Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Backup QB battle heating up: What to watch for in Rams vs. Texans

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES — Until this week, the only preseason drama surrounding the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams centered on quarterback Matthew Stafford’s right elbow, and whether the 14th-year pro would be ready for the Sept. 8 opener against the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium and beyond.

Based on his efficient performance during an ...Read more

Amanda McCoy/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS

Clarence Hill: Matter of time before Cowboys name Tyler Smith a starter

Sports / Football /

COSTA MESA, Calif. — It was a mixed bag during practice this week against the Los Angeles Chargers for Dallas Cowboys first-round pick Tyler Smith.

He was strong in the running game early, working at left guard next to left tackle Tyron Smith working with the first-team offense.

The Fort Worth, Texas, native, who played in high school at ...Read more

Michael Cunningham: Arthur Smith's narrative for Falcons: 'Doing things the right way'

Sports / Football /

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Arthur Smith is not a fan of narratives. The Falcons coach especially does not like “easy” or “lazy” narratives. Unfortunately for Smith, his team has served up plenty of those. The Falcons were a bad football team in his first season. They are going to be bad again.

That’s my narrative, at least. I’m hardly ...Read more

John Sleezer/The Kansas City Star/TNS

Vahe Gregorian: With Len Dawson in hospice, George Brett, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Watson pay tribute

Sports / Football /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One morning during Tom Watson’s senior year (1966-1967) at Kansas City's Pembroke Country Day, Kansas City Chiefs icon Len Dawson was a guest speaker at the school now known as Pembroke Hill.

Watson still remembers the time of the assembly, 8:10 a.m., and his conversation afterward with Dawson.

He already was a golfer of...Read more

Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Fantasy football 2022: San Francisco 49ers preview

Sports / Football /

Knowledge is power and the greatest asset you can acquire in order to compete for a fantasy football championship.

Here's your 2022 preview of the San Francisco 49ers, the seventh of 32 team profiles during draft season:

— 2022 Fantasy MVP: Trey Lance, QB

We don't have to look far to find Lance's (ADP: 100) fantasy floor in his first year ...Read more

Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Dieter Kurtenbach: The writing is on the wall for Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers. It's embarrassing.

Sports / Football /

If the 49ers cannot sell the Cleveland Browns on trading for Jimmy Garoppolo now, then the Niners’ quarterback cannot be sold.

And seeing as how the Browns don’t seem to have any interest in Garoppolo as of Thursday morning, that means we’re nearing the end of the quarterback’s time in the Bay, most likely with his release before or on ...Read more

Jennifer Buchanan/The Seattle Times/TNS

Chicago Bears dominate the Seattle Seahawks in a 27-11 win

Sports / Football /

SEATTLE — The Chicago Bears beat the Seattle Seahawks 27-11 on Thursday night at Lumen Field. Here’s what you need to know about the game.

Justin Fields’ day

Bears coach Matt Eberflus decided earlier in the week to limit his starters’ playing time because they had only five days between games.

So Bears quarterback Justin Fields and ...Read more

Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Justin Herbert's pursuit of perfection rooted in being 'my best for these guys'

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES — It is a routine that's anything but routine, Justin Herbert hanging around after most of his teammates have left the practice field to throw more passes.

A perfectionist chasing perfection.

"This guy's out here like an hour and a half after just throwing the same route over and over and over," wide receiver Keenan Allen said. "...Read more

Allsport/Getty Images North America/TNS

Leonard Levy, who helped bring the Bucs and Super Bowls to Tampa, dies

Sports / Football /

TAMPA, Fla. — Leonard Levy, a local sports pioneer who was instrumental in bringing the Bucs and several Super Bowls to Tampa, died Thursday while in hospice care. He was 89.

Levy headed up Tampa Bay’s expansion committee in the early 1970s and was extremely instrumental in bringing the expansion Bucs to the area to begin play in 1976. In ...Read more

Pat Leonard/New York Daily News/Pat Leonard

Giants QB Daniel Jones reveals he had 'non-football related' neck procedure during the offseason

Sports / Football /

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones revealed on Thursday that he underwent a “non-football related procedure” on his neck “early in the winter.”

Jones said the previously undisclosed surgery was “completely unrelated” to the “neck strain” that prematurely ended his 2021 NFL season after a Week 12 injury in Philadelphia.

