- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports22 hrs ago
TAMPA, Fla. – Robert Griffin III came through the tunnel after a preseason game in which he didn't play, galloping while his teammates slugged along.
"You know what this means?" a team official yelled at him. "It's Houston week!"
Griffin let out a whoop as he ducked into the Washington Redskins' locker room.
He came out a few moments later, meeting with the media after a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers even though a starting quarterback rarely speaks after a fourth preseason game. He didn't stand against the team's logo-covered backdrop, as is his usual place. He stood against a wall and took all questions.
"Totally different," Griffin said with a grin when asked how he felt at this point compared to a year ago. "It's Houston week!"
- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
Roger Goodell knew he was wrong, and he knew it quickly.
The NFL commissioner made a bold and admirable move on Thursday, writing a lengthy letter to all 32 league owners saying, "I didn't get it right" regarding "a recent incident of domestic violence." Presumably, he was referring to the suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who received only two games for alleged domestic violence.
"Lesson learned," one league executive told Yahoo Sports only days after Goodell made his decision on Rice that triggered such a public backlash.
- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars got to the line of scrimmage on second-and-12 and set up for a run play in the third quarter of last weekend's preseason game against the Detroit Lions. Rookie wide receiver Allen Hurns split out wide and looked in toward quarterback Blake Bortles, who began his cadence.
Bortles immediately began to call an audible. He noticed the Lions preparing for a run, so he signaled to Hurns to run a curl route instead. Hurns took off, then spun toward his quarterback, and the ball was on him. He made the catch and hustled into the end zone. It was the first NFL touchdown for both of them, and it came on a designed run play.
"He was very comfortable in the huddle," Hurns said Tuesday. "Very chill, relaxed. I was very surprised."
The first-round draft pick has surprised everyone. He was considered an eventual franchise quarterback, yet one who would learn for a season behind Chad Henne and then ease into his role. He's eased in, all right. After only three preseason games, wide receiver Cecil Shorts III told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday that Bortles and Henne "both give us an equal chance to win."
Concussion test that feels like 'octopus giving your head a hug' could greatly benefit NFL players, other athletesEric Adelson at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Kallie Woodward was a mess. The 19-year-old Division I field hockey player was diagnosed with a concussion in early 2013 and it wasn't the first time she suffered a hit to the head during play. Her symptoms were beyond concerning.
"She had headaches, sleep problems, attention and memory issues," said Jeffrey Kutcher, a neurologist at the University of Michigan who treats college athletes all over the country. "Her mood was down. She was not herself. She was usually very outgoing, but she appeared depressed. It was a significant constellation of stuff."
Woodward (whose name has been changed to protect her privacy) was put through a test that involved wearing a hairnet with 256 electrodes. The net was soaked in a combination of electrolytes and baby shampoo and placed on her head. (One lab technician said the hairnet feels like "an octopus giving your head a hug.") Then she was asked to respond to a series of computer beeps by pressing a button.
The results may have saved her playing career. And this slimy hairnet may do the same for athletes at all level of sports, all the way up to the NFL.
- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
Another injury has ended another season for Sam Bradford. St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher confirmed that Bradford tore his left ACL for the second straight year, meaning the quarterback will have missed nearly two full seasons (31 games) during the length of his rookie contract. Surely the "injury prone" label will shadow him for the rest of his career.
The news is devastating to Bradford and the Rams, and it raises questions about whether the former Heisman winner will ever return to full health. He also suffered a shoulder injury in college (2009) and a high ankle sprain in his second NFL season (2011). But "injury prone" doesn't apply to Bradford any more than it applies to any other NFL player. There's no such thing as injury prone in pro football; there is only such thing as misfortune.
"I don't think you can call a clavicle fracture and ACL injuries and lump them together and call it injury prone," said orthopedic surgeon Derek Ochiai. "More like bad luck."
Mo'ne Davis: How a dilapidated Philly field, a fire truck in right field and a one-eyed cat helped grow a starEric Adelson at Yahoo Sports13 days ago
PHILADELPHIA – Mo'ne Davis and her Taney Dragons have practiced under an Interstate 95 overpass. They've practiced in a flooded field they call "Shot River." They've practiced on an unkempt expanse of land that is now used for dog walking. And they've practiced on a field with a dilapidated fire engine serving as the right field wall.
