Lions announce joint practices with Raiders, Giants

The Detroit Lions will participate in joint training camp practices before preseason games with the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants. The Lions said Friday they’ll practice with the Raiders in Napa, California, Aug. 7-8 before their game Aug. 10. The following week, the Lions and Giants will practice in Allen Park from Aug. 14-16. The teams play in Detroit on Aug. 17. Detroit’s other preseason games are Aug. 24 at Tampa Bay and Aug. 30 against Cleveland

As a member of the Hall’s selection committee for 21 years, I’ve been in that room, engaged in debates about the merits of candidates. I figuratively stood on the table defending Owens each year — and not because of his numbers, which can be so skewed, yet so many point to as the defining measure — but because he was simply one of the best of his era.

If he chooses not to attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies he will be missing one of the most moving and emotional experiences someone could have in football. Indescribable moments. It will be his loss, not the Hall’s.

Athletically, Derek Rivers should be a future superstar pass-rusher. Unfortunately, he hasn’t played a football game for over a year after he missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury.

That, compounded with the fact that he played in the FCS for Youngstown State, is a red flag.

The Pats’ top two returning pass-rushers are Deatrich Wise and Trey Flowers, who both play more of a length-and-strength form of pass rushing than anything else.

If Rivers can adjust quickly to NFL speed, he could cut into Adrian Clayborn’s playing time. Between Clayborn and Rivers, it’s likely that New England’s 2018 leader in sacks will come from a player who wasn’t on the field in the Super Bowl in February.

Frazier’s maturity shining for Yankees

Estrada was shot in his hometown of Bejuma, Venezuela, in late January. He said two teens tried to rob him for his cell phone and cash while at a restaurant with his wife. When he told them he didn’t have either, one of them shot him.

The bullet is still in Estrada’s hip. Doctors there tried to take it out but actually may have made the wound worse, Mitchell said. So they gave up and left it there.

Though New York has played him at second and third base to enhance his versatility and to accommodate higher-profile prospects such as Gleyber Torres, there’s no question that Estrada is a big league shortstop. He covers a lot of ground thanks to his smooth actions and keen instincts, and he has the plus arm to make all of the throws. He’s also an asset at second and third base, and he’s athletic enough to handle the outfield if asked.

He is his own man.

You might not know the name Rashad Greene yet. You will next year.

Greene is a wide receiver for the Jaguars. If you do know him, it might be for one of the biggest plays of his young career, this punt return against Indianapolis last December.

Bennett responded similarly when he spoke to Philadelphia media last week, though he didn’t mention the we don’t have to take a knee part.

Here’s what he said last week…

For us it’s just about the work and how much work we can do in the community. A lot of times it gets mixed up… but it’s really about: how can we build bridges from different communities and become a better organization. That’s our focus as a team and then our focus as people, how can we be a better organization and better people outside. That’s how I feel.

The most interesting part of this Sports Illustrated story on the beginning of legal gambling in New Jersey is the picture showing Super Bowl odds.

The goal of oddsmakers is to encourage gambling. That’s understood.

Mookie Betts injury update: Red Sox’ star placed on 10-day DL with abdominal strain

Mookie Betts has been placed on the 10-day disabled with with a left abdominal strain, the Red Sox announced Friday.

He is eligible to return June 8 as the stint is retroactive to May 29.

If I wouldn’t have known he played left tackle last year, I would have assumed [right tackle] was his natural position, because he looks good in it right away, Hernandez said. Honestly, I think he’s great.

The Giants need more from Flowers than looking great in the spring, but it is a start.

If you looked at the Jets offensive line last year, well, it wasn’t great.

Collectively, the team’s quarterbacks were sacked 47 times — a bottom-10 mark in the league. The Jets running backs were stuffed behind the line of scrimmage 26 percent of the time, according to Football Outsiders, good for 29th in the NFL.

So, there was room for improvement. The franchise hopes that will come in the form of Spencer Long.

Rodgers appears to have avoided the ratings penalty applied to others who have missed considerable time due to injury last season or in recent years. Players like Gronkowski (-7), Landon Collins (-8), Kam Chancellor (-8), Andrew Luck (-3) and David Johnson (-2) were impacted, while Rodgers actually moved up three points coming off the injury that cost him most of last season.

