Fournette is a can’t-miss prospect that gives this offense another weapon

Oakland Raiders rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden will miss the rest of the 2017 season after being placed on injured reserve Wednesday. Hayden suffered a groin injury during last Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans, and will go on the mend until 2017 as a result.

Hayden has an extensive medical history, including a life-threatening injury during his senior season at Houston that put his heart in peril. Hayden rebounded, and was considered one of the top prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft. More injuries kept him out of offseason workouts, however, and he was unable to make as big an impact during his eight appearances this season as he and many Raiders fans had hoped.

Pass rusher may be a bigger need, by taking a guy like Taco Charlton or Derek Barnett here is too much of a reach. You can argue offensive tackle is a big need here, but none of this year鈥檚 tackle prospects are worth a top-10 pick.

Authentic Kids Ben Ijalana Jersey Fournette is a can’t-miss prospect that gives this offense another weapon, something it needs a lot of when the offensive line looks like it will be a weakness this year, and Andy Dalton, while great, isn’t elite. When your quarterback isn’t elite, you need a great supporting cast around him, and that includes a great running back.

Authentic Kids Joe Schobert Jersey Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard are just role players. Cincinnati needs a true game-changer at this position, and Fournette fits the bill.

Analysis: This is what you have to weigh with this choice. Do players like defensive end Derek Barnett or wide receiver Corey Davis and Mike Williams make as big of an impact on the team as Fournette? The easy answer is no. The Bengals should be able to find a second wide receiver to pair with A.J. Green some time later in the draft, and there could be a pass rusher like Derek Rivers of Youngstown State in the second round. There won鈥檛 be a runner of Fournette鈥檚 caliber at any other point in the draft, and to get him with the ninth pick is a smart choice.

A sprained MCL could keep Mike Iupati from playing in Week 12.

The San Francisco 49ers could be without left guard Mike Iupati when the team faces the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.

Losing Iupati is a major blow to a team coming off back-to-back losses. They have a relatively easy two-game streak against the St. Louis Rams and Washington Redskins before a vital meeting with the Seattle Seahawks. The organization will hope Iupati is at full strength for the Week 14 game.

Browner suffered the injury in a Week 10 game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Seahawks announced he would be inactive against the Minnesota Vikings, but didn’t have any further injury updates until he underwent an MRI.

The injury will hurt a secondary entering a four-game stretch featuring the Saints, 49ers, Giants and Cardinals. Each team has big play potential using several wide receivers capable of catching deep passes. Few teams are better prepared to handle an injury at cornerback than Seattle. The Seahawks will transition to Walter Thurmond, who has played very well in a rotational role after starting two games early this season.

The Texans’ fall-off from fourth in Passing Defense DVOA in 2017 to 25th in 2017 has been the single biggest factor in their demise, even moreso than Schaub getting the pick six named after him. The fourth key insight that those red numbers should get across. Johnathan Joseph has struggled somewhat from a Relative Coverage standpoint, but his Corner Rating (another composite that factors in quarterback rating allowed, Yards Per Attempt allowed and PFF’s ‘eyeball rating’ of coverage) puts him in a better light. He’s given up a ton of yardage, but since he’s so frequently asked to cover the opponent’s No. 1 wideout, he deserves to get graded on a curve. Fellow corner Kareem Jackson has also held up well, continuing a strong career that got off to such a shaky start in 2010.
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This feels right at an event hosted by Rob Gronkowski.

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The Chargers could really use this win to propel them toward a wild card spot. The problem is the defense can’t stop anybody, let alone Manning and his plethora of weapons. It is going to be hard for San Diego to keep Denver under 40 points in this game, putting a ton of pressure on Rivers. Granted, the Broncos secondary might be the worst in football and the front seven is nothing special either, but 40 points is asking a ton.
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On top of the Gronk-tinis, the impressive open bar offers several types of wine, beer, and mixed drinks. Aren’t we supposed to do football drills after this? Not important. Keep drinking. I see women polish off four or five Gronk-tinis. There is also a room with a huge spread of catered food, all of it with reasonable calorie counts (for the ladies), but most of the women appear to be sticking to the alcohol. This feels right at an event hosted by Rob Gronkowski.

We have practiced now. We are prepared. He warns us that a dance-off with Gronk and his brother Gordy could happen. He tells (warns?) us to work on our dance skills in case we get into a “Gronk sandwich.” The women can barely contain their excitement at the thought of this. “If Gronk had the ball, do you think you could tackle him? If you had the ball, would you want Gronk to tackle you?” Help me.

During training camp when Terrelle Pryor opted to don the number 2, it immediately brought up some bad memories of the last player to wear that number for the Raiders – JaMarcus Russell. Now his name is uttered again for more than just his number.

