Texans have quick turnaround as they look to stay on a roll

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Texans have put their 0-3 start behind them, winning four straight games capped by Sunday’s victory over the Jaguars to move into first place in the AFC South.

But they won’t have much time to celebrate their recent success with the Dolphins coming to town on Thursday night.

“We got a lot to prove,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “Anytime you win four games in a row you set a standard for yourself. I think it’s a standard that we’ll have to live up to, especially since it’s a short week.

“Miami is a hot team, so we have big challenge coming Thursday. We have to get over this game. It was a big game and a big win, but we have to get over it quickly.”

Coach Bill O’Brien knows that most people wrote his team off after its terrible start, but he insists he never doubted that he had a good team which could turn things around.

“I knew that the team had the resolve to be able to really take the cliche of one day at a time, one play at a time, really take that to heart and make it work,” he said. “Those are clichés unless you actually make them work, and this is the type of team we have. We have a mentally tough team.”

Quarterback Deshaun Watson agreed with his coach, but was quick to point out that they still have a lot of work to do.

“We were down and out, and everybody was counting us out,” Watson said. “The thing is we have guys on this team who understand that early on it doesn’t matter. We just put our heads down and kept working and now we have to continue to do the same thing.”

Houston’s first three wins in this streak were close games, with two of them coming in overtime. But on Sunday against the Jaguars, the Texans jumped out to a 20-0 lead and came away with a 20-7 win on a day they forced three turnovers.

Another key to Houston’s win over Jacksonville was success in the red zone. After struggling in the area all season, the Texans scored a touchdown on two of their three trips inside the 20-yard line on Sunday to roll to the easy win.

Despite Watson’s solid play in the win on Sunday, the Texans faced more questions about his health after it was revealed that he made the 800-mile trip from Houston to Jacksonville by bus because they were worried about how air pressure from flying would affect his bruised lung and injured ribs.

O’Brien wouldn’t provide any more details on Monday about why he took the bus, but said that he didn’t expect his travel to be impacted by his injury in the future.

While Watson continues to grow into his position and hopefully become the franchise quarterback the Texans have long searched for, on Thursday they’ll face the player they once thought would fill that role in Brock Osweiler.

Signed before this season to be Ryan Tannehill’s backup, Osweiler will start his third straight game on Thursday night with Tannehill still out with a shoulder injury.

It will be an interesting matchup considering Osweiler’s history with the Texans. Houston signed him to a $72 million contract before the 2016 season, but he was benched before the year was over and shipped to Cleveland before the next season.

Though he struggled during his time with the Texans, O’Brien has been impressed with his work in the past two weeks where he’s thrown for 619 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions.

“They’re doing a great job with him,” O’Brien said. “Brock’s a very talented player and he’s a having a really good year right now for them. He’s doing a real good job.”

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Broncos’ Fangio says Lock ‘doesn’t know how to pitch yet’

Broncos’ Fangio says Lock ‘doesn’t know how to pitch yet’

Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock found out what

Broncos’ Fangio says Lock ‘doesn’t know how to pitch yet’

Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock found out what the school of hard knocks will be like under new head coach Vic Fangio.

On only his second day of training camp, Lock, who reportedly was in a contract stalemate earlier this week, got verbally hit below the belt Friday by the old-school coach of the Broncos.

“He’s not a quarterback yet,” Fangio told reporters. “He’s a hard-throwing pitcher that doesn’t know how to pitch yet. The faster he gets that, the better off he’ll be and we’ll be.”

Four years of experience as a starter at Missouri isn’t enough to make Lock an NFL quarterback according to Fangio, the former defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears.

“His college offense had no carryover to pro offenses,” Fangio said. “He was under duress a lot in college, so a lot of his plays he was running around. I don’t think he’s as far along being an NFL-ready QB as he could have been.”

Lock, who failed to get selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft before the Broncos grabbed him the 42nd overall pick, isn’t expected to unseat new addition Joe Flacco as the starter in 2019.

“Drew will come in and compete for the backup job,” general manager John Elway told ESPN.com in April.

Fangio sounds like the tough-talking team player Elway needs in dealing with his young gun.

“I think a quarterback that can change his arm angles is a position when it’s needed,” Fangio said. “You don’t want to do it when you don’t have to do it. Obviously if someone’s in my face and I have to do it, that’s good to have that talent. But if I’m strong in the pocket and there’s nothing, I want to throw over the top, nice and strong. I don’t want to rely on side-arms.

“It’s good that (Lock) can do that, but he needs to use that when he needs to and not when he doesn’t need to.”

–Field Level Media

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Sproles returns to Eagles with 1-year deal

Sproles returns to Eagles with 1-year deal

The Philadelphia Eagles on

Sproles returns to Eagles with 1-year deal

The Philadelphia Eagles on Friday agreed to terms on a one-year contract with 36-year-old running back Darren Sproles, the team announced.

