Jameis Winston denies groping Uber driver; NFL reportedly investigating

Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated by the NFL after an Uber driver accused him of groping her in 2016, BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

A news organization has published a story about me regarding an alleged incident involving a female Uber driver from approximately two years ago. The story falsely accuses me of making inappropriate contact with this driver. I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her. The accusation is false, and given the nature of the allegation and increased awareness and consideration of these types of matters, I am addressing this false report immediately. At the time of the alleged incident, I denied the allegations to Uber, yet they still decided to suspend my account.

Case Keenum completed 27 of 38 passes for 280 yards and no turnovers against the team that benched him last season for No. 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff. He also guided the Vikings (8-2) to their sixth straight victory in a matchup of division leaders.

Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth and Heather Cox (field reporter) will call the Seahawks-Cardinals game for NBC on Thursday night in Arizona. At 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC, NFL Network and Amazon Prime Video, “Football Night in Arizona” airs from inside University of Phoenix Stadium with host Liam McHugh and analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison providing the final say leading up to kickoff between the Seahawks and Cardinals.
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Al Michaels says Donald Trump’s comments on the NFL made things worse

NBC broadcaster Al Michaels said there’s a good chance protests in the NFL have led to the recent ratings drop, but President Donald Trump’s comments about the league made matters worse.

In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Michaels said Trump’s statement regarding NFL players who kneel during the national anthem should be “fired” made an already delicate situation more volatile.

“Once the president made those remarks in Alabama, at that particular point it was like throwing a match into a gas tank,” Michaels told the Inquirer. “During the off-season, both sides just have to sit down and figure out a way to make this a situation where it doesn’t overwhelm the conversation about the NFL.”

He has since apologized for his comments.

Thursday night’s Seahawks-Cardinals game, set to kick off at 8:25 p.m. ET and air on NBC and NFL Network, also will be available via live stream through Amazon Prime Video. And while Seattle has its chance to get back on track, Arizona (4-4) has a chance to steal second place in the division and keep their playoff chances alive.

That’s when Waiters attempted to hold off Boston on his own. The Heat guard hit a critical 3-pointer — one that bounced off the top of the backboard before falling through — to put Miami back up by four. He followed that with a step-back 3 in the corner — no backboard necessary this time — to extend the lead to 97-90.
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Carson Wentz, Marshon Lattimore among biggest risers in ‘Madden NFL 18’ ratings

Carson Wentz was the frontrunner for NFL MVP entering Week 11 of the 2017 season, and the Eagles quarterback’s impressive play this year has been mirrored in “Madden NFL 18.”

Two other quarterbacks also have tumbled this season. The Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger (-5 to 86 Overall) and the Panthers’ Cam Newton (-5 to 83 Overall) have struggled at times.

Only a few NFL players have seen their “Madden” ratings plummet dramatically this season. Among those are Ravens safety Eric Weddle (-9 to 84 Overall), Patriots safety Devin McCourty (-9 to 83 Overall) and Raiders linebacker NaVorro Bowman (-10 to 78 Overall).

Thursday, the Giants rallied around their embattled coach, with several calling the players who made those anonymously sourced remarks “cowards,” and one saying they’ll eventually find out who talked.

“But point blank, whoever said that is a coward.”

Linebacker Jonathan Casillas said it’s like having a “rat in the locker room.”

“It sucks that something like that was said,” Casillas told SNY.tv. “Everything is supposed to be in-house, and for something like that to be said is бн I don’t know, it’s like a rat in the locker room. I feel like we’ve got a close-knit group, and I don’t know how something like that could’ve been said. It’s cowardly to do something like that.”

“I have a responsibility to do what’s best for our football team. Although this wasn’t an easy decision, we needed to make this change. We have to play a more efficient brand of football offensively as we begin the final stretch of our season. Mike is an outstanding coach and a great person. He had a lot of opportunities this offseason, and he chose us. I have the utmost respect for Mike and wish him all the best in the future.”broncos_090-500x500

This team is too talented and well-coached to not bounce back from a tough loss a few weeks back against Syracuse.

The Tigers have a huge game coming up this weekend against an NC State team that lost a physical game against Notre Dame over the weekend. Collapses by FSU and Louisville don’t help Clemson’s schedule argument, but Boston College is better than people thought, and at Virginia Tech, at NC State, South Carolina and the ACC title game would all be strong wins. If this team goes 12-1, I think it should be in.

If the Dodgers win: Yasiel Puig will become a prophet. After the crushing loss in Game 5, the flashy right fielder guaranteed that the Dodgers will push an already epic World Series to a winner-take-all Game 7 on Wednesday night.

Last Friday, as the Golden Knights won their season-opener in Dallas, 2–1, a viewing party raised money to support Nick Robone, an assistant coach for UNLV’s club ice hockey team who was shot but survived. “I knew [Las Vegas] was a small town and everyone is there for everyone,” Engelland says, “but it’s definitely showing a whole new side, how much everyone wants to help.”

