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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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Giants lose 4 WRs to injuries vs. Chargers

The Giants have lost four wide receivers to injuries Sunday. First, Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall both went down on one drive.

Shepard was helped to the sideline with an ankle injury, and then a few plays later, Marshall injured his ankle and was carted off the field. Trainers were seen working on Shepard on the sideline during the second quarter, but the Giants ruled both players out for the rest of the game. Marshall suffered a sprain ankle, according to Adam Schefter.

Andre Ellington, RB, Cardinals: One target?! Granted, the Cardinals weren’t much in need of a passing-down back on Sunday, playing a limited number of third downs and leading for most of the game, but Ellington was still expected to play a bigger role than this. A greater number of fantasy owners actually started Ellington (27.8 percent) than Peterson (22.8), but Ellington put up a doughnut and had zero carries to Peterson’s 26.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders: After the Raiders gave the 31-year-old veteran 18 rushing attempts in Week 1, Lynch hasn’t received more than 13 in five games since. He was facing a Chargers defense that had afforded more than 30 PPR fantasy points combined to opposing running backs in each of the past three weeks, but Lynch scored just 6.3 despite the favorable matchup. Expect his ownership percentage to drop from its current 98.1.

But I honestly feel that Reiff’s contributions at left tackle. . .not the least of which is giving the Vikings’ quarterbacks the confidence that they might not get their internal organs rearranged on every single snap. . .has been the biggest part of that.falcons_028

Goodell said he has had no discussions about the topic with President Donald Trump

“I understand what our fans feel about this issue and we feel the same way about the importance of our flag, about the importance of patriotism, and I believe our players feel that way,” Goodell said. “They will state to you and they have stated to everyone publicly, they are not doing this in any way to be disrespectful to the flag, but they also understand how it’s being interpreted. That’s why we’re trying to deal with those underlying issues.”

Let’s start in Oakland with Ryan Jensen of the Ravens. This kid has been playing well lately and continued Sunday. First, the long red hair flowing out of the back of his helmet is awesome. Even better is this block from Sunday.

“Tony’s contributions have played a significant role in helping put our franchise on the path to success and for that, we are all very grateful,” Kendrick said. “He has always represented the team with class and has left a mark on the franchise that will benefit us for years to come.”

Said Hall: “Having his Hall of Fame credentials, vast experience and knowledge of the game as resources to rely upon and learn from has been tremendous. The transition to the new leadership team has been smooth and flawless with his willingness and positivity. I will forever value his hard work and our friendship.”

Added Hazen: “Tony has been of great value to me, personally, and our staff during the past season, and Im very appreciative for all that he has done here and the manner in which he handled the transition. I always had respect for him and his accomplishments prior to working with him every day, and that has only grown in the past year. I wish him and his family nothing but the best in the future.”
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Results, highlights, injuries from Week 6 games

Week 6 in the NFL provides a number of important matchups around the league. Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs are the last undefeated team left, and they face the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been one of the league’s biggest surprise, and the Jags’ league-leading defense takes on the talented offense of the Rams. The search for the first win of the season for the Giants is no easier this week, as the Giants face the Broncos in primetime Sunday night.

“We’re proud to be able to work with our players to highlight these issues to really put focus on the issue and to put focus on how we believe the NFL and the game and our players bring communities together at a time when we are divided.”

Goodell and NFL staff will present a plan Tuesday to “use the platform the NFL enjoys to raise awareness” on many social issues and to make progress.

Peterson, 32, had 27 carries for 81 yards — an average of 3.0 yards per carry — in four games during his first season with the Saints (2-2). His longest run was 11 yards.

Peterson’s addition comes 10 years after the Cardinals passed over him in the 2007 draft to select tackle Levi Brown with the fifth pick. The Minnesota Vikings drafted Peterson at No. 7, and he went on to rush for a franchise-best 11,747 yards.

Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson tweeted a welcome, while Saints safety Rafael Bush and wide receiver Michael Thomas wished Peterson well in Arizona.

