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ESPN: Welker Suspended 4 Games

ESPN: Welker Suspended 4 Games

Hyoung Chang/Denver Post(NEW YORK) — The NFL has suspended Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker four games for using amphetamines, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

According to ESPN, Welker tested positive in a sample given shortly after the Kentucky Derby. ESPN also reports Welker claims the test was tainted and attended an appeal hearing.

The 33-year-old returned to the practice field Monday after suffering his third concussion since Nov. 17 during the Broncos’ preseason game against Houston.

Welker caught 73 passes and a career high 10 touchdowns for Denver last season.

The five-time Pro Bowler has played in 154 career regular season games catching 841 passes for 9.358 yards and 48 touchdowns.

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Watson Makes Ryder Cup Captain’s Picks

Watson Makes Ryder Cup Captain’s Picks

Michael Cohen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team is set.

U.S. captain Tom Watson selected Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, and Hunter Mahan Tuesday to round out the team of 12.

Bradley, who hasn’t won a tournament in two years, was close to qualifying for the team on his own. He played in the 2012 Ryder Cup and went 3-0 in matches with Phil Mickelson.

“Keegan has the ability to hit the ball a long way,” Watson said. “Now, Keegan, he can go real low. He certainly teamed up great with Phil Mickelson. There are a lot of great pluses about Keegan, but the most important thing he brings to it is his unbridled passion to play on the Ryder Cup team.”

Simpson went 2-2 during the American’s heartbreaking loss in 2012, when the U.S. blew a 10-6 lead on the final day.

Mahan, who won the Barclays a few weeks ago, was on the last American team to win the Ryder Cup in 2008.

Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, and Zach Johnson will also represent the U.S. against Europe in the tournament, which begins Sept. 26 at Gleneagles in Scotland.

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Texans Sign Watt to $100M Deal

Texans Sign Watt to $100M Deal

Scott Halleran/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Houston Texans have rewarded one of the top defensive players in the league with the top contract ever for a defensive player. J.J. Watt and the Texans have agreed to a new six-year deal worth a reported $100 million.

The contract will have a guaranteed $51.8 million payday for Watt, the highest amount ever for a defensive player in the NFL. Watt will earn an approximate $16.6 million per year, also a record total for a defensive player.

Watt had hoped in August to work out a new deal with the team that drafted him with the 11th overall pick in 2011.

“I think when a team gives a big contract after the third year, they’re saying, ‘Listen, we think you’ve earned this,’” Watt said. “I don’t know if [the Texans] feel that way or not, but I sure hope I’ve put in all the work, and I’ve put in everything I can do to hopefully earn it.”

The 2012 Defensive Player of the Year, Watt has racked up 36.5 sacks during his first three seasons.

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Louisville Dominant in Petrino’s Return

Louisville Dominant in Petrino’s Return

iStockphoto(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — The Louisville Cardinals (1-0) defense held Miami to 1-for-13 on three downs, helping lead the team to a 31-13 win over the Hurricanes on Monday in their season opener.

It was also the first victory for head coach Bobby Petrino in his return to Louisville.

“I thought it would be a real battle and we would have to work extremely hard,” said Petrino. “Obviously, we made some mistakes on offense and on special teams. I thought the defense really did a great job all night long, especially on third down.”

The Cardinals opened the scoring in the first quarter when Will Gardner hit Charles Standberry on a two yard touchdown pass. The Hurricanes countered with 10 straight points before Louisville regained the lead just prior to halftime when Corvin Lamb went 97 yards on a kickoff return.

Coming out of the locker room it was all Louisville as they scored 17 straight points after Miami closed the gap to 14-13 just four minutes into the third.

The game also saw a pair of quarterbacks making their first career starts. Gardner was 20-for-28 passing for 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Freshman Brad Kaaya did not fare as well for Miami (0-1), tossing a pair of interceptions and going just 17-for-29 in his debut.

“We did not do a good enough job protecting a first-start quarterback. Period,” said Hurricanes coach Al Golden.

Louisville opened their tenure in the Atlantic Coast Conference, dominating a mainstay program in the ACC. Petrino led the Cardinals to a 41-9 record from 2003-06 as head coach. 

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Falcao Joins Manchester United on Loan

Falcao Joins Manchester United on Loan

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Striker Radamel Falcao has joined Manchester United on a season long loan from Monaco. 

United will reportedly pay Monaco between five and six million pounds for the striker and have an option to buy Falcao at the end of the loan period.

The transfer required an extension past the deadline, allowed by Premier League rules when all three parties are committed to finalizing the deal. 

Despite an injury-shortened 2013-14 season, Falcao scored nine goals in 17 games for Monaco. The injury also kept him out of the World Cup for his native Colombia. Prior to his season with Monaco, Falcao scored a combined 52 goals in two years with Atletico Madrid.