The initial thought when Pryor chose to go with his former college number was that if anyone could take the stink off that number, it was Pryor. He has all the work ethic Russell never had and as far as playing style, the two couldn’t be more different.

The Cowboys receiver has been fighting through a back injury for most of the season.

Authentic Art Shell Jersey Just how prepared is your team’s interim head coaching candidate? Robert Wheel takes a look at the backups.

Want proof the NFL’s prime time scheduling is out of wack? This is the second Buccaneers game in prime time in three weeks. The Vikings have been in prime time for three games, or they will be after Thursday this week.

Maybe we shouldn’t complain. These two teams have the most interesting narrative of any franchise in the NFL right now, and that includes one team with the owner facing Federal fraud indictment (the Browns) and another with an owner who lost a civil suit for racketeering (the Vikings). They ought to just eschew the actual football here. Replace it with Greg Schiano and Jeff Ireland bare-knuckle boxing match while Richie Incognito screams epithets at them and threatens to defecate in various orifices. Because Florida.

We’re also likely to hear Jon Gruden’s take on hazing and locker room hijinks, which could be funny, but will probably wind up being weirdly salient most.

Authentic Brandon Bolden Jersey Bryant did not practice on Wednesday and was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday leading up to Sunday’s game, and reportedly took an epidural injection in his back in order to get onto the practice field. The fourth-year receiver had a successful practice on Friday and looked good going through drills. He was listed as probable for the game against the Saints.

The Cowboys will need Bryant, with Miles Austin doubtful with a hamstring injury after not practicing at all during the week. Austin has played sporadically this season and has been severely limited in his effectiveness, with rookie Terrence Williams proving to be a viable option opposite Bryant in Austin’s absence.

Bryant has 51 catches for 705 yards and eight touchdowns on the season, but has just nine catches total the past two weeks combined.

Rob Manfred: WBC success will make it easier to attract more players

LOS ANGELES — Even before the United States took the field to face Puerto Rico for the World Baseball Classic championship on Wednesday night, Rob Manfred was confident that this sometimes troubled tournament had been a smashing success.

And after what Manfred calls the watershed achievement of the 2017 edition, the Major League Baseball commissioner sees a promising future for the WBC.

Kids Heath Miller Jersey As far as the players are concerned, there’s no hard and fast deadline. They’ll be ready to play, Fehr said. There may well be some from the NHL in terms of scheduling and planning and there may be some from the IOC and the IIHF in terms of alerting the federations and if so, they’ll make that plain. But from our standpoint, our job is to keep working at it, and trying, and thinking, and urging, and pleading, and cajoling, and whatever else you do, until we’re successful.

Because obviously, the players want to go.”

Kids Boyd Gordon Jersey Fasel told the Associated Press on Thursday that he he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in South Korea next year.

The bottom line, Fehr said, is the next two Olympics are a great opportunity for hockey.

We do want to grow the game internationally, and I think the NHL shares that view, Fehr said. I think they believe as we do that we have some advantages and we have an opportunity; and when you’re doing that, you have to take advantage of opportunities when they come your way.

Having two Olympic Games in Asia within a span of five years is not your ordinary kettle of fish. I don’t know if it’s unique, but I can’t think of anything else which is close to it in terms of the potential exposure it would give.”

The Raiders get an upgrade at tight end after the first round now that Jared Cook is on the roster.

Philadelphia wanted to make a big move at wideout to help Carson Wentz in Year 2, and it got a short-term deal to try out Jeffery as its clear-cut new No. 1. Chicago now needs to find some real help for its new starting QB, Mike Glennon.

First, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network confirmed the Raiders were considering reaching out to Lynch, though they hadn’t done so just yet. A source also told Mike Garafolo that although Lynch hadn’t made a decision either way, he continued to think about coming out of retirement.

Florida State has been trending for Moore of late, but I don’t believe he is all that close to making a decision. If LSU is offense looks competent, the Tigers could become a contender. He already has good relationships at Ohio State and Alabama, as well, despite not visiting. And while he and his twin brother Jordan have both said they are open to doing their own thing separately, playing with Jordan at A&M certainly has some appeal. Then, there is the matter of his future position — if he suddenly decides he is committed just to receiver or corner, that could shake things up.

Still, I like the chances of at least three or four of Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Georgia, and Tennessee being in his final five.

The Raiders get an upgrade at tight end after the first round now that Jared Cook is on the roster. That puts Clive Walford, who disappointed last season, on the outside looking in.

But the real question: Is the Newton-Olsen-Benjamin triumvirate enough to overcome Oakland is Carr-Cooper-Crabtree connection? Both teams feature similarly competent lead runners, putting the onus of this matchup directly onto the receiving corps. While Newton is ability to run the ball makes him the biggest scoring threat of this showdown, the talent and big play ability of Crabtree and Cooper push the Raiders on to the quarterfinals.18

U.S. ousts Dominican Republic, will face Japan in WBC semifinals

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The United States is going to the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic for the second time, thanks to another impressive home run by Giancarlo Stanton at Petco Park and a spectacular catch at the fence by hometown favorite Adam Jones.

