News Summaries from The Sports Network - Wednesday, November 26|
Redskins bench Griffin for McCoy
Ashburn, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Colt McCoy will return to the starting
quarterback role for the Washington Redskins.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden confirmed Wednesday the benching of Robert Griffin
III, who had started the past three games after recovering from a dislocated
ankle suffered in Week 2.
"Colt's going to start this week," Gruden told reporters on a conference call
Wednesday. "He's done some good things. I felt like he deserved a bit of a
The Redskins have lost all three games since Griffin's return, falling to 3-8.
Griffin has been sacked 16 times in losses to Minnesota, Tampa Bay and San
Francisco, and last Sunday against the 49ers completed 11-of-19 passes for
just 106 yards with a lost fumble in the 17-13 setback.
"I'm not putting the blame all on Robert, it seems that way when you make a
change at that position," Gruden added. "Robert has done some good things. I
think he needs a little more time in this system and needs to take a step back
and learn. Right now, I felt like Colt would give us a better chance this
McCoy led the Redskins to each of their last two victories. He replaced an
ineffective Kirk Cousins in the second half of the Redskins' Week 7 matchup
against Tennessee and rallied the team to a 19-17 decision, then led the way
in an overtime road upset of Dallas a week later.
In his limited action, McCoy has connected on 36-of-42 throws for 427 yards
with a touchdown and an interception. He finished 25-of-30 for 299 yards in
the 20-17 win at Dallas in Week 8.
Griffin has completed 69.7 percent of his passes for 869 yards with two
touchdowns and three interceptions in his five starts this season. He has also
been sacked 20 times, and has run for 100 yards on 22 carries.
"He's not happy, nor did I expect him to be," Gruden said when asked how
Griffin reacted to the decision.
Griffin's future with the Redskins could also become a topic of consideration,
as the team must decide during the offseason whether to exercise an option to
extend his contract through 2016.
Jets turn back to Geno Smith
Florham Park, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Jets will start Geno Smith
at quarterback for Monday's game against the Miami Dolphins.
"Everybody's on board with this decision," Jets coach Rex Ryan said on
Smith, who started the first eight games this season, replaced Michael Vick
under center during this past Monday's 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills, a
setback that dropped the Jets to 2-9.
Ryan made the decision and informed both quarterbacks Wednesday morning.
"I have said it all along that I feel we have two good quarterbacks, I
definitely feel that. And we have another guy that is a decent quarterback as
well, in [Matt] Simms. But I feel that way," Ryan said.
Smith had been the Jets' starter for the first 24 games of his career after
the team selected him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was
benched in the Week 8 loss to Buffalo after throwing three interceptions in
the first 10 minutes of the contest and Vick was named the starter the
"We purposely put Geno back, let him observe," Ryan said. "Now is the
opportunity for him to step back in and let's see how it goes. I, for one, am
excited to watch him. He has my support on this, and that's what I'll say
Vick started the past three games for the Jets, leading the team to a victory
in Week 10 against Pittsburgh to end an eight-game losing streak. He struggled
in Monday's game against the Bills, completing just 7-of-19 passes for 76
yards with an interception while being sacked five times.
Smith entered in the third quarter and connected on 10-of-12 throws for 89
yards while being sacked twice.
In nine games this season, Smith has thrown for 1,459 yards with seven
touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
NFL fines Lions C Raiola $10K
(SportsNetwork.com) - Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola was fined $10,000 by
the NFL this week for striking a New England player in the back of the helmet
in the final minute of Sunday's 34-9 loss to the Patriots.
NFL spokesman Michael Signora said Wednesday Raiola was fined for unnecessary
roughness for violating a rule prohibiting "striking, swinging at, or clubbing
the head, neck, or face of an opponent" with your wrist, arm, elbow or hand.
Raiola swung at rushing Patriots defensive lineman Zach Moore on a 3rd-and-9
pass play, hitting him in the back of the helmet and knocking him to the
Signora said Raiola was not fined for diving at Moore's legs on the final snap
of the game as the Lions kneeled to run out the clock
Raiola drew criticism for the attempted cut block and for implying he did it
because the Patriots scored a late touchdown in a rout.
Vikings place Loadholt on IR; add Webb
Eden Prairie, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Vikings placed right
tackle Phil Loadholt on injured reserve Wednesday and brought back tackle
Loadholt suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the fourth quarter of Sunday's
24-21 loss to Green Bay. He had started the first 11 games this season.
