Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

Fins drought frustrates Campbell

MIAMI — Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell leaned against a lectern and squeezed hard, as if trying to reduce the wood to rubble while he discussed another mess of a season.

The Dolphins were eliminated from the playoff race with Monday's 31-24 loss to the Giants. That ensured a franchise-record seventh consecutive season without a postseason berth, or even a winning record, for Miami.

"I've been here six years," Campbell said Tuesday, "and nothing has gone the way we wanted it to be. Every year we come in with new hope, but we're going to have another season where we (extend) the playoff drought. I make sure it stings and hurts, because the minute you go numb to that, you're just a loser."

The Dolphins still harbored faint playoff hopes before squandering a second-half lead — on a night when the Dolphins celebrated many of their legends during a ceremony marking the franchise's 50th season, no less.

Now the Dolphins prepare for a matchup of also-rans Sunday at San Diego.

"I hate to be in this situation again," center Mike Pouncey said. "But it seems like it's the same thing every year. We'll see what kind of character we've got on this team. We'll see what guys really like football, and find the ones that don't, and we'll get them out of here."

Campbell joined the Dolphins as an assistant coach in 2010 and was promoted in October to replace coach Joe Philbin. He declined to speculate about his chances of keeping the job after going 4-5.

The result clinched the sixth straight AFC East championship for the Patriots, and their 13th under coach Bill Belichick.

Also, the Giants' win set in motion changes for Week 16 under flex scheduling. New York's game against Minnesota on Dec. 27 will move into prime time instead of Steelers-Ravens, which moves to 1 p.m. The Colts-Dolphins game that day will move from CBS, where AFC games normally air, to Fox.

peyton to practice: Peyton Manning is set to return to Broncos practice today for the first time in a month, but he'll watch again Sunday as Brock Osweiler makes his fifth consecutive start at Pittsburgh. Manning had three throwing sessions indoors and away from his teammates last week after he had his hard cast, then a walking boot removed from his left foot the previous week. The 18-year veteran has been out for a month with a torn plantar fascia, sore ribs and an aching throwing shoulder.

St. Louis efforts: Council members met to consider the city's share of funding for a new stadium — a $150 million commitment key to the effort to keep the NFL. The funding would help pay for a $1 billion stadium to retain the Rams, or attract a new team if owner Stan Kroenke moves them to Los Angeles. The NFL promised to add $100 million toward construction of a riverfront stadium, the Washington Post reported — however, the city would rebate taxes collected on ticket sales to the team.

Bears: Rookie receiver Kevin White won't play this season. The No. 7 pick in the draft never saw the field after surgery on a stress fracture in his left shin.

Patriots: Running back LeGarrette Blount, a former Buc, is out for the season with a hip injury.

Ravens: Free agent quarterback Ryan Mallett signed.

Seahawks: They released wide receiver B.J. Daniels, a former quarterback standout at USF, and former Central High running back DuJuan Harris.

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