“My heart is in Philly. That’s where I want to end my career,” Sproles said on the team’s website. “That team, the city is like a family.”

Sproles, who ranks sixth all-time in the NFL in all-purpose yards (19,520), needs 163 yards to pass Tim Brown for fifth place. The three-time Pro Bowler will begin his sixth season with the Eagles after spending the first six years of his career with the San Diego Chargers and then playing three years with the New Orleans Saints.

“We are excited to bring Darren back,” the Eagles said in a statement. “It isn’t very often that you have the opportunity to add a player who has the sixth-most (all-purpose) yards in NFL history. He is the ultimate professional, and a leader on and off the field. He will add another proven talent to our running back room. His dynamic punt return skills are second to none. We can’t wait to get started next week.”

Sproles had discussed retiring after the 2017 season, the year he sustained a torn left anterior cruciate ligament and broken right arm in Week 3. He returned for last season but missed 10 games due to a hamstring injury.

He said he came back for 2018 because “I couldn’t let my career end like that.”

Sproles had topped 1,100 all-purpose yards in all 11 of his full seasons, peaking with an NFL-best 2,696 in 2011 with the Saints.

–Field Level Media

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Herman leads Barbasol field at midpoint

Herman leads Barbasol field at midpoint

Jim Herman shot a second consecutive

Herman leads Barbasol field at midpoint

Jim Herman shot a second consecutive 7-under-par 65 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead at the midway point of the Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Ky.

Bill Haas is second at 13-under 131 following a 66 at Keene Trace Golf Club’s Champion course.

David Toms (8 under on Friday), D.J. Trahan (5 under), Kelly Kraft (5 under) and Kramer Hickok (5 under) are tied for third at 12 under.

First-round leader J.T. Poston, who tied the course record with a 62 on Thursday, produced a 73 on Friday to fall into a tie for 18th at 9 under.

Herman, whose only career PGA Tour win came at the 2016 Shell Houston Open, opened with four birdies and one bogey on the front nine. The 41-year-old Cincinnati native added four more birdies in a bogey-free back nine.

“Everything seems to be working this week,” Herman said. “I’ve really been playing very well. … I’m rolling the ball great. I’m hitting a lot of greens and making some putts. That’s always a good combination. …

“I’ve tried the best I could this week to set my sights high. I knew everyone was going to be going low. I’ve been always around the cut line it seems the last year, just fighting for cuts, missing out by a shot here and there. I had a goal of 15 under (through two rounds) and I just missed it, so we’ll reset and see what we can do on the weekend.”

John Daly, who completed in the Barbasol Championship after the Open Championship refused to give him a medical exemption for the use of a golf cart, missed the cut by three strokes. He shot 71-72–143.

–Field Level Media

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Ireland’s Lowry shares Open lead with Holmes

Ireland's Lowry shares Open lead with Holmes

Ireland’s Lowry shares Open lead with Holmes

Ireland’s Shane Lowry survived a shaky back nine and grabbed a share of the 36-hole lead with J.B. Holmes at The Open Championship on Friday while some of the game’s most famous names bit the dust.

Lowry, who grew up 180 miles from Royal Portrush, shot another 67 to match his first-round score. That left him at 8 under and even with Holmes, who shot 68 in the second round.

“I knew with the weather coming in, there’s going to be rain in the afternoon, I knew I needed to get off to a decent start anyway,” Lowry said of his 31 on the front nine. “To be out there doing it in front of the Irish people, it’s incredible.”

Lowry is not entirely new to the pressure of leading a major. He held the 54-hole lead in the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont with a third-round 65, only to become the first golfer since Payne Stewart (1998) to blow a lead of more than four shots in the final round.

Holmes’ two-round total of 134 is his best in a major by four strokes. A winner of five PGA tournaments, most recently the 2019 Genesis Open, he did not compete in the British Open last year.

“You can have that great round and that day where everything goes right. But it’s nice to get two rounds in a row,” Holmes said. “It shows a little consistency. And two days in a row I’ve hit the ball really well and putted well.”

Lee Westwood and Tommy Fleetwood, both from England, are one shot behind at 7 under. Westwood was the Open Championship leader through 54 holes at Muirfield in 2013, when Phil Mickelson emerged with the Claret Jug.

Mickelson, who carded an 8-over 150 total through two rounds, and Tiger Woods (6-over 148) missed the cut (1-over 143), along with local favorite Rory McIlroy, who shot a 6-under 65 but failed to make the weekend by one stroke.

“You know, I’m playing so bad that I really don’t know what to say,” Mickelson said following his round. “I’m just playing terrible golf.”

Defending champion Francesco Molinari of Italy (74-69) and Portrush native Graeme McDowell (73-70) just made the cut.

Without a single bogey in the second round, Westwood walked off the course Friday with only his second bogey-free round in 86 tries in The Open. But the 46-year-old Westwood, who would become the oldest first-time major winner, isn’t ready to start counting his shots toward a major title.

