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Chargers’ Antonio Gates leaves game with ankle injury

10.17.10 at 3:05 pm ET
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San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates left the field for the locker room after injuring his ankle during the first half against the Rams, reports ESPN. Gates missed two plays earlier in the game after blocking for running back Ryan Mathews. The all-pro tight end returned but left the field late in the second quarter with the injury.

Gates has scored in nine consecutive games, an NFL record for tight ends, but he failed to reach the endzone Sunday before leaving the field. He had two receptions for 12 yards before he returned to the locker room.

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DeSean Jackson and Dunta Robinson injured in Eagles-Falcons

10.17.10 at 2:59 pm ET
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Philadelphia Eagles star receiver DeSean Jackson and Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson were helped off the field Sunday in the matchup between the NFC teams. Robinson delivered a hard hit to Jackson while the receiver tried to catch a pass from quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Robinson was flagged for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on the hit as he hit a helpless DeSean Jackson over the middle of the field. Both players received attention on the field for several minutes until Jackson and Robinson were able to stand and return to their team’€™s locker rooms.

The Eagles later announced that Jackson would not return to the game after suffering an apparent head injury, reports Fanhouse.

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, DeSean Jackson, Dunta Robinson, Philadelphia Eagles

Lions, TE Scheffler agree to extension

10.17.10 at 2:59 pm ET
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The Detroit Lions agreed to an extension with starting tight end Tony Scheffler on Saturday, reports Sports Illustrated. The deal is a three-year extension that includes a $2 million signing bonus. The Lions acquired Scheffler in April in a three-team trade from Denver, who drafted Scheffler in the second round of the 2006 NFL draft.

Scheffler has 24 receptions for 212 yards receiving and one touchdown this season going into Sunday’€™s game against the Giants. The Western Michigan star has 162 receptions for 2,108 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career.

Read More: Detroit Lions, Rumor Mill, Tony Scheffler,

NFL Trade Deadline Update: Panthers, Raiders

10.17.10 at 2:58 pm ET
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The NFL trade deadline comes this Tuesday with teams deciding their futures and trading options leading into Week 6.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Oakland Raiders have told teams that any of their players are available for a trade before Tuesday’€™s NFL trade deadline. Oakland (2-3) faces San Francisco on Sunday and the result could prompt deadline moves by Al Davis‘€™ struggling franchise. Some Raiders players have drawn interest across the league including linebacker Thomas Howard and cornerback Chris Johnson.

The Raiders offered the same invitation to teams last season before the trade deadline but no moves were ever made.
Despite speculation over the past week, the Carolina Panthers will not trade receiver Steve Smith before Tuesday’€™s deadline. One team reportedly called the Panthers about the star wideout but Carolina gave them the same message. Smith is close with owner Jerry Richardson and the Panthers have not yet shown any desire to trade their veterans despite team struggles.

Smith, 31, has 13 receptions for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns for Carolina this year. The Panthers have struggled early at quarterback with Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen both receiving starts early in the season.

The Panthers (0-5) have a bye week and play San Francisco on Oct. 24. The team also announced that they will not trade running back DeAngelo Williams as well.

Read More: Carolina Panthers, Oakland Raiders, Rumor Mill, steve smith

Browns’ Josh Cribbs injured against Steelers

10.17.10 at 2:57 pm ET
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The Cleveland Browns suffered a substantial loss with a first half injury to all-purpose player Josh Cribbs on Sunday. Trailing the Steelers 7-3, Cleveland (1-4) decided to use Cribbs in a wildcat formation when the dynamic receiver took a snap from center and ran to the right side of the field. Cribbs and a Steelers defender James Harrison had a helmet-to-helmet collision which left Cribbs on the field. He was taken off and he will be tested for a concussion. There is no indication yet to the extent of Cribbs’ injury but he will not return to Sunday’s game.

Cribbs was unable to find room to run against the Steelers with just 2 yards on 3 carries. The Browns intended to use Cribbs in their wildcat formation often to take pressure off of rookie quarterback Colt McCoy in his first ever NFL start. McCoy is 6-for-9 attempts with 67 yards passing and one interception against the vaunted Pittsburgh defense.

Read More: Cleveland Browns, Josh Cribbs, Rumor Mill,

Minnesota fires coach Tim Brewster

10.17.10 at 1:46 pm ET
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The Minnesota Gophers fired football coach Tim Brewster on Sunday. The firing occurred one day after Brewster and the Gophers lost to Purdue 28-17 in Minnesota’€™s sixth straight loss. The loss gave Minnesota a 1-6 record which prompted athletic director Joel Maturi and university president Robert Bruininks to make a change at head coach.

‘€œWe have high aspirations for our football program and we are not satisfied with its current direction,’€ said Maturi. ‘€œThe results so far this season have been unacceptable and the program has simply not shown enough improvement over the past three and a half years to continue with the status quo.’€

Brewster was hired in 2007 and went 15-30 at Minnesota with a 6-21 record in the Big Ten. Brewster had never been a head coach or coordinator in college or the NFL before he was hired. His only previous head coaching position was at Central Catholic High School in Lafayette, Ind. Brewster had a 0-2 bowl record with the team.

