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Tarik Cohen of Chicago Bears feared to have suffered torn ACL

The Chicago Bears fear running back Tarik Cohen suffered a torn right ACL in Sunday’s 30-26 win over the Atlanta Falcons, coach Matt Nagy said after the game.

“Unfortunately, it looks like Tarik Cohen, after we get confirmation, looks like he did end up tearing his ACL,” Nagy said on a video call. “So, that will be a big blow to us there with that, which is unfortunate.”cheap nike nfl jersey

Cohen suffered the injury on a punt return when Atlanta’s Brian Hill got pushed into the back of his right leg, caused his knee to bend awkwardly. Cohen went to the ground and immediately clutched his right knee. The 5-foot-6 all-purpose threat was unable to put any pressure on his right leg when trainers help him off the field.

Cohen had two carries for 21 yards and three receptions for 20 yards before the injury.7

“I love the guy, he’s an important person on this team,” Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks said. “Someone I have a lot of respect for, somebody that is dedicated to this team and that wants to be the best at what he does. He’s all you can ask for in a teammate. He’s the energy when we need it, he’s the focus when you want it, he’s just our guy.cheap nfl nike jersey

The Bears signed Cohen to a three-year extension earlier this month. Cohen’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the deal is worth $17.25 million in new money ($5.75 million per year) with the opportunity to be worth $18.25 million at $6.093 million per year. Cohen’s extension includes $9.533 million fully guaranteed and a $12.033 million max guarantee.

Cohen, 25, is an all-purpose threat on offense who earned a trip to the 2018 Pro Bowl as a return man on special teams. A fourth-round pick out of North Carolina A&T, he rushed for 1,027 yards and five touchdowns and caught 203 passes for 1,534 yards and nine scores over his first three seasons in Chicago (2017 to ’19).

Cohen became the shortest player (5-foot-6) since 1934 to throw an NFL touchdown pass when he fired a 21-yard scoring strike as a rookie in 2017. He has two career touchdown passes overall. Also in 2017, Cohen became the first NFL rookie to score a rushing, a receiving, a passing and a punt-return touchdown since Hall of Famer Gale Sayers in 1965.

QB Cam Newton nearly leads New England Patriots to fourth-quarter comeback win

Quarterback Cam Newton nearly led the visiting New England Patriots on a vintage fourth-quarter comeback Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks, but he was stopped on a designed run at the 1-yard line on the final play of a 35-30 loss at CenturyLink Field.

Newton was remarkable, finishing 30-of-44 for 397 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He added 47 yards rushing on 11 carries and two touchdowns.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

His performance kept the Patriots in the game until the final play, in which he took a direct snap and attempted to power over the left side of the line of scrimmage but was stopped for a loss of 1 yard by defensive end L.J. Collier.

“That was favored in the game plan. We ran it a couple times and figured it was something we probably went to the well too many times. But at the end of the day, we felt confident about it and you just have to execute,” Newton said.

“I could have bounced it [outside], looking at the clip. I just have to be better at the end. We put ourselves in a position to win. When you do that, you just have to finish.”8

In his career, Newton had been 16-of-20 scoring on rushing from the 1-yard line, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information. That included his two rushing touchdowns earlier in Sunday’s game.

“We had one play to score and we tried to go with what we thought was our best play,” coach Bill Belichick said. “Seattle made a good play.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

The Patriots didn’t disguise their intentions that Newton would likely run on the final play, as they didn’t have any receivers or running backs on the field. Instead, they added two extra offensive linemen, along with two tight ends and a fullback.

Asked if he sensed the Seahawks knew what was coming, Newton said, “No, I just didn’t make everybody right. That’s the only thing I regret. That type of situation, it’s humbling to be able to have the respect of a team to have the ball in my hands. I just have to deliver.

“I saw a clip of it. I could have made it right by just bouncing it. I was just trying to be patient. Just thinking too much, man. Or even just diving over the top. There are so many different things that flashed over me. Playing a fast defense like that, as soon as you guess, you’re wrong. So I definitely learned from this.

“The play was there. The play had been there all game. Moving forward, we just have to scheme up things, and me being put in that situation again, hopefully we can have a better outcome.”

Lonzo Ball, looking to ‘lead my career,’ signs with Klutch Sports

Three years into his NBA career, New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball views this as a pivotal offseason, which began with an important business decision: Ball has signed with agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, the 22-year-old told ESPN.

“I wanted to lead my career,” Ball told ESPN. “Picking my own representation — just solely as my decision — was step one in that process. For me, it was an easy call, and it was the right time to make that call.”