"This," announces Joe Fallows as he looks out at the rusted red truck, "was a dump."
How that dump helped produce arguably the best story in sports is astounding enough. Davis, 13, just became the first girl to win a Little League World Series game, and she knocked in a run as a hitter in her team's next victory. But when you add in the trolleys, the painted horses, the hearse, and Lucky the one-eyed cat, well, you have one of the most uniquely Philadelphia stories imaginable. The Dragons are so named because all the 12-and-under Taney teams have mythical mascots. But the way the fireball-throwing Davis and these Dragons slayed all the obstacles of building an inner city Little League phenomenon is about as mythical as it gets.
- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports15 days ago
TAMPA, Fla. – Doug Martin hates the nickname, but it seems to keep resurfacing.
"What's that they call him?" asked teammate and offensive lineman Demar Dotson after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 20-14 preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins on Saturday. "Helmet monster?"
It's actually "Muscle hamster," though "Helmet monster" is perhaps more fitting for such a menacing rusher. Martin is, like his label suggests, hard to track and harder to stop. He's withstood quite a bit in two seasons in the pros. The Bucs' franchise was completely overhauled this offseason, with a new coach, general manager, offensive coordinator, quarterback, receivers, and even uniforms. Yet there's Martin, still front and center – despite a torn labrum that cost him most of the 2013 season.
- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports20 days ago
It's clear after one preseason game that Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer are tied in their pursuit of the Cleveland Browns' starting quarterback job.
That makes it clear Manziel is in line to win it.
"There is not a leader," said Browns quarterback coach Dowell Loggains on Tuesday, which in itself is a huge change from the offseason, when Hoyer was declared the No. 1. It's not that Hoyer has done anything to lose the job; it's just that an even battle allows the Browns to eventually choose Manziel with less fear of appearing hasty. If the preseason ends in a draw, nobody can say the Browns went with the inferior option. That leads straight to Manziel, even if he's unproven.
Loggains' appearance before the press on Tuesday is a sign in itself. It was Loggains who famously revealed to an Arkansas radio station after the NFL draft that Manziel texted the team asking to be picked by Cleveland and vowing to "wreck this league."
- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports22 days ago
TORONTO – By the time Rick Porcello entered the game in the bottom of the 17th inning, after the entire Detroit Tigers' bullpen was empty, he could hardly believe the state of the mound.
"It was one big crater," he said.
That was the extent of the erosion of the Rogers Centre pitching surface toward the end of the longest game in Toronto Blue Jays history, and that's the feeling most Tigers fans must have after a weekend of 29 innings played in two days, only to end up with two walk-off losses. Toronto won one of the zaniest games you'll ever see Sunday, with Jose Bautista playing the hero after going 1-for-8, and the Tigers getting 22 hits and losing 6-5. A World Series favorite with three Cy Young winners in one rotation is now only a half-game up on the charging Kansas City Royals. One of the most talented teams in Detroit history is tiptoeing around one big crater.Tue, Sep 24:05 PM PDTDetroit at ClevelandPreview Game
- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports23 days ago
DETROIT – Anthony Armstrong came off the field after catching the first pro pass from Johnny Manziel and reveled in the Johnny Drama.
“I’m immortalized!” the Cleveland wide receiver told teammates. “Going down in history!”
Only Manziel can create such theater during a boring preseason game in Detroit. The delight of watching him play is in knowing there’s always another web to tangle, always another predicament. There he was, on only his third play from scrimmage in the second quarter, hopping outside of the pocket and running into three Lions. He was stuffed for no gain – the Road Runner getting caught by the Coyote – and the haters reveled.
But then there he was again in the third quarter, taking off on fourth-and-1, staring down oncoming linebacker Travis Lewis, and getting the first down by a whisper.
“It was short,” sniffed Lewis, who held up a fist after the play, indicating what he thought was a turnover on downs. Nope. Sorry. First down, Browns. More theater.
And after the game, even more intrigue: Nate Burleson, one of Cleveland’s top receivers, gave his honest opinion on whether this is a real quarterback standoff between Manziel and Brian Hoyer.