“There’s too much ground to cover before Sunday night. There’s a long way to go in this tournament,” he said. “I’ve never felt under that much pressure, to be honest. You lads write about it. I’ve always gone out and done my best. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

With a 7-under 135, Fleetwood shot his best score through two rounds of any major, thanks to four birdies on the back nine and six overall on Friday.

Brooks Koepka, who shot a 2 under 69 on Friday, is three shots back of the lead at 5 under along with Jordan Spieth, Andrew Putnam and South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli. After winning the U.S. Open in 2017 and 2018, and the PGA Championship in 2018 and 2019, the 29-year-old Koepka is trying to become the fourth player to earn five or more major titles before turning 30.

Woods started the back nine birdie-birdie but finished with bogeys on 17 and 18. Woods confessed he was travel-weary and ready to pack his bags Friday night.

“I just want some time off just to get away from it,” Woods said. “I had a long trip to Thailand and then trying to get ready for this event, to play this event, it’s been a lot of travel, a lot of time in the air, a lot of moving around and different hotels and everything.

“I just want to go home.”

McIlroy wasn’t quite ready to tag out after a miserable first-round 79, charging toward the cut line with a furious run of birdies in the second round. But he missed the cut at the Open for the first time since 2013, bouncing back with a win the next year.

Frittelli spun out of a share of the lead with a horrific tee shot on 17 and more trouble on 18 to end double bogey-bogey. His group at 6-under is one shot behind England’s Justin Rose, South Africa’s Justin Harding and Australia’s Cameron Smith, who are tied for fifth.

–Field Level Media

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Hometown hero McIlroy falls just short of Open cut

Hometown hero McIlroy falls just short of Open cut

Hometown hero McIlroy falls just short of Open cut

Rory McIlroy was 14 shots better in the second round than he was on Thursday, but a 65 left the hometown favorite one stroke from making the Open Championship cut at Royal Portrush.

McIlroy ran out of hometown magic but gave a strong effort before a raucous and supportive gallery following a brutal opening round.

McIlroy, who grew up in Northern Ireland approximately an hour drive from the Royal Portrush Golf Club, nearly pulled off the improbable after opening the final major tournament of the year Thursday with an 8-over-par 79.

It took all of McIlroy’s course knowledge and determination to reverse his fortunes Friday and shoot a 6-under 65 in the second round, but a final birdie was not to be had after the four-time major winner missed the green with his approach shot at the 18th hole.

His one-putt par left him at 2-over par for the tournament.

“It was awesome, sort of emotional,” McIlroy said of the crowd support in an interview on the ESPN broadcast. “I feel like I get a lot of great support anywhere I go, but I really felt it today. Every green to tee, all these people are here for me and they want me to do well. It sucks I’m not here for the weekend. I would’ve loved to play in front of them for two more days.”

Adding to the backdrop of McIlroy’s week was his history at the famed course. He once played Royal Portrush as a present for his 10th birthday.

McIlroy’s first-round struggles at a course he knows so well came as surprise. He shot a course-record 61 at Royal Portrush when he was just 16.

That kind of play was somewhat evident early Friday when McIlroy opened the front nine at 2-under with birdies at No. 3 and 7. His charge really started to gain momentum with birdies on the opening three holes of the back nine.

An untimely bogey at No. 13 derailed did not help the cause. He found a fairway bunker off the tee while following an aggressive line and was unable to salvage par. He still rebounded with a birdie at No. 14 and another at the par-3 16th hole but could not find one last birdie.

The 14-stroke improvement from his first round to his second round was by far his best in any event. His previous best improvement between the first two rounds was 10 strokes at the 2018 U.S. Open.

“I’m proud of how I snuck in there and played a really solid round of golf today,” McIlroy said. “It wasn’t quite enough. The good thing about this game is there’s always next week. Dust myself off and get ready for (the WGC-FedEx-St. Jude Invitational at) Memphis.”

–Field Level Media

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Raiders’ stadium cost in Vegas soars to $1.9 billion

Raiders' stadium cost in Vegas soars to $1.9 billion

Raiders’ stadium cost in Vegas soars to $1.9 billion

The high stakes for building an NFL stadium for the Raiders in Las Vegas continues to rise with the latest cost estimate now coming in at $1.9 billion, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

A report indicated that $40 million was being added to the cost in order to give the venue 20 more additional suites and a new club area near the north end zone.

The Raiders are expected to move into the stadium for the 2020 season, playing on a natural grass field under a translucent roof. Stadium plans call for it to have sliding doors that will open to give a view of the nearby Las Vegas Strip. The UNLV football program is also expected to use the facility.

Nearly $1 billion already has been spent on the 65,000-seat stadium, with the final three of 26 steel trusses expected to be installed in the next few weeks.

A 0.88-percent tax on Clark County hotel rooms is expected to pick up $750 million of the price tag.

A total of at least 46 annual events are expected to be held in the stadium, including concerts, MMA-style events and monster truck shows. The NCAA men’s basketball committee reportedly toured the facility this month with a future Final Four possible.