Ball joins Klutch Sports after brief stints with Creative Artists Agency and Roc Nation.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Weeks removed from a disappointing team showing in the NBA seeding games in Orlando, Florida, Ball said he was beginning his offseason training regimen Monday, which includes two-a-day sessions on the basketball court and workouts in the weight room.

The No. 2 pick out of UCLA in 2017 blazed an unconventional path into the NBA, signing family friend Harrison Gaines as his agent and turning down endorsement opportunities with legacy sneaker companies to wear the family’s Big Baller Brand.

Coming into the league, Ball’s father, LaVar, who worked as a trainer at one point, was omnipresent. LaVar and his wife, Tina, raised three sons — Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo — who all became basketball standouts in Chino Hills, California.8

During Lonzo Ball’s draft process, LaVar became a pop culture figure in his own right. LaVar publicly steered his son toward the Los Angeles Lakers, was spoofed on “Saturday Night Live” and regularly made sports talk headlines. Ball, his father and family associate Alan Foster had a falling out in May 2019 after a dispute over missing funds.

“We had a couple rumblings here and there, but everything got squared away,” Lonzo Ball said. “When your son gets older, they’re going to butt heads with their dad, and that’s what I did for about a year and a half. But everything is cool now.”

Said LaVar Ball, reached over the phone by ESPN: “He’s always been his own man. As a father, all I can do is guide him. I’m not going to take a lesser role. I am going to be his father, and that’s it.”

Lonzo Ball said the birth of his daughter, Zoey, and moving to New Orleans to get some space were helpful in mending his relationship with his father. Ball added that, despite no longer working together, he and LaVar talk almost every day.cheap nfl nike jersey

“My dad put me in a position where I am comfortable making my own decisions now,” Ball said. “I think coming into the league, he was very controlling of everything that was going on. But that was an 18-, 19-year-old kid. But now I am 22 years old with my own family. Seeing how he watched over me and stuff — it was time for him to finally let go of everything and watch me be my own man.”

However LaVar Ball’s approach may have been perceived, the basketball results cannot be argued: LaMelo Ball is projected to be a top-five pick in the 2020 draft, just like his oldest brother was.

Kyle Lowry clutch, but Norman Powell ‘saved our season,’ Raptors’ Fred VanVleet says

An exhausted Kyle Lowry was down to his final media question of the night.

As he thumbed through his phone Wednesday evening, searching for a picture of the three stitches he received in his chin after taking a midgame elbow by Boston Celtics guard Brad Wanamaker, the Toronto Raptors’ point guard was asked about the game played by teammate Norman Powell.

While his head was still searching for his phone, he quipped, “Can I say what I really want to say?”

“F—, that was great,” Lowry said. “Thank you, Norm. That was f—ing unbelievable. S—. That was cool. We needed that.”

It was Lowry’s shot with 11.7 seconds to go in the second overtime that put Toronto up four and in position to win the game. But after a Jayson Tatum 3-pointer, it was Powell’s free throws with five seconds left that helped to ice the game.nike nfl jersey cheap

Toronto had to deal with a 3-point attempt by Marcus Smart and survive an inbounds pass with 0.7 to go without fouling, but when the buzzer sounded and the Raptors held on for a 125-122 victory, this Eastern Conference semifinal series was headed to Game 7.

“I think everyone came into this series expecting a long series,” Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said. “I don’t think we lived up to that in the first couple of games. We were able to work ourselves back into position to give ourselves a chance and Game 7 to go to the Eastern Conference finals … all you can ask for is a chance, so …1

“Long game, longer than we all would have asked for, but time to get some rest and go back at it again.”

Powell had a chance to finish off the game at the end of the first overtime with an isolation play drawn up just for him. He missed a long 3-point attempt, but he also came out firing in the second overtime to ensure his team took home the victory.

Powell scored 10 points in the second overtime, had a key block on Daniel Theis, hit a 3-pointer to tie the game with 1:23 to play and added a steal that turned into an and-1 to put Toronto up four with 38.7 to go.nfl nike jersey cheap

“He saved us. He saved our season,” VanVleet said. “That is his trademark now. You never know when it is going to happen, but it always happens at some point in the playoffs, so he was huge for us. Obviously, Kyle was steady the whole night, but Norm really gave us boost there.”

The play at the end of the first overtime was almost identical to one Toronto coach Nick Nurse drew up for Powell in the first game of the season.