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Raiders Name Derek Carr as Starter

Raiders Name Derek Carr as Starter

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Oakland Raiders announced on Monday that rookie quarterback Derek Carr will start Week One for the team.

Carr becomes the 18th different starting quarterback since 2003, beating out veteran Matt Schaub.

“Not an indictment on Matt Schaub, Derek Carr is mature beyond his years,” coach Dennis Allen said. “We feel very comfortable with him helping us win football games. …Derek is the starting quarterback.”

A second-round draft pick out of Fresno State, Carr was 11-for-13 passing in the Raiders final preseason game with three touchdowns to help beat Seattle 41-31. The rookie is expected to be the only first-year player to start at quarterback in the NFL week 1.

Oakland will travel to MetLife Stadium on Sunday to take on the New York Jets in the season opener.

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49ers Ray McDonald Arrested for Domestic Violence

49ers Ray McDonald Arrested for Domestic Violence

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The San Francisco 49ers find themselves with another player in trouble with the law. Defensive lineman Ray McDonald was arrested early Sunday morning on charges of domestic violence.

San Jose police Sgt. Heather Randol confirmed the arrest occurred following a call at 2:48 a.m. local time. McDonald later posted bail and was released from the Santa Clara Sherrif’s Department. San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke said the team takes “such matters seriously” while a league source told ABC News the NFL is aware of the incident.

The 29-year-old defensive lineman reportedly had an altercation with his fianceé at a party celebrating his birthday. The woman showed police bruising on her body which led to McDonald’s arrest.

This incident comes in the same week that teammate Aldon Smith was suspended by the NFL nine games for multiple off-field run-ins, including a DUI last September. McDonald was also arrested for DUI in 2010.

On Thursday, the NFL publicized new policies regarding domestic violence. First-time offenders will be suspended six games while a second arrest could mean a lifetime ban.

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Ryan Mallett Traded to Texans

Ryan Mallett Traded to Texans

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Houston Texans have acquired quarterback Ryan Mallett from the New England Patriots for a conditional sixth or seventh-round pick in 2016, a source said on Sunday.

Mallett had served as the primary backup for Tom Brady in each of the last two seasons after being drafted in the third round in 2011. A 6’6″ quarterback out of Arkansas, Mallett will enter Houston as the backup for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

The Texans will waive Case Keenum in order to make room for Mallett and still have rookie Tom Savage on the depth chart. It was a rookie in New England that led to the trade as Jimmy Garoppolo completed 46 of 79 passes for 618 yards and five touchdowns in the preseason.

During limited action this year, Mallett was just 14-for-26 passing in three games with one touchdown.

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Kahne Wins in Atlanta; Stewart Crashes in Return

Kahne Wins in Atlanta; Stewart Crashes in Return

Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images(HAMPTON, Ga.) — With only two races remaining before the NASCAR “Chase for the Cup,” Kasey Kahne cemented his spot in the new postseason format, winning the Oral B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Kahne had to hold off Matt Kenseth on a green-white checkered, but got a good jump on the restart to take the checkered flag. Kenseth did end up qualifying for the Chase on points by finishing second. Denny Hamlin finished third while Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-5.

The 34-year-old first took the lead off a restart with 23 laps remaining and again surged to the front of the pack on the final restart. Harvick, who won the Nationwide race on Saturday, led 195 laps but made contact with Joey Logano on the final restart, denying him a weekend sweep.

Making his return to NASCAR three weeks after a crash that killed Kevin Ward, Jr. at a dirt track race in upstate New York, Tony Stewart blew out his right front tire on lap 172, ending his night in 41st place. 

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Chiefs Sign Smith to Four-Year Deal

Chiefs Sign Smith to Four-Year Deal

Jason O. Watson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Kansas City Chiefs have apparently found their quarterback of the future, signing Alex Smith to a four-year contract extension. Multiple media reports say the deal is worth approximately $68 million.

Smith was acquired last season in a trade with San Francisco for a third round pick in 2013 and 2014. The extension will keep the signal caller in Kansas City through the 2018 season as he still has one year remaining on his current contract. 

“It was a priority of ours to get this deal done and keep Alex in a Chiefs uniform long-term,” Kansas City general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “Alex is a proven leader on and off the field. He is a special individual with a lot of ability, and we are fortunate to have him here.”

