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Reinstated DE Randy Gregory gets first game action since 2016

For the first time since the 2016 regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, defensive end Randy Gregory played for the Dallas Cowboys.

Suspended all of last season and reinstated only a matter of days before training camp started, Gregory played in 10 first-half snaps in Saturday’s 21-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Stadium.

“I haven’t played an actual game in basically two years,” said Gregory, who did not record a tackle or pressure. “Practice is one thing. Conditioning’s one thing. Personal training’s one thing, but actually going out there and be with my guys and at least attempt to make some plays, it felt real good.”

The Cowboys took Gregory in the second round of the 2015 draft despite the off-the-field concerns that saw his draft stock take a hit. After a strong start in the preseason, an ankle injury kept him out of four games, and he did not record a sack in the 12 games he played. He has one sack in his career.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Gregory has played in only two of the past 32 regular-season games because of multiple violations of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He opened training camp on the non-football injury list, as the Cowboys wanted him to work on his conditioning after such a long absence.10

He took part in just four full practices during the Cowboys’ time in Oxnard, California, but quickly showed that he was ready for at least some preseason action. In one practice, he recorded two sacks in a three-play span.

“Once we saw him practice, we anticipated him being able to play this game,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Certainly we want him to play the whole time. We want to be deliberate with him, and he went through all the steps we wanted him to go through.”

After the final practice on Thursday in Oxnard, Gregory said he does not feel like he has made the 53-man roster yet. Gregory said he hopes to play more Aug. 26 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Gregory said he was not reflective about his journey back to the Cowboys before kickoff.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

“I think if I did that, it would have kind of taken my mindset away from the game,” Gregory said. “I think I did it the right way, just coming in here like a professional and get ready, be out there early, warm up and then carry on as I would any other game.”

 

Michael Porter Jr. says he’s pain-free after second back surgery

Porter told ESPN on Sunday at the NBA’s annual rookie photo shoot that, “I finally feel, like, good,” and he is hoping to be ready for game action around the time the season tips in mid-October.

“I don’t have a date but I’m hoping to be back for the beginning of the year. Gotta heal up, but I feel great,” Porter said. “I’m able to get on the court a little bit right now, do some different things. But my rehab has definitely been very conservative. They’re really taking it easy with me, being patient with me.”cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

Porter underwent a microdiscectomy in November 2017 that repaired one of two bulging disks in his back. He underwent a second spinal surgery in July, and the Nuggets did not announce a timetable for his return to basketball activities.

The 6-foot-10 Porter had been projected as a high lottery pick but slipped in the draft in part because of the injuries that limited him to just three appearances during his lone season at Missouri.

Porter elected to have the second surgery last month with hopes of alleviating all issues with his back before the start of his rookie season.10

“[Doctors originally] only thought one of [the bulging disks] was symptomatic,” said Porter. “They went in and fixed that one. Turns out that both were symptomatic. So my first surgery helped a lot but didn’t fix the entire problem. Now that they did this one, I’ve got no pain or anything. I’m excited.”

Porter raised some eyebrows earlier this week when it was noted that he liked an Instagram comment that had called Dallas rookie Luka Doncic “overrated.”

Porter told ESPN he immediately reached out to Doncic to explain it was an accident and retold the story while standing next to Doncic at Sunday’s event.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“So what’s crazy is that blew up,” Porter said. “Believe it or not, I’m scrolling through [a post about] the Rookie of the Year odds and I accidentally like a comment. This is the EuroLeague MVP and I got nothing but respect for him. I was like, ‘Man, I didn’t want to come off like that.’

“I reached out to [Doncic], told him it was 100 percent accident and I told him, ‘I can’t wait to see what you do in the league.’ I wasn’t worried about what fans thought, but I wanted to let him know instantly. It was 100 percent accident.”

Raptors-Spurs, Lakers-Celtics among NBA schedule release highlights

Kawhi Leonard will make his return to San Antonio in early January, and the storied Los Angeles Lakers-Boston Celtics rivalry — now featuring LeBron James and Kyrie Irving — will resume in early February, the NBA announced Friday as part of its full schedule release.

