College Blog Blog Network

Giants WR Victor Cruz to have season-ending surgery

11.16.15 at 12:52 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Victor Cruz, who has been out since Week 6 of the 2014 season, announced Monday that he will have surgery on his calf and will not return this season.

Cruz, who turned 29 last Wednesday, tore the patellar tendon his right knee six games into the 2014 campaign and had season-ending surgery. While rehabbing from that injury in August, Cruz tore a muscle in his left calf during a training camp practice. He had been targeting a lat-season return before a checkup on his calf revealed the need for surgery.

“This hurts, mainly because I worked so hard to come back from my patellar tendon surgery,” Cruz said in a video message. “There are certain things that happen to your body that you just can’t explain.”

Added Cruz: “I know that I have to retool my brain and my body to get back to 100 percent and come back the other end firing. This is a tough time for me, a tough time for my family, a tough time for all of us, because we were so excited about coming back and being a part of something special this year. But unfortunately, I couldn’t do that due to my calf injury.

“I hope you guys don’t lose faith in me, because I haven’t lost faith in myself.”

After this season Cruz has three years left on a five-year, $43 million contract he signed before the 2014 season. The Giants are likely to seek a restructuring and/or consider cutting the former UMass star.

Dwayne Harris has filled Cruz’s role in the slot. Harris had nine catches for 82 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s game against the Patriots.

Read More: Victor Cruz,

Report: Peyton Manning has partially torn plantar fascia

11.16.15 at 12:34 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who was pulled from Sunday’s 29-13 loss to the Chiefs after throwing four interceptions, has a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Manning did not practice in the week leading up to Sunday’s game until Friday. He was listed on the injury report with a foot injury — and a rib injury was added Saturday. Some Broncos players told ESPN that Manning had difficulty walking earlier in the week.

The report indicates Manning has been dealing with plantar fasciitis for weeks and aggravated the injury during the last Sunday’s loss to the Colts.

Manning acknowledged it might have been a mistake to try to play through the pain Sunday. He completed just 5-of-20 passes for 35 yards before being replaced by Brock Osweiler in the third quarter, with Denver trailing 22-0.

“I thought I felt good enough to play,” Manning said. “Maybe it was a false feeling or a wrong feeling. … By going out there and trying to help the team, I ended up hurting the team.”

Coach Gary Kubiak said there is no quarterback controversy, as long as Manning is healthy.

“Peyton’s our quarterback,” Kubiak said. “If he’s healthy and ready to go, Peyton’s our quarterback.”

After opening the season with seven straight wins, the Broncos have lost two straight. They head to Chicago to play the Bears next Sunday, then host the Patriots the following Sunday.

Read More: Peyton Manning,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Peyton Manning acknowledges he ‘ended up hurting the team’ by playing through pain before benching

11.16.15 at 7:25 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: Texans at Bengals, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Celtics at Rockets, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Tennessee at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UMBC at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Virginia at George Washington, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: IUPUI at Marquette, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Kennesaw State at LSU, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: San Diego State at Utah, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Baylor at Oregon, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Euro qualifier, Bosnia-Herzegovina at Ireland, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


— On a day when Peyton Manning became the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards, all the talk instead was about his miserable performance that led to his eventual benching in a 29-13 loss to the Chiefs.

Manning completed just 5-of-20 passes for 35 yards, with four interceptions and two sacks, and was booed off the field by the Denver fans. After his fourth interception, and with his team trailing 22-0 in the third quarter, Manning was replaced by Brock Osweiler.

Manning said he he should not have tried to play through injuries to his right foot, ribs and right shoulder.

“I thought I felt good enough to play,” he said. “Maybe it was a false feeling or a wrong feeling. … By going out there and trying to help the team, I ended up hurting the team.”

In the week leading up to the game, Manning did not practice until Friday.

“I probably should have right there said, you know, no, he’s not going to go this week,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “But he’s a competitor, he wanted to play.”

Despite Manning’s declining performance this season, Kubiak said the starting job belongs to the 39-year-old.

“Peyton’s our quarterback,” Kubiak said. “If he’s healthy and ready to go, Peyton’s our quarterback.”

The game was stopped to honor Manning after a 4-yard pass in the first quarter to running back Ronnie Hillman that gave him enough yards to pass Brett Favre and break the all-time record, but it came after Manning already had thrown an interception, gotten sacked and fumbled the ball.

“I think that’s an awkward situation to have any type of stoppage of play, in the middle of a game,” Manning said. “I wasn’t off to the best start.”

Giants legend Lawrence Taylor, a man with his own history of troubles, isn’t ready to jump on the anti-Greg Hardy bandwagon. Despite Hardy’s domestic violence incident, Taylor said the Cowboys did a good thing by giving the defensive end an opportunity to return to the field.

