Texans star J.J. Watt donates $10K to help high schooler

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt donated $10,000 to a Houston area high school football player who is in a coma after he was injured in a game last weekend.

Grant Milton, a senior at The Woodlands High School, suffered an injury in a playoff game on Saturday that required emergency surgery.

A GoFundMe page was started to accept donations toward medical costs and living expenses while the family is dealing with the injury. Watt included a note with his donation, saying, “If there’s anything that I can do to help, please let me know. Sending my best wishes to Grant and the entire Milton family.”

Maybe this was Manning’s way of making sure the silent game doesn’t send the rookie into a funk. Or maybe he really did feel badly about how it all went down.

Either way, the Giants are going to need Shepard moving forward. He’s second on the team with 44 catches, 476 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

Manning is going to need his No. 2 target to produce down the stretch, beginning this Sunday when they play a difficult game on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Shepard is confident it will happen.

Limited Womens Richard Hamilton Jersey Brees said he sees frustration bubble up in a teammate every week or two since he’s been in New Orleans.

“Listen, there’s not a guy who works harder in here than Brandin Cooks and expects more out of himself and wants to be a part of what we’re doing and our success,” Brees said. “That was just one of those games where there was opportunities called for him and the coverage kind of rolled his way or whatever it was and the ball ended up going elsewhere. And it was just one of those bad luck things for him personally, I guess.

Limited Womens Nick Foles Jersey “But obviously as a team we were rolling. And that just opens up opportunities for other people. And I think Brandin recognizes that, we talked about it after the game. And, listen, if we can go out and score 49 points and play like that and win every week, then I think everybody would be OK with it.”

Adrian Peterson ‘hasn’t closed the door’ on staying with the Vikings

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is not happy. Peterson, who is currently serving a suspension for hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch, reportedly is disillusioned with the Vikings, according to Chris Tomasson and Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The tension between Peterson’s camp and the Vikings boiled Jermaine Jones Authentic Womens Jersey over at the NFL Combine, when agent Ben Dogra and Minnesota’s vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski began yelling at each other at an Indianapolis restaurant on Friday night, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

Despite this, Nelson Peterson, Adrian’s father, claims that his son is still willing to play for the Vikings, contrary to what Dogra was asserting:

This preference for help in the trenches also comes despite the fact that the Cowboys have used their first-round pick on an offensive lineman in three of the last four drafts — Tyron Smith (2011), Travis Frederick (2013) and Zack Martin (2014). With the 27th overall pick, Dallas likely won’t be able to snag one of the top offensive linemen, but this year’s class is considered deep and there is a good chance the team would be able to find another gem late in the first round.

The New York Giants released defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka on Tuesday afternoon, reports NFL.com’s Kimberly Jones. The veteran has spent his entire nine-season career with Big Blue, winning two Super Bowls during that time.

This past season the 31-year-old had a career-low 2.5 sacks and 28 tackles in 11 games before John Brooks Authentic Womens Jersey a knee injury ended his campaign in late November. The advanced metrics were not kind to Kiwanuka the past two years. According to Pro Football Focus, he rated as the second-worst 4-3 defensive end in 2013 and the third-worst in 2014.

Kiwanuka was supposed to count $7.45 million against the salary cap next season, the fourth-highest cap charge on the team. The Giants will gain $4.825 million in cap space by cutting him, per Over the Cap.

In general, the balance between Anthony, Porzingis and Rose has worked well in the past three games

Carlisle on Nowitzki’s health:

“This is a guy who’s given everything to this franchise and right now, as tough as it is for us, we’ve got to be mindful of the big picture. We’ve got to make sure that Dirk’s last year or two or three, or whatever it is, come down the right way. I want him to be able to play in his last game, whenever that is. You don’t want to see a situation where a great warrior like him, who’s close to 30,000 Tyreek Hill Authentic Womens Jersey points and is possible to get to top five in all-time scoring, can’t get through the last few games of his career. That’s not what you want to see.”

Forget the rebounding differential or the free throw disparity, a highly entertaining Black Friday matinee between the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs essentially boiled down to this: On maybe the game’s most crucial possession, the veteran Spurs confidently ran a simple action that generated a wide-open look, while the young Celtics endured a monster communication lapse that spelled their demise.