Leonard will play in San Antonio on Jan. 3 for the first time since orchestrating a trade from the Spurs this offseason. San Antonio traded Leonard to the Toronto Raptors for a package that included DeMar DeRozan.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

DeRozan, who was upset over how the Raptors handled the trade, will be back in Toronto on Feb. 22.

The first game in the new iteration of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry is scheduled for Feb. 7 in Boston. The Celtics then travel to Los Angeles to play James and the Lakers on March 9.

There is sure to be plenty of interest in these games due to the history between the franchises and between Irving and James. Irving requested a trade from Cleveland in the summer of 2017 after reaching three consecutive NBA Finals with James and the Cavaliers.9

All of James’ games against the defending champion Golden State Warriors — and 31 Lakers games overall — will be on national television, including the Lakers’ trip to Golden State on Christmas Day.

James, who signed a four-year, $153 million contract with the Lakers in July, faced the Warriors in each of the past four NBA Finals as a member of Cavs.

James’ first game in Cleveland as a member of the Lakers will be on Nov. 21.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

It was announced Wednesday that the Lakers will open the season in Portland on Oct. 18, and follow up with their home opener on Oct. 20 against Houston.

The 2018-19 season tips off Oct. 16 with the Philadelphia 76ers visiting the Celtics and the Warriors hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder . Before the second game, the Warriors will receive their championship rings and unveil the banner for their 2018 NBA title.

Josh Rosen has snacks down, now let’s see about the first-team offense

Josh Rosen has had his preseason debut. Now he’ll get a chance to play with the starters.

And if he’s anywhere close to as good against the New Orleans Saints as he has been at doling out snacks, he should be in for a fine outing.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Rosen is one of two Arizona Cardinals rookies tasked with keeping the quarterbacks room stocked with preferred eats at training camp, according to No. 1 signal-caller Sam Bradford.

And Rosen hopes to meet or exceed expectations in his next moment against NFL competition. The Cardinals broke camp following Wednesday’s practice, and the plan, as laid out early in the week, is for Rosen to get some work with starters on offense against the Saints on Friday.

“That’s the plan,” Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said. “We’ve got to really get into the flow of the game and see how things are going.”

Rosen remains the backup to Bradford on the Arizona depth chart, but Wilks liked what he saw from him in Wednesday’s practice.10

“He’s still learning; he’s still growing. He’s a rookie and he’s going to have some bumps here and there,” Wilks said, “but the guy has a very short term memory, which is great, and he’s a great competitor.”

“It’s awesome to get to run with some really great players,” he said. “Hopefully, get to complete a ball to Larry [Fitzgerald] and keep playing, whether it’s ones, twos or threes.”

Among the things the quarterbacks hope to improve on in the second preseason game are silent counts, mechanics and getting to the line of scrimmage a little faster, Bradford said. Bradford indicated he would be fine with more time on the field after playing only one series in the preseason opener.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

But it stands to reason that if the Cardinals want to see Rosen with the starters, Bradford will likely be limited on Friday.

The AAF is different from leagues that have come before

Ebersol, the league CEO and son of former NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol, started working the phones and developing the business plan. Tech companies and former NFL stars got behind the product. Polian, who is staying in his role as an NFL analyst for ESPN, helped assemble personnel and coaching staffs with nearly 500 years of combined NFL experience.

A year later, the Alliance of American Football has a Feb. 9, 2019 launch date, a CBS contract, a Starter apparel deal, an eight-city blueprint, scheduled combines, a set of double-take football rules and 73-year-old Steve Spurrier.

The vision is clear: Keep the good times flowing in the late winter and spring with a league run by serious football people while learning from the failed attempts that came before it.

The USFL failed because it tried to overtake the NFL more than 30 years ago, defined more by lawsuits and undercut potential than its once star-studded rosters.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

The XFL failed because efforts to sell sex, excessive violence and wrestling-like personalities didn’t resonate with viewers, though Vince McMahon is eyeing a 2020 XFL reboot.

