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Update: Coach Wade Phillips not at Cowboys facility early

11.08.10 at 11:31 am ET
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Updating a previous item surrounding Dallas’ coaching turmoil from Sunday night, ESPN’s Calvin Watkins reported that as of 9 a.m. CT on Monday, Cowboys coach Wade Phillips was not seen at Valley Ranch. Phillips’ SUV was not seen in its usual spot outside the scouting department’s office.

After Sunday’s contest with the Packers, Phillips would not confirm if he had spoken with owns Jerry Jones after the game. Cowboys officials reportedly are planning a 4 p.m. CT news conference with Phillips for Monday.

Read More: Jerry Jones, Rumor Mill, Wade Phillips,

Lions QB Matthew Stafford set for MRI on right shoulder

11.08.10 at 9:22 am ET
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Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was set to undergo an MRI on his right (throwing) shoulder Monday morning after he re-injured it in Sunday’s heartbreaking loss to the Jets, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortenson. Stafford was enjoying a strong day before suffering the injury in the fourth quarter, completing 20-of-36 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns against a strong Jets secondary.

Detroit’s trainers spent little time examining the injury, which the Detroit News believes is “a good indication” that the injury is either “the same injury ‘€” or one very similar ‘€” that forced Stafford to miss five games this season.” Stafford had been sidelined from Week 2 to Week 7 with a separated acromioclavicular joint. He returned in Week 8 to throw four touchdown passes in a victory against the Redskins.

“He is very sore,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said of Stafford after the game. “You guys know how tough he is, and if he could have [finished] he would have. It’s something we’re going to have to take a very serious look at. It’s his right shoulder.”

Read More: Matthew Stafford, Rumor Mill,

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hints at changes

11.08.10 at 8:45 am ET
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The Monday Morning tradition of contemplating Cowboys coach Wade Phillips’ job security appears to be coming to a close. Following an embarrassing 45-7 loss to the Packers, owner Jerry Jones suggested a change was forthcoming.

“There are a lot of people here who are certainly going to suffer and suffer consequences,” Jones told the media, abandoning Phillips side for the first time this season. “I’m talking about within the team ‘€” players, coaches who have got careers. This is certainly a setback. I know firsthand what it is to have high expectations. I think unquestionably that our expectations were thinking we’re something we were not, possibly looking at what might be relative to a Super Bowl. All of those things have certainly contributed early.”

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer predicted a change would be forthcoming, tweeting “Welcome to the head coaching ranks jason garrett.” Along with the Cowboys offensive coordinator, secondary coach Dave Campo and wide receivers coach Ray Sherman are candidates to take over on an interim basis. Given Jones’ widespread disappointment, predicting who could take over is difficult.

“We have so many things that we need to correct and address, as this game so vividly exposed and previous games have,” Jones said. “I’ve got a lot of work to do, got a lot of decisions to make. And it’s not just one, two, three or four. There are several decisions. I think everybody in this country would agree that there’s a lot wrong with this team that we’ve got to address, and I’m certainly the one to address it.

“”I can’t put my finger on it because I don’t have enough fingers.”

Read More: Jason Garrett, Jerry Jones, Rumor Mill, Wade Phillips

Report: Packers to release CB Al Harris

11.08.10 at 7:43 am ET
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Two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Al Harris will be released by the Packers after he practiced with the team for the past three weeks while on the physically unable to perform list, Harris told “I lost my job to injury,” Harris said in a text message,” but I have only good things to say about Green Bay and everyone I worked with.

Harris, 35, underwent reconstructive surgery on his left leg last Nov. 30 after being injured eight days earlier. He began practicing with the team on Oct. 19.

Read More: Al Harris, Rumor Mill,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Channing Crowder furious after alleged spit in face

11.08.10 at 6:36 am ET
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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.

Celtics at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)


‘™¦ Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder was furious Sunday during the Dolphins’ 26-10 loss to the Ravens, but it wasn’t just because of the loss. Crowder became incensed and had to be restrained by his teammates because, he later explained, Ravens fullback Le’Ron McClain spit in his face. McClain denied the accusation, but Crowder was adamant after the game.