He’s 26-for-56 (46.4 percent) from beyond the arc when sharing the floor with Anthony and 8-for-29 (27.6 percent) when he’s on the court without him.

In general, the balance between Anthony, Porzingis and Rose has worked well in the past three games. The Knicks have beaten three teams (Portland, Atlanta, Charlotte) that entered the week with a combined record of 23-10. And Rose, Anthony and Porzingis have all played prominent roles.

Nerlens Noel: Nothing has changed here. Noel has yet to appear in a game this season after Zach Fulton Authentic Womens Jersey electing to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery last month, but word is he’d still prefer to be shipped to a new address with so many big men to battle for playing time in Philly. Count on the Sixers to accommodate him eventually.

Donatas Motiejunas: This isn’t a trade story, but it counts nonetheless as one of those aforementioned ?fascinating situations. Our story from late Wednesday night, co-scribed here with Calvin Watkins, details all the latest twists and turns, but here’s an important footnote: One source close to the talks expressed confidence that Motiejunas isn’t as far away from advertised when it comes to landing a contract.

A quick follow-up to our recent note about the NBA Development League and its expected salary jump into the range of $50,000 to $75,000.

The case for (and against) the Cubs bringing back Dexter Fowler

Only the Chicago Cubs could potentially let a catalyst like center fielder Dexter Fowler leave via free agency and still be considered a favorite to repeat as world champions.

That’s a testament to how deep they’ve Derek Anderson Authentic Jersey become now that Albert Almora Jr. and Willson Contreras have taken the next steps in their careers, not to mention the improvement of co-NLCS MVP Javier Baez. “Freaky” is how one longtime National League Central scout labeled the Cubs’ depth.

But that doesn’t mean that if Fowler left, it wouldn’t be a tough loss to stomach at the top of Chicago’s lineup.

“One might assume.” One might assume that, if Martin Perez’s WARs are 1.8, 1.8 and 1.9 (as they were in 2016), that Martin Perez is a 1.8- or 1.9-win pitcher. But we’ve already seen, with Ray, that one model of WAR can be wildly misleading. We’ve seen, in fact, that two can be. It’s not much of a leap to think even three could be, all at once, and in all the same ways, especially for unique players such as Zach Britton or Yadier Molina or David Ross or for players on the extremes.

Last week, Justin Verlander finished second in the AL Cy Young voting, as he was left off two five-person ballots entirely. I would’ve voted for him. His WARs were fairly tightly bunched, all at or near the top of his league: 6.8, 6.6 and 5.2 wins. The internet did what it does: It went after the two voters, tweeting at them that they were classless, clueless, hacks, morons, should have their voting privileges taken away, etc. It threw around slurs. “I hope you and everyone you love dies,” one person, predictably, tweeted (now deleted) at one of the voters. If you ever want an argument Devin Funchess Authentic Jersey against certainty, pick any well-traveled tweet and read the replies.

Those WARs for Verlander are compelling, and WAR as a framework is clearly the best, most comprehensive, most objective way for most of us to assess players. But baseball is not something we’ve cracked, and Robbie Ray is a good reminder that, until we do, we’re all still staggering, out of the darkness but blinded by too many lights. It isn’t a matter of whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing; it’s just a thing. Be grateful you aren’t the general manager of a team that has to make hundred-million-dollar decisions in this era.

Jay Cutler’s shoulder injury thrusts Matt Barkley into the starting lineup for Sunday’s game against Tennessee

Jay Cutler’s shoulder injury thrusts Matt Barkley into the starting lineup for Sunday’s game against Tennessee. Barkley’s only 2016 action occurred on Oct. 20 in Green Bay when he completed 6 of 15 pass attempts for 81 yards and two interceptions. Barkley’s career pass rating is 34.2. The Bears will also be without tight end Zach Miller (foot) and linebacker Jerrell Freeman (PED suspension). Linebacker Leonard Floyd (neck) avoided serious injury at MetLife Stadium but is currently in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

The will-he or won’t-he of linebacker DeAndre Levy’s return to the lineup could potentially C.J. Fiedorowicz Authentic Womens Jersey happen Thursday against Minnesota. He practiced all last week on a limited basis coming off his knee injury, and as long as he doesn’t suffer a setback before Thursday, there’s a chance he’ll suit up for the first time since Week 1. He’s a player the Lions could sorely use considering their issues covering tight ends throughout the season. If it isn’t this week, it would seem next week against New Orleans would be the target.

