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Martha Asencio-Rhine/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Bucs tackle Tristan Wirfs, center Ryan Jensen return to practice

Sports / Football /

TAMPA, Fla. — The Bucs may not have to worry as much about how they plan to protect Tom Brady in Sunday’s NFC division playoff game against the Rams.

All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs, who could not finish the 31-15 wild-card win over the Eagles due to an ankle injury, was suited up and had no discernible limp when he walked out with a ...Read more

Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images North America/TNS

Sam Farmer's NFL divisional round playoff picks

Sports / Football /

Los Angeles Times NFL writer Sam Farmer examines this weekend's playoff matchups in the divisional round. Lines are according to FanDuel. Last week's record: 6-0. Using point spreads with the scores Farmer had predicted, the record against the spread last week also was 6-0.

AFC: No. 4 Cincinnati at No. 1 Tennessee

When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m. PT...Read more

Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America/TNS

Days after arrest, Willie Gay will play in Chiefs' playoff game Sunday vs. Bills

Sports / Football /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Willie Gay will play in the Chiefs' playoff game Sunday against the Bills, four days after he was arrested and subsequently charged with misdemeanor criminal property damage, coach Andy Reid said.

Gay, a second-year linebacker, took part in practice Friday, a day after he was released from jail.

Asked how the Chiefs ...Read more

Panthers to hire former Giants coach Ben McAdoo as offensive coordinator

Sports / Football /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers coach Matt Rhule finally found his next offensive coordinator.

Carolina will hire former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo as its offensive coordinator, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

McAdoo spent three years out of the NFL following his four-year stint with the New York Giants...Read more

Vernon Bryant/Dallas Morning News/TNS

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones declines to endorse coach Mike McCarthy for 2022

Sports / Football /

Five days have gone by and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones remains angry, frustrated and upset over his team’s wild-card playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday.

“I thought we did a good job of getting to the playoffs,” Jones said on his radio show on 105.3 The Fan Friday morning. ”I can’t get over what we did in the ...Read more

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America/TNS

Joe Starkey: The Steel Curtain has slowly turned into the Stale Curtain

Sports / Football /

PITTSBURGH — Welcome to the home of the Stale Curtain, where the battle cry appears to be, "Hey, at least we're not the New York Jets!" and every season is beginning to look the same.

I happen to admire the Steelers' never-rebuild mentality, but what is it really getting them?

They have won three playoff games in 11 years and none in the ...Read more

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Marcus Hayes: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should hire Eagles hero Doug Pederson and fire Mike McCarthy

Sports / Football /

PHILADELPHIA — If Jerry Jones was smart, he’d have called his pilot Monday morning and would’ve been eating his bacon and beans aboard his Gulfstream G-IV headed to Palm Beach International. He’d have had a black SUV waiting to drive him directly to Doug Pederson’s million-dollar fishing boat, which, by mid-morning, would’ve been ...Read more

Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

Mike Preston: Why the Ravens should hold off giving QB Lamar Jackson a long-term contract

Sports / Football /

BALTIMORE — It’s uncertain whether the window for contract negotiations between the Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson is open or closed, but the team should shut it.

The status of the negotiations can’t be determined because coach John Harbaugh has gone underground since the Ravens were eliminated from playoff contention by the ...Read more

Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times/TNS

Matt Calkins: Speculation has started, but it doesn't make sense for Seahawks and Russell Wilson to split

Sports / Football /

SEATTLE — If you're surprised by snow in Greenland, or a national football champ from the SEC, or screaming teens at a Bieber concert, then this probably caught you off guard.

The first Sunday after the Seahawks' final game, a story came out with a headline reading "Russell Wilson wants to explore options this offseason."

This is the ...Read more

Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Jalen Ramsey says Rams must have everything covered against Tom Brady, Buccaneers

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES — Jalen Ramsey has faced Tom Brady only once in the postseason, and it was a game Ramsey chose to put out of his mind.