Webb appeared in eight games last season with Minnesota and started once. He
spent this summer in training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The 26-year-old product of West Texas A&M was selected in the seventh round of
the 2010 draft by the Bears and started 44 of the 46 games he played for
Patriots' Slater gets two-year extension
Foxboro, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The New England Patriots prevented special
teams ace Matthew Slater from hitting the open market in the offseason, with
the wide receiver agreeing to terms on a two-year extension on Wednesday.
Financial terms were not disclosed, though an ESPN report said the deal is
worth $4 million and includes a $100,000 bonus if Slater is selected to the
Slater has been named to the Pro Bowl as the AFC's special teamer in each of
the last three years and was a first team All-Pro in both 2011 and 2012. The
29-year-old has recorded 83 special teams tackles since 2010.
"He's really pretty much a model player. I'd love to have 53 guys like him,"
said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick of Slater.
"His personality, his intelligence, his toughness, his character -- both on
and off the field -- his leadership is all exemplary. You couldn't really find
anything any better."
Slater, the son of Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jackie Slater, was in the
final season of a three-year contract he signed in March of 2012. The UCLA
product entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick of New England in 2008.
Redskins put CB Porter on IR
Ashburn, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Redskins have placed
cornerback Tracy Porter on injured reserve, the team announced Wednesday.
Porter separated the AC joint in his shoulder during Washington's 17-13 loss
at San Francisco on Sunday. The oft-injured veteran had previously missed
eight of the team's first nine games while dealing with a pulled right
hamstring before returning to play in the last two contests.
The Redskins signed Porter in the offseason after he made 16 starts with
Oakland in 2013, recording 67 tackles, two interceptions, 1 1/2 sacks and 12
Cornerback Chase Minnifield was added back to the active roster from the
practice squad to take Porter's place. Minnifield appeared in six games with
Washington earlier this season prior to being waived on Nov. 4.
Bears place Brian de la Puente on IR
Lake Forest, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bears have placed
guard/center Brian de la Puente on injured reserve because of an ankle injury.
The 29-year-old de la Puente appeared in eight contests with six starts (four
at center and two at left guard) this season, his first with the Bears.
The Bears also elevated defensive tackle Brandon Dunn to the 53-man roster
from the practice squad, signing him to a two-year contract.
Lacy among NFC Players of the Week
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy
has been selected as the NFC's Offensive Player of the Week for games played
from Nov. 23-24.
Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor was named the conference's top
defensive player for Week 12, with Philadelphia Eagles rookie Josh Huff
claiming NFC Special Teams Player of the Week recognition after delivering a
franchise-record 107-yard kickoff return touchdown in Sunday's 43-24 win over
Lacy amassed 138 yards from scrimmage while scoring both a rushing and
receiving touchdown in the Packers' 24-21 road victory over fellow NFC North
member Minnesota. The 2013 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year finished the game
with 125 rushing yards on a season-best 25 carries.
The award is the second of Lacy's career, having also earned the honor during
Week 15 of last season.
Chancellor led an outstanding Seattle defensive effort that lifted the
Seahawks to a 19-3 triumph over NFC West-leading Arizona last Sunday. The
physical safety recorded eight tackles -- seven solo -- for a unit that held
the Cardinals to 204 total yards.
This is Chancellor's second Defensive Player of the Week award this season,
also receiving the nod for a nine-tackle, one-interception and one forced
fumble performance in the Seahawks' overtime win over Denver in Week 3.
Forsett highlights AFC Players of the Week
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Baltimore Ravens running back Justin
Forsett, Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson and Buffalo Bills running back
Boobie Dixon were named AFC Players of the Week for Week 12.
Forsett carried the ball 22 times for 182 yards and two touchdowns in the
Ravens' 34-27 win at New Orleans. His 182 yards led all NFL players in Week 12
and marked his third 100-yard performance of the season.
Woodson had eight tackles and one sack in the Raiders' first win of the
season, a 24-20 decision over Kansas City on Thursday night. His sack
marked the 20th of his career, and Woodson is the only NFL player with at
least 20 sacks and 50-plus interceptions (58) since sacks became an official
statistic in 1982.
Dixon blocked a punt that was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown in the
Bills' 38-3 win against the New York Jets at Detroit's Ford Field on Monday
night. The Mississippi State product, who also blocked a punt in Week 2
against Miami, is the first Bills player with two blocked punts in a season
since Steve Tasker in 1990.
