Saturday, January 20, 2018

Players want Goodell off bounty case

NEW ORLEANS — All four players punished in the Saints bounty scandal want commissioner Roger Goodell removed because they do not believe he can be impartial, the Associated Press and NFL Network reported Friday.

And the AP reported that one of the four players, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, expects to face the Bucs on Oct. 21 while his appeal is pending.

The league said only Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove appealed Goodell's second ban.

In September, an appeals panel vacated Goodell's initial bans. On Tuesday he upheld his seasonlong one of Vilma (though he can be paid for time spent on the physically unable to perform list) and four-gamer of Smith, reduced Hargrove's from eight to seven and Fujita's from three to one.

Vilma, who had offseason surgery on his left knee, can come off the PUP list next week. "Excited to get Vilma back out there on the field," Saints linebacker Scott Shanle said in a text message.

None of the players were available for comment.

Comment irks 49ers coach

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh accused Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride of trying to influence officials prior to Sunday's game between the teams.

Gilbride was asked Thursday what makes the 49ers front line hard to block. He first praised its play, then talked about tackle Justin Smith.

"He does a good a job of grabbing a hold of offensive linemen," Gilbride said. "He never gets called for it, so he gets away with murder,"

Harbaugh issued a statement via the team in response.

"Kevin Gilbride's outrageous, irrational statement regarding Justin Smith's play is, first, an absurd analogy," it read. "Second, it is an incendiary comment targeting one of the truly exemplary players in this league."

Smith wasn't bothered: "Hey, better than getting caught with it."

Giants: Receiver Hakeem Nicks, who has missed three games with foot and knee injuries, practiced for the second straight day. Coach Tom Coughlin said his status will be determined today.

Jets: Corner Darrelle Revis, who tore his left ACL on Sept. 23, went on season-ending injured reserve. The team held off because of a "0.0002 chance" he could play in the Super Bowl. … Tight end Dustin Keller and receiver Stephen Hill, out four and two games, respectively, with hamstring injuries, expect to play Sunday.

Lions: Police in Dearborn, Mich., closed an investigation into a traffic incident involving defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. It said the accident, in which Suh sideswiped a car, was minor and fault could not be determined. The other driver, Steve Vines, said Suh later tried to intimidate him.

Redskins: Quarterback Robert Griffin III, who sustained a concussion Sunday, fully participated in practice. He's expected to start Sunday.

Vikings: Reserve defensive end and special teams standout Everson Griffen will play Sunday, three days after his mother's death. He said it is what she would have wanted.

Fines: The league confirmed Jets guard Matt Slauson must pay $10,000 for Monday's block that caused Texans linebacker Brian Cushing's season-ending torn right ACL.


Avalanche climbs into playoff spot with ninth straight win

DENVER — The Avalanche has gone from pushover to powerhouse in less than a season, and its recent streak is evoking memories of past glory. Nathan MacKinnon, Erik Johnson and Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist each, Jonathan Bernier made 27 save...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Andrei Vasilevskiy: ‘I have to be better’

Andrei Vasilevskiy: ‘I have to be better’

The rest of the Lightning players had already left the ice Friday afternoon, heading into the dressing room for a quick change before the team's charter flight to Minnesota.But goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, 23, stayed on late, facing about 15 minutes mo...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Sophomore Tulio Da Silva leaves USF basketball team

Sophomore Tulio Da Silva leaves USF basketball team

USF redshirt sophomore F Tulio Da Silva, one of three remaining Bulls scholarship players signed by former coach Orlando Antigua, has left the program in what was described as a mutual decision."I met with Tulio and his family this week to discuss hi...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Why free agency hasn’t turned out fun (yet) for ex-Rays pitcher Alex Cobb

Why free agency hasn’t turned out fun (yet) for ex-Rays pitcher Alex Cobb

RHP Alex Cobb never expected to be going into late January without knowing where he was going for spring training.The longtime Ray's first foray into free agency hasn't gone as planned, much like the 150-plus others waiting for something to give in a...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Why I love the NHL All-Star Game

Why I love the NHL All-Star Game

I love the NHL All-Star Game.Love it.Give me a game where Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are teammates. Give me a two-on-one rush where Nikita Kucherov is trying to set up Auston Matthews. Sign me up for any game where the best hockey players on the...
Updated: 3 minutes ago

Captain’s Corner: Live baits outperforming artificials

Amberjack have been the hot topic in the area since their season opened Jan. 1. Anglers have been targeting wrecks and other large structures in depths of 80-120 feet for these tackle-testing monsters. Although amberjack are caught on a wide variety ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Fennelly: Lightning needs a reset on the road … pronto

Fennelly: Lightning needs a reset on the road … pronto

TAMPA — Vegas has left the building.Wasn't the Lightning just arranging place settings for next weekend's NHL All-Star Game party?With that in mind, I headed to the home dressing room at Amalie Arena late Thursday after the Lightning was manhan...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWomen: La Salle at Rhode Island11 a.m.CBSSNPurdue at IowanoonESPNFlorida State at Virginia TechnoonESPN2; 1010-AMWichita State at HoustonnoonESPNUVillanova at ConnecticutnoonCBSSt. John’s at GeorgetownnoonFS1Ohio State at Minne...
Published: 01/19/18
Golden Knights move within one point of Lightning for top spot in NHL

Golden Knights move within one point of Lightning for top spot in NHL

SUNRISE — Aaron Ekblad scored 40 seconds into overtime to lift the Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the Golden Knights on Friday, spoiling Vegas coach Gerard Gallant’s return to Florida. By gaining a point, Vegas moved within one point of the Lightning...
Published: 01/19/18

Well Humored ready to get back on a dirt track

OLDSMAR — It is time for Well Humored to get dirty again.The WinStar Farm homebred makes her first start on the Tampa Bay Downs main track Saturday afternoon in the $50,000 Wayward Lass, one of three stakes events on the Skyway Festival Day 11-race p...
Published: 01/19/18