In the 2017 playoffs, Brady led the New England Patriots to victory over Ramsey’s Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium.

“That game was disappointing, so I just tried to forget...Read more

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Why this week's 49ers-Packers game could help shape the NFL's next decade

Sports / Football /

To the naked eye, the 2011 Washington Football Team was a wholly unremarkable collection of talent that stumbled to a forgettable 5-11 record and last-place finish in the NFC East.

A decade later, fans aren't exactly clamoring to see Rex Grossman throw deep to Jabar Gaffney again, but it's increasingly clear that team has an outsized impact on ...Read more

Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Revenge is a dish best served cold for Bucs in the postseason

Sports / Football /

TAMPA, Fla. — It’s become a common exercise for the Bucs to exorcise demons, to be more concerned with avenging previous losses than merely seeking revenge for them.

A year ago, they lost twice to the Saints in the regular season but won the game that counted in the division round of the playoffs. The Bucs also lost to the Chiefs in the ...Read more

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Greg Cote's NFL divisional round playoff picks

Sports / Football /

We went 4-2 straight-up and 3-3 against the spread in the wild-card round to begin our playoff run. Two of our wins were near Exactos. Bengals won 26-19; we had it 27-20. And Bucs won 31-15; we had 31-13. But we misfired badly on picking an upset by Cardinals, and did not see the Cowboys home loss coming. Headed for 4-0 overall and ATS this ...Read more

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Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott will not need knee surgery to repair torn PCL

Sports / Football /

FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who had been playing on a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee since October, will not require surgery to correct the issue, the Cowboys Wednesday.

Elliott admitted after Sunday’s season-ending loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC wild-card game that ...Read more

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Cowboys QB Dak Prescott fined $25,000 by the NFL for comments on officials

Sports / Football /

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has been fined $25,000 by the NFL for his comments condoning fans throwing debris at officials following Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers, sources confirmed.

Prescott initially said, “Credit to them then. Credit to them” when told that fans were throwing things at the officials as they ...Read more

49ers-Packers injury report: Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa, Fred Warner all poised to play

Sports / Football /

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Jimmy Garoppolo's sprained shoulder and thumb will not keep him from his Lambeau Field debut Saturday night, when the streaking 49ers visit the top-seeded Packers.

"He threw the ball great. He looked as good as he did the week before," coach Kyle Shanahn said after Thursday's practice. "Jimmy's been playing through ...Read more

Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America/TNS

Vahe Gregorian: Until more is known on Willie Gay's arrest, let's no more condemn than shrug

Sports / Football /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — So, here's the scant amount anybody removed from the immediate situation knows when it comes to the arrest of Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay (which as of Thursday afternoon remained an entirely fuzzy and incomplete picture):

Not much, really.

And even less about the most salient details.

What happened isn't clear, no matter...Read more

Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America/TNS

Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay Jr. pleads not guilty to property damage charge

Sports / Football /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay Jr. pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor criminal property damage before a Johnson County judge Thursday following his arrest during in an incident involving an ex-partner late Wednesday inside an Overland Park apartment.

Gay was expected to be released from jail sometime Thursday ...Read more

Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Running back Leonard Fournette suited up for Bucs practice

Sports / Football /

TAMPA, Fla. — The bay area’s most scrutinized hamstring apparently is nearing a game-ready level.

Bucs tailback Leonard Fournette, still technically on injured reserve, was spotted at the portion of Thursday morning’s practice open to reporters. Afterward, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich conveyed cautious optimism about his leading ...Read more

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

'Thorough, diligent and exhaustive': Inside Bears' search for new coach and GM -- and why the ever-growing candidate list could be a concern

Sports / Football /

CHICAGO — Let’s get something out of the way up front. The Chicago Bears are not playing musical chairs in their searches for a new general manager and head coach. There are enough impressive candidates available for both roles. The hunt need not be guided by suffocating deadline pressure.

It’s not as if, when the NFL’s search music ...Read more