A small ...Read more

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images North America/TNS

Back in Florida, CB Mackensie Alexander feels at home with Dolphins

Sports / Football /

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — As Mackensie Alexander absorbed the South Florida heat and humidity for a third training camp practice with the Miami Dolphins this week, he was reminded on Thursday of the hard work he had to endure both working with his parents in his youth and as a high school football standout in Immokalee in similar conditions.

...Read more

Nick Cammett/Getty Images North America/TNS

Deshaun Watson suspended 11 games, fined $5 million in NFL and union compromise

Sports / Football /

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson struck a deal with the NFL to play games in 2022. Then he insisted he was innocent coming off a staged in-house apology last week.

Watson has been suspended for 11 regular-season games and fined $5 million as part of an 11th-hour agreement struck Thursday between the league and NFL Players’ ...Read more

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America/TNS

Scott Fowler: Former Panthers, UNC safety debuts new role on ACC Network, sounds off on Cam Newton

Sports / Football /

Tre Boston was always one of the most loquacious players in the Carolina Panthers locker room and, before that, with North Carolina. Now the former NFL and Tar Heel standout will get paid to talk on TV, as Boston becomes a co-host on the new, football-centric show “ACC PM” on ACC Network.

Only 30, Boston is barely out of the NFL after ...Read more

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Greg Cote: Deshaun Watson's punishment will go on well past when his increased NFL suspension ends

Sports / Football /

The unholy mess Deshaun Watson made for himself now has an end date. We learned, in a settlement announced Thursday between the NFL and its players association, when Watson’s increased league suspension would be finished.

We still don’t know if his punishment will ever truly be over.

The settlement was a compromise that can’t truly ...Read more

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Coach Robert Saleh says Jets will 'do right' by QB Zach Wilson in terms of his return to action

Sports / Football /

NEW YORK — On Tuesday afternoon, the Jets received good news as quarterback Zach Wilson’s knee surgery was considered a success.

Now Gang Green plays the waiting game.

The timeline for Wilson’s return from the meniscus tear he suffered in last Friday’s preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles has been listed as anywhere from ...Read more

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America/TNS

Saquon Barkley 'fed up' with criticisms that he's 'dancing' in Giants backfield

Sports / Football /

NEW YORK — Saquon Barkley unloaded on critics of his running style Thursday after practice.

“I know … a thing that’s been said about me is he don’t know what he’s doing, he’s just dancing back there,” Barkley said. “I’m really kind of fed up with people who never played the position and try to speak on how I run the football...Read more

Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Tom Brady's return date to Bucs still undecided

Sports / Football /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Bucs still expect Tom Brady to return to the team sometime after Saturday’s preseason game against the Titans but there’s “no definitive” date for him to rejoin the club, coach Todd Bowles said Thursday.

Brady was excused from the team for undisclosed “personal reasons” last week but the Bucs admitted the ...Read more

Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Ravens Q&A: Rookie safety Kyle Hamilton on Drake's latest album, his viral moment, handling NFL spotlight and more

Sports / Football /

BALTIMORE — After the Ravens concluded practice Monday, a group of kids called for rookie safety Kyle Hamilton, asking him to sign their posters.

“I have to do some media stuff first,” Hamilton, a first-round draft pick in April, told them.

Wide receiver James Proche II, however, stepped in and said, “You have 30 seconds.” So, ...Read more

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images North America/TNS

Fantasy football 2022: Los Angeles Rams preview

Sports / Football /

Knowledge is power and the greatest asset you can acquire in order to compete for a fantasy football championship.

Here's your 2022 preview of the Los Angeles Rams, the sixth of 32 team profiles during draft season:

— 2022 Fantasy MVP: Cooper Kupp, WR

Frankly, there's nowhere to go, but down for Kupp (ADP: 4) after he made video gamers ...Read more

Joe Starkey: Time for Steelers to end Mason Rudolph charade

Sports / Football /

PITTSBURGH — We can stop pretending now.

At least I hope we can.

For all I know, Mike Tomlin will elevate Mason Rudolph back to the second team Wednesday. Maybe that's all part of "the plan" Tomlin and his assistants keep referencing. But to what end?

Rudolph was never going to be a viable contender for the starting quarterback job and ...Read more