As for the here and now, Luck’s injury derails a team that on Sunday played with all of its offensive Chris Clark Authentic Womens Jersey starters for the first time since Week 2.

Luck had avoided the injury bug and taken every offensive snap this season. Although he’s absorbed an NFL-high 35 sacks, he succeeded with the aim to better protect himself by taking fewer risks when running, which included decisions to slide quicker and run out of bounds.

On the fourth-quarter play in which he is believed to have been injured, there was no escape as the pocket collapsed. Although Derrick Morgan and Austin Johnson split the sack, it was the 314-pound Johnson who landed on Luck to cause the quarterback’s head to bounce off the turf.

Luck didn’t exhibit any obvious symptoms afterward, and remained in the game. It seems more significant now that his next pass was incomplete and on the next series, he was intercepted on a throw that he lamented afterward was the result of a “bad decision.”

After not being examined during the game, Luck was seemingly healthy when he completed an 11-yard pass to T.Y. Hilton with two minutes left that sealed the victory.

LeBron James donates $2.5 million to a new Muhammad Ali Smithsonian exhibit

LeBron James is making a significant donation to a new exhibit honoring the life of Muhammad Ali at the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture.

James, his business partner Maverick Carter, and his foundation will donate $2.5 million to help create the exhibit, called “Muhammad Ali: A Force for Change.” James is one of several notable Chris Mullin Authentic Womens Jersey NBA figures who have donated money, including a $5 million donation from Michael Jordan and at least $1 million from Magic Johnson and his wife Cookie, per USA Today.

Ali died this past June at the age of 74. Like many athletes, James was shaped by his character and influence.

“Expose him. Ruin his life.”

Then he dunked on Capela so hard that D’Antoni had to get mad at the ref for not preventing it. But it’s not the ref’s fault. He’s just the bystander to a crime. There wasn’t a five-second violation, but like all catastrophic events, time slows down and a second seems to last forever when you’re in danger.

Even the Rockets bench knew something terrible was about to happen once Westbrook got the ball. They went from being very animated at the beginning of the play to being as quiet as Black Bolt once he took off. It’s like watching little school kids in a classroom right before the principal walks in. They were aware that they all needed to think of different care packages to send their teammate. Maybe a card, some fruit, a teddy bear, and a video of Robin Williams reminding Capela that it’s not his fault.

Because this is just what Russell Westbrook does. He dunks on you unnecessarily, then yells at you as you struggle to regain your balance.

That might be worse than the actual dunk, because you never did anything to him. Why is he so David Lee Authentic Womens Jersey mean? All you wanted to do was play basketball, and now you’re going to have to avoid social media for a while because people are going to be tweeting videos of the incident with numerous flame emojis and jokes about how Westbrook made it hard for you to see a rim without being triggered.

And you were just seven seconds away from leaving the game with your dignity intact. That’s just tough.

Philly’s top performer? Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has coaxed a lot out of this group

This is really more about the defense, which was supposed to be better and has instead been excellent from the jump. Philadelphia leads the league in defensive DVOA despite starting the likes of Nolan Carroll and Leodis McKelvin regularly at cornerback. The Eagles win by giving those corners help and getting pressure with their front four, which has finally unlocked Brandon Graham’s career-year mode. The Eagles are fourth in the league in both pressure rate and sack rate despite the fact that they blitz just 19.2 percent of the time, the Isa Abdul-Quddus Authentic Womens Jersey sixth-lowest rate in football. As is the case in Atlanta, the concern now might be holding onto defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who rebuilt Philly’s defense on the fly.