An early look at the ratings for Madden NFL 19 features some changes near the top. While the game is still seven weeks from its release and adjustments can be made, it’s unlikely that any dramatic changes will happen. Von Miller missing from the list, however, seems like an error that will be corrected.

He credits Williams with making his life easier.

I think having [rookie Nathan] Shepherd will be able to free Leo up to do his thing, Lee said.

Sam Darnold is the future at quarterback.

Dolphins sign second-round pick Mike Gesicki

The Dolphins announced they have signed tight end Mike Gesicki, the last of the team’s eight draft picks to agree to terms.

That article reported one of the primary sources of tension between the men was Belichick’s desire to groom his next franchise quarterback and Brady’s desire to play ostensibly forever while not going out of his way to help a potential successor.

But if Brady’s family life keeps going this well, Belichick might not have to worry about it much longer. Ever the competitor, though, Brady still talks like he can’t imagine a future off the field.

I am what I am, Brady said. I know my strengths. I’ve improved on some of the weaknesses. And I still think I want to go out there and compete and play with a bunch of 22-year-olds. It’s still a lot of fun.

The Bengals had subpar offensive line play last season and the hope is that Price becomes a foundation of a more capable group in 2018 and beyond.

What Webb admitted could have been an awkward situation last Thursday instead was filed away as another item in the progress report he is building. The second-year quarterback is one of the most fascinating players on the Giants roster, even though the plan for him is to serve as the backup to Eli Manning, historically a non-playing role. If Manning can finish up the final two years on his contract and then give way to Webb, the Giants could be set at the most vital position on the field for another decade.

No one knows if that scenario is plausible or wishful thinking. No one can be sure if eschewing a quarterback with the No. 2 pick in the draft — Sam Darnold was right there, waiting for his name to be called — will be proven prescient or foolhardy. Saquon Barkley may turn into the next great running back, but if the Giants, post-Manning, are wandering in the quarterback-less desert, it will not matter much.

Pat Shurmur: Possible Odell Beckham is fully cleared for minicamp

The Giants will close out their offseason program with a three-day mandatory minicamp next week and head coach Pat Shurmur confirmed on Monday that wide receiver Odell Beckham is expected to be in attendance despite not being at recent voluntary OTAs.

Taylor has moved on like the Bills have moved on, ready to try to do in Cleveland what he did in Buffalo in helping end the Bills’ long playoff drought.

I’m excited, happy with the place that I’m at now and the team that I’m playing for, and I’m excited about the opportunity, he said.

The NFL has encountered controversy over its catch rule and the implications of instant replay since the early 1980s.

It wasn’t until Calvin Johnson’s game-winning touchdown was overturned in 2010, however, that the league’s process of the catch mechanism began to sew chaos and confusion among fans, players, coaches and even game officials.

With Adam Jones off the roster, Jackson is in line for a bump in playing time alongside fellow first-rounders Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard and he believes that will boost his name recognition as well.

I feel like I did good last year, but obviously I wasn’t a starter, Jackson said, via Justin Williams of The Athletic. A lot of people around the world don’t actually know about me over here. They’ll definitely know about me this year.

The former Eagles wide receiver, known for his on-field and off-the-field antics, announced Thursday that he won’t attend his induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.

Owens said he has decided to celebrate elsewhere, but didn’t say where.

The Eagles recently held meetings with their players, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Media. Owner Jeff Lurie opted to send a smaller contingent to avoid putting his players in a tough spot.

One of Owens’ best seasons was 2004, when he caught 77 passes for 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns as a member of the NFC Champion Eagles, who lost to the New England Patriots, 24-21, in Super Bowl XXXIX. Owens caught nine passes for 122 yards on 14 targets from quarterback Donovan McNabb in that game.

Julian Edelman facing four-game suspension for PEDs

Tom Brady might not have his favorite receiver back to begin the season.

Julian Edelman is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy, NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones reported, per a source informed of the situation. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport adds Edelman is appealing the suspension.