Even the CFL isn’t a true complement.8

But the Alliance has NFL people who care about the NFL’s well-being. It’s not a farm system, but it might involve shades of the NBA G League.

“Our objective is to take some of those people who can’t quite make it and make them into quality NFL players,” Polian said.

And the NFL wants on-the-bubble players to get reps elsewhere, Polian said. The Chicago Bears recently gave Phoenix general manager Phil Savage a list of prospects for him to watch closely during a scouting trip to Bourbonnais, Illinois.nfl cheap jerseys nike

“Since NFL Europe expired 10 years ago, there’s been a real desire and frustration by NFL personnel people that there’s a missing link as far as a developmental type league for prospects that weren’t quite ready,” said Savage, former general manager of the Cleveland Browns and Senior Bowl director.

Atlanta-Toronto matchup represents a changing of the MLS guard

That might feel a bit like 20/20 hindsight about the 2016 team that won neither the Supporters’ Shield nor MLS Cup, burdened as it was by playoff failures past. Each of that year’s New York sides was flawed in its own way, Mauro Diaz’s knee injury blew open the Western Conference and no team had anybody like Sebastian Giovinco. But last season’s Toronto was a destroyer of worlds, the first club in MLS history ever to win a domestic cup, the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup in the same calendar year.

The point is that Toronto has for a while now been the default answer when any rational fan is asked who was likeliest to lift silverware in the end.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

That is no longer the case. And the team that has picked up that mantle looks primed and ready to run TFC off the field on Saturday afternoon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta vs. Toronto (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN) feels significant both as a marker of the changing of the guard and of shifting eras.

To clarify: I’m not writing off the Reds entirely. Two straight victories have them heading into the weekend six points out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot, a formidable but not impossible hill to climb. With this team’s pedigree, and the amount of talent still packed into the roster, it wouldn’t be shocking if Toronto not only surged into the postseason but made some serious noise once there.

The team TFC faced in each of the past two Cup finals has mastered this kind of trajectory. Seattle is at it again, unbeaten in six following a dreadful spring and early summer, suddenly right in the thick of the hunt as if the first four months never happened.12

That’s part of the reason, however, why league observers outside of the Pacific Northwest are likely to remember this recent era as belonging to Toronto, not Seattle, even if the two clubs ended up with a championship apiece.

Standalone silverware is enough to appease your fan base, but in order to stand out in league history, the regular season does matter. Start-to-finish dominance does matter.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

And that’s what I mean when I say that Atlanta has picked up Toronto’s mantle: Even if it doesn’t ultimately go on to win the title, when you look back on the 2018 MLS season a few years from now, United’s breakout story is the one that will have stayed with you.

The numbers tell a convincing enough story on their own. Atlanta leads the league in wins (14), goals (48) and goal differential (plus-22). Forward Josef Martinez could get injured right this second, with 11 matches left to play, and he’d still probably win league MVP — his 24 goals are three shy of the MLS single-season record and we’ve only just come out of the All-Star break.

More than the stats, and something it shares with the TFC of 2017 specifically, Atlanta makes you feel every time they play. Tata Martino’s charges press high and counter at speed. They’re in your face, freewheeling and so, so fast, playing in front of capacity crowds larger than MLS has ever seen. They might not be the very best, but they’re as fun of a team as has ever called the league home.

Malcom a surprise signing by Barcelona but one that makes sense

His parents named him after Malcolm X, FC Barcelona scribbled out his name, hurriedly writing Silva where it originally said something else, and AS Roma didn’t name him at all. It was a joke, albeit a rather pointed one that quite a lot of people didn’t find very funny. Meanwhile, Ernesto Valverde couldn’t help but notice he wasn’t called Willian.