It all crested Tuesday night when the Golden Knights, unbeaten on the road in their first two games against Dallas and Arizona, made their home debut at T-Mobile Arena. Prior to the start, each player was escorted onto the ice by a local first responder. Survivors of the shooting performed the ceremonial puck drop. A 58-second moment of silence was held, during which the names of the 58 slain were projected onto the ice in gold lettering. The national anthem was led by members of the Route 91 festival. Then Engelland took the microphone.
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Dolphins trade RB Jay Ajayi to Eagles for fourth-round pick

The Miami Dolphins have traded running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth-round draft pick, it was announced Tuesday.

The NFL’s trade deadline was 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

“I think the NCAA has a great opportunity,” Robinson said. “We should be doing a better job of presenting these kids with the opportunity to come to college.

“The NCAA should be that organization that says, ‘We’re your lifelong friend,'” Robinson said. “‘You come here and we will change your view of the world.’ Both parties are better if they come to college, even if it’s just for a year or two.”

And yet, given all of those details, Lindor went into his home run trot, and he was right to: The ball would have been gone if it hadn’t been for Judge. This is how our brain is learning to process batted balls in 2017: Little shortstop hits a great pitch not that far; it’s probably a home run! Thank goodness for fly outs to subvert those expectations.

Judging from the 217 camera shots (so it seemed) in Game 4 of the World Series showing Sen. Ted Cruz in the second row behind home plate, he likes nachos, and Coors Light in the silver bottle.

Good call by Joe Buck on the George Springer homer that broke up the Alex Wood no-hitter and the Game 4 shutout with two out in the bottom of the sixth: “Alex Wood gives up one hit. It was loud, and it went far.”

In that circumstance—season on the line, any shot at the national title on the line—J.T. Barrett’s fourth quarter has to be one of the most clutch quarters any college quarterback has ever played: 13 of 13, 170 yards, three touchdowns, coming back from 11 down with five minutes left. Completing 85 percent for the game in that environment … that’s a wow.canadiens_1419_739e514744fb7c70-180x180

His home runs have sparked the Astros’ offense in Games 3 and 5.

Mick and Linda DeKeyser hail from the area too. He spent four decades employed by Ford; Linda works at an engineering company that designs automobile safety systems. When he was a kid, Mick saw games at Detroit Olympia, predecessor to the Joe, “but that only means I’m old.” Together they would chaperone Danny and his youth hockey teammates to Red Wings games in Detroit, or even on the road if both squads happened to be in the city.

“I mainly tried to focus on the three teams that—if they scored—changed the entire equation,” Cantor said in an email. “We had decided in pre-production that if two games had implications, we would show those.

His gesture ridiculing Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish also gave offense, and for that he will be punished. But not nearly as badly as his father was.

Read Peter King’s MMQB for a full recap of Week 8 … Player and ?teams that protested the National Anthem … The Texans would be much better if Bill O’Brien wasn’t their coach … The kicker the Jets cut in training camp aggressively reminded Gang Green of their mistake … Bills fans continue to have more fun than any other fanbase … JuJu Smith-Schuster’s locked-bike celebration cracked me up … Batman (or a kid dressed up like him) stormed the field during Jets-Falcons … Travis Benjamin had one of the worst punt returns in NFL history … Maybe DeAndre Hopkins should skip practice more often … The Steelers had another amazing touchdown celebration.

Actor Anthony Rapp claims that Kevin Spacey made a sexual advance toward him when Rapp was just 14, to which Spacey responded with an apology and declaration that he now chooses to “live life as a gay man.” That apology did not go over well and was promptly ripped apart by everyone.canadiens_007_270f928ec377d556-180x180

NFL players send sharply worded meeting invite to Bob McNair, Roger Goodell, Colin Kaepernick

A group of 11 NFL players, including Malcolm Jenkins and Anquan Boldin, has invited Texans owner Bob McNair, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a meeting in Philadelphia Monday, ESPN.com reports.

There’s no word yet on whether the invitations will be accepted.

Update: Monday’s meeting has been called off, but the sides are looking to set one for a later date, ESPN’s Jim Trotter reported Sunday.

The sharply worded letter continued, “Regardless of our views, our disappointment and our frustration, we believe dialogue remains the only path forward, though our patience is being continually disrespected and is wearing thin.”

“My father got released yesterday. He is feeling so much better,” Alvin Attles III said in a text message to The Associated Press. “He says thank you for the well wishes. You will see him at the next home game.”

While details of Attles’ condition weren’t made public, his son said it wasn’t anything serious, an illness or life-threatening, just that “he’s dealing with being 80, it’s just wear and tear of being 80.”

