Monday, December 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Falcons receiver White out vs. Bucs

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Falcons receiver Roddy White will miss the first game of his nine-year career Sunday, against the Bucs.

White, who has appeared in 133 straight games, played the first five of this year with a right ankle injury, catching only 14 passes for 129 yards. He hurt his left hamstring Oct. 7 against the Jets and hasn't practiced since.

Atlanta already is without leading receiver Julio Jones due to season-ending foot surgery. Harry Douglas moves into the No. 1 spot. He has 16 catches for 219 yards.

Gronkowski cleared: Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski moved closer to making his season debut when doctors cleared him to play, his agent said. Gronkowski had offseason surgeries on his back and left forearm, and has been limited at practice all season. He's listed as questionable.

Browns: Running back Willis McGahee practiced a day after sitting out with an injury the team didn't disclose. Media outlets said he had a sore knee and was expected to play Sunday.

Cowboys: Defensive end DeMarcus Ware, who has played in 134 straight games, said he hoped to play Sunday despite not practicing this week because of a strained right quad.

Ravens: Starting linebacker Josh Bynes will sit out Sunday after surgery on an infected finger.

Steelers: Starting linebacker Jarvis Jones (concussion) said his headaches have dissipated. He has not passed the mandated league tests.

Vikings: Starting safety Harrison Smith went on injured reserve with turf toe on his left foot. He can return in Week 15.

Taylor case: A jury was selected for the first-degree murder trial of Eric Rivera Jr., accused of pulling the trigger in the 2007 death of Redskins and former University of Miami safety Sean Taylor. Opening statements are to begin Monday.

Former Oilers coach Phillips dies at 90

Oail Andrew "Bum" Phillips Jr., the folksy Texan who coached the Houston Oilers and Saints, died in Goliad, Texas, at 90. "Bum is gone to Heaven," son and Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said on Twitter. "Great Dad, Coach, and Christian."

Mr. Phillips' heyday was with the now-extinct Oilers from 1975-80. Houston was 55-35 with three playoff appearances and two appearances in the AFC Championship Game, where it lost both times to the Steelers.

The Oilers' breakout season was 1978, when Mr. Phillips swapped three draft picks and tight end Jimmie Giles to the Bucs in return for the No. 1 pick in the draft. The Oilers picked Texas running back Earl Campbell, the 1977 Heisman Trophy winner from Tyler, Texas.

After Houston lost a first-round playoff game in 1980, Mr. Phillips was fired. He coached the Saints from 1981-85.

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