The Latest: Saints breeze past Eagles to lead at half

The Latest on Week 11 in the NFL (all times EST):

6 p.m.

The Saints are in control at the half against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.

Drew Brees is 15 of 22 for 206 yards and two touchdowns as New Orleans built a 24-7 lead.

Carson Wentz is 8 of 12 but has thrown for just 77 yards with an interception. He has been sacked twice.

The Eagles’ secondary has taken another hit with starting safety Avonte Maddox leaving in the first quarter with a knee injury. Philadelphia was already without cornerback Ronald Darby and safety Rodney McLeod, who also have knee injuries.

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5:30 p.m.

Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann is among the few players who knows exactly what current Redskins quarterback Alex Smith went through while suffering a season-ending broken leg – and Theismann was at the stadium when Smith got injured.

Theismann tells The Associated Press he turned away when Smith’s lower right fibia and tibia were broken in the third quarter of Washington’s 23-21 loss to visiting Houston on Sunday.

“It brought back vivid memories,” says Theismann, whose career ended when his leg was broken against the New York Giants on Nov. 18, 1985 — 33 years ago to the day.

“The irony of today is just hard to believe,” Theismann says.

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5:27 p.m.

The Eagles say starting center Jason Kelce and starting safety Avonte Maddox each will miss the rest of Philadelphia’s game in New Orleans.

Both injuries occurred in the first quarter. Kelce hurt his left elbow at the end of the Eagles’ second possession. Maddox hurt his knee helping to defend an incomplete pass in the end zone on New Orleans’ second possession.

Maddox’s injury further decimates a secondary that came in without Jalen Mills, who was scratched because of a foot injury.

Philadelphia was already without starting cornerback Ronald Darby and starting safety Rodney McLeod with knee injuries.

The latest injures occurred while New Orleans, which came in on an eight-game winning streak, was in the process of building an early 17-0 lead.

The Eagles cut it to 17-7 on a 28-yard TD run by Josh Adams about halfway through the second quarter.

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5:20 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget has been carted to the locker room with a knee injury during the second quarter against the Denver Broncos. The Chargers say he will not return.

Liuget missed the first four games due to a violation of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He has provided a lift to the team’s pass rush unit since returning.

The Chargers had a 13-7 lead at halftime.

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5:10 p.m.

Derek Carr and Josh Rosen are trading touchdown passes in the desert.

Carr has thrown for scores to Jared Cook and Brandon LaFell for the visiting Oakland Raiders in Arizona. Rosen has touchdown tosses to Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk for the Cardinals.

Rosen and Kirk connected on a 59-yard score.

The game between two of the worst teams in the league was tied at 14-all midway through the second quarter.

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4:35 p.m.

Redskins quarterback Alex Smith’s season is over.

Coach Jay Gruden says Smith is done for the year because of a broken tibia and fibia in his right leg. Smith was hurt in the third quarter of Washington’s 23-21 loss to Houston.

Players from both teams walked off the sidelines to offer good wishes to Smith, who waved his right hand to fans as he was driven away.

Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, whose career ended with a broken leg during a game in 1985, tweeted: “I feel so bad for him.”

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4 p.m.

Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri added another record-breaking moment to his career when Indianapolis beat the Tennessee Titans 38-10.

Vinatieri participated in his 210th regular-season win, snapping a tie with the late George Blanda for the most in league history.

It has been a milestone season for the 45-year-old Vinatieri, the oldest active player in the league. He broke Morten Andersen’s career records for field goals and scoring earlier this season.

And now Vinatieri has more wins in 23 seasons than Blanda accrued in a 26-year career that spanned four decades.

Andrew Luck also moved into a tie for third all-time by throwing at least three touchdown passes in his seventh straight game. He’s tied with Dan Marino, who did it during the 1986 and 1987 seasons. Only Tom Brady (10) and Peyton Manning (eight) remain ahead of Luck.

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3:20 p.m.

Detroit rookie Kerryon Johnson left the game against Carolina in the third quarter with an apparent left knee injury and is questionable to return.

Johnson has 87 yards on 15 carries on the day, including Detroit’s only touchdown so far. The Lions lead 13-7.

The Panthers also had a scare in the third quarter when quarterback Cam Newton appeared to hurt an ankle, but he missed only one play and was back for his team’s next possession, early in the fourth.

—Noah Trister reporting from Detroit

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3:05 p.m.

Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith has been carted off the field with an air cast on his injured right ankle after being sacked by Houston Texans defenders J.J. Watt and Kareem Jackson midway through the third quarter.

Smith covered his face with both hands, then a towel, as he was checked by medical personnel on the field.

Players from both teams walked off the sidelines to offer good wishes to Smith, who waved his right hand to fans as he was driven away.

Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, whose career ended with a broken leg during a game in 1985, tweeted: “I feel so bad for him.”

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3 p.m.

Carolina kicker Graham Gano’s streak of successful field goals is over.

Gano had made 28 in a row —the longest active run in the NFL— before hitting the left upright from 34 yards in the third quarter at Detroit. The Lions then drove for a field goal to take a 13-7 lead over the Panthers.

Gano’s streak only included the regular season. He missed a field goal in the playoffs last season.

Backed up at his own 6-yard line in the third quarter, Carolina’s Cam Newton completed a short pass to D.J. Moore along the left sideline, and the speedy receiver turned it into an 82-yard gain.

But the Lions hustled back and tackled Moore at the Detroit 12, and then the defense held. Gano’s miss meant the Panthers came away with no points.

—Noah Trister reporting from Detroit

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2:58 p.m.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made another switch at quarterback.

Jameis Winston is behind center, replacing starter Ryan Fitzpatrick after he was removed following his third interception against the New York Giants.

New York had a 24-14 lead on the visiting Bucs late in the third quarter.

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2:50 p.m.

For the first time since Nov. 6, 2016, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been shut out in the first half.

Ben Roethlisberger, who last week against Carolina posted a perfect quarterback rating (158.3), was 8 of 19 for 53 yards and two interceptions against the Jacksonville Jaguars headed into halftime trailing 9-0.

Roethlisberger now has nine turnovers in his last three games against the Jaguars, including five in a 30-9 regular-season loss at home last year.

Blake Bortles hasn’t been much better, but the Jaguars are leaning on the run. In one 15-play possession, the Jaguars had 12 consecutive rushes.

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2:30 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans lost their defensive coordinator in the first quarter and may have lost quarterback Marcus Mariota in the final minute of the first half against the Colts with an undisclosed injury.

Mariota was injured after being sacked by Denico Autry. He sat on the ground briefly before walking to the sideline and then to the locker room, even though the Titans were forced to use a timeout which would have allowed Mariota to stay in the game.

Backup Blaine Gabbert replaced Mariota and completed a six-yard pass on third-and-14. But an unnecessary roughness call on Indianapolis’ George Odum moved the ball to the Colts 24 and set up Ryan Succop for a 42-yard field goal to cut the Titans’ deficit to 24-3.

Defensive coordinator Dean Pees was transported to an Indy hospital after leaving the press box in a wheelchair. The Titans later issued a statement saying he had left the stadium for further observation.

Tennessee came into the game with the league’s top-ranked scoring defense.

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2:20 p.m.

Just as the Washington Redskins appeared on the verge of their first lead change of the entire season, Alex Smith threw an interception that was returned 101 yards for a touchdown by Houston Texans safety Justin Reid.

The play put Houston ahead 17-7 late in the second quarter at Washington.

The Texans were up 10-7 in the matchup of division leaders when the Redskins were driving with a chance to do something they hadn’t managed this season: taking a lead in a game during which they trailed.

On first-and-goal from the 7, Smith threw an incompletion. On second down, he was sacked for a loss of 2 yards. And on third-and-goal, he threw into the end zone for Jordan Reed, but the tight end cut in and the ball went outside — right into the arms of Reid.

On Washington’s ensuing possession, Smith was picked off again, this time by Brennan Scarlett.

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2:19 p.m.

The Giants say that safety Landon Collins is expected to return after being evaluated for a concussion. He was taken to the locker room in the second quarter of New York’s game against Tampa Bay after trying to keep Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick out of the end zone on a fourth-down scramble.

The Giants led 14-7 late at halftime.

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2:10 p.m.

Current Redskins running back Adrian Peterson has pulled even with former Redskins RB John Riggins for the sixth-most rushing TDs in NFL history.

Peterson’s 104th score on the ground came 46 seconds into the second quarter Sunday, cutting Washington’s deficit to 10-7 against the Houston Texans in a matchup of division leaders.

Next in Peterson’s sights is Jim Brown, who is fifth on the league’s list with 106 rushing touchdowns.

The record of 164 is held by Emmitt Smith.

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2:05 p.m.

