TIME Baseball

Steady, Dominant Bull Pen Helping Royals Prove They Belong on Big Stage

World Series Giants Royals Baseball
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez and Greg Holland celebrate after Game 2 of the World Series in Kansas City on Oct. 22, 2014 Jeff Roberson—AP

Kansas City beat the Giants, 7-2, in Game 2 to even the World Series

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera made a conscious effort to change the speeds of his pitches this year, and in Game 2 of the World Series, it paid off. He threw a fastball 101 mph, then dropped down to 100, then went back up to 101. You can see why opposing hitters might be confused, and also why they would want to curl up with a good book and hit themselves over the head with it.

Herrera got five outs and handed the baton to Wade Davis and Greg Holland. Then Herrera watched video of himself, which he does after every outing to make sure he is not too open in his delivery, which was a problem last year. Maybe a little tiny bit of him watches so he can see the radar-gun readings and think, “Good God am I awesome,” though he wouldn’t admit that.

Anyway, the video confirmed what anybody watching live already knew: That was the real Herrera. And these were the real Royals.

Kansas City beat the Giants, 7-2, in Game 2 to even the series, and they really had no choice. Lose this one, and the hill would get awfully steep. The Royals didn’t win the Series in Game 2, just as the Giants didn’t win it in Game 1, but they did something important besides win the game. They showed why they belonged here.

There is a risk when you appear on an unfamiliar and large stage. Anybody who watched the 2008 Rays, ’06 Tigers, ’07 Rockies or a friend nervously stumble through wedding vows understands. The Royals are the feel-good story of baseball, but we’ve all seen this script, and the last few pages are usually in flames. It happened to the Chiefs in January; after a stunning regular season, they collapsed in the playoffs against the Colts. After their Game 1 loss, the Royals looked like they might do the same.

Instead, we saw the real Royals. The bullpen dominated. The offense put together a big inning, a five-run sixth. And yes, there were moments when they seemed determined not to score, no matter how many hittable pitches they saw. The Giants’ Jake Peavy found the middle of the plate way too often; a better lineup probably would have chased him by the fourth inning. Instead, the Royals couldn’t pound Peavy’s mistakes and they chased pitches they should have left alone. Well, hey, nobody is perfect … except the Royals’ relievers, obviously.

The World Series is different. It feels different. The Royals had five days to think about how different it is. Herrera said his bullpen warm-up sessions don’t tell him much. “I never know before I throw my first pitch in the game, because it’s way different.” That’s how it is in the World Series, too. Until you go through it, you just don’t know what it will be like.

The Royals know now, and a potentially epic Series is unfolding. We may have seen the last two blowout games of the Series — the pitching is better than the hitting for both teams and runs should be scarce. Madison Bumgarner looms over everything for the Royals: lose Game 3, and Game 4 becomes a must-win because Bumgarner pitches Game 5.

But the Royals don’t have to worry about that until Friday. In the meantime, they can enjoy their first World Series victory since they beat the Cardinals in Game 7 of the 1985 Series, and they can enjoy the fact that somebody else embarrassed himself.

That somebody, of course, is Giants reliever Hunter Strickland, who gave up a double to Salvador Perez, a homer to Omar Infante and a little piece of his dignity. After Infante’s homer, Strickland chewed out Perez for reasons that remain unclear, using words that remain a mystery, making this the lamest baseball confrontation in baseball history.

“[Strickland] was doing something like, ‘Get out of here,’ or something,” Perez said, “and he starts to look at me, and look at me, that’s why I was asking him, ‘Hey, why are you looking?’”

It says something about the media that there was a bigger horde around Perez, who got yelled at for no apparent reason, than around Infante, who actually hit the home run. Yes, Perez also hit a double, but most of the questions were not about the double. I suppose this also says something about us. Let’s just say that unlike Herrera, I will not be watching video of our performance. I fear I spent too much time in the wrong horde.

Strickland has now faced 23 batters in the postseason and allowed five home runs. This next sentence will not help Strickland’s mood, but here you go: Herrera has faced 325 batters this season, including 40 in the postseason, and allowed zero home runs. Zero! And he is their seventh-inning guy.

That pretty much sums up why the Royals are here, why this city has fallen in love with its baseball team again and why the Giants had better get to Game 3 starter Jeremy Guthrie early. The video replay of the Kansas City bullpen is always the same. Those were the Royals and that’s how they got here. Your move, San Francisco.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Basketball

North Carolina Releases Wainstein Report on Academic Scandal

Kenneth Wainstein
Kenneth Wainstein, lead investigator into academic irregularities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, holds a copy of his findings following a special joint meeting in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Oct. 22, 2014 Gerry Broome—AP

The report mentions that athletes' academic counselors directed them to take the classes in question

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released the report on its latest investigation into alleged academic fraud on Wednesday.