As for Hristo Stoichkov, he called him the new Hristo Stoichkov. Well, sort of. His full name is Malcom Filipe Silva de Oliveira, but everyone calls him just Mal cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Is it too late to do the “Malcom in the Middle” joke? It is? OK, but he was. A week ago, Malcom was on his way to Rome — fans had gathered at the airport to welcome him — only to end up at Barcelona instead. A deal had been done but not signed with the Italians, and yet, the next thing they knew, there he was kissing the Barcelona badge instead. It was, he said, a “dream come true.” For Roma, it was a nightmare. The president said he would never forgive the Catalan club… unless they sold him Messi.

Asked what he thought of Malcom a couple of days ago, Stoichkov said, conspiratorially: “He reminds me of a Bulgarian striker who came to Barcelona in 1990, ready to ‘eat the world.’ Things didn’t go too badly for him.” The Bulgarian was happily handing over his number, if not actually his name.11

“[Malcom is] daring and has personality: give him Stoichkov’s No.8!” Stoichkov implored his former club.

Persuading Stoichkov to join Barcelona back then was quite easy: all he wanted was a red sports car. “I signed for that,” he said. “An Audi.” He didn’t yet have a Spanish licence so he couldn’t drive it, but still, it was enough. Persuading Malcom was easy too, even with a deal basically done. And €41 million was enough to persuade Bordeaux to break from Roma.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

“That’s normal,” their coach Gus Poyet told ESPN. “Barcelona appeared, improving the deal, and the club and the player decided. If Barcelona call you…”

Persuading everyone at Barcelona that he is the right signing might have looked a little more difficult, but it has happened surprisingly quickly. For now, at least.

On one level, that shouldn’t surprise. Barcelona had watched him for a couple of years while there were suggestions, not entirely tongue in cheek either, that they did the safe thing: wait to see what Roma sporting director Monchi was up to and then hijack his deal. Imagine, by the way, the mischief Monchi could have with that…

What Johnny Manziel’s trade to Montreal says about his NFL future

The view from 30,000 feet is rough: Johnny Manziel couldn’t beat out a CFL quarterback. He couldn’t, in fact, get on the field for a single snap in five games for a 2-3 team. Now he has started over, traded to one of the worst teams in the league with a third of the season already expired.

It’s easy to view the past two weeks as a setback for Manziel and his comeback attempt. Late last year, Hamilton Tiger-Cats coach June Jones predicted Manziel would be one of the best players in CFL history. On July 22, the franchise decided it was better off without him. So what happened in between to merit a trade to the last-place Montreal Alouettes?nike nfl jerseys cheap china

To hear the Tiger-Cats tell it, the decision was sealed by the record-setting play of starter Jeremiah Masoli and an undeniably massive bounty offered by the Alouettes. In an interview, Tiger-Cats general manager Eric Tillman said he also considered the “human element” of giving Manziel a chance to get on the field. And by all accounts, there was no off-field issue involved.4

Are you buying that explanation? Do you really think a team would trade a player it considered a potential future hall of famer for any reason? Or is there reason to fear that Manziel fell far short of the team’s expectations?

In reality, this all makes more sense than it might appear. Manziel hasn’t stumbled. If anything, he has followed the path predicted by those who pay close to attention to the CFL — a league that requires a bigger adjustment for U.S.-born players than many Americans realize. Players in similar positions have described a process of years, not weeks or months, before they were comfortable with the CFL style.

In truth, the trade put Manziel in a better spot to begin showing the skills he hopes one day can carry him back to the NFL. After sitting out his first game with the Alouettes last week, Manziel will start Friday night against — coincidentally — the Tiger-Cats (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2).china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“This is a decision we struggled with,” Tillman said. “If something had happened to Jeremiah, I’m very confident that Johnny would have come in and played at a high level. He has been great, on and off the field for us. We had no issues at all with him. I’ve had people calling me and asking me that, and the answer is no, no, no.

With Cooperstown inspiration, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. makes Triple-A debut

Spending the weekend in Cooperstown, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. received a reminder of how much dedication it took his father to earn induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

It was a timely lesson for Guerrero now that minor league baseball’s acclaimed top prospect has entered the next phase of his career.