-Field Level Media

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Broncos bring back RB Williams, waive OL Jacobson

Broncos bring back RB Williams, waive OL Jacobson

Running back David Williams, who

Broncos bring back RB Williams, waive OL Jacobson

Running back David Williams, who was originally drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2018, rejoined the team on Friday.

Williams wound up playing last season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who signed him off the Broncos practice squad.

He rushed eight times for 36 yards in six games with the Jaguars, who released Williams on May 10.

The Broncos also announced that offensive lineman Nathan Jacobson had been waived. Jacobson had joined the Broncos in May as an undrafted free agent out of UNLV.

–Field Level Media

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Former Giants OL Petrus dies of heat stroke

Former Giants OL Petrus dies of heat stroke

Former offensive lineman Mitch Petrus, who earned a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants in 2011, died Thursday night of an apparent heat stroke.

Petrus, who was 32, had spent the day working outside of his family's business near Little

Former Giants OL Petrus dies of heat stroke

Former offensive lineman Mitch Petrus, who earned a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants in 2011, died Thursday night of an apparent heat stroke.

Petrus, who was 32, had spent the day working outside of his family’s business near Little Rock, Ark. The area has been under a heat advisory, with temperatures into the 90s.

The former University of Arkansas walk-on was drafted by the Giants in the fifth round in 2010 and was part of the team that won the title after the 2011 season. He was cut after the season and spent time with the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots the following season before leaving the NFL.

The official Razorbacks twitter account posted a tribute to Petrus on Friday morning.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mitch Petrus,” it reads. “He was an outstanding competitor, incredible teammate and a true Hog. He will be greatly missed by many. Rest easy Mitch.”

–Field Level Media

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Ireland’s Lowry grabs share of Open lead

Ireland's Lowry grabs share of Open lead

Ireland’s Lowry grabs share of Open lead

Ireland’s Shane Lowry survived a shaky back nine and grabbed a share of the 36-hole lead at The Open Championship on Friday.

Lowry, who grew up 180 miles from Royal Portrush, shot another 67 to match his first-round score. That left him at 8-under and even with J.B. Holmes, who shot 68 in the second round.

“I knew with the weather coming in, there’s going to be rain in the afternoon, I knew I needed to get off to a decent start anyway,” Lowry said of his 31 on the front nine. “To be out there doing it in front of the Irish people, it’s incredible.”

Lowry is not entirely new to the pressure of leading a major. He held the 54-hole lead in the U.S. Open at Oakmont with a third-round 65, only to become the first golfer since Payne Stewart (1998) to blow a lead of more than four shots in the final round.

Lee Westwood sat one shot off the lead with Tommy Fleetwood also at 7-under. Westwood was the Open Championship leader through 54 holes at Muirfield in 2013, when Phil Mickelson emerged with the Claret Jug.

Mickelson, who carded an 8-over total through two rounds, and Tiger Woods (6-over) are done for the tournament.

Without a single bogey in the second round, Westwood walked off the course Friday with only his second bogey-free round in 86 tries in The Open. But Westwood isn’t ready to start counting his shots toward a major title.

“There’s too much ground to cover before Sunday night. There’s a long way to go in this tournament,” he said. “I’ve never felt under that much pressure, to be honest. You lads write about it. I’ve always gone out and done my best. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

Fleetwood sits a 7-under, his best score through two rounds of any major, thanks to four birdies on the back nine and six in his second round Friday.

Brooks Koepka was 2-under on Friday and is three shots back of the lead at 5-under along with Jordan Spieth, Andrew Putnam and Dylan Frittelli.

Woods started the back nine birdie-birdie but finished with bogeys on 17 and 18. Woods confessed he was travel-weary and ready to pack his bags Friday night.

“I just want some time off just to get away from it. I had a long trip to Thailand and then trying to get ready for this event, to play this event, it’s been a lot of travel, a lot of time in the air, a lot of moving around and different hotels and everything.

“I just want to go home.”

Local favorite Rory McIlroy wasn’t quite ready to tag out after a miserable first round, charging toward the cut line with a furious run of birdies in the second round.

Frittelli, from South Africa, spun out of a share of the lead with a horrific tee shot on 17 and more trouble on 18 to end double bogey-bogey. His group at 6-under is one shot behind Justin Rose, Justin Harding and Cameron Smith, who are tied for fifth.

–Field Level Media

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Bills sign S Coleman to replace retiring Bush

Bills sign S Coleman to replace retiring Bush

The Buffalo Bills

Bills sign S Coleman to replace retiring Bush

The Buffalo Bills signed journeyman safety Kurt Coleman on Friday to replace Rafael Bush, who is retiring after nine seasons.

Coleman, 31, is entering his 10th season and received a one-year contract that is reportedly worth just over $1 million.

He played all 16 regular-season games last season for the New Orleans Saints, making nine starts. Coleman finished with 32 tackles.

