Around the world in sports on October 24, 2012
New York Giants tight end Martellus Bennett (85) is tackled by Washington Redskins inside linebacker Perry Riley (56) as London Fletcher (59) closes in during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012 in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan prior to an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »
Fletcher’s games streak at risk after hamstring injury
ASHBURN, Va. – London Fletcher’s never-missed-a-game streak could be in jeopardy.
The Washington Redskins linebacker did not practice yesterday because of a sore hamstring and a problem with balance that had him scheduled to see a neurologist.
Fletcher hurt his right hamstring late in Sunday’s 27-23 loss to the New York Giants. Coach Mike Shanahan said the balance problem surfaced Monday.
The coach wouldn’t speculate on Fletcher’s chances to play in this week’s game at Pittsburgh.
Fletcher has played in 231 consecutive games since entering the league in 1998. That’s first among active players — one ahead of the Tampa Bay safety Ronde Barber.
Pierre Garcon remains sidelined with an injured right foot. His lack of improvement prompted the Redskins to send the receiver to see a surgeon and have his MRI re-examined.
Cowboys lose top tackler Lee to season-ending toe injury
IRVING, Texas – Dallas Cowboys leading tackler Sean Lee was placed on injured reserve and will miss the rest of the season because of a right big toe injury.
Coach Jason Garrett said yesterday that Lee will have surgery in the “next week or so.” Garrett said an MRI showed ligament damage that will require the surgery and end hopes of Lee possibly being able to return in four to six weeks.
Lee, a third-year pro, also calls the defensive signals for the Cowboys. The Cowboys signed veteran linebacker Ernie Sims, who played 13 games last year for Indianapolis.
Dallas also put punter Chris Jones on injured reserve. The Cowboys host the Giants this Sunday.
Ryan: Bush should say sorry
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan thinks Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush should apologize for his comments a few weeks ago that Darrelle Revis’s season-ending knee injury was a case of “what goes around comes around.”
Ryan drew the ire of the Dolphins star when the coach said the Jets were going to put “hot sauce” – saying he meant lots of attention, not intent to injure – on Bush before New York’s 23-20 overtime win last month. Bush hurt his left knee, and later implied it was karma that Revis also hurt his left knee and was lost for the season.
Ryan said yesterday he apologized for his comments being misinterpreted, and “expects” Bush to say sorry not to him, but perhaps to Revis because he’s “his peer.”
Jaguars expect to have Gabbert back at Packers
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert expects to play Sunday at Green Bay despite an injured non-throwing shoulder.
Coach Mike Mularkey expected Gabbert would take all the snaps yesterday – good news for a team that lost star running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) for an extended period.
Mularkey and Gabbert declined to discuss specifics of the shoulder injury or address a report that it was a torn labrum.
Gabbert said “you’re always going to be in pain, whether it’s your arms, your legs, knees, neck. That’s part of the game. You just have to manage it and deal with it the best you can.”
Gabbert completed 8 of 12 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown before leaving Sunday’s game at Oakland. Backup Chad Henne struggled in his place.
Players will oppose former commissioner Tagliabue
The players’ union said it will oppose former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue hearing the appeals of the four players suspended in the Saints bounties case.
In a statement yesterday, the NFL Players Association said it will file a motion in U.S. District Court in New Orleans later in the day asking Tagliabue to recuse himself because of a conflict of interest.
Commissioner Roger Goodell removed himself from hearing this set of appeals and appointed his predecessor last week. But the players and their union contend Tagliabue should be disqualified because of his employment by a law firm which has handled bounty-related matters for the league and represented Goodell in Vilma’s defamation lawsuit against him.
The hearings are scheduled for next Tuesday.
Broncos linebacker Williams sentenced to home arrest
DENVER – Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams will serve 30 days under home arrest for driving under the influence but not until after the season.
Williams was sentenced yesterday in Denver but a judge said he didn’t have to start serving it until Feb. 7, 2013.
Prosecutors had asked that Williams serve 30 days in jail.
Besides the home arrest, Williams will have to be on probation for two years, have his sobriety monitored and attend alcohol education classes and therapy. He also must perform 56 hours of community service and pay $2,390 in court costs.
Williams is serving a nine-game suspension, partly because of his August conviction for driving while ability impaired.
