Nagy: Allen Robinson ahead of the game in ACL rehab

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson could be on track to return sooner than later.

Robinson, who continues to rehabilitate from the torn ACL he suffered in September 2017, received an encouraging endorsement from his head coach following Wednesday’s organized team activity.

He’s been doing great in meetings, Nagy said. “He’s answering every question in the meetings, he’s out here focused doing everything that we want him to do.”

That said, the thrill of gambling comes from the sense of real risk and the potential for real rewards. Responsible bettors wager just enough to pique their emotional investment in a game, but not enough to leave them sobbing silently in a parked car and wondering how to explain Cancelled Christmas to the family after the Chargers miss a last-second field goal.

One good rule of thumb: Never wager more in one NFL weekend than you would spend during a typical night on the town with pals. If you are the type who buys rounds of single malt scotch at clubs with roped-off lounges, that could be a few hundred bucks. If you are more like me and wrap your Buffalo wing bones in a cocktail napkin so you can later use them to make soup stock, it might be far less. Either way, you can “punish” yourself for a bad weekend of bets by staying home on a few Saturday nights, balancing your entertainment budget with minimal guilt.

Hard Knocks, which debuted in 2001, is a reality show that follows NFL teams throughout training camp leading up to the regular season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were featured last year. This will be the first time that the Browns are the subject of the show.

Cleveland is a natural choice for Hard Knocks given the number of intriguing storylines surrounding the team.

That Browns are coming off of an 0-16 season and have won only one game over the past two campaigns. Even so, there is excitement surrounding the team entering 2018.

Cleveland selected Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Additionally, the Browns selected Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward with the No. 4 overall pick and Georgia running back Nick Chubb in the second round.cowboys_044

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall announces retirement from NFL

DeAngelo Hall is calling it a career.

According to’s John Keim, the veteran cornerback said “I’m done” when asked about his playing future.

If Boston stays home, Love pops open from deep. Switch, and Love works a mismatch — as he did in beasting on the play above. That play is instructive: Smart is on Thompson, and Boston is right to ride with wings guarding Thompson so that Horford can stay on Love. The Cavs haven’t punished that mismatch on the glass; they grabbed only 16 offensive rebounds combined in Games 2 and 3.

But you see one damaging ripple effect: Smart is the closest player available to rescue Rozier from guarding Love. Normally, the player defending Thompson would be a center well-equipped to do that. Smart is not a center. He is stout enough to withstand some Love post-ups, but Love shows here that when he gets mean, he can dislodge Smart. If he keeps doing that, Boston might send help.

One potential Boston solution: Have Rozier guard Smith instead of Hill, so that a bigger, more switchable player defends Hill. Of course, Cleveland can shift more of the two-man stuff toward Smith. Even so: That shift is probably a win for Boston.

Even the Hill-Thompson combination worked. It really shouldn’t, since the Celtics can switch everything when they have a smaller player — Smart, Morris, Brown — defending Thompson. But it’s still worth trying:

While that felony may be dropped, Anderson still is facing charges from a January arrest where he was accused of resisting arrest and threatening a public servant’s family. The charge of threatening the family was dropped in April, but he’s still on the hook for resisting arrest.

There was a warrant out for Anderson’s arrest in April after he didn’t appear for a court date, but the warrant was retracted when it was discovered the date of the court appearance was wrong.

Asked to reflect on the idea this week, James said it was “organic” and “easy.”ravens_015

Cowboys will use Tavon Austin in Lance Dunbar’s former role

The Cowboys didn’t trade for Tavon Austin the receiver. They traded for Tavon Austin the web back.

The Cowboys plan to use Austin the way they used Lance Dunbar.

Dunbar had 94 rushes for 422 yards and a touchdown and caught 68 passes for 646 yards in 54 games with the Cowboys when he wasn’t injured.

Obviously, he played slot. He’s a returner. And so what you try to do is you try to get the ball in his hands a number of different ways. When we played the Rams this year, they lined him up as a running back. They tried to hand it to him, to throw it to him throughout the year, and that’s what people have tried to do throughout his career. He’s certainly a dynamic guy, and we just felt like for the value he could come into our football team and help us, and add some explosiveness to our offense.”

The NFL would undoubtedly alienate some American fans by moving the Super Bowl overseas. But would having the sport’s biggest event in London attract enough international fans to justify the move? It appears that Khan thinks it could work, and given how seriously the NFL has taken the prospects of building a bigger fan base in London, he may have some support within the league office.