“I like that. I think they needed to give him another chance because it’s not clear what happened,” Taylor said Sunday at a promotional appearance in New York. “It’s not really 100 percent clear what happened. So listen, I think they need to give him a chance.

“I think he is going to make the best of that second chance because I’ll tell you what, he could have been screwed. A lot of people have been screwed in this league. But he got a do-over, and you got to do the best you can. You got to make the best you can with that do-over.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: aaron rodgers, Gary Kubiak, Greg Hardy, Lawrence Taylor

Thinking Out Loud: Losing Dion Lewis hurts, but O-line injuries more concerning to Patriots

11.13.15 at 5:17 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering how John Farrell is coming along with his cancer recovery.

— Dion Lewis’ injury is tough to take, no doubt. Lewis has been a great story for the Patriots this year — an ongoing personal reclamation project that has won him many admirers in and out of the locker room. His on-field play has been spectacular at times, and gave the offense a dimension that made it almost indefensible.

— But there’s a reason why the Patriots are who they are — and why they do the things they do. This too, shall pass.

— Right now, for my money the offensive line injuries may be of greater concern. The mixing, matching and patching of players on the line is a credit to coach Dave DeGuglielmo and the offensive staff’s ability to create depth. This is precisely why having versatility is the No. 1 reason for keeping some players on the roster, as opposed to possibly letting them go elsewhere.

— I got the impression that the Patriots pretty much sleepwalked through the Washington Redskins to reach 8-0. Also got the impression that after losing Dion Lewis for the year, and getting Sebastian Vollmer and Duron Harmon hurt, that the Patriots’ scorched-earth tour just had a dose of cold-water reality tossed onto the train.

— It’s the first time in NFL history for three teams to be 8-0. Who will be the first of the three (Patriots, Bengals, Panthers) to lose? Looking over the schedules, I’ll take Cincinnati at Arizona in Week 11 as the most likely candidate for a pratfall. Next most likely defeats? Carolina at Dallas on Thanksgiving, New England at Denver three days later.

— Tweet of the Week, from @AdamSchefter: A little primer for Sunday’s Patriots-Giants game: Since start of 2008 calendar year, Giants are ONLY NFL team the Patriots have NOT beaten.

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Dez Bryant explodes at ‘dirty’ reporters in Cowboys locker room

11.13.15 at 7:47 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Hawks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Cavaliers at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Nets at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Colorado vs. Iowa State, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Wagner at St. John’s, 6 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Pittsburgh vs. Gonzaga, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Siena at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: North Carolina vs. Temple, 7 pm. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Florida at Navy, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: McNeese State at LSU, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Texas vs. Washington, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: USC at Colorado, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: Boston University at Providence, 6 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Michigan State at Boston College, 7 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
Soccer: World Cup qualifier, St. Vincent & The Grenadines at United States, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: UEFA Euro qualifier, Ireland at Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)


Dez Bryant went off on the media again, as the Cowboys receiver embarked on a profanity-laced tirade toward reporters in the locker room Thursday.

According to multiple reports out of Dallas, Bryant had been asking for days about ESPN’s Jean-Jacques Taylor, who wrote a piece last week about how Bryant needed to produce more. Bryant saw Taylor and exchanged words with him, then went on a lengthy rant.

Meanwhile, fellow receiver Devin Street stepped in and accused Taylor, who is black, of using a racial epithet — although other reporters in the room denied hearing it.

After another reporter, MMQB’s Robert Klemko, tweeted about Bryant’s behavior, the receiver exploded again, shouting at Klemko and repeatedly calling the reporters in the locker room “dirty.”

Bryant said the media has been “disrespecting this team” — a team that had lost six straight games and has been embroiled in one controversy after another.

He later went on Twitter and complained the media has been misrepresenting his behavior.

Wrote Bryant: Yeah, I blew up on the media but report why I blew up on ya’ll … Saying I don’t give f— about me and calling players n—– is not professional.

Added Bryant: If you going to tell something tell the whole thing…I’m done with the situation… I hope everyone is having a great day.

After taking some heat, Bryant out out another tweet in his defense, writing: Now I guess I’m the bad person??? The media comes in our locker room with no restrictions… I guess they can say whatever and it’s cool…let me remind all of you… WE ARE HUMANS AS WELL..WITH FAMILIES..we have to live with a lot of false talk about us…. I chose to stand up for me and what I represent….. I’m so sorry if a lot of you can’t handle being talked to direct.

— The Bills beat the Jets on Thursday night, but Rex Ryan didn’t come out looking like a winner to everyone.

