Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

Aikman irked with Fox for adding Bayless

Skip Bayless' new debate show, Undisputed, debuted Tuesday morning on Fox Sports 1, but do not expect his Fox colleague Troy Aikman to send a congratulatory fruit basket.

Aikman, the network's lead NFL analyst — he will work the Giants-Cowboys opener on Sunday — has disliked Bayless for years and it was widely known around Fox that the former ESPN host's hiring angered the Hall of Fame quarterback.

Tuesday, Aikman's disgust went public when si.com published comments in which the former Cowboy said, "To say I'm disappointed in the hiring of Skip Bayless would be an enormous understatement."

Bayless famously made an unsubstantiated assertion that Aikman is gay in his 1996 book on the Cowboys, Hell-Bent. Aikman told si.com in 2015, "I'm upset about it because it was made up and there was nothing accurate about anything that was insinuated. And he did it, as he does everything, just for attention."

Bayless co-hosts the show with former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe.

Bears: Former Bucs kicker Connor Barth was signed to replace Robbie Gould. Barth, who played 12 games for Tampa Bay last season, signed with the Saints in May but was released on Saturday.

Bills: Safety Aaron Williams returned to practice for the first time in nearly a month, and acknowledged he needs to play smarter to reduce the risk of future head injuries. Coach Rex Ryan said the starter is "ready to go" for Buffalo's season opener Sunday at Baltimore.

Cowboys: No domestic abuse charges will be filed against rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, after an investigation. A release from the prosecutor's office in Columbus, Ohio, where Elliott starred in college at Ohio State, said in part that it "is declining to approve criminal charges … primarily due to conflicting and inconsistent information across all incidents." Elliott had maintained he did nothing wrong.

Dolphins: They are preparing to play the opener without starting center Mike Pouncey for the second time in three seasons. The former Gator has been rehabbing a hip injury he suffered nearly three weeks ago, though coach Adam Gase insists he's day to day.

Saints: They cut veteran kicker Kai Forbath and signed Wil Lutz, a rookie who spent the preseason with Baltimore. Forbath had won a preseason competition with Connor Barth. New Orleans also released cornerback Cortland Finnegan.

Vikings: Shaun Hill was listed as the first-team quarterback ahead of recently acquired Sam Bradford on an unofficial depth chart. Bradford is still settling in and learning the offense after the Eagles traded him to Minnesota on Saturday. Hill or Bradford will replace Teddy Bridgewater, who will have surgery Thursday to repair a ACL and other structural damage in his left knee, according to ESPN. The non-contact injury caused Bridgewater's knee to dislocate Aug. 30 during a routine practice drill.

Comments
Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

UPDATE, 4:02: It doesn't sound like the Rays and Cardinals will be making a deal today, Derrick Goold writing for the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Cardinals execs "leave the Walt Disney Dolphin resort with good feel for what Tampa Bay would be willin...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the Lightning defenseman.They both were picked in the top-10 of the 2016 NHL Draft, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in three w...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

LAKE BUENA VISTA — LHP Jonny Venters got as far as Triple A in September. Now the former All-Star is positioned to make it all the way back to the majors for the first time since 2012, re-signing with the Rays and headlining Thursday’s announcement o...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Inspiring veteran LHP Jonny Venters and intriguing prospect 1B/OF Joe McCarthy are among 13 players invited to major-league spring training camp with the Rays.Others coming as a result of signing minor-league contracts with invites are: RHP R.J. Alan...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘Inside the NBA’ crew to call holiday game

‘Inside the NBA’ crew to call holiday game

The Inside the NBA studio team will call a Christmas night game in Los Angeles along with its other usual duties, Turner Sports announced Thursday.Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson will be at Staples Center for the Lake...
Updated: 1 hour ago
USF’s Nigel Harris eager for chance with hometown Bucs

USF’s Nigel Harris eager for chance with hometown Bucs

When Nigel Harris chose where to play college football, he wanted to stay home in Tampa at USF. And now, after playing for the Chargers and Giants as an NFL rookie, he's grateful for the chance to again prove himself in Tampa as the newest member of ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

What follows below is a ranking of all 32 NFL teams. To build this list, we consulted five objective measures of team strength: Pro Football Reference’s Simple Rating System, Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average ratings...
Updated: 3 hours ago
NFL Week 15: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

NFL Week 15: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

Week 15 starts and ends with disappointment — a Thursday night meeting of two of the more disappointing teams (Denver at Indianapolis) and a Monday night game that once had held high hopes locally (Atlanta at Tampa Bay). Once.Here's our picks f...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Captain’s Corner: Drop in gulf water temperature means it’s sea trout time

The gulf temperature has dropped significantly since our first real cold front last week. One day the water was in the mid 70s, then after the front, it fell to the low 60s. That caused speckled sea trout to become a reliable target. Redfish have bee...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Former USF star Courtney Williams makes national team pool

Former USF star Courtney Williams makes national team pool

Former USF women's basketball sensation Courtney Williams is one significant step closer to becoming an Olympian.Williams, who just completed her first full season with the WNBA's Connecticut Sun, is among 29 players who have been chosen for the 2017...
Updated: 4 hours ago