On All or Nothing, Dez says he can be an announcer. How about letting him join you in the booth? Since your chemistry is so good (which it was, not being facetious) then maybe he has a different future. It sure would be entertaining.

broncos_056_847aceb4bdf14383-180x180Tony and Dez were magic!! Here comes Dak, and he and Dez have zero chemistry 😦 Every w/r’s stats were way down last season, due to Dak being so inaccurate. Dez’s teammates, for the most part, say he is a great teammate!!! It is a shame he has not had a boatload of teams after him, imo. He played injured most of last season! They are now trying to make the team “Dak friendly”…smh It’s a crying shame, they did not think to do that for Romo, before he had sacrificed his all for Dallas. Coaching changes are desperately NEEDED!!

Report: Arrest warrant issued for Robby Anderson

An arrest warrant was issued for Jets receiver Robby Anderson after he or his attorney failed to appear in court, Andy Slater of reports.

Police in South Florida arrested Anderson in January after he ran two red lights while fleeing after they clocked him going 105 mph in a 45 mph speed zone. He originally faced a long list of charges, including harming a public servant and aggravated fleeing police.

Those crazy @AdrianPeterson workout videos aren’t just for show. The former MVP tells me he wants NFL teams to keep watching, his neck has been cleared by multiple doctors — and he’d definitely listen if the #Saints called after Mark Ingram’s suspension.

After signing with New Orleans last offseason, Peterson’s tenure in the Big Easy did not go as planned. He ran the ball just 27 times for 81 yards and did not find the end zone in four games. His ineffectiveness and the emergence of rookie Alvin Kamara led to a midseason trade to the Arizona Cardinals.

In six games in the desert, the former All-Pro back ran for 448 yards and two scores on 129 carries. His 3.5 yards per carry as a Cardinal was a slight upgrade from the 3.0 he registered as a Saint.

Etling began his college career at Purdue and transferred to LSU in 2015. He took over as the starter for the Tigers in 2016 and held the job through last season. He completed 325-of-544 passes for 2,463 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions over those two years.

Brian Hoyer is the only backup to Tom Brady on the roster at the moment and Brady has yet to take part in voluntary offseason work. If both things hold, Etling should see plenty of reps as he tries to convince the Pats he should stick around for a while.

Manning has had multiple opportunities within or around the NFL since he retired two years ago.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones believes the Dallas Cowboys will see a different Ezekiel Elliott in 2018.

From training camp last summer to the halfway point of the 2017 regular season, Elliott had to deal with the legal battles associated with his six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Once the suspension went into effect, he spent six weeks away from the team and its strength and conditioning and athletic training staffs.broncos_116_5923f58cf673f164-180x180

Yankees’ lineup vs. Red Sox

Price made his next scheduled start on April 17, but Red Sox manager Alex Cora does not know how long the second occurrence injury could sideline the left hander.

I’m not saying that he’ll miss the next start or there’s a DL situation here, Cora said. But obviously we want to make sure what’s going on with him.

Cora said, to his knowledge, the numbness was not an issue in any of Price’s five starts following his brief April 11 outing.

Cora was not at the bullpen session, which coaches and Price ended early.

In the later Western Conference playoff game, the New Orleans Pelicans, down 3-1, fight for survival against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

Thuney has been a constant along the Patriots offensive line since being drafted in the third round out of North Carolina State in 2016. The past two years he’s missed a grand total of nine snaps, most when the games were in hand.

If Thuney suffers a setback, it could alter the team’s plans with first-round offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, who many scouts viewed as a guard entering the draft. The Patriots lost long-time left tackle Nate Solder to the New York Giants in free agency. Wynn or newly acquired Trent Brown could replace Solder, assuming Thuney’s surgery doesn’t throw a wrench into that position battle.

Marlon Mack is one name that comes to mind. A fourth-rounder out of South Florida, Mack showed flashes as a rookie last season (583 yards and four touchdowns on 114 touches) but was never able to overtake Frank Gore for top billing in Indy’s backfield. Gore, of course, has moved on to Miami, leaving Mack atop the Colts’ running back depth chart. Fifth-round rookie Jordan Wilkins should be involved on some level while Robert Turbin (eight touchdowns in 2016) has the potential to be a goal-line nuisance.sharks-012

Browns add Nick Chubb to backfield with No. 35 pick

The Cleveland Browns selected running back Nick Chubb with the 35th overall pick in Friday’s NFL draft. It was Cleveland’s second pick of the second round.

The pick was announced by Browns great Jim Brown, the franchise’s all-time leading rusher.

Chubb starred in the backfield for Georgia, rushing for 1,345 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2017.

In four seasons at Georgia, he rushed for 4,769 yards (second all time in SEC history) and 44 touchdowns. He also had 31 receptions and four touchdown catches.

“It’s not the Super Bowl in terms of economic impact, but it’s a very real number and cities can get a lot of visibility,” O’Reilly said.

For the NFL, promising exposure for sponsors in front of 250,000 people makes official league deals more valuable. Nearly 40 brands that pay the league to be a sponsor have a presence at the draft.

Last summer, after teams were asked by the NFL if they would be interested in hosting the draft in any year from 2019 through 2023, 20 responded with a “yes.”