Coleman has played for Bills coach Sean McDermott during previous stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers.

Bush made seven starts for the Bills last season, finishing the season with 45 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

–Field Level Media

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Tiger (6-over) projected to miss cut at The Open

Tiger (6-over) projected to miss cut at The Open

Tiger (6-over) projected to miss cut at The Open

Tiger Woods will likely miss the cut at The Open after shooting a 1-under 70 in the second round at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland on Friday.

Woods appeared to recover from a disastrous first round on Thursday — he labored to a 7-over 78 — but bogeys on the final two holes left him at 6-over for the tournament.

Stamina and physical health were questioned in Woods’ media session after his first two rounds. While he said there is no specific injury, Woods confessed he’s beaten down emotionally by his physical limitations.

“There were some physical issues — it was more frustrating than anything else,” Woods said. “This is me not playing well. Not scoring well. I don’t have the flexibility I once had. … There are times it’s going to be there, times it won’t.

“There’s been a lot of travel lately. I just want to go home.”

The cut line was hovering around 2-over par, but had shifted to 1-over as the morning wave finished the second round.

Woods entered the second round 12 shots off the lead, but birdied two of the first six holes to pick up momentum.

A bogey on the par-5 No. 7 interrupted his strong start, though he quickly got back on track with birdies on Nos. 10 and 11.

After a string of pars, Woods followed up a bogey on No. 17 with another on No. 18 as his chances faded away.

The highest opening round by a champion of The Open since World War II was a 75 by Gary Player in 1959.

Woods began the week ranked No. 5 in the world, and could have climbed as high as No. 2 with a victory.

–Field Level Media

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NFL declines to punish Chiefs WR Hill

NFL declines to punish Chiefs WR Hill

NFL declines to punish Chiefs WR Hill

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill will not be punished under the personal conduct policy as the NFL closed its formal investigation into multiple alleged physical altercations.

Hill pleaded guilty to an assault and battery charge in 2015 but a full version of an audio recording aired recently revealed Hill denying assaulting his fiancée.

“Based on the evidence presently available, the NFL cannot conclude that Mr. Hill violated the Personal Conduct Policy,” the statement reads.

“Accordingly, he may attend Kansas City’s training camp and participate in all club activities. He has been and will continue to be subject to conditions set forth by the District Court, Commissioner [Roger] Goodell, and the Chiefs, which include clinical evaluation and therapeutic intervention.”

The Chiefs announced in late April that Hill has been barred from team activities. In three seasons with the Chiefs after he was a fifth-round draft choice out of West Alabama in 2016, Hill has 223 catches for 3,255 yards and 25 touchdowns.

The Chiefs released a statement on Friday welcoming Hill back to the team for the start of training camp next week.

“We have been informed of the decision by the National Football League that, based on the available evidence, the league has not found that Tyreek Hill violated the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. Based on the information provided to us by the league, we have decided it is appropriate for Tyreek to return to the team at the start of training camp. The club fully supports the conditions for return laid out by the league and will continue to monitor any new developments in the case. We are glad to welcome Tyreek back to the team and look forward to the start of training camp next week.”

In the recently released recording, played by 610 KCSP radio, Hill is heard telling Crystal Espinal that he “didn’t touch you in 2014.”

“You f—ing ruined my life and you lied on me in 2014,” Hill told Espinal. “I’m still not over that. I didn’t touch you in 2014.

“You lied on me in 2014. If you want to rewind that night, we can rewind that night, too. You was in my house. And did I pick you up and slam you? Hell no. I picked you up and put you out my door and after that you left.”

In August 2015, eight months after his arrest, Hill entered a guilty plea to domestic assault and battery by strangulation for allegedly punching and choking Espinal, who was pregnant at the time.

While entering his plea, Hill told a judge that he “did something I shouldn’t have done” and that “I let my feelings take control of me,” according to ESPN’s reporting.

Kansas City television station KCTV aired another audio recording, believed to have been made as Hill and Espinal were in Dubai’s international airport, that spurred the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office to take a second look at a possible criminal case involving injuries to the couple’s 3-year-old son.

The television station said it received the audio from “someone who is concerned about the welfare of the couple’s child.”

When police responded to their home previously, there were signs that a crime had been committed against the child, but the District Attorney’s Office said it would not have been able to prove who did it.

In the 11-minute audio file released in April, Espinal is heard telling Hill that the boy said “Daddy did it,” referring to an injury to the child’s arm.

The league left the door open for potential discipline down the line, saying “If further information becomes available through law enforcement, the pending court proceeding, or other sources, we will promptly consider it and take all appropriate steps at that time.”

–Field Level Media

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Tiger 500-1 to rally for The Open Championship

Tiger 500-1 to rally for The Open Championship

Tiger

Tiger 500-1 to rally for The Open Championship

Tiger Woods entered The Open Championship as a 20-1 bet to claim his 16th career major title this week at Royal Portrush.