“Le’Ron McClain spit in my face,” he said. “That’s some real [expletive], so if you talk to him tell him he’s a [expletive] and if he ever comes to Miami he’s got to see me. … That’s the first time I’ve ever been spit in my face in my life, and that’s the worst thing you can do to a man as another man, spit in somebody’s face. Why would you do that? Because you’re scared of me? So you’re going to spit on me and walk away like he did ‘€” spit real fast, walk away and let your team protect you? That’s what he did.”

‘™¦ With the Cowboys hitting a new low in Sunday night’s 45-7 loss to the Packers, the calls for Wade Phillips‘ dismissal are growing louder. In the Dallas Morning News, Jean-Jacques Taylor writes that keeping Phillips “should be considered cruel and unusual punishment” for the coach, but then he explains why it doesn’t make financial sense for owner Jerry Jones to fire Phillips in midseason.

‘™¦ The Lakers are off to a 7-0 start, but Mark Heisler in The Los Angeles Times explains why there is a zero percent chance they will surpass the Bulls’ record of 72 wins in a season.

‘™¦ With free agency under way, Anthony McCarron in the New York Daily News polls some experts to try to determine what Derek Jeter‘s value is to the Yankees.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 8, 2000, which player was named captain of the Bruins?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Channing Crowder, Derek Jeter, LeRon McClain, Wade Phillips

Yankees contact Cliff Lee’s agent

11.07.10 at 9:33 pm ET
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According to the Associated Press, the Yankees contacted the agent for left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee on Sunday to express interest in the hurler and to say that “they will be back in touch with an offer for the top pitcher on the market.”

The report cited a baseball official familiar with the conversation between New York and Darek Braunecker, Lee’s agent. Sunday was the first day for teams to contact free agents to express interest in them.

The Yankees nearly acquired Lee, the 2008 Cy Young winner, in exchange for a package of prospects headed by catcher Jesus Montero. But the Rangers swooped in when the left-hander was available in July and acquired Lee in exchange from the Mariners for first baseman Justin Smoak and others. Lee was a combined 12-9 with a 3.18 ERA for the Mariners and Rangers in 2010, and he ran his career postseason record to 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA through the American League Championship Series (when he and the Rangers beat the Yankees) before losing a pair of games in the World Series.

Lee is regarded as being in a class by himself in terms of available free-agent pitchers this offseason. He is expected to get a deal in excess of $100 million, with the Yankees and Rangers being viewed as the leading candidates to sign him.

Read More: cliff lee, Rumor Mill,

Austin Collie leaves game on stretcher after hit

11.07.10 at 7:12 pm ET
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Colts receiver Austin Collie was taken off the field on a stretcher after a hit from Eagles safety Kurt Coleman in the first half of the Colts game in Philadelphia. Collie lay motionless on the ground for several minutes before he was placed on the stretcher.

Collie was hit on the play by Quintin Mikell and Coleman. Mikell was called for a 15-yard penalty, but replays showed that Coleman’s hit was the one that made contact with Collie’s head. CBS reported that Collie suffered a concussion, and was sitting up and alert in the locker room.

Read More: Austin Collie, Kurt Coleman, Quintin Mikell, Rumor Mill

Early Fantasy Studs: Week 9

11.07.10 at 7:04 pm ET
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Rounding up the players who had big fantasy weeks in the early games:


Brett Favre (QB Minnesota vs. Arizona): 36-for-47 attempts, 446 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions

It was a big day for Favre, but it took every single break for the Vikings to overcome the Cardinals in a 27-24 overtime win. As usual, Favre tossed two picks, but he also held on to the ball when it mattered down the stretch. Favre had a career-high passing yards en route to a 101.9 rating, giving coach Brad Childress a much-needed win.

Peyton Hillis (RB Cleveland vs. New England): 29 attempts, 184 yards rushing, two touchdowns

Hillis was a nightmare for the Patriots as he continued his breakout 2010 season. It was the first time this season a player ran for over 100 yards on the Patriots. That includes players such as Cedric Benson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Ronnie Brown, Ray Rice, and Adrian Peterson who all were unable to break the century mark against the Pats.