Offensive coordinator Jeff Horton was appointed as the team’€™s interim head coach for the remainder of the season which includes games against Penn State (3-3), Ohio State (6-1), Michigan State (7-0), and Iowa (5-1).

Read More: Big Ten, Minnesota, Rumor Mill,

NFL to meet Favre on Tuesday

10.17.10 at 11:35 am ET
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Saturday that an NFL official will meet with Vikings quarterback Brett Favre to discuss allegations that he sent inappropriate messages to a Jets sideline reporter in 2008. The NFL Network added that the meeting would take place on Tuesday with a member of the NFL’s security team. While Goodell has said that he has no plans as of now to meet with the quarterback — who is listed as questionable to start on Sunday against Dallas due to right elbow tendinitis, putting his streak of 289 straight starts in some jeopardy — the commissioner said that stance could change if events warrant it.

For more, click here.

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Olney: Royals to listen to offers on Greinke

10.16.10 at 11:01 am ET
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While the Royals have a farm system that features a wealth of high-end talent, it may be a couple years or more until Kansas City vaults from a last place team in the AL Central (they finished 67-95 this year) to contention. As such, with starter Zack Greinke under team control through the 2012 season (with salaries of $13.5 million in both 2011 and 2012) — a point by which the Royals may or may not be competitive — Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Royals will listen to offers for the 27-year-old right-hander.

“The timeline of Greinke’s career may not be in line with the organization’s reconstruction plans, so the Royals intend to listen to any and all offers for the All-Star right-hander during this offseason, according to sources,” Olney wrote. “The Royals could trade him this winter, or maybe they’ll wait until next summer, when pennant races sometimes drive up the prices that contenders are willing to pay. But either way, they will listen to offers in the weeks and months ahead.”

The 2009 American League Cy Young Award Winner turns 27 next week. Though he slipped from his dominant 2009 (16-8, 2.16 ERA) to more pedestrian totals in 2010 (10-14, 4.17), Olney spoke to talent evaluators who suggested that Greinke simply appeared to lose interest while dealing with the Royals’ ongoing struggles to win.

Greinke told mlb.com in September that he had indeed struggled with motivation, and that he would consider changing his medication for a social anxiety disorder in order to help deal with the issue.

“Something probably happened to where I had a real good year last year and just lost a little motivation in my process, which isn’t good. I just probably need to figure out a way to not let that happen,” Greinke told mlb.com. “My only motivation now is winning. I have no motivation to do any other stuff. When we’re 20 games out, it’s hard to get excited to come to the park. … About the midpoint of the year, it’s kind of tough, realizing we weren’t going to make it to the playoffs this year. That was really the only goal coming into the season and it was kind of a letdown when that happened. You just had to find a way to re-motivate yourself when that stuff happens.”

If Greinke is available this offseason, Olney noted, there would be a huge market for him in an offseason when Rangers starter Cliff Lee is the only dominant free-agent pitcher who will be on the market. While Lee will be using the contract of CC Sabathia (7 years, $161 million) as a benchmark, Greinke will be under team control for two years at $27 million, and so he arguably represents a comparable talent to Lee at a fraction of the cost and risk.

Read More: cliff lee, Rumor Mill, zack greinke,

Report: Mariners to name Eric Wedge as their manager

10.15.10 at 5:16 pm ET
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The Seattle Mariners will hire Eric Wedge to become their manager, SI.om reports.

Wedge was the manager of the Cleveland Indians from 2003-2009. He garnered the MLB Manager of the Year Award for the American League in 2007 after leading the Indians to a 96-66 record and the Central Division Title. The Indians team beat the Yankees to win the ALDS but lost to the Red Sox in a seven-game series. In Sept. 2009, the Indians announced that Wedge would not return to the team for the 2010 season, the final year of his contract. Wedge’€™s managerial record is 561-573 over his seven seasons with the Indians.

Wedge, 42, will be called on to revive a talented Mariners team that many analysts predicted prior to 2010 would reach the postseason. The Mariners under-performed expectations and finished the season with a 61-101 record, the second-worst record in the major leagues.

Read More: Eric Wedge, Rumor Mill, Seattle Mariners,

Eagles to start Kevin Kolb; Michael Vick still unavailable

10.15.10 at 3:23 pm ET
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Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb will start for Philadelphia in Sunday’€™s match up against the Falcons, ESPN reports. Coach Andy Reid made the announcement after it became clear that quarterback Michael Vick was unable to return to the starting lineup. Vick practiced with the scout team Friday but the former Pro Bowl quarterback will be unable to play for the second straight week after an injury to his ribs.

Vick suffered damage to his rib cartilage during the first half of a Week 4 loss to the Redskins in Donovan McNabb‘€™s anticipated return to Philadelphia. Kolb entered the season as the team’€™s starter until he suffered a concussion in a Week 1 loss to the Packers. With Vick at the helm, the Eagles won two straight games thanks to superb play by Vick.

Kolb performed well in last week’€™s win over the 49ers by going 21-for-31 with 253 yards passing, one touchdown, and a 103.3 passer rating. The timetable of Vick’€™s return is still unknown. The Eagles will play the Titans next week, followed by a Week 7 bye.

The report also ruled out left tackle Jason Peters (knee) and defensive tackled Brodrick Bunkley (elbow).

Read More: Kevin Kolb, michael vick, Philadelphia Eagles, Rumor Mill