If the suspension holds, Edelman will miss the Patriots ‘ first four regular-season games against the Texans, Jaguars, Lions and Dolphins.

In Wednesday’s practice, Austin received extensive work with the first-team offense, mostly as a receiver, though the team is officially listing him as a running back. 

I think our group is going to pick up the slack for I guess what is considered a true No. 1, Linehan said.

Why is this impeachment taking so damn long? Washington cornerback Josh Norman said on Twitter.

Here’s the real question: How long will that last? If the President plans to pick on the NFL any and every chance he can get, regardless of what the league does to defuse things, at some point a league that is used to rolling up its sleeves and throwing punches may decide that it’s go time.

As Walls recalled last year, Clark approached him after Kodak began using images of The Catch in its advertising. Clark had agreed to Kodak’s use of his likeness, but Walls was in the picture too, and Walls knew nothing about it. Clark didn’t know Walls well, but he was the first person to inform Walls that he was legally entitled to be compensated for appearing in an advertisement.

I really didn’t know him, but Dwight didn’t even say hi, Walls said. He came right up to me with a sense of urgency. And for him to give a crap about if I got my money? I know a lot of guys. Black, white, whatever. They wouldn’t do that. That goes to show how in tune he was as a peer. And that gave me pause: ‘Hey, this dude here is pretty cool.’

Giants’ Dave Gettleman has cancer

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman announced Tuesday in a press release that he has been diagnosed with lymphoma and will begin cancer treatments soon.

Here’s what the Mayo Clinic says about lymphoma:

The mutation also allows the cells to go on living when other cells would die. This causes too many diseased and ineffective lymphocytes in your lymph nodes and causes the lymph nodes to swell.

Active surveillance. Some forms of lymphoma are very slow growing. You and your doctor may decide to wait to treat your lymphoma when it causes signs and symptoms that interfere with your daily activities. Until then, you may undergo periodic tests to monitor your condition.

Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy fast-growing cells, such as cancer cells. The drugs are usually administered through a vein, but can also be taken as a pill, depending on the specific drugs you receive.

Receivers coach Keenan McCardell expects Chark to get plenty of work on offense this season, too.

He is a very talented kid that loves to play football — very coachable, McCardell said. He gives you the speed that we’re looking for outside. I think he is going to have an opportunity to stretch the defense for us. I’m looking forward to it. [He offers] another pair of young legs that can run.

Marcus Semien (R), 50 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals (LHP Danny Duffy): There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Duffy has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball this season. He currently ranks 215th on the ESPN Player Rater among starting pitchers. While Duffy has done a decent job keeping lefties in check, right-handed batters have tagged him for a .394 wOBA. Semien gets the platoon advantage here and should be able to do some damage.

Yuli Gurriel (R), 29 percent, Houston Astros at Texas Rangers (LHP Mike Minor): Gurriel has gone yard only once this season. That could change with a matchup against Minor on Saturday, however, as the Texas lefty has surrendered at least one home run in six straight starts (nine total). He’s also allowed a .380 wOBA to right-handed batters, putting Gurriel in a highly appealing spot.

The Seahawks still have an elite, ground-covering middle linebacker in Bobby Wagner. K.J. Wright remains close to elite on the weak side, too. Those two won’t let up.

jets_014The strong side, however, is starting from scratch. Michael Wilhoite wasn’t re-signed, and Terence Garvin landed with the Dolphins as a free agent. The best returnee, D.J. Alexander, played almost exclusively on special teams last season.

Such a void prompted the signing of Barkevious Mingo. Given how great Wagner and Wright are, the Seahawks could afford to take a chance on the former Colt and 2013 first-rounder of the Browns.

The Tigers played in Detroit Stars jerseys, while the Indians wore Cleveland Buckeyes uniforms to honor Negro Leagues Weekend.

The big question is how much Penny will be able to handle as a rookie. He was a productive workhorse at San Diego State, but he wasn’t deployed much as a receiver. Seattle, however, looks ready to use him beyond early downs with comfortable routes and protection schemes. Schottenheimer is devising a large role for the rookie due to the lack experience and reliability in the rest of the backs.