New York Giants safety Landon Collins has been taken to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion in the second quarter of the game against Tampa Bay. He appeared to get hurt after failing to keep Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick out of the end zone on a fourth-down scramble on a broken play from the 1.

The Giants were leading 14-7 late in the first half.

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1:40 p.m.

One of Tennessee’s assistant coaches left the press box during the first quarter of Sunday’s game at Indianapolis.

It was unclear which coach it was or what happened. But emergency personnel were called to the coaches’ box after someone came out of the box and asked for assistance. The coach walked out under his own power but was asked to sit in the wheelchair so they could take him to a lower level for further examination.

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1:35 p.m.

Saquon Barkley has two touchdowns already for the New York Giants.

The star rookie caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to open the scoring for the Giants against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Barkley added a 5-yard scoring run to give New York a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. At 2-7 entering Sunday, the Giants are looking for back-to-back victories for the first time this year.

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1:15 p.m.

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson is off and running in his first career start for the Baltimore Ravens.

Jackson took the field to cheers from the home fans on the Ravens’ opening series against the Cincinnati Bengals, then handed off to running back Alex Collins.

Jackson rushed for 12 yards on a keeper on his second play. He’s starting for Joe Flacco, who is out with a sore right hip.

The drive ended with a 7-yard touchdown run for Collins for a 7-0 lead. Jackson had 46 yards on the ground in the drive.

The Ravens are trying to snap a three-game losing streak.

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11 a.m.

So where are the Patriots, Bills, Jets and Dolphins this week?

On byes.

In a rarity for the NFL, the entire AFC East is off in Week 11. Also not playing this week are San Francisco (2-8) and Cleveland (3-6-1).

The Patriots (7-3) have a two-game lead over Miami (5-5) in a division New England has ruled seemingly forever. The Jets and Bills both are 3-7, far out of contention for the playoffs.

New England returns next Sunday at the Jets, while Miami is at Indianapolis and Buffalo hosts Jacksonville.

Only two teams remain without byes and they are among the NFL elite. Kansas City (9-1) plays at the Rams (9-1) on Monday night, a game moved from Mexico City to Los Angeles because of the poor field conditions at Azteca Stadium.

The Chiefs and Rams are off in Week 12.

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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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BMW staying on as title sponsor for playoff event

BMW staying on as title sponsor for playoff event

BMW staying on as title sponsor for playoff event

The PGA Tour, BMW and the Western Golf Association announced on Sunday that the automaker will stay on as sponsor of the BMW Championship, the second stop of the three-pronged FedExCup Playoffs.

The announcement was made before Sunday’s final round of the BMW Championship, being played in Medinah, Ill. There were no details on the length or terms of the agreement available.

The tournament dates back to 1899, when it debuted as the Western Open. It is the third-oldest on tour behind The Open Championship and the U.S. Open and has been the penultimate event in the playoffs since its inception in 2007. That’s also when BMW began its sponsorship.

With net proceeds from the tournament going to the Evans Scholars Foundation, the BMW Open has raised $30 million-plus in college scholarships for caddies since 2007.

“We are happy to remain the title sponsor of the BMW Championship,” said Bernhard Kuhnt, president/CEO of BMW of North America. “For 13 years, we have been proud partners alongside the Evans Scholars Foundation, helping to provide opportunities for students to follow their dreams.”

“The Western Golf Association’s PGA TOUR event, dating back 120 years, continues to flourish through BMW’s support, positively impacting the communities where it has been played and the caddies who have received Evans Scholarships,” said PGA TOUR commissioner Jay Monahan.

The event, which hosts an elite field of the top 70 ranked players, sets the stage for The Tour Championship in Atlanta, where only the top 30 are eligible to play for the championship.

The 2020 BMW Championship will be held at Olympia Fields Country Club near Chicago.

–Field Level Media

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Mickelson rushes to make tee time after hotel fire

Mickelson rushes to make tee time after hotel fire

Mickelson rushes to make tee time after hotel fire

Phil Mickelson was evacuated from his hotel room Sunday morning following a fire and had to rush to make his tee time at the BMW Championship.

“How’s this for crazy? My hotel was struck by lighting, I was on top floor, we were evacuated and the place is on fire (only thing of mine on fire this week.),” he tweeted. “I can’t get back into my room and may miss my tee time because I am without clubs and clothes.”

Mickelson eventually did get back into his room at the Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca, Ill., adjacent to Medinah Country Club.

