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How will the Broncos handle Joe Flacco with Drew Lock as starter?

Drew Lock will be the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback in the 2020 season.

Or, as Broncos chief football decision maker John Elway put it earlier this week, it would be “unrealistic” to say Lock is not the starter next season.

But beyond that, the Broncos’ quarterback depth chart is little more than financial questions and future decisions, starting with Joe Flacco. Consider how Elway started his answer Monday about whether Lock would be the team’s starter after going 4-1 to close out the season.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Elway then quickly followed with: “Obviously, he finished, did a heck of a job, won four out of five games and played well, but he still has a long way to go — he’s got a lot of work to do. But we’re excited about where Drew is, so, we don’t like to show our hand, but it’s unrealistic to say we’re going a different direction.”8

The 2020 Broncos will have Lock as the projected starter and Flacco as the only other quarterback under contract who has started an NFL game. Flacco’s playing future is uncertain because of a herniated disc in his neck and he’s facing the possibility of surgery. The Broncos did sign Brett Rypien, who spent his rookie season on the team’s practice squad, to a futures contract Tuesday.

The Broncos will have to consider free agency as well as the draft as they determine Flacco’s health. Flacco has two years remaining on his contract that carries a whopping $23.65 million salary-cap figure for the 2020 season and $27.65 million for 2021.

The Broncos won’t entertain paying anything near that galaxy for their No. 2 quarterback, but teams can’t release an injured player without a financial settlement. In short, the two sides are talking about Flacco’s future and his contract no matter what — even as Flacco tries to determine if he can even return to the playing field.

Flacco was quick to say this week that if he were healthy and cleared to play, he would “love” to be back with the Broncos.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

“Of course,” Flacco said. “… I’ll actually look into those things, think about those things when I have to. For now, I’m just focused on working out, getting as healthy as I can.”

Flacco, who went to injured reserve Nov. 1, is scheduled to have an MRI on his neck “around the Super Bowl,” and he said at that point a decision would be made as to whether he will, or won’t, need surgery.

Panthers star Christian McCaffrey named All-Pro at 2 positions

Christian McCaffrey’s versatility and superb statistics helped him to a rare double: The Carolina Panthers running back has made The Associated Press NFL All-Pro Team at two positions.

McCaffrey rushed for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught 116 passes for 1,005 yards and four TDs this season. He became the third player in NFL history to finish with at least 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season, joining Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig, who is on the senior ballot for the Hall this year.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

McCaffrey was selected as the first-team running back and the top flex player in voting by the 50 members of a nationwide media panel who regularly cover the NFL. The flex position was created in 2016 to reward players who epitomize the way offense is now played in pro football. No one fits that description better than McCaffrey, whose terrific season came for a 5-11 team.

“It means a lot,” says McCaffrey, a third-year pro. “It is a big honor, and that is something that you don’t work hard for it, but when it comes you are really grateful and appreciative.”7

New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas and New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore were unanimous selections. It’s the second straight season both made the squad, Thomas doing it with an NFL-record 149 catches and Gilmore anchoring the league’s top-ranked defense.

Ravens sensation Lamar Jackson, who in his second season led Baltimore to a league-best 14-2 mark, was chosen as the quarterback. Jackson and McCaffrey were among 14 first-time All-Pros.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Los Angeles Rams safety Eric Weddle witnessed the jukes and jaunts of Jackson firsthand during a 45-6 Ravens romp on Nov. 25.

“When you get on the field and you get to the speed of what they run, it’s tough,” says Weddle, a former All-Pro and Jackson’s teammate in Baltimore last season. “I mean, some of the plays I didn’t know who had the ball because they run it so efficiently. [Jackson] is one of a kind; he’s pretty special.”

This special class includes several multiple-time All-Pros: Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, each for a fifth time; and Cowboys right guard Zack Martin and Ravens kicker Justin Tucker for a fourth time.

Bears kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson made his third All-Pro roster, as did Eagles center Jason Kelce and Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Don Larsen, who pitched only perfect World Series game, dies at 90

Don Larsen, the journeyman pitcher who reached the heights of baseball glory when he pitched the only perfect game in World Series history in 1956 with the New York Yankees, died Wednesday, his representative, Andrew Levy, tweeted Wednesday night. Larsen was 90.