The Seahawks have been desperate for a back capable of staying on the field through every down and distance since Marshawn Lynch; don’t be surprised if they use Penny as if they think he can be the sequel to Beast Mode.

Carson, despite the injury, should stick on the roster as the backup. He’s a well-built runner of whom Seattle wants to see more. As for Prosise and McKissic, there might not be enough passing-down work left for them, but they provide some position versatility. (And McKissic has some special teams value.) One could be considered a hybrid to classify among the wide receivers.

Russell Wilson needs better rushing support, and with other factors lessened around him, Penny shining immediately as a co-centerpiece of the offense would be huge for Seattle.

Madden 19 will steer clear of anthem issues

jets_015For decades, EA has marketed the Madden series by claiming, If it’s in the game, it’s in the game.

Here’s one thing from the game that won’t be in the game: The national anthem controversy.

At the EA Play event, which precedes E3 2018, producer Ben Haumiller told GameSpot that the Madden 19 game will not include anything related to the anthem.

The people who play just want to play, and that means minimizing everything else, from the amount of time it takes to load the startup screen to the amount of time that elapses from starting a game to the actual kickoff to the various delays that pop up in connection with penalty calls, the end of quarters, and replay reviews, any moment spent doing anything other than playing the game feels like wasted time.

The Pirates led 5-0 behind Musgrove until the right-hander opened the seventh inning by hitting Owings on the first pitch retaliation for Josh Harrison being plunked in the top half. Nick Ahmed followed with a run-scoring single, Daniel Descalso had another off Edgar Santana and Lamb tied it at 5-all on a three-run homer to left.

Ketel Marte singled off Kyle Crick (0-1) to lead off the eighth, moved to second on a walk and raced to third after a pickoff attempt at second base by catcher Elias Diaz. Marte scored when the next pitch by Crick bounded to the backstop . Descalso put Arizona up 8-5 with a two-run triple and scored on Dovydas Neverauskas’ wild pitch.

The Bombers, in clear need of starting pitching, face the Mets’ aces this weekend. If not them, whom might the Yanks add by the deadline?

Hired as the Indians’ pitching coach in 2013, he helped turn Corey Kluber into a two-time Cy Young winner. He let Trevor Bauer be Trevor Bauer after the Diamondbacks quickly gave up on him. Carlos Carrasco developed into one of the better starters in the league. Cody Allen had just reached the majors in 2012. Danny Salazar was a rookie in 2013. Mike Clevinger had a breakout season in 2017. Few teams have developed pitchers like the Indians in recent years.

How Yankees’ Aaron Boone makes out lineups each day and who helps

jets_016Yankees manager Aaron Boone says constructing his lineups is like putting together a new puzzle every day.

Some are easier to solve, others not so much.

What can make the process tricky is his belief in splitting up his right-handed and left-handed hitters to create balance, especially late in games to prevent situational relievers from facing a group of righties or lefties consecutively.

And then we kind of get the 10 players – the nine players and the DH – that we’re going to put out there, and then I just kind of piece it together from there. Most days, (the lineup) is pretty obvious. But I guess I get people’s thoughts casually all the time, and that probably goes into my decision-making process.

This is it! Duvernay-Tardif tweeted in excitement. Today I become a doctor!

The Chiefs selected Duvernay-Tardif in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft with a full understanding he was in a third year of medical school.

And with the full backing of the Chiefs ‘ organization over the years, he mastered the art of multitasking the demands of football and returning to Canada during the offseason months to continue his medical studies.

While Duvernay-Tardif excelled on the football field and signed a five-year, $41 million contract extension with the Chiefs in 2017, medicine remained one of his passions.

Eight years after beginning the journey in medical school, the 27-year-old now has life after football secured as a medical doctor.

That’s scary, and that’s life after bashing into defenses 2,542 times for 10,607 yards and 58 touchdowns. Lewis was a human sledgehammer, one of seven backs ever to eclipse 2,000 yards in a season. He won a Super Bowl. An NCAA championship at Tennessee. His 295-yard day against the Browns ranks No. 2 of all time.