Way back on Oct. 22, 2019, the Raptors opened the season against the New Orleans Pelicans and that game was tied at 117 in the final seconds of regulation. And like he did Wednesday night, Nurse called for Powell to be isolated at the top of the key. Powell didn’t hit the shot, but Toronto still went on to win.

Packers WR Devin Funchess opts out, cites family’s health

Green Bay Packers receiver Devin Funchess, who had first-hand experience with COVID-19 this offseason while caring for family members with the disease, has opted out of the 2020 season.

The 26-year-old veteran was the only experienced addition the Packers made to their receiving corps, which was viewed as one of the few weaknesses on a team that reached the NFC Championship last season. He signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal that included a $1 million signing bonus after a lost year with the Colts in 2019, when he suffered a broken collarbone in Week 1.nike cheap nfl jerseys

Funchess canceled several scheduled media opportunities shortly after he signed with the Packers because of what sources said at the time was the need to care for family members diagnosed with COVID-19.7

In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Funchess said in part: “My closest family members have experienced the life-threatening impact of COVID-19 first hand and for their own safety and my own safety, I’ve decided to opt out of the upcoming NFL season. This was not a decision I took lightly but it’s what is best for my family and myself at this time.”nike nfl cheap jerseys

Funchess, whose best seasons came with the Carolina Panthers, was in the mix to compete to be the No. 2 or No. 3 receiver behind Pro Bowler Davante Adams. After signing Funchess, the Packers passed on receivers in one of the deepest receiver drafts in history.

Funchess was placed on the reserve/opt-out list, which allows the Packers to retain him under the same contract for the 2021 season. The Packers also placed first-year outside linebacker Greg Roberts on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. Packers veteran players reported to Lambeau Field on Tuesday for their first round of COVID-19 testing.

Pirates 3B prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes out indefinitely because of coronavirus

Pittsburgh Pirates third base prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes is out indefinitely while dealing with the novel coronavirus.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Manager Derek Shelton announced Hayes’ illness on Sunday after the 23-year-old Hayes — the son of former longtime MLB third baseman Charlie Hayes — gave the team clearance to do so.8

The diagnosis blunts the momentum that Hayes, considered the top infield prospect within the organization, built during spring training.

The Pirates expected Hayes, a three-time Gold Glove winner while in the minors, to make his MLB debut this season while splitting time with Colin Moran. But now he must wait in isolation for his clearance to return to the team.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“Any time we lose development time, it’s challenging for us,” Shelton said. “As we’ve talked about numerous times, not just for (Hayes) but for all of our prospects, this is a big year for us. We have to be very thoughtful of how much work we get them and try to get them as much work as possible. Any time we lose prospect time, it’s challenging.”

Damian Lillard’s birthday wish is for Trail Blazers to make playoff push

Damian Lillard can remember only one time in his life not having a birthday party, so as he turned 30 on Wednesday his teammates made sure he got to celebrate in the NBA bubble despite being away from his family.

But Lillard had only one birthday wish: “My only ask as a birthday gift is, let’s not waste our f—ing time out here,” he said to his teammates.

“The easy thing to do would be to come here and make up the excuse that we haven’t played in months, guys haven’t played and were rusty, we weren’t comfortable, not used to playing at this time. It’s a lot of ways out the back door,” Lillard said Thursday, explaining his message. “I just wanted to make sure we understood this is a great opportunity for us to come out and make a push for the playoffs. Everybody’s basically starting from scratch.”cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

Teammate CJ McCollum said he reached out to a team staffer when the Trail Blazers arrived at the Walt Disney World Resort about doing something for Lillard’s birthday. It was an off day, so the Blazers gathered in a private room to eat dinner and drink some wine. After Lillard delivered his brief speech, he turned and blew out the candles on his cake, which presumably was served to the team.

“Obviously, nobody wants to spend their birthday in the bubble, especially their 30th birthday,” McCollum said. “Just tried to figure out a way to make it interactive for everyone and have a good time outside of their rooms and have a good meal with some wine and things of that nature.”8

Lillard, though, is always business, and with the Blazers entering the restart ninth in the West, 3½ games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot, he had his mind on making a push for the postseason.

“That’s the mentality he’s had coming down here from the beginning,” coach Terry Stotts said. “Even though we enjoyed the festivities, I thought it was typical Dame. Having his eye on the task at hand.”