Lions' Reiff, Bush questionable for Thanksgiving
Allen Park, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush
and left tackle Riley Reiff are questionable for Thursday's Thanksgiving Day
game against the Chicago Bears.
Bush has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. The USC product was
limited in practice this week.
The 29-year-old Bush has carried the ball 53 times for 191 yards and one
touchdown in seven games this season. He has also caught 26 passes for 169
Joique Bell has started the past two games. He has carried the ball 141 times
for 490 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games this season.
Reiff was a limited participant in Wednesday's walkthrough after missing
practice on Monday and Tuesday. He suffered a left knee injury on the first
play of the Lions' 34-9 loss to the New England Patriots last weekend.
If Reiff can't go, expect rookie Cornelius Lucas to make his first start at
Guard Larry Warford and defensive tackle Nick Fairley are both out with knee
injuries for the Lions.
D-backs reportedly land Tomas
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Arizona Diamondbacks have reportedly come to terms
with Cuban power-hitting outfielder Yasmany Tomas on a six-year, $68.5 million
MLB.com reported the agreement Wednesday and noted Tomas has an opt-out in the
deal after four years.
There was no confirmation from the Diamondbacks on the contract for the 24-
year-old Tomas, who was on Cuba's World Baseball Classic team in 2013. He hit
.375 with a pair of homers and five RBI in the tournament.
Tomas, a corner outfielder, played for Havana Industriales in the Serie
Nacional in Cuba for five seasons. He would become the latest Cuban player to
sign a big contract to play in the majors, as Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes,
2013 American League Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu and Aroldis Chapman have
all become household names.
Additionally, Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo signed a $72.5 million contract
with the Boston Red Sox this past August.
The addition of Tomas could inject power into a Diamondbacks team that
finished with the worst record in the majors at 64-98 in 2014.
Rays sign Frieri to one-year deal
St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Rays have signed
pitcher Ernesto Frieri to a one-year contract.
Financial terms for the former Angels closer were not disclosed.
Frieri split last season with the Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates after losing
his closer role in Anaheim. He finished the year 1-4 with 11 saves and a 7.34
ERA in 48 games.
The 29-year-old right-hander notched 37 saves in 41 chances for the Angels
during the 2013 season and has 71 saves in 81 opportunities during a six-year
career with the Pirates, Angels and San Diego Padres.
Frieri has a career record of 10-13 with a 3.46 ERA in 276 appearances, all
out of the bullpen.
The Rays also designated infielder Sean Rodriguez for assignment to open a
spot on the 40-man roster.
Rodriguez batted .228 with 40 homers and 172 RBI over the past five seasons
with the Rays. In 2014, he hit only .211, his lowest average during his Tampa
Bay tenure, but set career highs with 12 homers and 41 RBI.
Orioles acquire LHP Scott Barnes
Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles acquired left-
handed pitcher Scott Barnes from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations
Barnes, 27, spent all of 2014 with Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate, the
Columbus Clippers. He finished with a 3-2 record and a 3.69 ERA in 25
appearances, including one start.
In his major league career, Barnes has made 22 appearances out of the Indians
bullpen, posting an 0-1 mark with a 5.20 ERA in 27 2/3 innings with 26
The Orioles also signed infielder Rey Navarro to a major league contract. The
24-year-old has never appeared in the majors. Between Double-A and Triple-A in
the Cincinnati organization in 2014, Navarro batted .282 with 12 home runs and
57 runs batted in, splitting time between shortstop and second base.
Spurs' Popovich to miss Wednesday's game
San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg
Popovich will miss Wednesday's game against the Indiana Pacers after
undergoing a minor medical procedure.
Popovich, the longest tenured NBA head coach, will miss an undisclosed period
First-year assistant Ettore Messina will guide the Spurs in Popovich's
absence. Messina, a member of the Italian Basketball Hall of Fame, is a two-
time Euroleague Coach of the Year.
Messina will make NBA history, as no one born outside of the United States has
ever coached an NBA game.
Former Canadien, broadcaster Tremblay dies
Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - Former Montreal Canadiens forward and
Hall of Fame broadcaster Gilles Tremblay died on Wednesday at the age of 75.
"My sincere condolences to the Tremblay family. Gilles was a pioneer and an
ambassador for the Canadiens and the game of hockey," said Habs president
Tremblay recorded 168 goals and 330 points over 509 contests, all for the Habs
from 1960-69, and was a member of four Stanley Cup-winning teams before he was
forced to retire due to asthma.