Ramirez, who was on the bench to start Game 1, drove in two more runs with a seventh-inning double before Bradley’s homer bounced off Reddick’s glove and into the stands behind the Pesky Pole.steelers_004

That was fine by the Dodgers.

dip there after clinching the NL West in 2013, but for this party, police officers on horses waited at the warning track to keep the Dodgers away.

The others: Mickey Mantle, Andruw Jones, Miguel Cabrera, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.

Red Sox manager John Farrell has been ejected from Game 4 of the ALDS after leaving the dugout to argue a called third strike on Dustin Pedroia.
Farrell was ejected in the second inning of Monday’s game for defending second baseman Dustin Pedroia during an argument of a called third strike. After the game, Farrell said he’s “confident” that he’s the right man to continue doing the job. But he also wasn’t willing to engage in a discussion about his future.

Pittsburgh picks up three first downs on its first drive. But, Kansas City sacks Ben Roethlisberger for a 7-yard loss on a third-down play, pushing the Steelers out of field goal range and forcing a punt. The Chiefs will start their first drive at their own 16.

Here we go. Steelers receive the game’s opening kickoff and they’ll start their drive at the 25-yard line following a touchback.

The Steelers take two knees and run out the clock as they hold on for the victory in Kansas City.

Smith’s fourth down pass falls incomplete and it appears as if Kansas City’s comeback bid is going to come up short.

Pittsburgh sacks Alex Smith on third down and Kansas City will face a crucial fourth-and-18 near midfield with 58 seconds to play.
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The on-field fate of the Panthers has to be put aside now.

Now there’s another connection between Kuechly and Watt — Watt’s former Wisconsin teammate Chris Borland. As a 49ers rookie in 2014, Borland looked like he would succeed Patrick Willis in San Francisco as a premier inside linebacker and was often mentioned in the same breath as Kuechly.

Borland then famously walked away from the game after only one NFL season, before the accolades, before the millions. Kuechly, like Watt, has been well-compensated, and well-honored. Given how repeated concussions have felled many great players in a most brutal sport, Kuechly has given — and received — enough to ease the difficulty of walking away.

As much as that hurts for Kuechly, the difficult decision may end up being the only decision.

With their much-talked about trip to the White House out of the way, the Pittsburgh Penguins will turn their focus back to hockey Wednesday night when they visit the Washington Capitals.

The Stanley Cup winners visited President Donald Trump on Tuesday, but beyond the White House, the Penguins are not very welcome in Washington. The last time they came to town, in May, they ended Washington’s season in the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second straight year, both coming after the Capitals had won the Presidents’ Trophy.

Jones said he understands the social concerns surrounding the issue, adding that he has “always had our players’ backs on issues I’ve been criticized for.” But he said he won’t compromise when it comes to the anthem
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Mike Pence bailing on Colts-49ers looked like nothing more than a PR stunt

The vice president of the United States says he attended Sunday’s game between the Colts and 49ers to help honor Peyton Manning.

Mike Pence sure had a funny way of showing it.

No matter the outcome, the retirement of Manning’s No. 18 jersey coming on the heels of Saturday’s statue unveiling outside Lucas Oil Stadium was going to be something this game would always be remembered for more than the final score. Not anymore.

The Steelers should inspire confidence that they’re back on track after that domination of the Ravens last week, except that the loss to the Bears sticks out like a sore thumb. The Jaguars ought to be furious that they let the Jets beat them; it takes a lot of the air out of the start the defense and Leonard Fournette generated. Don’t expect the Steelers to breeze through this.

The Jay Cutler honeymoon ended faster than anyone expected, as did the notion that knowing Adam Gase’s system after that one year in Chicago would make this a seamless fit. The quarterback situation is far more problematic on the other sideline, though, with Marcus Mariota’s hamstring and that his backup is … Matt Cassel. Yes, you’re spared the obvious and deserved quarterback-depth lecture.x (17)