo Mare in 2010.

–Field Level Media

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Romero takes one-shot lead at Puerto Rico Open

Romero takes one-shot lead at Puerto Rico Open

Romero takes one-shot lead at Puerto Rico Open

Andres Romero of Argentina, who is in search of his first PGA Tour victory in 11 years, shot a bogey-free, 6-under-par 66 on Thursday to take the lead after the opening round of the Puerto Rico Open at Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

PGA Tour rookie Sepp Straka of Austria, who tied for 13th place at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, was one shot back with a 5-under 67. Nine golfers were tied for third place at 4-under, 68, including Alex Kang, who is making just his fifth career PGA Tour start.

Defending Puerto Rico Open champion D.A. Points opened with a 71, leaving him tied for 36th place. Daniel Berger, the highest-ranked player in the event at No. 72 in the Official World Golf Rankings, opened with a 70, while amateur and Clemson senior Bryson Nimmer shot 69 in his PGA Tour debut.

–Field Level Media

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Veteran players highlight International side for Presidents Cup

Veteran players highlight International side for Presidents Cup

Veteran players highlight International side for Presidents Cup

When the Presidents Cup returns to Melbourne, Australia, and The Royal Melbourne Golf Club for the third time this Dec. 9-15, International Team captain Ernie Els will bring a squad that includes four players with a combined 17 previous appearances.

The conclusion of the BMW Championship marked the end of the automatic qualifying period for the top eight members for both the International Team and Team USA.

Veteran Internationals include Australia’s Marc Leishman and Adam Scott, South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who will be joined by newcomers Abraham Ancer of Mexico, China’s Haotong Li, Aussie Cameron Smith and Taiwan’s C.T. Pan.

“This is as good as I could have asked for,” Els said in a statement. “I’ve got guys who have played in the Presidents Cup many times previously, and I’ve got guys who are rookies. The guys who are pillars of our team have really stepped up to take their places in this team. I’m really impressed with how they’ve conducted themselves and played into the team.

“For the top eight, I think the one-year qualifying cycle has worked well. The guys knew they had to play well this season, and they showed it. For instance, Adam Scott played himself right into this team. He was nowhere near when qualifying started, and he’s played great since we started. Same with Louis Oosthuizen, who stepped it up. They obviously had a plan of trying to make this team.”

Scott has the most experience of any qualified player for both the International and U.S. Teams, having played in eight previous Presidents Cup events. He also is the only International Team player to have played in the 2011 event when it was held at Royal Melbourne.

“Of course, the bigger goal will be (winning) the Presidents Cup,” said Scott, who has eight top-10s this season, including runner-up finishes at the Farmers Insurance Open and Memorial Tournament.

“Ernie has made his intentions very clear — certainly to me — how much he wants to improve our chances as a team and the work he’s going to put in. For me, considering Ernie is really a great friend and mentor of mine, I really want to be part of his team.”

The United States team, captained by Tiger Woods, will include world No. 1 Brooks Koepka, Sunday’s BMW Championship winner Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar and Bryson DeChambeau.

Notable U.S. players who did not qualify and now need of one of four captain’s picks by Woods are Tony Finau (ninth), Gary Woodland (10th), Rickie Fowler (11th), Patrick Reed (12th), Phil Mickelson (16th) and Jordan Spieth (27th).

The most notable player on the International side in need of a captain’s pick by Els is former world No. 1 Jason Day, who finished ninth in the points.

The United States has dominated the biennial competition, which pits the U.S. against the rest of the world minus Europe. The U.S. has won the last seven Cups and owns a 10-1-1 record overall since the Presidents Cup debuted in 1994.

Last month, U.S. captain Tiger Woods named Fred Couples, Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker as three of his four assistants. Els named former Augusta winners Mike Weir of Canada and Trevor Immelman of South Africa along with South Korea’s K.J. Choi and Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy as his assistants.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Raiders GM Mayock weighs in on WR Brown

NFL notebook: Raiders GM Mayock weighs in on WR Brown

The

NFL notebook: Raiders GM Mayock weighs in on WR Brown

The Oakland Raiders’ Antonio Brown was absent from practice Sunday, and general manager Mike Mayock sounded fed up with the star wideout.

“Y’all know that AB is not here today, right?” Mayock said, addressing reporters in a video that was distributed on the Oakland Raiders’ Twitter page.