The Giants remain incredibly unbalanced and have one of the worst running games in football, but with Odell Beckham Jr. catching six touchdown passes in five games, it doesn’t really seem to matter. (Remember when he went four games without scoring and people were blaming him for the Giants’ problems? Almost like that was a random fluke!) It’s no surprise that the defense is better after an enormous offseason spending spree, but the Giants are up to eighth in DVOA with the Bears and Browns on the schedule over the next two weeks, and it’s not just the big-ticket free agents who are producing. Jason Pierre-Paul is not generating a ton of sacks, but he has six knockdowns and five pass deflections in four games. Even better, second-year safety Landon Collins has turned into a star, leading the team in tackles, interceptions, and (in a tie) sacks.

I probably don’t need to explain this one, right? Dak Prescott didn’t just save the Cowboys this season; he fundamentally changes their next decade. Dallas was going to need to seriously try to find a replacement for Tony Romo as soon as this upcoming offseason. Now, they don’t have to use a first-round pick on a quarterback and can instead apply that to upgrade a perennially overachieving defensive line. With Prescott due to make a total of just under $2.2 million over the next three seasons, the Cowboys also can trade Romo and create a modest amount of cap space next year before freeing things up dramatically in 2018 and 2019, a move that will allow them to re-sign their own talent or go after top-level contributors in free agency for the first time in years. Finding a franchise quarterback in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft cures a lot of ills very quickly. The last two teams to do it were the Seahawks with Russell Wilson and the Patriots with Tom Brady. Worked out well for those teams, right?

Only some of this is chalked up to Carson Wentz, who has been James Ihedigbo Authentic Womens Jersey mediocre since his sizzling 3-0 start. Wentz is now down to 30th in opponent-adjusted QBR, below Osweiler, and is 22nd in adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/A). To be fair, Wentz is also getting precious little help from his receivers, who are dropping 6.1 percent of his passes. Only the two 49ers quarterbacks and Matthew Stafford (a league-high 7.5 percent) are suffering from higher drop rates.

It’s unanimous! Corey Seager’s drive fuels quick rookie rise

Looking at Corey Seager’s June 3 game against the Atlanta Braves simply as the night he hit three home runs might be missing the point.

Sure, three-homer games are productive. And Authentic Dee Milliner Jersey sure, they lead to victories. In fact, every one of those three long balls was important in a 4-2 win.

To look at it another way, June 3 was one of 14 three-hit games that Seager produced. He collected at least one three-hit game in every month of the regular season, proving to be a stunning model of consistency — and that was every bit the reason he was named the 17th Rookie of the Year in Los Angeles Dodgers history.

Having witnessed the same shift in Boston, Theo Epstein knows this better than most. After almost 100 years of failure, the Red Sox still do business now the same as they did before winning the World Series in 2004-last winter, they signed David Price to a seven-year, $217 million free agent contract, just as they signed Manny Ramirez to an eight-year, $160 million contract in December 2000. But the national sympathy for their eternal heartbreak is gone. Even before Game 7, there was nothing cute or disadvantaged about the Cubs either, as evidenced by their enviable ability to Authentic Dennis Byrd Jersey sign Jason Heyward to an eight-year, $184 million contract-and bench him during the World Series.

The Red Sox marketed and sold themselves as a ragtag band of rebels fighting both the supernatural and the omnipotent Yankees. Fans of the Rays, who happened to be the real underdogs, even coined a term for Boston’s sly deception, referring to them as the Just as Evil Empire. Chicago, like Boston 12 years ago, can no longer claim the image of underdog on the field-especially since the Cubs are far from underdogs on the balance sheet, where they rake in profits. An identity change is coming, and they should embrace it.

In this money game, with no salary cap and limited revenue-sharing, the Cubs, in the third-biggest market in the country, should have been dominant for decades. Instead, they were baseball’s family screwup, partying with the trust fund money, winding up on academic probation. The generations of fans desperate for a winner have certainly suffered since 1946, but ownership certainly did not. The Cubs have been one of the richest teams in baseball. The team sold in 2009 for $845 million and in March was estimated by Forbes to be worth $2.2 billion, fifth best in MLB. The lovable loser narrative was lucrative-it sold lots of tickets, beer and T-shirts and allowed an enormous fan base to feel sorry for itself-but in reality, the Cubs were cursed only in one way: by their own ownership mediocrity.