"The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Gilles Tremblay, whose
career as a player and broadcaster bridged four glorious decades of Montreal
Canadiens hockey," said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement.
The native of Quebec then distinguished himself as a color commentator over 27
years for Le Soiree du hockey, the French-language equivalent to Hockey Night
in Canada, and received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2002.
Brodeur signs PTO with Blues
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Martin Brodeur's quest to continue his NHL
career hasn't ended just yet.
On Wednesday evening, the St. Louis Blues announced the future Hall of Famer
was signed to a professional tryout contract.
"Marty has agreed to come in and practice through early next week. We will
address the media at Friday's practice at Scottrade," said Blues GM Doug
Bringing in the 42-year-old into the fold was necessary due to the lower-body
injury to starter Brian Elliott which may keep him sidelined for weeks.
Jake Allen has only participated in 24 games at the NHL level and the club had
to make an emergency recall of goaltender Jordan Binnington from Chicago of
the American Hockey League.
Brodeur, a nine-time All Star and three-time Stanley Cup winner, and the
Devils had a parting of the ways at the end of last season. In a career which
began late in the 1991-92 season, he managed to set NHL records in wins (688),
games played (1,259) and shutouts (124).
Blues' Elliott sidelined with lower body injury
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Blues said goaltender Brian
Elliott suffered a lower body injury during Tuesday's game against Ottawa.
Elliott left in the second period of the 3-2 shootout loss.
The Blues did not provide an update on Elliott's status Wednesday, but did
recall goaltender Jordan Binnington from their American Hockey League
affiliate in Chicago under emergency conditions.
Binnington, a 21-year-old former third-round draft pick, owns a 6-2-1 record
with the Wolves, posting a 1.89 goals-against average and a .925 save
Elliott has an 8-4-1 record for St. Louis this season with a 1.82 GAA and a
.931 save percentage. Jake Allen, who replaced Elliott in Tuesday's game, has
a 6-2-1 record in nine games.
Cricket star Phillip Hughes dies
Sydney, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Australian cricket player Phillip
Hughes died Thursday, two days after sustaining injuries when he was hit in
the head with a ball during a match, Cricket Australia said.
Hughes, 25, was struck on the head below his helmet while batting for South
Australia during a Sheffield Shield game. He underwent emergency surgery and
was in an induced coma before he died.
Team doctor Peter Brukner said in a statement that Hughes never regained
consciousness after the injury.
"He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and
close friends," Brukner said.
California Chrome faces five in Hollywood Derby
Del Mar, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner
California Chrome heads a field of six 3-year-olds for Saturday's $300,000
Hollywood Derby going 1 1/8 miles on the turf.
Owned by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, California Chrome will be making his
grass debut on Del Mar's Jimmy Durante Turf Course after already winning on
dirt and synthetic tracks. The 3-year-old chestnut colt will again have
Victor Espinoza riding.
"I want to run him on the grass," trainer Art Sherman said. "It will give me a
lot of options when he runs next year as a 4-year-old. And he's got a chance
at Horse of the Year (for 2014)."
California Chrome finished third in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 1 just
a neck behind Bayern and runner-up Toast of New York. He was sixth to Bayern
in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing on Sept. 20 in his first
start after finishing fourth in the Belmont Stakes.
Early this year he posted three straight wins at Santa Anita in the California
Cup Derby, San Felipe Stakes and Santa Anita Derby before taking the first two
legs of the Triple Crown.
California Chrome has banked $4,042,650 from 15 career starts with eight wins.
Also entered in the race is Queen's Plate winner Lexie Lou. The 3-year-old
filly is owned by Gary Barber and trained by Mark Casse.
Lexie Lou won the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate by 1 1/2 lengths as the 3-1
second pick. The filly followed by winning the Wonder Where Stakes at
Woodbine five weeks later on Aug. 10. After finishing 10th in the Canadian
Stakes on grass, Lexie Lou won the Autumn Miss Stakes on Oct. 25.
The 3-year-old has banked $1,059,470 this year with four wins from seven
Here is the Hollywood Derby field in alphabetical order: Cabral, Kent
Desormeaux; California Chrome, Victor Espinoza; Flamboyant, Mike Smith; Lexie
Lou, Corey Nakatani; Sawyer's Hill, Rafael Bejarano and Talco, Drayden Van
11/27 02:18:37 ET