Le’Veon Bell not expected to need groin surgery

During Super Bowl LI week, Le’Veon Bell said he was hoping to avoid groin surgery. It appears the Pittsburgh Steelers’ running back accomplished that goal.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that Bell is not expected to undergo surgery after visiting doctors after the playoffs. Bell has not scheduled surgery yet, which would have happened by now if necessary, per Rapoport.

“It really was special over the last decade,” Rivers said, via ESPN.com. “The only regret I have is not winning it all while we were here. It’s something we always wanted to do and get done for this community and for our team.”

Rivers added: “It has been very special to be a San Diego Charger. And I hope that you can always see me as that.”

The Chargers’ quarterback said he considered the possible move to Los Angeles when signing his contract extension in 2015. After 13 years in San Diego, Rivers likely won’t find the same connection in L.A., but he’ll still fight to earn that elusive championship.

“I know it’ll be different, but just know that … I’ll play like crazy and fight like crazy, as a Los Angeles Charger, just like I did for you guys,” he said. “And I know y’all can respect and understand that. But I hope you also know that I will always be playing for San Diego as well.”

Of course, the smart money is on him remaining in New England and the smart money is on the Patriots offering him a little bit of a raise from his insanely team-friendly, one-year, $1 million deal last season. And if that’s the case, would Blount take a little more money to go elsewhere instead of remaining in the place where he’s productive, beloved and at peace?

Craving for competition drove John Lynch from booth to GM role

About an hour after new San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch had taken part in his introductory news conference, he walked into the media room at Levi’s Stadium for another round of questions with local writers.

Lynch had honestly and earnestly answered every question thrown his way, be it about his lack of experience running a personnel department, the division of power between him and coach Kyle Shanahan and just about anything else. He’d done so with a smile and plenty of enthusiasm. As the conversation continued, Lynch was asked something a bit more difficult: Why?

As in why would a former player with a wife, four children and a good job as a color analyst for NFL games on Fox choose to leave for the high-pressure, results-driven business of being a general manager?

Lynch’s answer began with a quip but ended with emotion as he choked back tears talking about being away from his family.

John Lynch has had to make sacrifices as he transitions to his new, high-profile job as the 49ers GM.

Their resume, which includes a 1-4 record against teams in the top 50 RPI, doesn’t scream “We got this,” however they’ve saved their best play for the end of the season. If they can carry this winning streak through the end of the season, they should have a case for an at-large bid. Last season, they earned an at-large bid after Northern Iowa won the conference tournament, albeit with a slightly more impressive resume.

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Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon and the return of the 1st round running back

The trend of no running backs being taken in the first round of the NFL Draft might be about to change. In what is considered a devalued position, talent seems to be shining through.

Elite Mens J.R. Richard Jersey “I know over the years we¡¯ve talked about devaluing running backs. At the end of the day, you have to have a few guys who can carry the load,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said. “This year, I think a couple of those running backs at the top have a chance to be special.”

If two are being pointed out as potentially being special, chances are that means Georgia¡¯s Todd Gurley and Wisconsin¡¯s Melvin Gordon. No matter if they¡¯re ordered Gurley and Gordon or Gordon and Gurley, those two are considered by most to be the top running backs in this year¡¯s draft.

Seahawks’ Jeremy Lane could miss start of 2016 season due to surgery

Seattle cornerback Jeremy Lane will need surgery after suffering a torn ACL in addition to a broken arm suffered during the return of an interception off Tom Brady, according to Nick Shook of Around the NFL.
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The arm injury looked gruesome, yet may not have been the worst injury he suffered on the play. Lane also hurt his knee and could be out through training camp and into the early part of 2016. That would leave Seattle vulnerable at the cornerback position.

Behind All-Pro Richard Sherman and Lane, only Byron Maxwell and Tharold Simon are left as viable options. Maxwell could depart in free agency, while Simon struggled in limited duty. The situation could prompt Seattle to take a corner early in the draft or acquire one via free agency in March.

NFL players hate the franchise tag, even if it means a big paycheck

The NFL franchise tag is a relatively contentious issue during the offseason. Ostensibly, the tag is meant to give teams more time to negotiate long-term deals with important players, but the process can lead to bad feelings and many players would prefer to skip it entirely.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry, who played under the tag last year, has already fired an early salvo. Berry told the Kansas City Star that he won¡¯t play at all next year if he¡¯s tagged for a second straight season.
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¡°I¡¯m out, I¡¯m out … I¡¯m out,¡± said Berry. ¡°I¡¯m just prepared mentally and emotionally to do what I need to do.¡±

Berry made a healthy $10.8 million under the tag last season, and would earn about $13 million in 2017 if he¡¯s tagged again. Despite the hefty paycheck, he doesn¡¯t want the tag ¡ª and he¡¯s not alone.

The other baseball team in Missouri saw one of their players suffer an injury, as well, though Brian Flynn’s injury bordered on the bizarre for the Royals.
Jung Ho Kang’s DUI trial will happen later this month, which means that he’ll almost definitely miss the start of Pirates camp.