Stanton hit a go-ahead, two-run shot into the third-level balcony of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building in the left-field corner in the fourth inning, and Jones robbed Baltimore Orioles teammate Manny Machado of a home run in the seventh to help the Americans beat the Dominican Republic 6-3 on Saturday night, eliminating the defending champions.

After beating Venezuela 13-2 Saturday for its sixth straight win in the World Baseball Classic, Puerto Rico will play the Netherlands on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
Team USA will face Japan on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium for a spot in the championship game.

A number of big-name players declined to play for the United States. Manager Jim Leyland said he appreciates those who did sign up.

Former 49ers teammate Harris Barton issued a statement that read: “Dwight Clark is one of those guys that lights up a room — always smiling and you feel great,” f “When I heard the news, I, like others in the 49ers family, was devastated. DC changed the course of history with The Catch. Don’t be surprised if he changes the course of this disease as well.”

Also on Sunday, Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly took to Instagram in support of Clark after his announcement.

Game Chris Jones Jersey Dwight Clark is best remembered for “The Catch,” a Joe Montana-to-Clark game-winning touchdown connection with 51 seconds remaining in the 49ers’ 28-27 NFC Championship Game victory over the Dallas Cowboys that sent the 49ers to their first Super Bowl in the 1981 season. It kick-started a dynasty for the franchise and was honored as the No. 1 play ever during the 49ers’ final regular-season home games at iconic Candlestick Park in 2013.

Jets vs. Bengals 2016 odds and lines: Cincinnati favored at home against New York

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Authentic Mike Bibby Jersey The Bengals (5-2) will host the Jets (4-3) on in Week 8 in Cincinnati. The Bengals are coming off a win against the Detroit Lions, while the Jets upset the Patriots in Week 7. With Cincinnati at home, the Bengals are considered 7.5-point home favorite against the visiting Jets, according to OddsShark.

Kingsley met Rodriguez at the precipice before obliterating his dunk attempt, returning the attempted poster back to sender.

Desi Rodriguez must have hit his head before attacking Moses Kingsley at the rim. It’s an area he’s owned much of his senior year. For crying out loud, he had a game with seven blocks this season against Fort Wayne and has recorded four or more blocks now 11 times this season.

Kingsley is averaging 2.6 blocks per game, much of which come from obnoxious guards attacking the paint without realizing a bonafide shot blocker is lurking beneath the traffic.

Anyway, Portland’s social media team got #MadOnline and LA got a little talking to from the league office about trolling because no one is allowed to have fun. But I want to plant a flag in the ground: I am 100 percent pro-trolling and anti-teams getting salty about being trolled. More of this, please.

Two things to read before games get underway
Jordon Wohl for Brotherly Game on the improvement of Philadelphia’s role players, particularly its wingers, and how its starting XI appears to be taking shape quickly in impressive fashion.

Harrison Hamm for Dynamo Theory on Houston’s front three being a ton of fun.

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NFL free agency rumors 2017: Every important update in one place

It’s that time of year again, when NFL players are hitting free agency and being linked to various teams. As fans, you want to know if the big name you’ve got your eye on who could really turn your team around this season has a shot of signing with your favorite team, and we’re here to help.

Right now, NFL teams are making moves to free up cap space and prepare for the moves they may make in free agency. Free agency officially begins at 4 p.m. ET on March 9, with the legal tampering period during which teams can discuss terms with free agents, but not officially sign them, kicking off on March 7.

The Orange are in a similar position to the one they found themselves exactly one year ago, but there are some crucial differences between this team’s profile and the 2016 version. Once again, Syracuse is basing its case on an enviable collection of Top-50 wins, six in 14 tries. While three of those victories came against Top-20 ACC opponents, all of them occurred at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse’s road/neutral record stands at a woeful 2-11 after Thursday’s ACC Tournament loss to Miami.

Just like last season, Syracuse struggled through December, falling to Boston College, Connecticut, Georgetown, and St. John’s. Unlike 2016, however, Jim Boeheim wasn’t suspended during the swoon. That factor and the Orange’s lack of a non-conference win over a team likely in the field dampen Syracuse’s hopes. Remember that last season’s squad defeated both UConn and Texas A&M to win the Battle 4 Atlantis. This season’s best non-conference win came over Monmouth, a team likely headed to the NIT.

While an RPI of 84th would make Syracuse the lowest-ranked team in that metric ever selected as an at-large (destroying its own record of 70th from last season), the Orange will be in if quality wins matter as much the Committee seems to have indicated in February’s selection preview.18