Philip Rivers (QB San Diego vs. Houston): 17-for-23 attempts, 295 yards, four touchdowns, one interception

Rivers found a new target (see below) and continued the torrid pace of the San Diego offense that leads the league in most offensive categories. The Chargers offensive success have been downplayed due to their early-season losses, but a big win in Houston could propel the Chargers towards another AFC West title.

Arian Foster (RB Houston vs. San Diego): 27 carries, 127 yards rushing, two touchdowns

Houston has relied heavily on Foster, especially with Andre Johnson‘€™s hampered ankle, and the running back has delivered this season. Foster continues his breakout season and fantasy owners who picked him up are benefiting from one of the best rushing attacks in the game.

Percy Harvin (WR Minnesota vs. Arizona): 9 receptions, 126 receiving yards

Harvin entered the game with plenty of storylines surrounding him. Reports had surfaced that the wide receiver nearly engaged in a physical fight with coach Childress and he entered the game with question marks on his health. Harvin delivered and had a solid performance in the absence of Randy Moss. If Harvin stays healthy, he will deliver in similar fashion as long as Brett Favre can still throw the ball downfield.


Steve Johnson (WR Buffalo vs. Chicago): 11 receptions, 145 yards receiving

Johnson has emerged as Ryan Fitzpatrick‘€™s favorite target and managed to find open field against a tough Bears defense.  The Bills have lost eight straight games but Johnson has consistently produced. Johnson now has 41 receptions for 554 yards and six touchdowns, although he was unable to reach the end zone Sunday, snapping his five-game scoring streak.

Seyi Ajirotutu (WR San Diego vs. Houston): four receptions, 111 yards receiving, two touchdowns

Posing a problem for announcers ever, Ajirotutu could be Philip Rivers‘€™ next deep threat. Coming into the game, the former Fresco State receiver had only collected five receptions for 74 yards after making his season debut in Week 7 against New England. Ajirotutu scored on touchdowns of 55 and 28 yards in San Diego’€™s 29-23 win.

Nate Burleson (WR Detroit vs. New York Jets): seven receptions, 113 yards receiving, one touchdown

Burleson benefited from Matthew Stafford‘€™s big day against the Jets’€™ defense. Calvin Johnson had only one reception and Burleson was targeted eight times during the game.  It still seems that Johnson is the team’€™s main receiver but Burleson could benefit from the extra attention paid to ‘€œMegatron.’€

Read More: Arian Foster, brett favre, Fantasy, Nate Burleson

Channing Crowder calls out Le’Ron McClain

11.07.10 at 6:31 pm ET
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The Dolphins were understandably mad after losing 26-10 to the Ravens Sunday, but the target of their wrath wasn’t their own play, but the actions of Ravens running back Le’Ron McClain. According to Miami linebacker Channing Crowder, McClain spit in his face. Crowder called McClain “a punk,” with a few other colorful adjectives thrown in for effect.

Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason responded that Crowder was a bad player and would be out of the league before Mason, who is 36 years old and almost retired this past offseason. Crowder had called Mason “old” during the week.

McClain denied spitting on Crowder, telling reporters, “Nah, I didn’€™t spit on him. That’€™s crazy. That’€™s not my game. I’€™m Le’€™Ron McClain, man. Le’€™Ron McClain don’€™t spit on another player. But I will block you. Four quarters. That’€™s a fact.”

Read More: Channing Crowder, Derrick Mason, LeRon McClain, Rumor Mill

Lions QB Matthew Stafford leaves game with shoulder injury

11.07.10 at 5:53 pm ET
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Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford watched from the sidelines as the Jets beat the Lions in overtime, 23-20. Stafford left the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent right shoulder injury. Stafford was tackled in the backfield while scrambling and fell hard on his shoulder. Stafford immediately ran off the field while pointing towards his shoulder.

The former first-round draft pick injured the same shoulder during the Lions’ opener and missed the next five games. Stafford was replaced by Drew Stanton, who finished the game while the Jets rallied for a big win on Sunday.

Stafford threw for 240 yards and two passing touchdowns during the game. He also scored on the ground, his first rushing touchdown of the season.

Read More: Detroit Lions, Drew Stanton, Matthew Stafford, Rumor Mill