Lillard has been consistent in media sessions saying he expects his team to be ready and come out aggressively in the eight seeding games, but he wanted to deliver a blunt, to-the-point message to teammates.nike nfl cheap jerseys

“We’ve talked about coming here being locked in and ready to play, but we haven’t addressed it in that way,” Lillard said. “Like, seriously let’s not come out here and take this for granted and see how it goes. Let’s come out and be aggressive and put our best foot forward and live with whatever the result is. But at least have the effort and mind in the right place where we could do that. That was my reason for saying that. If we come out here loose and let’s see how it goes and not really determined, you’re setting yourself up for failure.”

There’s considerable optimism within the team about its chances, with starters Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins healthy and said to be looking good in practice. The Blazers have some actual depth, rather than scrambling to fill lineup spots, and have amped up their size after being a team that struggled with rebounding and interior defense.

The Blazers have been a playoff staple in the Lillard era, but because of injuries this season, as well as underperformance in other areas, they haven’t been able to continue the momentum of last season that fueled a surprise run to the Western Conference finals. But with eight games ahead, the Blazers are aiming to win six, which they believe would put them in position to force the play-in series.

Rays’ Wander Franco one of many top prospects picked for 60-man player pools

Top prospect Wander Franco is part of the Tampa Bay Rays’ 60-man player pool, and the Detroit Tigers are including their most heralded young pitchers as baseball gears up for its abbreviated season.

Sunday was the deadline for teams to submit player pools, although additions can be made later. Many teams announced pools well below the 60-player limit.

Franco, a 19-year-old shortstop, is ranked as the No. 1 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline. He spent last season at Class A, so it would be quite a jump for him to contribute in the majors in the immediate future, but putting him in the player pool makes him an option for the Rays — and could help his development in a year when the coronavirus shut down the minor leagues.

Pitcher Brendan McKay and infielder Vidal Brujan, two other top Tampa Bay prospects, also made the pool.nfl nike jersey cheap

“They are some of our more advanced prospects,” Rays general manager Erik Neander said. “Certainly on the position player side that’s where things went and why Wander was a leading candidate for a spot.”8

The Tigers are rebuilding around pitching prospects — including Casey Mize, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft. He’s in their player pool, along with Matt Manning, Tarik Skubal, Alex Faedo and Franklin Perez.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

A majority of teams took at least five catchers, and the defending champion Washington Nationals included a whopping 36 pitchers in their pool. The Baltimore Orioles announced only 44 players total at this time — not counting outfielder Trey Mancini, who was listed on the 45-day injured list and is likely to miss the season following colon cancer surgery in March.

The Nationals included infielder Ryan Zimmerman in their pool, although he said recently he was still deciding whether he would play.

The New York Yankees listed Miguel Andujar and Tyler Wade as infielders/outfielders, a sign they could see more outfield time if Aaron Judge (broken rib), Giancarlo Stanton (strained right calf) and Aaron Hicks (Tommy John surgery) aren’t sufficiently healed. New York put right-hander Luis Severino (Tommy John surgery) on the 45-day IL, agreed to minor league contracts with infielder Matt Duffy and catcher Max McDowell and released right-hander Dan Otero, then re-signed him to a minor league contract.

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ player pool was without reliever Edgar Santana, who will miss all of the 2020 season after being suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. MLB announced Sunday that Santana tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

The Pirates did not include right-hander Quinn Priester or shortstop Nick Gonzales, their top draft picks from 2019 and 2020.

Liverpool stumble on Premier League title march with draw at Everton

Liverpool’s march to the Premier League title took a slight wobble as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Everton in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side went into the game, their first competitive match in 103 days, knowing a victory would allow them to secure their first league title in 30 years on Wednesday with a win at home to Crystal Palace.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Both teams showed rust in a lacklustre first half that saw James Milner make way for Joe Gomez just before the break as the teams headed to the dressing room goalless after the opening 45 minutes.

It was more of the same in the second half, with Liverpool dominating possession and going close on several occasions but continuing to lack a cutting edge on their finishing.8

“It was very intense,” said Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk. “Both sides created small opportunities, they had the big one against the post. Everyone is just happy to be back, we didn’t lose and it is another point towards our goal.”

With 10 minutes remaining Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s clever flick from a low Gylfi Sigurdsson cross was pushed out by Liverpool keeper Allison and Tom Davies’ follow-up shot hit the post.

Liverpool, who left Mohamed Salah on the bench, lacked their usual potency in attack with their best opening coming in the 35th minute when Roberto Firmino screwed a shot wide from a promising position while Fabinho went close late on with a curling free kick.