After a sloppy and disastrous 7-over-par 78 in Thursday’s opening round, PointsBet and FanDuel dropped those odds to 500-1, as Woods will need a stellar round on Friday to even sniff the cut line.

He was given the same odds to win as David Duval, who carded a 91 on Thursday.

Woods began the week ranked No. 5 in the world, with an opportunity to climb as high as No. 2 with a victory. Others in his odds category entering Friday include the likes of Champions tour regular Tom Lehman, 528th-ranked Innchoon Hwang of South Korea, No. 350 Nino Bertasio of Italy and No. No. 327 Yosuke Asaji of Japan.

Woods looked so out of sorts, admitting after his round that he’s not feeling 100 percent physically, that Rory McIlroy has odds twice as good to win the tournament despite sitting another shot back at 8 over.

After offering everything from whether Woods would be paired with Sergio Garcia at some point during the tournament to whether he would keep the flagstick in on the final shot of a victory, the only Tiger-related prop bet being offered by PointsBet on Thursday was a “3-ball” bet. Woods is favored at +169 to play better on Friday than England’s Matt Wallace (+176, currently at 2 over) and former Masters champion Patrick Reed (+183, currently at even par).

For those who believe Woods can make one of his vaunted comebacks, PointsBet is offering a 30-1 bet that Woods can rally to finish within the top 10. FanDuel is offering 100-1 that he can climb his way into the top 5, but a less aggressive play is the 10-1 to rally for a top 40 finish.

Then again, that’s shorter odds than the 11-1 FanDuel is offering for the same bet on Phil Mickelson, who begins Round 2 two shots ahead of Woods at 5 over.

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins’ Norton discharged from hospital after losing arm

Dolphins' Norton discharged from hospital after losing arm

Two weeks after a car accident

Dolphins’ Norton discharged from hospital after losing arm

Two weeks after a car accident led to him losing his left arm, Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton walked out of a Miami hospital Thursday afternoon after being discharged, offering his gratitude after his life-changing amputation.

The 22-year-old Norton, who underwent six surgeries since his July 4 wreck, spoke on camera briefly from the parking lot at Jackson Memorial Hospital and thanked his numerous supporters through the ordeal.

“I just want to give a big thank you first of all to God for me still being here,” Norton said. “Second of all to Jackson Medical Center. They did a great job. They took great care of me while I was in here.

“Next, I want to thank the Miami Dolphins family. They’ve been crazy with how much help they’ve been willing to give and, you know, they really didn’t have to. … Everyone’s been showing so much support and so much love. I really appreciate it. … They’ve been a big part of me being able to even be out this early.”

Norton, who played at the University of Miami, said that several Dolphins teammates and coaches came to see him in the hospital often, and cited first-year head coach Brian Flores as a daily guest to his hospital room since the career-ending accident.

Norton spent most of the 2018 season on the Panthers’ practice squad after Carolina selected him in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. The Dolphins signed him in December.

NFL officials have said league and team insurance will cover his medical bills.

Norton was cited with making an improper lane change, per a Florida Highway Patrol report. He suddenly pulled his F-250 truck in front of a Maserati and clipped it, sending his car into a concrete barrier. The other driver was not injured, and the report said drugs or alcohol were not believed to be a factor.

–Field Level Media

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Poston matches course record at Barbasol Championship

Poston matches course record at Barbasol Championship

Poston matches course record at Barbasol Championship

J.T. Poston tied the course record with a 10-under-par 62 to grab the first-round lead in the Barbasol Championship at Nicholasville, Ky.

The 26-year-old North Carolina native produced 11 birdies and one bogey at Keene Trace Golf Club’s Champion course. He sits one shot ahead of Canada’s Nick Taylor and two shots in front of Wes Roach.

Kelly Kraft, Kramer Hickok, D.J. Trahan, Roberto Castro, Jim Herman, Bill Haas, Josh Teater and Colombia’s Sebastian Munoz are tied for fourth at 7 under.

Poston notched birdies on six of his first eight holes before recording his lone bogey on the par-3 ninth hole. He bounced back with five more birdies on the back nine, rolling in a 27-foot putt to end his round and match the course record.

“It was one of those days, everything clicked and I was hitting it so good, I didn’t have that many lengthy birdie putts I made until the last hole,” Poston said. “I kind of hit it like that the last month or so and had a couple of good rounds. …

“Lot of rain last night, so (the greens) are soft and they are really good greens and you can make a lot of putts. They are rolling really well.”

Former major champion Jason Dufner is tied for 15th at 5 under par.

John Daly, who pulled out of this week’s Open Championship a week ago after being denied a medical exemption for the use of a golf cart, shot a 1-under 71 on Thursday in the Barbasol event.

The alternate-field tournament is being held concurrently with The Open, which is underway at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Amputated Norton out of hospital after losing arm

NFL notebook: Amputated Norton out of hospital after losing arm

Two weeks after a

NFL notebook: Amputated Norton out of hospital after losing arm

Two weeks after a car accident led to him losing his left arm, Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton walked out of a Miami hospital Thursday afternoon after being discharged, offering his gratitude after his life-changing amputation.