Levy said the former pitcher died of esophageal cancer in hospice care in Hayden, Idaho. Levy said Larsen’s son, Scott, confirmed the death.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Larsen was the unlikeliest of characters to attain what so many Hall of Famers couldn’t pull off in the Fall Classic. He was 81-91 in his career, never won more than 11 games in a season and finished an unsightly 3-21 with Baltimore in 1954, the year before he was dealt to the Yankees as part of a 17-player trade.

In the 1956 World Series, won in seven games by the Yankees, Larsen was knocked out in the second inning of Game 2 by the Brooklyn Dodgers and didn’t think he would have another opportunity to pitch. But when he reached Yankee Stadium on the morning of Oct. 8, he found a baseball in his shoe, the signal from manager Casey Stengel that he would start Game 5.8

“I must admit I was shocked,” Larsen wrote in his autobiography. “I knew I had to do better than the last time, keep the game close and somehow give our team a chance to win. Casey was betting on me, and I was determined not to let him down this time.”

The Dodgers and Yankees split the first four games, and Stengel liked the deception of Larsen’s no-windup delivery. The manager’s instincts proved historically correct. The lanky right-hander struck out seven, needed just 97 pitches to tame the Dodgers and went to three balls on a batter only once — against Pee Wee Reese in the first inning.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement Thursday that Larsen’s perfect game has “remained unique for 63 years and counting.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“On a team of many stars, Don illustrated that anyone can make history — even perfection — on our sport’s biggest stage,” Manfred said.

In their 2-0 win, the Yankees managed only five hits against the Dodgers’ Sal Maglie but scored on Mickey Mantle’s home run and an RBI single by Hank Bauer.

Larsen, selected MVP of the 1956 Series, had two close calls. In the second inning, Jackie Robinson hit a hard grounder that was deflected by third baseman Andy Carey to shortstop Gil McDougald, who threw out Robinson. In the fifth, Mantle ran down a long drive to left-center field by Gil Hodges. With two outs in the ninth, pinch hitter Dale Mitchell took a third strike, completing the perfect game and sending catcher Yogi Berra dashing out from behind the plate to leap into Larsen’s arms.

T.J. Watt and the board game bringing the Steelers together

It was Christmas afternoon and Pittsburgh Steelers players were scattering quickly after practice, in a rush to get back to their families.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

But Anthony Chickillo had business to take care of first.

He took the Biñho board from T.J. Watt’s spare locker and placed the table-top soccer game on the team’s covered pool table and dumped out the small game balls that look like marbles.

Then he turned and motioned Watt over.

“One game to five, that’s it,” Watt said.8

The two each took a side behind a tiny goal, reached across the table and shook hands over the board, which measures about a foot wide and two feet long. Defending each goal are 10 stationary defenders, represented by markers that look like golf tees. The object is to score by knocking the marble around the defenders and into the small goal.

As the game started, offensive lineman David DeCastro walked over and leaned in over the table to watch.

One by one, more teammates encircled the pair of players, watching breathlessly as Chickillo and Watt flicked the marble back and forth. Rookie tight end Zach Gentry morphed into a de facto commentator as Watt took a shot.nfl nike jersey cheap

“He knows all the nuances, it’s insane,” Gentry said. “He revolutionized the game.”

At one point, Alejandro Villanueva leaned in and pointed at the marble before Chickillo’s shot, trying to direct the linebacker where he should go with his next flick. Watt scolded the offensive lineman for giving his opponent extra help.

After 10 minutes, the score was tied, 4-4.

Watt was close on a number of near winning shots, yelling as one ricocheted off the bendy wall and came to rest just in front of the goal.

“I need to make that shot,” he said.

Finally, Watt finessed a soft shot through the stationary defenders and into the tiny goal, fist pumping as shot went in.

Manchester United’s Scott McTominay suffers knee ligament damage vs. Newcastle

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay suffered knee ligament damage during the win over Newcastle, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

McTominay left Old Trafford on crutches after being substituted at half-time during the 4-1 victory over Steve Bruce’s side.