Rob Manfred’s ideas for “fixing” baseball are causing a lot of waves. Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue thinks that he’s got better ideas than the commissioner does.
Mens Jeff Hornacek Jersey Matt Wieters may finally be getting close to linking up with a new team, as he’s reportedly in talks with the Rays.
Bartolo Colon was once traded for Brandon Phillips in 2002. They’re now teammates, and Colon has a shot at outlasting everybody else who was involved in that deal. 2002!

Under Armour’s CEO said a nice thing about Trump, and now he’s walking it way back

Kevin Plank (second from right) sits in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Jan. 23. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank has had a challenging few weeks.

At the end of January, the company’s stock dipped after it reported disappointing earnings for the fourth quarter of 2016. Under Armour’s earnings per share were lower than anticipated, and the company booked about $100 million less than projected.

About a week after that, Plank went on CNBC and said Trump would be a “real asset” for the United States, hailing him as a pro-business president. It’s the kind of confident economic talk that, whether it’s true or not, makes good sense for the chief executive of a massive company that’s just gotten bleak financial news.

“I’m a big fan of people that operate in the world of ‘publish and iterate’ versus ‘think, think, think, think, think,'” Plank said then. “So there’s a lot that I respect there.”

Some big names might not be competing. The aforementioned Foster, as well as Malik Hooker, Corey Davis, and Ryan Ramczyk will likely miss out on the combine due to injuries suffered recently.

Joe Mixon and Ishmael Zamora were two of the bigger names who didn’t get invites this year. Mixon was shown on video punching a woman in 2014. Zamora was seen beating his dog with a belt on a leaked Snapchat video. Since last year, it’s standard NFL policy not to invite players who have been charged with domestic violence, assault, or sexual offenses.

McCoy’s first call was to one of his former assistants with the San Diego Chargers

I’ll go with Taylor, whose relationship with the Bills was clearly strained after the front office decided to deactivate him for the season finale. Taylor believed the decision showed a lack of faith in him as the starting quarterback, which will be confirmed if the Bills release Taylor before $30 million of his contract becomes guaranteed on March 11. Taylor could be successful for another NFL team, but it does not appear the Bills view him as their long-term answer at the position.

McCoy’s first call was to one of his former assistants with the San Diego Chargers — Jeff Davidson — to coach the offensive line. Davidson then wanted John Benton as the assistant line coach.

The combination of the two shows McCoy is leaning toward his approach in his last stint with the Broncos — he guided the offense for four seasons before taking over the Chargers in 2013. That included a run game that featured both a gap scheme at times, with more straight-ahead, one-on-one blocking, mixed with the zone scheme — the linemen move together to block defenders in specific areas. Davidson has used the gap scheme more; Benton is versed in the zone scheme, having been Kubiak’s offensive line coach for eight seasons with the Houston Texans.

Dalton Prout Mens Jersey To the delight of the home crowd, the Pacific opened the scoring first. Gaudreau dished to Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler on a 2-on-1 to give the Pacific an early 1-0 lead. The conflicted L.A. fans got to cheer again a minute later when Jeff Carter scored.

Elite Mens Clarence Weatherspoon Jersey The Central, frankly, looked lifeless. But Jonathan Toews finally broke through before the first stoppage, ripping a snapshot over Mike Smith’s left shoulder to make it 2-1. Connor McDavid, Drew Doughty, and Brent Burns started piling on, and the Pacific entered intermission up 5-1.

The Blue Jackets¡¯ Twitter is spending its time trolling teams during the NHL All-Star Game

Twitter is one of the best parts of the NHL¡¯s All-Star Weekend. The added commentary makes a sometimes lackluster weekend a treat, and the Blue Jackets are in full swing entertaining the masses by trolling fellow NHL team Twitter accounts.

Shalunov is separated from the rest of the list for a couple reasons. First, he¡¯ll be 24 on Tuesday and has said he won¡¯t go to the AHL, so it¡¯s getting harder to qualify him as a prospect. Second, it¡¯s still uncertain whether Shalunov is willing to leave the KHL to sign with the Blackhawks.
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Jeremy Lane Womens Jersey One of the more interesting developments of the past few months was Scott Powers¡¯ reporting that Chicago has actually retained Shalunov¡¯s rights. There wasn¡¯t much talk about him over the past few years, but he¡¯s emerged in his early-20s as one of the best players in the KHL, which is widely considered the second-best pro hockey league in the world.

So now the Hawks still hold his rights ¡ª likely part of a loophole with Russian prospects that allows NHL teams to retain draft rights indefinitely due to the lack of a proper agreement between the NHL and KHL ¡ª and they may try to sign him in the summer. He¡¯s indicated he wants a solid NHL role if he¡¯s leaving Russia.