“So here’s the bottom line: He’s upset about the helmet issue. We have supported that; we appreciate that. OK? But at this point, we’ve pretty much exhausted all avenues of relief. So, from our perspective, it’s time for him to be all in or all out.”

Brown was a full participant in the team’s walkthrough on Saturday, but he has had only one full-speed practice and two walkthroughs, in part because he was recovering from foot blisters caused by a cryotherapy mishap and lately because of the helmet issue. His old helmet is no longer approved for NFL use, and when Brown used social media to find a newer version of his favored model — the Schutt AiR Advantage — it failed NFL testing.

–Atlanta Falcons rookie offensive lineman Kaleb McGary will resume on-field work this week in practice but has not been cleared for contact, coach Dan Quinn said.

McGary, the No. 31 overall pick in the draft, underwent cardiac ablation on July 31, a procedure designed to correct heart rhythm issues.

The team said McGary previously had two similar procedures, which are considered minimally invasive.

–The Chicago Bears, still hunting for a kicker, waived Elliott Fry.

Still, no one should assume that Eddy Pineiro, the remaining kicker in camp, has won the job.

The team is searching for a replacement for Cody Parkey, who was cut after he missed a 43-yard attempt that would have given Chicago a win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild-card round of the playoffs in January. Instead, the Bears lost 16-15 after Parkey missed the kick with seconds remaining.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings take down Seahawks in Wilson’s debut

Vikings take down Seahawks in Wilson's debut

Russell Wilson threw for 82

Vikings take down Seahawks in Wilson’s debut

Russell Wilson threw for 82 yards in his preseason debut, but the Minnesota Vikings used strong performances from their backup quarterbacks to beat the Seattle Seahawks 25-19 on Sunday in Minneapolis.

Wilson and Vikings starter Kirk Cousins each played two series and led their teams to one field goal. Wilson finished 6 of 9 and added two carries for 9 yards on the ground, while Cousins went 6 of 8 for 68 passing yards.

Sean Mannion entered next for the Vikings and was up and down. He went 11 of 14 for 88 yards with a touchdown but also threw an interception, which DeShawn Shead returned 88 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Third-stringer Kyle Sloter helped the Vikings pull it back, going 11 of 13 for 116 yards and a touchdown.

Paxton Lynch relieved Wilson and had a much rougher outing than his opener against Denver. He finished 6 of 15 for 67 yards. Recently signed ex-Ohio State star J.T. Barrett missed all three passes, throwing an interception, in minimal action.

–Field Level Media

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Tiger’s ‘very special’ season ends at BMW Championship

Tiger's 'very special' season ends at BMW Championship

Tiger’s ‘very special’ season ends at BMW Championship

Tiger Woods birdied three of his first seven holes Sunday, but his rally to qualify for the Tour Championship fizzled as his season ended at the BMW Championship.

Woods finished with an even-par 72 in the final round for a 7-under total at Medinah Country Club outside of Chicago. He fell well short of the top-11 finish he was projected to need to advance and defend his Tour Championship title next week at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

The top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings get to continue playing. Woods began this week at No. 38 and was projected to drop a few spots as his round ended.

Despite the finish and a return of some health problems late in the season, he called his PGA Tour season “very special,” thanks to his thrilling win at the Masters in April, his 15th career major championship and first since the 2008 U.S. Open.

He played in only six tournaments after Augusta, missing the cut at the PGA Championship and Open Championship and having to withdraw before the second round of last week’s playoff-opening The Northern Trust because of a mild oblique strain.

“Some of the tournaments I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, but I’ve got the green jacket,” he said.

Woods, 43, gave himself hope by shooting a 5-under-par 67 on Saturday, his first bogey-free round of the season.

He birdied the fourth and fifth holes on Sunday, bogeyed the next and responded at No. 7 with another birdie that would be his last of the season. He fell back with a bogey on No. 9 when he couldn’t get up-and-down out of a greenside bunker, and a tee shot into the sand on the par-3 13th led to another bogey.

“It was a little bit frustrating,” Woods said. “Didn’t have the short game I needed to make a run.”

Woods said the only official PGA Tour event he will play the rest of the year is the inaugural Zozo Championship that will be played outside of Tokyo, starting Oct. 24. It will be the first official PGA Tour event in Japan.

