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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Arian Foster explains why he can fight wolves; Russian politician wants to make fan fighting spectator sport 03.06.17 at 9:26 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Monday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MLB: Boston at Houston, 1 p.m. (WEEI-AM 850)
MLB: NY Yankees vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
World Baseball Classic: Israel vs. Taiwan, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Boston at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Dallas at Washington, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Indiana at Charlotte, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Boston at LA Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (CSN; TNT)
College basketball: Gonzaga vs. Santa Clara, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: BYU vs. Saint Mary’s, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)


—  Arian Foster sent a tweet storm on Sunday detailing why he is capable of killing a wolf. Reasons include wolves don’t have thumbs, “don’t know biology” and biting is their only weapon.

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Arian Foster announces retirement; Todd Bowles responds to Ryan Fitzpatrick’s criticism 10.25.16 at 7:56 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Tuesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

Minnesota at Boston, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Anaheim at San Jose, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB: Chicago Cubs at Cleveland, 8:08 p.m. (Fox)
NBA: New York at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: San Antonio at Golden State, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)

Broncos 27, Texans 9
Canadiens 3, Flyers 1
Flames 3, Blackhawks 2


— Dolphins running back Arian Foster announced his immediate retirement Monday after eight years in the NFL.

Foster, 30, only played four games this season due to hamstring issues. His history of injuries likely is a factor in his decision to retire midseason.

Digital media company UNINTERRUPTED tweeted this message from Foster on Monday night:

The sudden announcement was a shock for some.

“It was pretty surprising,” said Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, a longtime teammate of Foster’s. “Obviously, I think the world of him as a football player. It’s not easy to see guys step away from the sport.”

Texans tackle Duane Brown also didn’t see this coming.

“That’s a good friend of mine. Wow, I didn’t know that,” Brown said. “Hat’s off to him, salute to him. He had a heck of a career, and I’m honored to be able to share the field with him and be able to contribute to some of his success and have him contribute to some of my success.”

Foster played for the University of Tennessee and was signed by the Texans in 2009 as an undrafted free agent.

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Texans RB Arian Foster considering heart procedure 02.01.13 at 10:57 am ET
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Texans running back Arian Foster says he’s considering undergoing a heart procedure to address the condition that took him out of Houston’s Dec. 23 game.

Foster left that game, which the Texans lost 23-6 to Minnesota, with an irregular heartbeat, and Texans coach Gary Kubiak said after the game that Foster had experienced the same problem in a practice.

Foster told the NFL Network’s Alex Flanagan on Thursday that he’ll “likely undergo” a heart ablation in a month or so. That process involves the use of a catheter to correct structural problems of the kind that can lead to an abnormal heartbeat.

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Agent: Arian Foster has five-year deal with Texans 03.05.12 at 2:06 pm ET
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For the last two seasons, Arian Foster has risen from an undrafted afterthought to one of the NFL’s leading rushers, and he has been a central component of the Texans’ recent success in the process. For that, the Texans have committed long-term to their star running back, agreeing with Foster on a five-year deal worth a reported $43.5 million, according to his agent, Mike McCartney.

Foster, who made just $525,000 in 2011, reportedly will receive $20.75 million in guaranteed money in the deal and will earn $18 million next season. He was in position to be a third-year restricted free agent and by agreeing to the deal, the Texans avoid having to use their franchise tag on him.

“As you can imagine, Arian is thrilled,’€ McCartney told the Houston Chronicle. ‘€œHe never talked about his contract. He handled it in a first-class way. I think the Texans made it a priority to reward that.

‘€œArian loves Houston and the team. He didn’€™t want to leave. I’€™m just thrilled for Arian.’€

Foster rushed for 1,224 yards and 10 touchdowns last season and caught 53 passes for 617 yards and two touchdowns in helping lead the Texans to their first playoff appearance in franchise history. This came one season after the undrafted third-year player out of Tennessee led the league in rushing with 1,616 yards in 2010. For his effort, Foster made his second Pro Bowl in as many years.

By signing Foster, the Texans still have the option to use their franchise tag on a slew of important unrestricted free agents, most notably defensive end Mario Williams, who has been widely speculated as a possible target for the Patriots.

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Arian Foster returns to practice, feels ‘pretty much 100 percent’ 08.17.11 at 5:51 pm ET
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With Chris Johnson in a holdout and Arian Foster nursing a hamstring injury, NFL fans haven’t seen much from two of the league’s top running backs in training camp thus far. That changed Wednesday as Foster, the NFL’s leading rusher in 2011, returned to Texans’ practice for the first time since Aug. 5. The 24-year-old tweaked his hamstring on the very first play of training camp.

“It felt good getting back out there cutting, running around. It felt good,” Foster said. “I’m just not going to push myself past the limit right now. There’s no need to.”

Fantasy owners may have felt just as good about Foster’s return, as his 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns last season made him a steal in every league. Foster only had 54 carries for 257 yards in 2009.

“I thought he looked good,” said Texans coach Gary Kubiak. “We told him to be smart when he came out here today. It looked like he was fine, so hopefully every day’s a progression and we work towards Saturday night [when the Texans play the 49ers at Candlestick Park].”

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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.’€

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