ESPN reported that the 49-year-old Mickelson arrived at the golf course with less than 40 minutes before his 11:52 a.m. tee time and had just enough time to change his shoes and swing a weighted club in the parking lot.

Mickelson began the day at 4-under-par 212, well behind leader Justin Thomas, who enters play on Sunday at 21-under 195 for the tournament.

–Field Level Media

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Bears waive K Fry, will get better look at Pineiro

Bears waive K Fry, will get better look at Pineiro

The

Bears waive K Fry, will get better look at Pineiro

The Chicago Bears, still in the hunt for a kicker, waived Elliott Fry on Sunday.

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

“Is the competition over? Between those two, yeah,” head coach Matt Nagy told reporters on Sunday.

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.

Parkey missed seven field goal attempts and three extra points in the regular season.

In June, the Bears waived former Pitt kicker Chris Blewitt, one of three kickers who took part at mandatory minicamp.

Pineiro, 23, kicked collegiately at Florida and signed in May 2018 with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent. He was placed on injured reserve in September and missed the season. The Bears acquired him in May for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

This preseason, he has hit three of four attempts with a long of 41 yards.

The 24-year-old Fry, who played in college at South Carolina, signed with the Bears in April after the Alliance of American Football league folded. He kicked with the Orlando Apollos.

With the Bears, he made one of two attempts, missing from 47 yards on Friday in a loss to the New York Giants.

Cutting Fry now will give Pineiro more chances, Nagy said.

“Like any position we’re always going to be looking for the best,” Nagy said. “I think for Eddy, though, he needs to understand that we feel really good with where he’s at and now he’s never kicked in an NFL game before so that can go a couple different ways. It can go really good. It can go really bad. We don’t know that answer but for right now we’re good with where he’s at. We want him to just keep kicking like he’s been but we’re always going to keep that thing open and not just at that position but every position until we make that final 53.”

–Field Level Media

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Falcons OL McGary (heart) begins path to return

Falcons OL McGary (heart) begins path to return

Atlanta Falcons rookie offensive

Falcons OL McGary (heart) begins path to return

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 Sunday.

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.

Quinn told reporters that McGary participated in Sunday’s walkthrough and will “get a good bit of the field work” with the training and medical staffs.

“And then once that’s good, we’ll be out a couple of weeks, make sure the conditioning is right,” Quinn said on the Falcons’ official website. “And then back into individual (drills), and then you get back into team (drills).

“So we really stay strict to the policy we put into place for the guys to return to it. We just don’t back off of it, especially if you’ve been out for, in his case, two weeks.”

The 6-foot-6, 306-pound McGary played his college ball at Washington and twice was an All-Pac-12 first-team selection. He also won the 2018 Morris Trophy as the conference’s top offensive lineman.

Teams were aware of his condition before the draft, and NFL medical personnel cleared him to participate in the scouting combine.

Early in camp, the 24-year-old primarily was mostly working at right tackle on the Falcons’ second team.

–Field Level Media

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Raiders’ Brown practices; NFL reportedly flunks helmet

Raiders' Brown practices; NFL reportedly flunks helmet

Raiders’ Brown practices; NFL reportedly flunks helmet

Oakland Raiders wideout Antonio Brown was a full participant in the team’s walkthrough on Saturday and could be a full participant as soon as Sunday, head coach Jon Gruden told reporters.

“He took all the reps today in our walkthrough,” Gruden said. “He showed great retention, and we’ll see what happens here with this afternoon; we’re going to have a walkthrough today as well. We have a lot of guys that can’t practice so we’ll pick it up tomorrow.”

Brown had taken part in just one walkthrough and one full-speed practice in training camp before Saturday, as his feet recover from blisters caused by a cryotherapy mishap. He also had been absent from the team last week while trying to sort out an issue with his helmet, as his old one is no longer approved for NFL use because it is more than 10 years old.

One of Brown’s potential solutions to his helmet conundrum can apparently be ruled out. Brown has used social media to seek out versions of his helmet model — the Schutt AiR Advantage — that are less than 10 years old, but Pro Football Talk reported late Saturday night that the NFL tested a 2011 version this week, and it failed.

Per the report, the league believes any Schutt AiR Advantage helmet, whether from the last 10 years or not, will not pass testing.

After Pro Football Talk posted a story about the subject on Twitter, Brown responded with a tweet apparently accusing the NFL of racial prejudice, using the N-word and writing “Super Prejudice unbelievable!”