Bill Cowher was note pleased with Ryan’s handling of his captains — the Bills boss tabbed IK Enemkpali to represent Buffalo before the game, despite Enemkpali having been released by the Jets after punching then-teammate Geno Smith. When the Jets played the Dolphins, Ryan sent out Richie Incognito, who was at the center of Miami’s bullying scandal two years ago.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Cowher, Dez Bryant, Katina Powell, Rex Ryan

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Cowboys legend Roger Staubach wouldn’t want Greg Hardy on his team

11.12.15 at 8:15 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Avalanche at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Northeastern at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. (NESN Plus)
NFL: Bills at Jets, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI-FM)
College football: Louisiana-Lafayette at South Alabama, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Warriors at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Clippers at Suns, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
Soccer: Euro 2016 qualifier, Hungary at Norway, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy

— Cowboys legend Roger Staubach joined the chorus of criticism of his former team for employing Greg Hardy.

“I’m rooting for the Cowboys, I don’t root for him,” Staubach told USA Today. “I’m still rooting for the Cowboys. I’m not a Hardy fan.”

The Hall of Fame quarterback called domestic violence “almost like a disease” said he hopes Hardy is getting help. But the two-time Super Bowl winner took particular offense to Hardy’s recent sideline confrontation with an assistant coach and a couple of teammates.

“I just feel that the reactions that he had on the field, losing his cool with the coach,” Staubach said. “I’m a big Jason Garrett fan, so maybe there’s more that I don’t know about. But what was seen there was not — as a player, you don’t do that. Therefore, it seems like his temper is not under control yet.”

While Hardy tweeted out a comment Wednesday suggesting his innocence and implying discrimination, Staubach continued his stance in an interview on NFL Network’s “NFLHQ,” saying: “I don’t know him and I haven’t dealt with him. As far as how I feel about it, I wouldn’t particularly want someone on my team that had the issues that he has.”

Added Staubach: “People can overcome mistakes. It’s just that domestic violence is a very serious issue, It also, the evidence is you just don’t overcome it without getting help.”

— Kings coach George Karl reportedly is on the hot seat in Sacramento, just nine games into the season.

Mercurial forward DeMarcus Cousins reportedly directed a profanity-laced outburst at Karl after Monday’s loss to the Spurs, and general manager Vlade Divac is said to have asked the players if he should fire Karl after just 39 games at the helm.

The Sacramento Bee reported that Karl wanted Cousins suspended two games for his insubordination, but Divac vetoed the punishment. Instead, Cousins issued an apology Wednesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: DeMarcus Cousins, George Karl, Greg Hardy, Lou Brock

Greg Hardy tweets ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ before changing account following talk with Cowboys

11.11.15 at 1:22 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy

Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy finally responded to the avalanche of criticism, implying that he was a victim of discrimination despite overwhelming evidence of his despicable behavior related to his 2014 domestic violence incident and his reaction to it.

Wrote Hardy on his Twitter account Wednesday morning — after changing the account’s name to “Perfection”: Innocent until proven guilty-lack of knowledge & information is just ignorance-the unjust/prejudicial treatment of diff categories of people is discrimination.

Hardy later took down his profile and changed his account name to “Machiavelli Kraken,” apparently after being contacted by the Cowboys.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett acknowledged that the team discussed the issue with Hardy on Wednesday morning, although he wouldn’t say if that’s why Hardy changed his account.

Asked if he felt Hardy was not buying in to the team’s message, Garrett said: “I think the biggest thing we try to do with any player is just address things when they come up, and we address them in-house and we deal with things inside these walls and then we move forward.”

Added Garrett: “I think a big part of coaching is shaping a mentality and mindset and shaping behavior. We do that every day with 53 guys on our rosters, 10 guys on our practice staff and all of our coaches and staff.”

Hardy’s response Wednesday was in stark contrast to what he tweeted Saturday night, one day after Deadspin released photos of his former girlfriend’s bruises on the night of the incident.

Tweeted Hardy on Saturday: Just had to say I express my regret 4 what happened in past and I’m  Dedicated to being the best person & teammate that I can be.

Read More: Greg Hardy, Jason Garrett,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Jets not thrilled with Rex Ryan’s ‘disrespectful’ move

11.11.15 at 8:09 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Pacers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Clippers at Mavericks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Spurs at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Canadiens at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: Bowling Green at Western Michigan, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Northern Illinois at Buffalo, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)


Rex Ryan‘s decision to name former Jet IK Enemkpali as a captain for Thursday’s Bills-Jets game, as expected, did not sit well with everyone in New York.

Second-year Jets safety Calvin Pryor called Ryan a “good defensive coach,” but when asked if Ryan is a good head coach, he replied, “Ah … no comment on that.”