The 22-year-old Norton, who underwent six surgeries since his July 4 wreck, spoke on camera briefly from the parking lot at Jackson Memorial Hospital and thanked his numerous supporters through the ordeal.

“I just want to give a big thank you first of all to God for me still being here,” Norton said. “Second of all to Jackson Medical Center. They did a great job. They took great care of me while I was in here.

Norton, who played at the University of Miami, said that several Dolphins teammates and coaches saw him in the hospital often, and cited first-year head coach Brian Flores as a daily guest to his room since the career-ending accident. NFL officials have said league and team insurance will cover his medical bills.

–A 64-year-old Missouri man who aimed a laser pointer at New England quarterback Tom Brady’s face during the AFC Championship pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and must pay a $500 fine.

Dwyan Morgan of Lee’s Summit faced up to a year in jail or a fine up to $1,000, Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in April. The incident happened in the fourth quarter of the Patriots’ 37-31 overtime win against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Jan. 20.

A photographer for KMBC in Kansas City recorded evidence of a green laser shining in Brady’s face. Prosecutors did not say how investigators were able to determine that Morgan was allegedly involved. Morgan has been banned for life from the stadium.

–The Denver Broncos signed wide receiver Steven Dunbar Jr., filling out their 90-man roster.

Contract terms were not announced. He takes the spot of Aaron Burbridge, who unexpectedly retired Wednesday at age 25 and was waived.

Dunbar, a 23-year-old Houston product who went undrafted in 2018, spent most of last year on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad, appearing in just one game. In college, he caught 180 passes for 2,430 yards, adding 11 touchdowns for the Cougars.

–Field Level Media

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Broncos LB Davis carted off at 1st camp practice

Broncos LB Davis carted off at 1st camp practice

The Denver Broncos saw one of their

Broncos LB Davis carted off at 1st camp practice

The Denver Broncos saw one of their defensive starters get carted off the field on the opening practice of training camp, but the team may have dodged a serious injury.

Inside linebacker Todd Davis, the Broncos’ leading tackler last season, went down to injury Thursday in Englewood, Colo., but he is expected to miss only three to four weeks, according to multiple media outlets.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero later reported that an MRI showed a partially torn calf muscle, but the timetable should allow Davis to return to action before the start of the regular season.

“It was the very last one rep (with starters on the field) I had of the whole day. The very last play,” Davis said, per 9News in Denver. “I went to plant and run towards the ball. The ball was thrown, and I just felt something kind of pull in my calf. Nothing major happened.”

The 27-year-old, a full-time starter for the past three seasons in Denver, enjoyed a career year in 2018, recording personal bests in tackles, passes defensed (seven), tackles for loss (six) and quarterback hits (five).

Originally a rookie waiver pickup by the Broncos after the New Orleans Saints signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Sacramento State in 2014, Davis has played in all 16 games in three of the past four seasons. For his career, Davis has 338 tackles, two sacks and one interception in 71 games (49 starts).

Davis is expected to be a key ingredient in new head coach Vic Fangio’s defense this season as the Broncos come off a 6-10 campaign, one in which they ended the season by dropping their final four games.

–Field Level Media

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Duval cards 14, shoots 91 in Round 1

Duval cards 14, shoots 91 in Round 1

Duval cards 14, shoots 91 in Round 1

Thirteen-time PGA Tour winner David Duval walked off the 18th green at Royal Portrush and the first round of The Open Championship on Thursday wondering what just hit him.

“Just done something I’ve never done as a professional,” Duval said in Portrush, Northern Ireland. “It was a long day, a rough day. A very unique, awful situation.”

Duval carded a career-worst 14 on a single hole and finished with a 91, six shots more than the 47-year-old ever previously needed in his worst round as a pro.

The 1991 Open winner played in four prior PGA Tour events this year and participated in a Korn Ferry Tour event last week in Colorado. As a past major champion, he remains exempt for The Open until age 60. Duval might feel as if he aged rapidly on Thursday.

On the par-5, 592-yard seventh hole, Duval hit two tee shots that weren’t found by marshals immediately. He was required to hit a provisional tee shot in the event neither of the first two balls could be located in the thick rough.

With no luck discovering the first two shots, Duval approached and hit what he thought was his ball — and fifth shot on the hole.

But it wasn’t his ball, and this fact wasn’t apparent until Duval already had hit the ball multiple times.

“I get up to the front of the green, I discover it was the wrong No. 2 Titleist,” he said. “I am at fault, I didn’t check it myself close enough. It happened to me once before — a marshal is standing right next to the ball. It’s just my mistake.”

The punishment was Duval returning to the tee box to start all over, plus a two-stroke penalty.

Six shots later, he rolled in for a 14.