ESPN reported last month that Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama would compete in a one-day Skins Game in Japan three days before the Zozo Championship.

–Field Level Media

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Thomas wins BMW to move into FedEx Cup lead

Thomas wins BMW to move into FedEx Cup lead

Thomas wins BMW to move into FedEx Cup lead

Justin Thomas had a finishing touch, too.

The 26-year-old said he didn’t let a rough stretch earlier this year or some misfortune during Sunday’s final round of the BMW Championship get in his way — and all is good now.

Thomas fended off challengers with a strong back nine on the way to a 4-under-par 68 to win at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago. This makes a wrist injury seem far in the past.

“I knew I was going to come back, and if I did everything and got healthy then I could play some good golf the rest of the year and I put in a lot of work to do so,” Thomas said.

By winning for the first time this year, Thomas moves atop the FedEx Cup standings going into the last of the PGA Tour’s three playoff events next week at the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Thomas was the 2017 FedEx Cup champion.

“This season has been far from lows,” he said. “Even when I was hurt, I missed three events and my life is great.”

And perhaps getting even better.

Thomas, who began the day ahead by six strokes, finished at 25-under 263 for a three-shot victory. He capped the tournament with a birdie.

“I’ve been hitting great golf shots. I’ve been making great strides with my putting,” Thomas said. “I’m putting well if the ball isn’t going in the hole. I feel better over it and seeing my line better.”

Patrick Cantlay was the runner-up after a 65 put him at 22 under for the tournament. He’s up to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan shot a 63 and ended up third at 20 under.

Tony Finau, who was in the final group with Thomas and Cantlay, wasn’t a factor despite playing the first six holes of the back nine in 4 under. His 69 left him at 18 under in fourth place.

Thomas, who posted an 11-under 61 on Saturday, bogeyed Sunday’s first hole and didn’t pick up a birdie until the par-5 fifth hole.

But he has regained such confidence that some slight shortcomings don’t seem to derail him.

“It’s just understanding that it’s golf and it’s going to happen,” he said.

Cantlay and others moved within striking range.

“It’s trying to make as many birdies as possible,” Cantlay. “That would have been the case regardless of how well (Thomas) was playing.”

Cantlay also bogeyed the first hole, but he was 5 under across the next nine holes to cut the margin to two strokes. Thomas responded with a birdie on the 11th hole.

“I’ve felt like I’ve been playing as well as anybody,” Thomas said. “… Just talk to your caddie, stay relaxed.”

They both birdied at Nos. 13 and 15. When Cantlay bogeyed at No. 16, the margin was back at four strokes before Cantlay birdied the final two holes.

Finau saw countless incredible shots from Thomas during the weekend.

“You just shake your head. Again, he’s already playing great,” Finau said. “You just shake your head and you’re happy for guys that it can happen.”

Matsuyama, the second-round leader who floundered in Saturday’s third round, turned out to be one of the prime pursuers in the early portion of Sunday’s round by playing the front nine in 5 under. Matsuyama’s round of 9 under marked the second time in three days that he posted a 63 for the lowest round of the day.

Matsuyama needed only 20 putts Sunday.

Tiger Woods shot a final-round 72 and won’t advance to next week’s season-ending event. It was his worst round of the tournament and he finished tied for 37th at 7 under.

Because of weather concerns, the final round was adjusted and tee times altered. The start of the round was delayed, and then golfers went off the first and 10th tees in threesomes.

–Field Level Media

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Thomas wins BMW to move into FedExCup lead

Thomas wins BMW to move into FedExCup lead

Thomas wins BMW to move into FedExCup lead

Justin Thomas fended off challengers with a strong back nine Sunday on the way to a 4-under-par 68 to win the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill.

By winning for the first time this year, Thomas moves atop the FedExCup standings going into the last of the PGA Tour’s three playoff events next week at the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Thomas was the 2017 FedExCup champion.

Thomas, who began the day ahead by six strokes, finished at 25-under 263 for a three-shot victory. He capped the tournament with a birdie.

Patrick Cantlay was the runner-up after a 65 put him at 22 under for the tournament. He’s up to No. 2 in the FedExCup rankings.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan shot 63 and ended up third at 20 under.