The 23-year-old was involved in a challenge with Sean Longstaff in the opening stages but was able to play on until the break before being replaced with Paul Pogba.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

“He’s done his ligament in the knee,” said Solskjaer.7

“I don’t know how bad. Let’s see. The boy has got the biggest heart, you see the attitude of the kid [to play on]. I’m not sure if he’s going to be ready for Saturday [against Burnley] but we’ve seen him heal quickly before.”nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

United moved to within four points of the top four with victory over Newcastle, which was secured thanks to goals from Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and a brace from Anthony Martial.

Greenwood’s goal — his eighth of the season — was a spectacular effort from outside the box that went in off the underside the of crossbar and Solskjaer has warned the rest of the Premier League that the 18-year-old is only going to get better.

“He’s learning, growing as a human being,” said the United boss.

“He’ll grow more and more and we’re not going to see the best of Mason for a couple for years. When I was 18 … I was nowhere near the level he is now.”

Patrick Mahomes won’t admit connection between finger counting and draft

So maybe Patrick Mahomes does feel snubbed for being the 10th player and the second quarterback selected in the 2017 NFL draft.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback was seen counting to 10 on his fingers after throwing a touchdown pass to Travis Kelce late in the first half of Sunday night’s 26-3 win over the Chicago Bears. Ten, as in the 10th player drafted, on the same night he and the Chiefs were facing the only quarterback selected ahead of him that year.

The Bears’ Mitchell Trubisky was drafted second overall.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“I don’t know if there was necessarily a meaning,” Mahomes said later. “I was just kind of in the moment and just enjoying it. … I knew it was a big moment in the game and you look to take advantage of it when you get that opportunity against that defense.

“I was just out there having fun. … We had a big score before the half and I was just trying to enjoy it. You’ve seen me play. I play with emotion. I like to just go out there and have fun with my teammates.”7

Perhaps. But the timing, with the Chiefs facing the Bears and Trubisky, seemed to make Mahomes’ gesture more than a coincidence.

Even one of his teammates, running back Damien Williams, seemed to understand the significance. Williams offered Mahomes congratulations as the quarterback was heading off the field while counting and approaching the sideline.

Mahomes was the clear winner in the quarterback battle with Trubisky. He completed 23 of 33 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score. Trubisky completed 18 of 34 passes for 157 yards.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Kelce said he didn’t see Mahomes’ 10 count.

“I can’t really see Pat doing that,” Kelce said. “He’s a humble guy. You know what drives everyone sometimes is something deeper. I’m sure he’s happy where he is, but that probably helped him in his early years. Kind of gave him some motive and gave him some fire.

“I think he’s the type of competitor that he feels, every single game, every single time he touches the football he’s trying to prove something. Well, not necessarily prove something but be the best he can and show the world that you know that he is the best.”

That just hadn’t been Mahomes’ way, until Sunday night. He’ll celebrate after a touchdown with his teammates, but is quick to deflect any credit to his coaches and teammates.

Mahomes, while not acknowledging the meaning of his 10 count, did indicate he remembered being the second quarterback drafted two years ago.

Wolves come from behind to win at Norwich

Wolverhampton Wanderers got back to winning ways as they punished relegation-threatened Norwich City with a second-half comeback to win 2-1 in the Premier League on Saturday.

Wolves, whose 11-match unbeaten run was ended by Tottenham Hotspur the previous week, were dreadful before half-time, but goals by Romain Saiss and Raul Jimenez sealed victory.

Roared on by the Carrow Road faithful, Norwich outplayed Wolves in the first half and had they been more ruthless the points could have been in the bag before the interval.cheap nike jerseys nfl

Wolves keeper Rui Patricio produced a smart early save to deny Kenny McLean and then turned Alex Tettey’s low drive against the post as Norwich swarmed forward.6

Norwich took the lead in the 17th minute when Wolves failed to clear McLean’s cross and Todd Cantwell smashed the ball home.

Teemu Pukki was twice denied by the over-worked Patricio as Wolves staggered to halftime only a goal in arrears.

Predictably, Wolves were a different proposition after the break and equalised after 62 minutes when the increasingly influential Joao Moutinho whipped in a cross that Saiss met with a powerful header.