Today, they have the opportunity to be the dominant team in the National League-and probably in baseball-for years to come. In Epstein, they have a president of baseball operations who knows how to build a farm system so well he can take big gambles on free agents, and the Ricketts family’s enormous resources can help the team survive even a deal like Heyward’s. With old money but a new-school attitude, baseball wants its teams built the Epstein way, lest they face oppressive luxury tax penalties.

He’ll make his debut Thursday night against the New Orleans Saints

He’ll make his debut Thursday night against the New Orleans Saints in what basically has become a playoff elimination game for Carolina (3-6).

“It’s a great opportunity,” Palardy said. “I hate it for Andy. It’s sad to hear stuff like that. I want him to recover as fast as he can, as best as he Brett Favre Authentic Womens Jersey can. I never wish ill upon anybody. We shared some conversations today, and I told him that.

“But while I’m here I’ll do the best I can to take advantage of this opportunity.”

“I’m building a chalkboard/coat rack with some two-by-fours and one-by-fours,” Palardy said. “It’s unfinished. It’s sitting in my garage. My fiancé is like, ‘You’ve got to get this out of here, you’ve got to get this done.’

“But …”

Once Palardy finished dinner and got his Brian Poole Authentic Womens Jersey 5- and 6-year-olds to bed, he was in his car for the three-and-a-half hour drive to Atlanta. He arrived around midnight, and on Monday he was punting and working on his holding with place-kicker Graham Gano.

Palardy was signed to replace three-time Pro Bowl punter Andy Lee, who was placed on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss to Kansas City.

Palardy has never punted in an NFL regular-season game. His last punt in a game that counted was in 2013 for the University of Tennessee, where he averaged 45.9 yards a kick during his senior season.

The Cowboys’ decision to stick with rookie phenom Zak Prescott means the team — and Tony Romo — will have choices to make at season’s end.
“That’s all he had to show, for me,” one Cowboys official said nearly two months later, with the phenomenon in full flower. “He had to go into that game, without any warmup, against the best defense in the league, that was playing its starters, and he was just — like it was nothing. He was ready. Whatever we needed him to do, he was ready for it.”

Dwyane Wade wins in Miami return: ‘Couldn’t wait until it was over’

Dwyane Wade doesn’t hold back when describing what it was like to play in Miami for the first time as a visitor.

Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade had 13 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in a 98-95 win over the Heat on Thursday night, his first game against Aaron Nola Youth Jersey Miami since signing with Chicago over the summer.

All Josh Jackson could be sure of when he arrived at the Kansas campus in June was that a test of some kind — administered by veterans of a top-five team with deadly serious national title ambitions and taken by a hyper-talented freshman with a potential No. 1 NBA draft pick awaiting him 12 months later — was going to happen.

“I knew it was coming,” Jackson said. “Immediately.”

Fight back. Don’t waver. Don’t complain. Get angry but not too angry. Hide weakness at all cost. Forget your recruiting ranking; no one cares. Expect equal treatment. Take everything in stride. Absorb the larger stakes. Buy in.

Above all, understand that the whole point of all of this, at the end of the day, is to see if you can stand out and fit in — at the same time.


“I think I passed,” Jackson said.

IT IS THERE, in that seemingly contradictory dichotomy between blending in and showing out, that the central promise of Jackson’s sure-to-be-short tenure at Kansas lies.

In the 13-year Bill Self era — the past 12 years of which have ended with a regular-season conference title, a rare statistic that can’t possibly be over-repeated — no player this talented has ever joined a team this experienced. Self has had his fair share of elite freshmen, of course; one doesn’t win 12 straight Big 12 titles in the one-and-done era without them. Still, the only player with as much or more hype than Jackson upon his arrival at KU was Andrew Wiggins on Carlos Ruiz Youth Jersey the 2013-14 team, which started three freshmen (Wiggins, Joel “The Process” Embiid and Wayne Selden) and one sophomore (Perry Ellis), with just two seniors (graduate transfer Tarik Black and reserve Justin Wesley) in the rotation.