The 30-year-old posted one of the best seasons of his career last season, throwing for 23 touchdowns and a career-high 3,313 passing yards. In his first season with the Chiefs, Smith helped the team to an 11-4 record and a spot in the playoffs.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/31/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/31/14

(NEW YORK) — MLB: Toronto Blue Jays 4 (69-67) – New York Yankees 3 (70-65) 

Boston Red Sox 3 (60-76) – Tampa Rays 0 (66-71)

New York Mets 6 (64-73) – Philadelphia Phillies 5 (62-74)

Cincinnati Reds 3 (66-71) – Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (71-65)

Chicago White Sox 6 (62-75) – Detroit Tigers 2 (74-62)

Baltimore Orioles 12 (79-56) – Minnesota Twins 8 (59-77)

Houston Astros 3 (59-79) – Texas Rangers 2 (53-83)

St. Louis Cardinals 9 (73-63) – Chicago White Sox 6 (61-76)

Los Angeles Angels 8 (83-53) – Oakland Athletics 1 (78-58)

Seattle Mariners 5 (73-62) – Washington Nationals 3 (77-58)

Los Angeles Dodgers 7 (77-60) – San Diego Padres 1 (64-71)

Arizona Diamondbacks 6 (57-79) – Colorado Rockies 2 (54-82)

San Francisco Giants 15 (74-62) – Milwaukee Brewers 5 (73-63)

Atlanta Braves 1 (72-65) – Miami Marlins 0 (66-69)

Cleveland Indians 4 (70-64) – Kansas City Royals 2 (74-61) Suspended in the top of the 10th due to rain

NCAAF: (10) Baylor 45 (1-0) – SMU 0 (0-1)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Kasey Kahne wins the Oral B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway

NASCAR Camping World Truck: Ryan Blaney wins the Chevrolet Silverado 250

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Athletics Acquire Adam Dunn From White Sox

Athletics Acquire Adam Dunn From White Sox

Brian Kersey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Oakland Athletics acquired power-hitter Adam Dunn from the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn and cash considerations Sunday.

According to ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney, the A’s will pay Dunn approximately half of the remaining $2.5 million that is owed to him this season.

The 34-year-old Dunn can help an Athletics’ team that has ranked 20th in runs scored since trading away slugger Yoenis Cespedes on July 31.

Dunn is playing in his 15th major league season. During that time he’s compiled a .237 batting average, 460 home runs, 1,158 RBIs and a .365 on-base percentage.

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ESPN: Sam Clears Waivers

ESPN: Sam Clears Waivers

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Defensive end Michael Sam cleared waivers Sunday, according to ESPN.

Sam was attempting to become the first openly gay player in NFL history. He came up short when he was cut by the St. Louis Rams Saturday, when all 32 teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players. That put Sam on waivers until noon Sunday, meaning any team in the league could have picked him up. But the deadline passed meaning Sam is now clear to join a NFL team’s practice squad.

Sam was cut Saturday in favor of undrafted rookie defensive tackle Ethan Westbrooks. After he was cut, Sam commented on Twitter.

“The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I’ve always known,” Sam tweeted Saturday. “The journey continues.”

Sam, who was selected by the Rams in the seventh-round of this year’s draft, had 11 tackles and three sacks in four preseason games.

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(13) Tigers Rally to Beat (14) Wisconsin

(13) Tigers Rally to Beat (14) Wisconsin

ThinkStock(HOUSTON, Texas) — Wisconsin held a 24-7 lead over No. 13 Louisiana State University (LSU) just two and a half minutes into the third quarter. When the final whistle blew, the 14th-ranked Badgers found themselves on the wrong end of a 28-24 comeback win by the Tigers who scored 21 straight points.

“We played sloppy, we did everything to the latest possible time before we decided to play best,” LSU coach Les Miles said.

Corey Clement’s two-yard touchdown run in the third made it a 24-7 Wisconsin lead before LSU turned it around. A pair of Colby Delahoussaye field goals cut the deficit to 11 at the end of three quarters but the Tigers still struggled to find the end zone.

They finally broke through three minutes into the fourth as Anthony Jennings found John Diarse for a 36-yard strike. Jennings then connected with Trey Quinn for a two-point conversion that made it a 24-21 Wisconsin lead.

LSU’s Jalen Mills then picked off a pass from Tanner McEvoy on the ensuing possession. Three plays later, Kenny Hilliard busted through the line for a 28-yard touchdown run to complete the comeback. Another interception by McEvoy sealed the deal for the Badgers who gained just 65 yards in the fourth quarter.

“They battled. They hung in there,” Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said. “I thought both teams fought like crazy. They made one more play than we did and won the game in the end.”

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Saints Cut Bailey and Meachem

Saints Cut Bailey and Meachem

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The New Orleans Saints made their final roster cuts on Saturday in preparation for Week One of the 2014 NFL Season. Among those left off the final 53 were veteran wide receiver Robert Meachem and cornerback Champ Bailey.

Bailey, who was also released by the Denver Broncos this year, was sidelined for three weeks during training camp with a foot injury. The 36-year old played 10 season with the Broncos before his release.

“Even though I’ve played 15 years, it doesn’t matter. Man, this is a production business,” Bailey said last week. “I think every guy going into training camp has to show what he can do. And, you know, I feel good. If they like what I do, then I’ll play a lot on Sundays. Plain and simple.”