The team’s leading tackler in four of the last five seasons won’t return to the Broncos until Nov. 12.
Browns guard leaves hospital following treatment for clot
BEREA, Ohio – Browns offensive guard Jason Pinkston was released from the hospital after being treated for blood clots in his lungs.
Pinkston, who started Cleveland’s first six games at left guard, was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic last week with the life-threatening condition. The 25-year-old was placed on injured reserve earlier this week, ending his second NFL season. A Browns spokesman confirmed Pinkston was released yesterday.
The former Pitt tackle wrote “Good god almighty it’s so good to see these streets again!!” on his Twitter page after getting out.
Pinkston became ill during the first half of Cleveland’s game on Oct. 14 against Cincinnati. He was rushed to the hospital just a few days later. John Greco started in Pinkston’s place on Sunday against Indianapolis and is expected to remain with the Browns’ first-team offense.
Islanders to move to Brooklyn starting with 2015 season
NEW YORK – Now hockey is coming to Brooklyn.
The New York Islanders agreed to move to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center starting with the 2015-16 season.
Islanders owner Charles Wang made the announcement at a news conference yesterday. He opened the session by exclaiming “Hello, Brooklyn!” The lease agreement is for 25 years.
Officials in Nassau County, N.Y., have struggled for years to come up with a plan to either renovate or build a new arena to replace the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which opened in 1972.
Wang had long threatened to move the team from the site when the team’s lease expires after the 2015 season. He has complained that the dilapidated building is unsuited for a professional sports franchise.
NBA drops center position from this year’s All-Star ballot
NEW YORK – Small ball has made its mark on the NBA All-Star ballot.
The league announced yesterday that it was dropping the center spot from the ballot in a nod to the way the sport has changed in recent years.
Fans will vote for three frontcourt players and two guards, instead of two guards, two forwards and a center.
NBA executive vice president of operations Stu Jackson says having a center on the ballot was “outdated and not representative of today’s game or players.” He adds that players have become more versatile and “this ballot will more accurately reflect that versatility.”
Teams like Miami (Chris Bosh), Boston (Kevin Garnett) and San Antonio (Tim Duncan) all used forwards as center with great success last season.
The ballot comes out Nov. 13.
Harrington takes Grand Slam of Golf
SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda – Padraig Harrington won the PGA Grand Slam of Golf yesterday, closing with a 4-under 67 for a one-shot win over U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson.
Harrington, who lost in Grand Slam playoff in 2007 and 2008, won in his third try as an alternate. The three-time major champion was asked on Saturday to fill in for British Open champion Ernie Els, who has a minor ankle injury. The Irishman pulled away with three straight birdies early on the back nine and finished the 36-hole event on 9-under 133. He earned $600,000.
The Grand Slam is for the season’s four major champions.
Simpson played bogey-free for a 67 to finish second. Masters champion Bubba Watson (71) and Keegan Bradley (67), filling in for PGA champion Rory McIlroy, tied for third.
Federer beats Bellucci in 3 sets at Swiss indoors
BASEL, Switzerland – Roger Federer edged Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil, 6-3, 6-7 (6), 7-5 yesterday to advance to the quarterfinals of his hometown Swiss Indoors tournament.
The top-ranked Federer saved four consecutive set points in the second-set tiebreaker before the 34th-ranked Bellucci tied the second-round match.
It was not until match point that Federer, who held serve throughout, had the decisive breakpoint chance in the decider.
Federer will face either Benoit Paire of France or Lukasz Kubot of Poland in the final eight tomorrow. Paire beat fifth-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
In other first-round action, second-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina eased past Alejandro Falla of Colombia, 6-4, 6-1, and Marinko Matosevic of Australia upset seventh-seeded Florian Mayer of Germany, 6-2, 6-3.
Williams beats Li at WTA Championships
ISTANBUL – Serena Williams overcame an erratic serve to beat Li Na, 7-6 (1), 6-3 yesterday for her second win in round-robin matches at the WTA Championships.
Williams had six double-faults and won only 51 percent of points on her first serve. But Li also struggled on serve – there were eight breaks in the first set and three more in the second.
Williams closed it out on her third match point.
She has won 28 of her past 29 matches and captured Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Olympic titles this year. The highest ranking she can finish at the end of the year is No. 2 because of injuries and missed tournaments.