It’s unclear what helmet Brown has been wearing during practices with the Raiders, or if he’ll have an approved one to use when he returns to full-speed sessions.

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.

–Field Level Media

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Stidham powers Patriots past Titans

Stidham powers Patriots past Titans

Rookie fourth-round pick

Stidham powers Patriots past Titans

Rookie fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham threw for 193 yards, including the game-winning 23-yard touchdown, as the New England Patriots beat the Tennessee Titans 22-17 in a preseason game Saturday night in Nashville, Tenn.

Stidham, who threw for 179 yards and a score in Detroit last week, finished 14 of 19 on Saturday. He hit Damoun Patterson on a fade route on third-and-12 for the winning score with 4:12 remaining.

With Tom Brady sitting out, Brian Hoyer started for New England, finishing 6 of 8 for 55 yards and an interception. He led one touchdown drive in four series.

Titans starting quarterback Marcus Mariota played three series and finished 6 of 9 for 63 yards and a touchdown, an 11-yard score to Delanie Walker, who saw his first game action since breaking his ankle in the 2018 regular-season opener. Ryan Tannehill followed and went 7 of 11 for 84 yards and one TD across three series.

–Field Level Media

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Watson sharp in debut, Texans beat Lions

Watson sharp in debut, Texans beat Lions

Deshaun Watson threw a touchdown

Watson sharp in debut, Texans beat Lions

Deshaun Watson threw a touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins on his only drive in his preseason debut, and the Houston Texans downed the visiting Detroit Lions 30-23 on Saturday night.

Watson finished 5 of 7 for 60 yards, finding Hopkins from 4 yards out to cap an 11-play, 75-yard drive to open the game. Joe Webb took over from there, finishing 14 of 25 for 186 yards and a touchdown.

Matthew Stafford sat once again for the Lions, who started Josh Johnson at quarterback just a week after signing him. Johnson played into the second half, finishing 9 of 18 for 85 yards, an interception and two fumbles (one lost). David Fales took over and shined, going 12 of 19 for 226 yards and a score.

Rookie third-round safety Will Harris had the Lions’ highlight of the night, scoring on a 19-yard fumble return in the second quarter.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers’ wideouts impress in victory over Chiefs

Steelers' wideouts impress in victory over Chiefs

Steelers’ wideouts impress in victory over Chiefs

Second-year wideout James Washington impressed again, and rookie third-rounder Diontae Johnson snared a 24-yard touchdown as the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the visiting Kansas City Chiefs 17-7 on Saturday night.

The Steelers honored late wide receivers coach Darryl Drake, who died suddenly last Sunday, before the game with a moment of silence.

Drake’s pupils played inspired. Washington, a 2018 second-round pick, had four grabs for 78 yards after totaling four for 84 in the preseason opener. Johnson had three grabs for 46 yards and his score, along with another touchdown that was nullified by offensive pass interference. Mason Rudolph (10 of 15, 77 yards) started at quarterback for Pittsburgh before Josh Dobbs (6 of 11, 95 yards, INT) took over just before halftime.

Chiefs starter Patrick Mahomes played just two series, going 2 of 5 for 11 yards. Rookie second-round wideout Mecole Hardman scored a 17-yard touchdown for the second straight game.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Bucs GM Licht signed 3-year extension

Report: Bucs GM Licht signed 3-year extension

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager

Report: Bucs GM Licht signed 3-year extension

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht received a three-year contract extension earlier this year, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The deal came just days after he lured Bruce Arians out of retirement to coach the team.

Licht is now under contract through 2023, which coincides with Arians’ contract with the team.

Just a year ago, Licht had been rumored to be on the hot seat after the team missed the playoffs for the 10th consecutive season.

The ensuing 5-11 season led to the firing of coach Dirk Koetter, but Arians reportedly insisted on Licht staying in the job before signing on.

Licht, 48, is in his sixth season as the GM after stints in the front offices of the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. His 2015 draft class produced starters with the first four picks (QB Jameis Winston, OT Donovan Smith, G Ali Marpet, LB Kwon Alexander), but he also was responsible for trading up in the second round in 2016 to take kicker Roberto Aguayo, who didn’t make it out of his second training camp with the team.

Licht used his top pick this year on inside linebacker Devin White out of LSU. He also signed defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh as a free agent this offseason after allowing DT Gerald McCoy to walk away.

If Licht serves the duration of his contract, he’ll become the longest-tenured GM in club history.

–Field Level Media

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