Five bids to host the 2019 draft will be reviewed next month at the owners meetings. The cities vying to host are Las Vegas (Raiders), Nashville, Tennessee (Titans), Denver (Broncos) and Kansas City (Chiefs), as well as a combined Cleveland/Canton bid by the Browns that includes the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Toronto guard Kyle Lowry said he was impressed by the actions of Const. Ken Lam, who earned international acclaim for the peaceful arresting of suspect Alek Minassian.

“In America, he would definitely have been shot up,” Lowry said. “He did an amazing job of making a judgment call. I think more people could learn from that.”

Raptors coach Dwane Casey was struck by how close the carnage occurred to his own Toronto neighborhood.

“It’s not too far from up the street from where I live,” Casey said.

Casey and his coaches were in the midst of a meeting Monday afternoon when assistant Rex Kalamian’s phone buzzed with someone informing him of the tragedy. The coaches stopped their meeting and turned on a television to find out what had happened.

“It’s very unfortunate,” Casey said. “Just this weekend, I was talking to people saying how safe Toronto is, how it’s a melting pot and you don’t have the same crime. Hopefully, though, sport can offer a relief, some reprieve.”dolphins_012

Tillman, Orioles both end skids with win over Tigers

Chris Tillman pitched seven innings of one-hit ball for his first victory since last May, Pedro Alvarez went deep twice and the Baltimore Orioles snapped a five-game skid with a 6-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

Tillman (1-4) struck out five and walked two on 98 pitches to get Baltimore its second win in 13 games. Tillman had gone 22 straight starts without a victory since May 7, 2017 — his first outing of last season. He also pitched past the sixth inning for the first time since Aug. 11, 2016.

An RBI single by Jace Peterson that caromed off second base provided a 3-0 lead in the sixth. Alvarez hit a two-run shot off Johnny Barbato, who joined the team from Triple-A Toledo on Thursday.

For the second straight night, Peterson took advantage of an infield shift on the bases. With Fiers focusing on Chris Davis at the plate, Peterson easily stole third with no one covering the bag. He executed almost an identical play the previous night against Tampa Bay and Chris Archer, who ran off the mound but could not beat Peterson to the base.

Tigers: 3B Jeimer Candelario returned to the starting lineup Friday after dealing with soreness in his left wrist.

Orioles: 2B Jonathan Schoop (oblique strain) will play in an extended spring training game Wednesday in Sarasota, Florida, and then join Double-A Bowie by Friday for a rehab assignment.

Tigers: Francisco Liriano (2-3, 3.13 ERA) fell short in a bid for his second career no-hitter Sunday against Kansas City when Whit Merrifield led off the sixth with a solo home run.

Orioles: Andrew Cashner (1-3, 3.60 ERA) is looking to snap a two-game skid. He has allowed just 3 hits in 28 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

This error, in part, led Cretors to admit the COI report that included heavy sanctions for USC — and a show-cause order for McNair — was factually incorrect.

Cretors, who said she still believes that McNair was not credible during the original investigation, explained that the investigators did not feel it was necessary to circle back with McNair because he said he had no memory of ever speaking with Lake.

But with fresh memories of digging out of a 2-0 series hole against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round, Washington doesn’t sound like a team thinking, “Here we go again.”

Players were quick to say they played well and almost glossed over that ugly span of 4:49.

“We played a pretty good game,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “They scored on [Sidney] Crosby’s three shifts in a row in the third period to win the game. Otherwise we played pretty good, so I don’t think you need to overanalyze that.”sl_cardinals_065

Rockets’ 50 points in a quarter the most in a playoff game since 1962

The Houston Rockets blew open Game 4 against the Minnesota Timberwolves with the second-highest-scoring quarter in NBA playoff history.

The Rockets scored 50 points in the third quarter of their 119-100 win Monday night, matching their total from the first half and falling one point shy of the NBA playoff record. The Los Angeles Lakers scored 51 points in the fourth quarter of a playoff loss to the Detroit Pistons on March 31, 1962.

“He’s definitely more excited that he’s nearing a return,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

Curry’s scrimmage was blocked from the media’s view by a blue curtain. Prior to that, he had participated in his second straight full day of practice.

The team’s training staff wants to see how his body feels in the morning and then evaluate him after the morning shootaround before determining his status.

“I have confidence that I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling good, and there’s still another layer of conversations that need to happen about whether it’s the right move to play tomorrow,” Curry said. “But yeah, that’s basically where it’s at.

“… Once I get through all those checkpoints and have confidence in myself and my body, I’ll be out there. Whether that’s tomorrow night or Tuesday or beyond, that’s the process.”

Curry acknowledged there have been moments of frustration during his rehabilitation.

He also said that he hopes his future NFL teammates will understand what happened and how he has changed.