Both Klopp and his Everton counterpart Carlo Ancelotti handed players first league starts with Japan’s Takumi Minamino in the Liverpool attack and 19-year-old Anthony Gordon up-front for the home side — although neither were able to make much impact.

“We didn’t have enough chances. Most of the time we were dominant but they had the biggest chance,” said Klopp. “I liked a lot of things about our game but we didn’t have those moments in attack, we didn’t have the rhythm.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“Everton defended really well and we were not smart enough to use the space. That is normal when you start to play again.

“It was a real fight. Both teams showed they understand it is a derby. Intense, physical, all players were all in.

“The point is one we deserve. When I think of all the derbies here, they looked pretty similar. Everton were well organised so we had to run a lot but we looked fit and ready.”

Liverpool host Crystal Palace on June 24 at Anfield and can seal a first Premier League title in 30 years with a win if Manchester City lose or draw with Burnley on Monday.

‘I don’t feel cheated one bit’: Pitchers who gave up home runs to both McGwire and Sosa in ’98 tell their tales

Rick Reed, a righty for the New York Mets, allowed McGwire’s 13th and 51st homers in 1998. “He was just big. I was like, ‘My god, can we just get this at-bat over with?'” Reed said. “Every time he came up, my thinking was, ‘Please, God, just don’t let him hit the ball back up the middle. Let him hit it anywhere he wants to but not back up the middle.’ When I was in the minor leagues, Randy Velarde hit a ball back up the middle, and I kid you not, that hit the button on the top of my hat. If McGwire had hit one back up the middle, I could only imagine what it would’ve looked like — or sounded like. Because I wouldn’t have seen it.”

Jim Parque was a rookie for the Chicago White Sox in 1998, and the first two home runs he allowed in his big league career were to Sosa on June 5, and McGwire on June 10. He laughed with empathy when he heard how Reed had feared a ball being hit up the middle by McGwire. “Oh, yeah. You’ve got a gorilla up there in McGwire. Those two guys, they were just epic — muscle tone, power guys. The way their bats cut the plane, and how it got through the plane, it almost looked like every pitch was going to come back through the middle. … With Sosa and McGwire, it was basically like they had a tee there and the barrel was there the whole time. As a pitcher, you’re thinking, ‘How the hell do I pitch around this?’ That’s what we do as pitchers — pitch around the barrel.”cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Jason Bere allowed McGwire’s 29th home run that season while with the White Sox and Sosa’s 56th after being released and signed by the Cincinnati Reds. “It was almost like the whole game was about their at-bats,” he said.8

“I didn’t appreciate back then what those guys were able to do. Those guys had it all,” he said. “They might not have defined it in [modern] terminology, but they knew back then exactly what they were trying to accomplish. Plate coverage — get the barrel in the zone as quickly as you can and keep it there as long as you can. They had really big flat spots in their swings, rather than coming down and trying to create backspin. They worked on meeting the ball squarely — maybe not matching pitch plane, but the flatter the barrel is through the zone, the more opportunity you will meet the pitch plane. They were masters at it, and that’s why they did so well.”

Andy Benes, who played for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998 and surrendered McGwire’s 31st and Sosa’s 43rd, said of McGwire: “I don’t think people realize that he was a really good hitter. … He didn’t swing at a lot of bad pitches, and when you made a mistake, he had a pretty good opportunity to put the barrel on it. So he wasn’t just purely a power hitter. I remember him as being a better low-ball guy — he’d drop the barrel on the ball, and that’s not as common for right-handed hitters.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“He would never take practice swings when he was in the on-deck circle. He would visualize, and he knew what every pitcher could do. He took good, quality at-bats. He was a patient hitter, but when he got a pitch to swing at, he cut it loose.”

Reed on McGwire: “He was just so strong. You could make him look like a fool with an off-speed pitch, so that he was out on his front foot, and he’d still hit the ball 450 feet. You just hoped he didn’t come up to the plate with the bases loaded, or a couple of guys on.”

Benes on Sosa: “He could really cover the plate. He could hit a lot of balls the opposite way. Tremendous power, bat speed. He was more of an up hitter. In those years, in the mid-to-late ’90s, he was a really hard out. … When he was dialed in, he was one of the best hitters in the game because he could take the ball the other way. … Mike Piazza was like that. … You had to work on keeping the ball down and make [Sosa] aware you might come inside.”

Reed: “Those guys just had a magical year that we will never see again. We may see one guy — Pete Alonso, he may hit like 2,000 home runs — but I don’t think we’ll see multiple guys hitting 60, 70 home runs. No way. I don’t think so.”