“I feel really happy that my dad achieved that, that he got there because it showed how much work he did to get there,” Guerrero said through a translator, Toronto Blue Jays mental performance coach Rafael Dubois. “And right now, it’s just keep working, keep working. And I’m happy that I’m here now.”cheap official nike nfl jerseys

Here is Buffalo, where the 19-year-old made his Triple-A debut with the Blue Jays’ top affiliate Tuesday night. And he did so wearing No. 27, the same number his father, Vladimir Guerrero, had during a 16-year major league career capped by his induction on Sunday.12

Hitting third, Guerrero drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to left-center with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. The ball was headed for the gap before left fielder Adron Chambers made a diving catch.

Guerrero also walked each of his first three times up, grounded out to second and scored twice in Buffalo’s 11-8 loss.

He made two notable defensive plays at third base in the second inning.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

Guerrero snagged a hard one-hopper while falling backward, and calmly threw out Joey Meneses. Aaron Altherr, the next batter, hit a high bouncer up the third baseline, which Guerrero backhanded, and he threw a one-hopper to just beat the runner.

Guerrero doesn’t expect his father to see him play in Buffalo because of various commitments with the Los Angeles Angels.

His grandmother, Altagracia Alvino, will continue living with Guerrero as she did in New Hampshire.

He flashed a toothy smile when asked about his grandmother, who cooks for him and does his laundry — “She doesn’t allow me to do it,” he said.

“If I move to China, she comes with me to China,” Guerrero said. “I always get advice from her. She’s there to support me.”

What could happen in the final 24 hours before the deadline?

As the trade deadline approaches, it’s more about quantity of moves that could be made than moves that will make you say “wow.” Once Manny Machado left Baltimore for Los Angeles, the top closers came off the market and Cole Hamels was traded from Texas to the Cubs, the market became decidedly short on pizzazz.

With less than 24 hours remaining, a slew of relievers, back-of-the-rotation starters and positional depth pieces are ready to change teams. The Twins, Blue Jays, Padres, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Rangers, Mets and Reds are among the teams with inventory to sell and no particular reason to hang on to it.

With the understanding that things are fluid at this time of year, here’s some buzz to pass along:cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

• Chris Archer remains the big name out there, and the Padres are the team most prominently linked to him. There’s a sense among some people that Archer will still be pitching in Tampa Bay after the deadline — and that the Rays’ talks in recent days were basically one big fact-gathering mission to lay groundwork for more extensive trade talks involving Archer this winter.

“They’re in no hurry to move him because of his contract,” said an official with one club that checked in on Archer. “I think they would have to be completely overwhelmed. I just don’t see it happening.”

• Are the Giants coming or going? No one knows for sure. They’re 3-8 in their past 11 games, but the front office seems loath to declare a sell-off.11

“The Giants don’t think they’re out of it,” said one person familiar with San Francisco’s thinking. FanGraphs calculates the Giants’ odds of winning the NL West at 0.5 percent and making the playoffs at 4.5 percent, so management is a lot more optimistic than it has a right to be.

If Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans decide to selectively sell Tuesday, relievers Will Smith and Sam Dyson could generate interest. Beyond that, Andrew McCutchen’s name could surface as a trade candidate in August because of his pending free agency. Problem is, McCutchen can’t play center field anymore, and his power production has dropped off a cliff. He’s 19-for-84 with three extra-base hits and a .286 slugging percentage in July.

• The Twins are working hard to deal Brian Dozier, but potential landing spots have fallen off the board in recent days. The Diamondbacks acquired Eduardo Escobar, the Brewers picked up Mike Moustakas, and the Dodgers didn’t have much need for a second infield acquisition after they added Machado. The Phillies were looking for a more versatile infielder with the ability to play shortstop, so they went for Asdrubal Cabrera (even though the metrics and scouts seem to agree that he’s now a defensive liability at the position).cheap official nike nfl jerseys

The reported second-tier-interest teams are less-than-ideal fits. Cleveland needs a center fielder more than a second baseman. Boston is focused more on bullpen upgrades and has already acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler. And the Giants might be more motivated to sell than buy, given their place in the standings.