Said Pryor of Ryan’s decision to honor the player who broke Geno Smith’s jaw: “It was definitely kind of disrespectful, but at the same time, he has his reasons.”

Pryor, who was benched by Ryan last season for being late to meetings and weigh-ins, said Ryan “does anything for attention,” adding of the Enemkpali decision, “You don’t have to announce it on Monday for the whole world to know.”

Ryan didn’t dispute Pryor’s assertion.

“He’s right,” the Bills coach said. “What else am I going to do? Just stand up here?”

Pryor isn’t the first of Ryan’s former players to criticize the coach, but Ryan dismisses the talk.

“Who gives a rat’s …” he said. “That thing’s in my rearview mirror. That thing’s behind us. People are always going to question the guy going out. I respect every one of those guys. They played their butts off for me. If they didn’t play well, I wouldn’t have been given this opportunity [with the Bills]. I’ll appreciate that.”

Gerald Green offered a public apology after being suspended two games by the Heat, apparently related to last Wednesday’s incident in which Green was taken to a hospital after acting strangely outside his condominium.

In a statement released through the team’s Twitter account Tuesday night, the former Celtic said, “I want to apologize to my family, fans and the Heat organization. I accept the suspension and look forward to rejoining my teammates this weekend.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Calvin Pryor, Gerald Green, IM Enemkpali, Rex Ryan

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Bills coach Rex Ryan names Jets villain IK Enemkpali captain against former team

11.10.15 at 8:00 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Celtics at Bucks, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Thunder at Wizards, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
NHL: Sabres at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: Ken State at Ohio, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Toledo at Central Michigan, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)


— Thursday marks the return of former Jets coach Rex Ryan to the Meadowlands, and the Bills boss is doing his part to make sure it will be memorable.

Ryan announced Monday that one of Buffalo’s captains for the game would be linebacker IK Enemkpali, who was released by the Jets in August after he punched quarterback Geno Smith and broke his jaw.

Ryan noted that he frequently selects captains based on their connection to the opposing team, such as sending out offensive lineman Richie Incognito before the game against the Dolphins, and that Enemkpali would not be the only captain, but he understood the kind of reaction the move would get.

“Yeah, I’ll get ripped,” Ryan said.

At least one Jet didn’t seem to mind the gesture.

“Love it,” a smiling Jets receiver Brandon Marshall told reporters. “That’s a Rex Ryan move. I mean, are you guys surprised?”

Jets coach Todd Bowles took the Bill Belichick approach.

“We just worry about us,” Bowles said. “We don’t worry about anybody else.”

Regardless of this move, Ryan said he expects his reception at the Meadowlands to be unkind.

“Oh, I think we all know. There’s going to be a lot of waving out there. … One-fingered and all that stuff. That much is a given.”

— Finally something good has come out of the Greg Hardy controversy. Following Friday’s release of photos of the victim in Hardy’s domestic violence incident, and prior to Sunday’s Eagles-Cowboys game, a Philadelphia radio station created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a women’s shelter in Dallas.

The goal set by 94WIP’s Josh Innes was to raise $3,000. He and co-host Hollis Thomas — a former Eagles defensive lineman — got things rolling by donating $500. By Monday night the fund’s total had eclipsed $31,000.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: IK Enemkpali, Rex Ryan,

Eagles criticize Greg Hardy after beating Cowboys: ‘It’s a joke a guy like that is able to play this quickly’

11.09.15 at 8:16 am ET
By   |   Comments

Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy

Tom Brady might not want to wade into the Greg Hardy controversy, but members of the Eagles weren’t shy about offering their opinion after Sunday night’s game.

Following Friday’s release of photos of the victim in Hardy’s 2014 domestic violence incident, a new round of criticism has fallen upon Hardy — and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, for signing him.

After the Eagles finished off their 33-27 overtime victory over the struggling Cowboys, offensive tackle Lane Johnson said he had some extra motivation.

“Any time I had a chance to put a little extra mustard on a block, I tried,” Johnson said (via the Philadelphia Daily News). “He wasn’t all that emotional in the game. I guess he is in other games. I don’t know if the stuff got to him on the news, but he kind of seemed out of it a little bit.”

Added Johnson: “I felt like I faced better than him. He’s a guy who, when things are going good, he’s great. When things aren’t going good, he’ll shut it down.”

Hardy had one sack but otherwise was not a significant factor. He committed two penalties, including one for unsportsmanlike conduct for pushing an Eagles player to the ground after the whistle.

“I’m glad he didn’t have a good day,” center Jason Kelce said. “It’s a joke a guy like that is able to play this quickly.”

Added Kelce: “Three people I have zero respect for in this world: People who hit women, who molest children, and rapists.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Greg Hardy, Jerry Jones,