“It’s fairly unsettling,” Duval said. “As a professional, if you play, you post your score. Is there some hint of embarrassment to it? I don’t know, but I teed off and what I shot at the end of the day, put it on the board.”

He wound up with three scores of triple bogey or worse on Thursday, a dubious accomplishment that hadn’t happened in the same round at The Open since 2003, when Duval shot 83 at Royal St. George’s.

–Field Level Media

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Tiger struggles to opening 78 at The Open

Tiger struggles to opening 78 at The Open

Tiger struggles to opening 78 at The Open

Tiger Woods arrived at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland this week admitting his game was not as sharp as he would like entering the final major of the year.

The inconsistency in Woods’ game – and inability to control the shape of his shots – was on full display during a 7-over-par 78 on Thursday that left him 12 shots off J.B. Holmes’ first-round lead.

Woods will now have to post a very solid score on Friday just to reach the weekend.

Appearing to be holding off from some of his typically aggressive swings, Woods managed to get through the first four holes in even par including a miraculous par on the first hole.

“I’m not moving as well as I’d like,” Woods said. “Certain shots I just can’t hit. Father time, the procedures I’ve had … just the way it’s going to be from here on out. It’s why I’m not playing as often anymore on the PGA Tour.”

The highest opening round in The Open by an eventual champion in event history is 75.

Woods bogeyed the par-4 fifth hole, then doubled the par-3 sixth. Two more bogeys over the next three holes left Woods with a 5-over 41 on the front nine.

He added another bogey on No. 10 and one more at the 14th to drop to 7 over for the first time. In jeopardy of posting only the sixth birdie-free round of his major career, Woods rolled in a lengthy putt on No. 15 to finally gain a stroke back, raising his arms in a feigned celebration.

After a pair of pars, Woods pulled his drive left off the 18th hole. He chopped out of the rough, chipped onto the green and missed his par putt.

Woods will play in the morning wave Friday, with the cut line expected to fall around 2-over par depending on what type of weather conditions players face in the second round.

Woods was hardly the only marquee player to feel the wrath of Royal Portrush.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy hit his opening drive out of bounds en route to an 8-over 79, while Phil Mickelson stumbled to a 5-over 76.

–Field Level Media

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Holmes alone in lead after first round at The Open

Holmes alone in lead after first round at The Open

Holmes alone in lead after first round at The Open

J.B. Holmes grabbed a one-shot lead after the first round of The Open Championship on Thursday while local favorite Rory McIlroy struggled at Royal Portrush Golf Club in the tournament’s return to Northern Ireland after a 68-year wait.

Holmes shot a 5-under-par 66, leaving him one stroke ahead of another local favorite, Ireland’s Shane Lowry, on a day when Phil Mickelson posted a 76 and Tiger Woods limped home with a 78. McIlroy, who shot a course-record 61 as a 16-year-old amateur at Royal Portrush in 2005, tumbled to a 79.

Holmes, a 37-year-old who has never won a major tournament, started his round with his only bogey at the par-4 first hole before delivering three birdies in the next four holes. He added birdies at Nos. 12, 14 and 18.

“Every time you come over here, it’s a unique experience,” said Holmes, who has won once this year at the Genesis Open in Pacific Palisades, Calif. “You get the wind, the rain, and you play the ball on the ground a little bit more. You’ve got to be very patient, it’s a march.”

A group of 13 sits two shots back at 3 under par, including world No. 1 Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Spain’s Sergio Garcia and England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood.

Koepka, who won the PGA Championship in May and finished second at the U.S. Open in June, has won four major titles. His best finish at The Open was a tie for sixth in 2017. He finished tied for 39th last year at Carnoustie in Scotland, and he is looking to improve on that result by using a local caddie in this year’s tournament.

“It’s been relatively easy,” Koepka said of his transition to the course. “He just tells me where to hit it, and I go from there. It’s been fun. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s fun to be in his hometown. Never being here, it’s a special place.”

One player who knows the course well is Northern Ireland’s McIlroy, but the knowledge has not seemed to help. He opened with a quadruple-bogey 8 on No. 1, tied for his highest score on a hole at any PGA Tour event.

McIlroy also made a double bogey at No. 15 and a triple bogey at No. 18.

“It was obviously a disappointing day,” said McIlroy, who tied his highest ever first round at The Open. “I didn’t put it in the fairway enough to play.”

Mickelson, whose 2013 victory at The Open was the last of his five major titles, had three bogeys on the front nine and four more on the back nine.

Woods, a three-time winner at The Open, had six bogeys plus a double bogey at the par-3 sixth hole.

Lowry’s 67 was his lowest score in a major tournament. He made the turn at 3 under before recording a birdie at the par-4 10th hole, a bogey at the par-4 11th and another birdie at the par-5 12th.

New Zealand’s Ryan Fox, who is in the group at 3 under par, shot a 6-under-par 29 on the back nine, the 15th score of 29 or better in the history of The Open and the lowest score ever on the back nine. All six of the birdies came on his final seven holes.

–Field Level Media

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