A 29-year-old receiver, Meachem’s release is less shocking to most. The Saints have a plethora of young wide outs including Nick Toon and Joe Morgan, who sit at the bottom of the depth chart. Meachem caught 157 passes for 2,593 yards and 25 touchdowns during his six seasons in New Orleans.

The Saints also released both kickers they had brought to camp in Shayne Graham and Derek Dimke.

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USA Basketball Dominates in FIBA Opening Game

USA Basketball Dominates in FIBA Opening Game

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(BILBAO, Spain) — The United States began defense of their FIBA Basketball World Cup title with a 114-55 blowout over tournament newcomer Finland on Saturday. The US limited the Finns to just a pair of free throws in the second quarter, holding them to 0-for-17 from the floor.

“Our coaches were encouraging us to keep up that effort by telling us every timeout, every dead ball, they only had two points or whatever,” guard Stephen Curry said. “That’s just motivation to keep doing what we’re doing.”

The dominating effort continued into the third quarter as Finland ended up going 19 consecutive shots before one finally went in. by the time Tuukka Kotta’s basket dropped with 8:48 to play in the third, the Americans had already built up a 62-20 lead.

Klay Thompson came off the bench to lead all players with 18 points while Anthony Davis poured in 17 as well. The 59 point margin of victory is just the second highest in USA Basketball history, sitting behind a 79 point win over South Korea in 1990. The Americans will next take on Turkey in group stage play, a rematch of the 2010 world basketball championship gold-medal game.

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(1) Florida State Survives Scare From Oklahoma State

(1) Florida State Survives Scare From Oklahoma State

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) — The defending national champions got their first scare of the year in their season opener, holding off Oklahoma State 37-31 on Saturday. The Florida State Seminoles (1-0) had led 17-0 in the second half but the Cowboys (0-1) closed the gap to 27-24 late and had a chance to take the lead.

“We all preached it, but I do think they felt the pressure of being No. 1. I do,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Now I think we can relax and go play football.”

Sophomore quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 370 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for one as well. The reigning Heisman trophy winner also threw a pair of interceptions that helped keep Oklahoma State hanging around. 

The Cowboys J.W. Walsh scampered 24 yards for a touchdown, making it a three-point game, before ultimately leading a drive back into Seminoles territory. However, Walsh fumbled when he was flipped into the air by Florida State’s P.J. Williams. Winston then connected with Rashad Green for a 50-yard scoring pass, sealing the deal.

 

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/30/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/30/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NCAAF: (1) Florida State 37 (1-0) – Oklahoma State 31 (0-1)
(2) Alabama 33 (1-0) – West Virginia 23 (0-1)
(4) Oklahoma 48 (1-0) – Louisiana Tech 16 (0-1)
(5) Ohio State 34 (1-0) – Navy 17 (0-1)
(6) Auburn 45 (1-0) – Ark…

Jim Irsay Reportedly Has Plea Deal in Place

Jim Irsay Reportedly Has Plea Deal in Place

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has reportedly reached a plea deal as part of his impaired driving case. That according the Indianapolis Star, citing court officials.

Irsay was arrested in March on a pair of misdemeanor charges. The Colts owner was arrested near his home after failing a field sobriety test. Officers on the scene said he had trouble reciting the alphabet. Police reports showed that Irsay had various prescription drugs and $29,000 in cash in his position at the time of the arrest.

“I cannot provide any details of — or even verify the existence of — an agreement unless and until one would be tendered to the Court at such a hearing,” said Andre Miksha, a spokesman for the Hamilton County prosecutor.

The trial, originally scheduled for Oct. 30, was reportedly rescheduled for Tuesday. While details of the plea agreement were not released, the announcement of the plea will allow NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to deliver his punishment of Irsay.

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Yankees Tanaka Returns to New York with Soreness

Yankees Tanaka Returns to New York with Soreness

Rob Carr/Getty Images(TORONTO) — New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka returned to New York on Friday with what is being called “general soreness”. The right-hander was attempting to return from a torn ligament in his elbow suffered in July.

“I want to be a little bit cautious. I haven’t been throwing for a couple of weeks and then I started throwing again and built up the number of pitches that I’ve been throwing,” said Tanaka via his interpreter, Shingo Horie. “I think that’s the reason why there’s a little bit of extra soreness in the arm itself.”

Tanaka, almost a lock for American League Rookie of the Year before the injury, threw 49 pitches in a simulated game prior to the Yankees taking on the Detroit Tigers on August 28. Following his performance, Tanaka said he was experiencing a feeling of soreness which then raised questions about his return this season.

“I don’t have percentages,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We’d like him to pitch for us, too. But as I’ve said all along, this is something we’re either going to know or not know when he gets into competition.

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