Shalunov¡¯s talent is undeniably intriguing, and if you wanted to include him in the top 10 above, he would place near the top of the list. But given the fact that he would surely come here with a European Assignment Clause, if he¡¯ll come at all, I thought it¡¯d make more sense to include him, but not as part of the top 10. If the Hawks do sign Shalunov in the summer, expect him to place highly on our next edition of Top 25 Under 25.

Brady said he would do the same this year with White

The TB12 Sports Therapy Center in Patriot Place near Gillette Stadium serves as the hub for Brady’s business operations.

Based on the idea that everyone could benefit from how Tom Brady has trained, the business charges $250 for an initial 90-minute evaluation. Customers get their food diaries analyzed and their therapy/body work customized.
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They are given a body coach, who interacts with them in person for $200 a session. It includes servicing over the phone for additional exercises and needs.

Then there’s performance sleepwear, which Under Armour recently started selling with the TB12 brand for $200 for top and bottom.

After missing 12 games because of a broken leg in 2015, Ogletree returned to lead a nucleus of Rams defenders who rarely left the field. Linebackers are usually first off the field in nickel situations, but Ogletree never left and fellow linebacker Mark Barron missed only three snaps (99.7 percent).
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It’s amazing that after two injury-shortened years at the start of his career, Stafford has made every start since Week 1 of the 2011 season. And in 2016, there weren’t many opportunities to give him an end-game breather. The Lions had eight fourth-quarter comeback victories, and 13 of their 16 games were decided by one score.

After the game, his teammates, including MVP Tom Brady, were quick to say he deserved a share of the MVP honor. In years past, the Super Bowl MVP award came with a car. After the Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, Brady was awarded MVP and gave the truck to Malcolm Butler, who made the game-saving interception in the final seconds.

“I actually don’t know what I did with it,” James White said of the football from his Super Bowl game winner. “I left it on the ground and started running.”

Brady said he would do the same this year with White — but there is no truck to give. According to an NFL spokesman, a vehicle hasn’t been part of the MVP award for the past two Super Bowls.

The Texans have already managed a smooth transition to defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel from incumbent Romeo Crennel

Putting together a scoring drive in 50 seconds is asking a lot, even with a timeout in pocket, but the Falcons had reason to be hopeful there. Since Ryan came to the Falcons in 2008, Atlanta has scored eight field goals and four touchdowns on drives starting with 2 minutes or less left in the fourth quarter and the score ranging from the Falcons trailing by 3 to it being tied. That¡¯s most in the league over that span.

Win or lose, the Pats play exciting Super Bowls. Even before this game, they had the second-highest average excitement index of any franchise that had played three or more Super Bowls:
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To follow up on what Neil wrote earlier, Brady has a total of 44 fourth-quarter comebacks in his career, including regular season and postseason. Only Peyton Manning (47) has more. It looks like Brady is about to add to his total.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the number of fourth-quarter comebacks Tom Brady has in his career. Before Super Bowl LI, it was 44, not 43.
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Marcus Allen and the Raiders dominated the Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII, as the point spread was never in doubt. The game seemed likely to go over the total, as it entered the fourth quarter with a combined 44 points (Raiders 35, Redskins 9), but the teams scored just 3 points in the final quarter. The Redskins had the first chance to put the game over the total, but Joe Theismann fumbled in the red zone with 9:13 left. The Raiders then had first-and-goal from the 1-yard line with less than five minutes left but settled for a 21-yard field goal to keep the game one point below the total.

The Texans have already managed a smooth transition to defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel from incumbent Romeo Crennel, who will remain on staff.

McCarthy has shown little aptitude for handling his team’s fourth-quarter decisions

McCarthy has struggled with game management in key situations during previous playoffs. As I wrote about on Sunday, McCarthy has shown little aptitude for handling his team’s fourth-quarter decisions, particularly as an underdog.

Against the Seahawks two years ago, McCarthy kicked twice on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line in the first quarter, then clung to a bizarre emphasis on the number of carries his team should have in the second half in an attempt to hold on to the lead.

Then, last season in the divisional round of the playoffs, he followed Aaron Rodgers’ miraculous Hail Mary on the road in Arizona by kicking the extra point to go into overtime in lieu of attacking a stunned Cardinals defense for a game-winning two-point conversion try. His team never touched the ball again.

The “Brotherhood” seems to be on a mission this season, as Quinn has established a winning mentality in everyone on the roster. Ryan might be adamant about “blocking out the noise” regarding his inability to reach a Super Bowl, but you can bet that some of the negativity has fueled him up to this moment.

This game could be a shootout, indeed, but the Falcons prevail behind Ryan’s arm and his running backs’ legs. The defense will hold up just enough, relying on the blazing speed of rookie linebacker Deion Jones and Beasley and the physical play of rookie safety Keanu Neal to come up with some key stops. Falcons 35, Packers 31

The one other concern with Tomlin is that he may get carried away with challenges, although that’s less of a concern under the league’s modern rules. He made a terrible mistake with challenges earlier in his career during a playoff game against the Ravens in 2010.