Norwich were deflated and Wolves snatched victory in the 81st minute with Jimenez on hand to convert a rebound after keeper Tim Krul saved Matt Doherty’s point-blank effort.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

“Football can be the most unfair sport in the world,” Norwich manager Daniel Farke said. “You have to grab your reward and we didn’t. We missed too many chances today.”

The defeat leaves his side second from bottom, six points below the safety zone, while Wolves climb to sixth with the win, two points off fourth-placed Chelsea who face Tottenham on Sunday.

Sheffield United beat Brighton to close in on top four

Oliver McBurnie scored the only goal of the game as Sheffield United extended their superb unbeaten away record in this season’s Premier League with a 1-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys

The visitors had already had a goal ruled out by VAR when McBurnie exploited indecision in the Brighton defence to take control of a long ball and lash home the winner midway through the first half.

After a toothless first-half performance, Brighton boss Graham Potter made a double substitution at half-time, introducing Aaron Connolly for Leandro Trossard and Glenn Murray for Pascal Gross.

But it was David McGoldrick who almost made it 2-0 early in the second half, snapping up another poor header and rounding the goalkeeper before shooting into the side netting with the goal at his mercy.5

Brighton’s attacking fortunes improved slightly in the second half as the rain poured down, with teenage striker Connolly proving a handful with his quick feet and direct style, but the home team could not force an equaliser.

“We didn’t play well today,” Potter said. “They made it difficult for us and we weren’t as good as we’d like to be.

“Sheffield United did what they did well. First half they were better than us and deservedly it was 1-0.”

The result marked United’s third win in a row in the league and lifted the Blades to fifth in the table on 28 points, one behind Chelsea, who play Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Brighton remain in 13th on 20 points.cheap nike jerseys nfl

United boss Chris Wilder said he was pleased with his side’s performance, but was not sure their good run of away form could continue much longer.

“We did a job on them, should have had more possession, but we had the better chances on the counter-attack and we’re delighted to keep the away run going,” he said. “But the next two [away games] are at Manchester City and Liverpool.”

Angels’ Shohei Ohtani completes Tommy John rehab, eyes 2-way role in ’20

Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani has completed his throwing program, the final step in his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery, and was cleared to return to his native Japan, where he will rest and recover for his anticipated return to a two-way role in 2020.

Ohtani spent the 2019 season as a designated hitter, rehabilitating from surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right (throwing) elbow in October 2018. He had been throwing off a mound for more than two months before having to undergo season-ending surgery to address a rare knee condition around the middle of September, which prompted him to shut down his throwing progression for a couple of months.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

The Angels did not disclose how often Ohtani threw off the mound when he restarted his throwing program. They are still working to define a blueprint for building him back up as a starter for the 2020 season.8

The assumption is that Ohtani, 25, will start once a week rather than every five games, which would prompt the occasional need for a sixth starter. An innings limit might be implemented. Ohtani can DH on the days he doesn’t start, though new manager Joe Maddon floated the possibility during the winter meetings of Ohtani also hitting on his start days.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Ohtani currently makes up one-fifth of an Angels rotation that also includes Andrew Heaney, Griffin Canning and the recently added Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran. Ohtani’s recovery, combined with Heaney’s injury history and Canning’s youth, motivated the Angels to add durable starters in Bundy and Teheran, with the latter agreeing Thursday on a one-year, $9 million contract.

The Angels still have the financial flexibility to add a top-tier free-agent starter such as Hyun-Jin Ryu or Dallas Keuchel, though they also have a hole at catcher.

Joe Smith, Astros agree to $8 million, 2-year contract

Reliever Joe Smith and the Houston Astros have agreed to an $8 million, two-year contract.

The 35-year-old Smith spent the last two seasons with the Astros and is 6-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 84 appearances for Houston. Smith missed the beginning of last season recovering from Achilles tendon surgery before returning in July and posting a 1.80 ERA in 28 regular-season appearances.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china7

Smith didn’t allow a run in eight of his 10 postseason appearances in 2019 and finished the playoffs with a 3.12 ERA.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

The right-hander has a 2.98 ERA in 782 career appearances. He gets $4 million in each season under the deal announced Monday.

He was coming off a $15 million, two-year deal with the Astros.