Tony Finau, who was in the final group with Thomas and Cantlay, wasn’t a factor despite playing the first six holes of the back nine in 4 under. His 69 left him at 18 under in fourth place.

Thomas, who posted an 11-under score Saturday, bogeyed Sunday’s first hole and didn’t pick up a birdie until the par-5 fifth hole.

Cantlay and others moved within striking range.

Cantlay also bogeyed the first hole, but he was 5 under across the next nine holes to cut the margin to two strokes. Thomas responded with a birdie on the 11th hole.

They both birdied at Nos. 13 and 15. When Cantlay bogeyed at No. 16, the margin was back at four strokes before Cantlay birdied the final two holes.

Matsuyama, the second-round leader who floundered in Saturday’s third round, turned out to be one of the prime pursuers in the early portion of Sunday’s by playing the front nine in 5 under. Matsuyama shot 63 in the final round, making it the second time in three days he posted 63 for the lowest round of the day.

Matsuyama needed only 20 putts Sunday.

Tiger Woods shot a final-round 72 and won’t advance to next week’s season-ending event. It was his worst round of the tournament and he finished tied for 37th at 7 under.

Because of weather concerns, the final round was adjusted and tee times altered. The start of the round was delayed, and then golfers went off the first and 10th tees in threesomes.

–Field Level Media

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Raiders GM Mayock sounds off on absent AB

Raiders GM Mayock sounds off on absent AB

The Oakland Raiders' Antonio Brown was absent from

Raiders GM Mayock sounds off on absent AB

The Oakland Raiders’ Antonio Brown was absent from practice Sunday, and general manager Mike Mayock sounded fed up with the star wideout.

“Y’all know that AB is not here today, right?” Mayock said, addressing reporters in a video that was distributed on the Oakland Raiders’ Twitter page.

“So here’s the bottom line: He’s upset about the helmet issue. We have supported that; we appreciate that. OK? But at this point, we’ve pretty much exhausted all avenues of relief. So, from our perspective, it’s time for him to be all in or all out.

“We’re hoping he’s back soon. We have 89 guys busting their tails. We are really excited about where this franchise is going, and we hope AB is going to be a big part of it, Week 1 in Denver. End of story, no questions.”

Brown was a full participant in the team’s walkthrough on Saturday, but he has had only one full-speed practice and two walkthroughs, in part because he was recovering from foot blisters caused by a cryotherapy mishap and lately because of the helmet issue.

His old helmet is no longer approved for NFL use because it is more than 10 years old, and when Brown used social media to find a newer version of his favored model — the Schutt AiR Advantage — it failed NFL testing.

The league’s requirement of approved helmets technically applies to all practices and games, with teams at risk of punishment for any of their players who practice or play with disapproved helmets.

The Raiders acquired the seven-time Pro Bowl selection from the Pittsburgh Steelers in a trade in March and later signed him to a three-year, $50.125 million contract.

Brown, 31, caught at least 100 passes and exceeded 1,200 receiving yards in each of the past six seasons with the Steelers. He has appeared in 130 games with Pittsburgh from 2010-18, catching 837 passes for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Hill does it all as Saints rally past Chargers

Hill does it all as Saints rally past Chargers

Hill does it all as Saints rally past Chargers

Taysom Hill totaled 189 yards from scrimmage and threw for two touchdowns as the New Orleans Saints rallied past the Los Angeles Chargers 19-17 in Carson, Calif., on Sunday afternoon.

Starting quarterbacks and former Chargers teammates Drew Brees and Philip Rivers did not play, leaving Teddy Bridgewater for the Saints starting against Tyrod Taylor for the Bolts.

Bridgewater struggled, going 5 of 12 for 40 yards and an interception before Hill took over. The Swiss Army-knife signal-caller went 11 of 15 for 136 yards and two scores through the air while chipping in 53 rushing yards on five carries. Hill also led a nine-play, 50-yard drive to set up Wil Lutz for the game-winning 28-yard field goal with 1:05 remaining.

Taylor went 7 of 10 for 57 yards and an interception before Cardale Jones took over. Jones finished 10 of 14 for 111 yards and a TD. The Chargers had built a 17-3 lead before halftime on Troymaine Pope’s 81-yard punt-return touchdown with three seconds left in the second quarter.

–Field Level Media

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