“Liberty National views this new partnership with Roush Fenway Racing as the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Liberty National President, Steve DiChiaro. “We look forward to cheering on Trevor Bayne as he drives the Liberty National car to Victory Lane in 2017.” Liberty National joins anchor partner AdvoCare in supporting Trevor Bayne and the #6 Roush Fenway Cup team.blues-014

Zach Miller and the Bears got screwed by the NFL’s confusing catch rule

Zach Miller’s tragic exit could’ve been heroic, but instead it will be remembered with frustration for the Chicago Bears, who dropped to 3-5 with a 20-12 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 8.

The Bears tight end dislocated his knee making what was originally ruled a touchdown by officials. But a replay review overturned the play and called it incomplete.

“The key is did he maintain control of the ball when he hit the ground?” Blandino said in a video on FoxSports.com. “The process of the catch lasts until he maintains control all the way to the ground. It looked like to us that he maintained control, he rolled over, and then as a result of the injury, he let the ball go.”

Former major league outfielder Gabe Kapler was hired Monday, completing a search that lasted one month.

“I’m equal parts honored, humbled and excited by the opportunity with the Phillies, an elite franchise in a city rich in history, tradition, sports excellence and with amazingly passionate fans,” Kapler said in a statement. “I believe there is no better place to build a winning environment, and I take that task very seriously.”

Kapler, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ director of player development, was one of three finalists for the position. The two others were former Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell and Dusty Wathan, the manager of Philadelphia’s Triple-A affiliate, Lehigh Valley.

Kapler batted .268 with 82 homers and 386 RBIs over 12 seasons with six teams between 1998-2010. He had no previous ties to the Phillies.

“Gabe has a track record of leadership, winning, progressive thinking and working with young players, and we fully believe that he is the right person to guide this organization into the future,” general manager Matt Klentak said.
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Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster sends reminder to doubters on Twitter

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has taken full advantage of his opportunities this season. The 20-year-old is coming off the best game of his young career, catching seven passes for 193 yards and a touchdown in a 20-15 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday night.

His most explosive play came on a deep pass from Ben Roethlisberger late in the third quarter, with Smith-Schuster outrunning defenders for a 97-yard score.

Following the game, he made it known on Twitter that he does have a little more speed than what he gets credit for — and sent a shoutout to teammate Antonio Brown in the process.

Ricky Rubio led the way in that two-game stretch, averaging 20.5 points on 50 percent shooting from the field. He also is making it easier for teammates to find shots and get into a rhythm with his passing abilities.

The chance of rain is almost 100 percent during three games, the Falcons at Jets, 49ers at Eagles, and Cowboys at Redskins. Washington, D.C., is expected to have 20 mph winds, and strong winds are likely in Philadelphia and East Rutherford, N.J. Rain and wind is also expected to be a factor for the Jets at Patriots game in Foxborough, Mass., and the Raiders-Bills game in Buffalo.

According to the National Weather Service as of Saturday at 1 p.m., “A powerful coastal storm with strong winds and heavy rain will impact the East Coast beginning later this weekend, potentially resulting in tree damage, power outages and flooding. A significant wind event is possible Sunday or Monday.”

Here is the mid-game forecast for all of the above games. Obvious fantasy football alert: If you’re planning to start a marginal quarterback or wide receiver when rain and strong winds are forecast, be prepared for disappointment. And if you’re traveling to or from these games in bad conditions, take care.chargers_128

The Cowboys needed a rebound game in their NFC Championship rematch against the Packers on Sunday.

Dallas took a 21-12 lead into the half, but the Packers surged back in the second half, dropping the Cowboys to 2-3.

It was the type of classic Packers-Cowboys games that have become a recent tradition between these two teams. There were four fourth quarter lead changes, not to mention the thrilling last-minute win.

Dak Prescott got things moving in the fourth quarter, leading a drive that took almost nine minutes off the clock. It looked like Green Bay stuffed Elliott on a fourth-and-1 attempt, but that was overturned on review. The drive continued, and Prescott got into the end zone on an 11-yard run to take a 31-28 lead with just over a minute remaining.

The Texans are hoping to get Kevin Johnson back after this week’s bye. The 2015 first-round pick sprained his MCL in Week 3, but coach Bill O’Brien said the cornerback is “close” to returning to practice. The Texans have had success with veterans Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson in Johnson’s absence, but his return could allow Houston to move Jackson around in the secondary. — Sarah Barshop

The news of Andrew Luck being shut down from practice for at least the rest of week due to soreness in his right shoulder was a big surprise, but the quarterback wasn’t going to play against Jacksonville anyway. The Colts will have to change their running back rotation now that Robert Turbin is out with an elbow injury. Turbin, who was injured in Monday’s loss at Tennessee, has been the team’s primary third-down running back. The Colts will use starter Frank Gore and rookie Marlon Mack on third down, depending on the situation. — Mike Wells
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