With Miller, Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett also at outside linebacker, the Broncos have plenty of depth to use in their variety of pass-rush packages. Ray was limited to one sack this past season after he tried to return from multiple wrist surgeries before finishing the season on injured reserve.

The result was that most offenses simply piled the blockers Miller’s way in the formation. Chubb said he hopes to prevent that this time around.

“Whatever it takes to have this team win and have a winning season, and if it comes with Rookie of the Year, that’s perfectly fine with me, as long as we win games,” Chubb said. “It does everything for a defense, when offensive coordinators game plan, who are they going to chip … still leaving three guys open having that luxury will be fun.”sl_cardinals_012

How early-season performance affects rankings

“You ranked him where?”

If there’s one universal truth about rankings lists, it’s that nobody is going to agree with them. This is especially magnified in the world of fantasy sports, I’ve found, where the level of outrage seems well out of whack with the fact we’re talking about a subjective opinion of people playing a game.

The truth is, if we believed in the accuracy of the preseason projections, then the stats of these two Cubs for the rest of the season should be as follows:

Of course, that’s not realistic either as few players end up matching their projections so perfectly. They’re supposed to be an expression of the most-likely outcomes and after 20 or so games, I’m not keen to stray too far from them, even as I recognize that Baez has performed better thus far in 2018 and that Happ’s slow start and subsequent “demotion” from leadoff duties has to count against him a bit.

Gonzales and four relievers combined on a five-hitter, Mitch Haniger singled home the only run and the Mariners pulled out a 1-0 victory.

“Winning a 1-0 game is a special win,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “The conditions to hit with the sun and the shadows probably played into that a little bit, but you’ve got to find a way to win it.”

At 5-15, the rebuilding White Sox are off to their worst start since the 1950 season. That year they opened 5-20 on the way to a 60-94 finish.

“We didn’t have very many opportunities for me to say I’m disappointed,” said manager Rick Renteria, ejected by plate umpire Mike Estabrook after he protested a called third strike to Matt Davidson that ended the sixth.

Gonzales (2-2) was in control almost from the start, allowing five hits and one walk while striking out eight in six-plus innings.

Gonzales allowed singles to Tim Anderson and Yolmer Sanchez, the first two batters. He picked Anderson off second base, induced Jose Abreu to bounce into a double play and didn’t allow another hit until the sixth.jets_039

Former substitute teacher bests Kershaw, Marlins top Dodgers

Trevor Richards has worked as a substitute teacher and in a brewery, just trying to make ends meet while he chased a major league career.

He outworked three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday night, and it seems his days of offseason odd jobs to help pay rent might be behind him.

J.T. Realmuto homered twice and Miguel Rojas went deep to help Miami capitalize on an unusually wild night by Kershaw (1-4).

The left-hander tied a career high with six walks, a mark he hadn’t reached since 2010, and left after allowing three runs in five innings. Kershaw had only allowed three walks all season.

Kershaw struggled with his control but was able to strand eight runners over the first four innings without yielding a run. His luck ran out in the fifth after he issued a pair of two-out walks. Rojas followed by drilling a three-run homer off the left field foul pole, giving the Marlins a 3-0 lead.

“I felt good in the first inning but after that I didn’t feel so great,” Kershaw said. “I almost skated out of it but my command was an issue. I really don’t know why.”

Realmuto hit a solo shot in the sixth to make it 4-0 and added a two-run blast — his fourth of the season — in the eighth. Realmuto has hit safely in all 19 career games against the Dodgers, the longest hitting streak versus the Dodgers to begin a career since 1900.

“I feel good at the plate,” Realmuto said. “My swing feels really good and the timing as well. I’m getting good pitches to hit.”

“Whenever you change a rule in baseball, people predict all sorts of dire outcomes, and we have avoided even the smallest of incidents related either to the mound visit rule or the shorter inning breaks,” Manfred said Tuesday. “Secondly, I’m positive about them because they’ve been effective. We are way down in terms of mound visits, I think down about 50 percent, and our inning breaks are significantly shorter. I take both of those as positives in an ongoing effort to make sure that we’re producing an entertainment product with as little dead time as possible.”

Under MLB’s new rules, inning breaks are now 2 minutes, 5 seconds; they were previously 2 minutes, 25 seconds.

Manfred is a proponent of the pitch clocks in use in the minor leagues, but he said he was “not in a position where I’m going to say for certain whether or not we’re going to have pitch clocks at the big league level.” The players’ association refused to agree to pitch clocks, and Manfred backed off of his threat to unilaterally implement them this year.

The commissioner also spoke about the number of games postponed by poor weather so far. Games in Baltimore and Pittsburgh were rained out on Tuesday, bringing the total postponements this season to 28, the most related to weather through April since the commissioner’s office started keeping those records in 1986.jets_095