The report details how a lack of oversight allowed Department of African and Afro-American Studies administrator Deborah Crowder and former chairman Julius Nyang’oro to create so-called “paper classes.” In these classes, students received high grades with “little regard” for the quality of their work.

Nyang’oro and Crowder have been implicated in previous probes into the situation for steering athletes into the aforementioned classes, an issue that was found by a 2012 probe to have dated to the 1990s. This latest investigation was conducted by former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein at the request of the university.

While Wainstein’s report still places most of the blame for the fraud in the department at Nyang’oro and Crowder​, it points to the surrounding culture at North Carolina for allowing it to happen. Wainstein mentions that athletes’ academic counselors directed them to take the classes in question, that there wasn’t sufficient external review of the department and that a belief within the school that fraud couldn’t happen there prevented proper oversight.

Wainstein told reporters Wednesday that Crowder, who was largely responsible for creating the fraudulent classes, was motivated by a belief that UNC’s athletes weren’t being supported by the university.

University chancellor Carol Folt said that disciplinary action will be taken against those connected to the probe.

“It is a case where you have bad actions of a few and inaction of many more,” school chancellor Carol Folt told reporters in a conference call shortly before the report’s release. “It is shocking and people are taking full responsibility.”

Wainstein said he has shared his report with the NCAA, which announced this summer that it had re-opened its investigation into North Carolina after new individuals were available to talk to investigators for the first time.

In the report, Wainstein says current North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams became uncomfortable with the nature of the classes in question and attempted to steer his players away from the department. Former star Rashad McCants accused the school of fraud earlier this year. McCants chose not to speak with Wainstein’s investigation.

A previous NCAA investigation resulted in a postseason ban for the football team in 2012 and a loss of scholarships. Wainstein’s report describes academic counselors recommending the department’s classes to football coaches.

From a joint statement released by North Carolina and the NCAA:

The information included in the Wainstein report will be reviewed by the university and the enforcement staff under the same standards that are applied in all NCAA infractions cases. Due to rules put in place by NCAA membership, neither the university nor the enforcement staff will comment on the substance of the report as it relates to possible NCAA rules violations.

It’s unknown when the NCAA’s investigation will be concluded.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NFL

Cowboys Waive Defensive End Michael Sam From Practice Squad

Dallas Cowboys practice squad player Michael Sam makes his first appearance at the team's practice facility on Sept. 3, 2014 in Irving, Texas.
Dallas Cowboys practice squad player Michael Sam makes his first appearance at the team's practice facility on Sept. 3, 2014 in Irving, Texas. Fort Worth Star-Telegram—MCT via Getty Images

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Sam "had a long way to go" as a player

The Dallas Cowboys have waived defensive end Michael Sam from their practice squad, the team announced Tuesday.

Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL, was signed to the team’s practice squad Sept. 3. He never made it to the Cowboys’ active roster.

According to the team’s official website, Sam will be replaced on the practice squad with linebacker Troy Davis, who worked out for Dallas on Monday.

Sam said the following on Twitter after his release was made public:

I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates and fans for their support. While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday.

MORE: BURKE: Cowboys’ Big 3 among big winners of Week 7

Sam made history and received national attention in the spring when he announced he was gay several weeks before the NFL combine. As the reigning SEC co-defensive player of the year at Missouri, Sam became the highest-profile active gay football player and sought to become the first gay player to be selected in the NFL Draft.

The St. Louis Rams picked Sam in the seventh round of this year’s draft and kept him on their roster until the last round of cuts at the end of training camp. He was picked up by the Cowboys several days later.

At the time of Sam’s signing, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Sam “had a long way to go” as a player while dismissing concerns that the rookie could be a potential distraction in the locker room due to his sexuality, echoing the sentiments of Rams coach Jeff Fisher from when Sam was with St. Louis.

Jones said Sunday that Sam’s sexual orientation was “a dead issue.”

Sam is now free to sign with any other team or join any other team’s practice squad. The CFL could also be an option, as Sam reportedly received interest from the Montreal Alouettes before he joined the Cowboys’ practice squad.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NBA

Donald Sterling Withdraws Lawsuit Against the NBA

The NBA banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life for "deeply offensive and harmful" racist comments that sparked a national firestorm. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined him a maximum $2.5 million dollars and called on other owners to force him to sell his team
The NBA banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life for "deeply offensive and harmful" racist comments that sparked a national firestorm. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined him a maximum $2.5 million dollars and called on other owners to force him to sell his team ROBYN BECK—AFP/Getty Images

Sterling will no longer pursue his case against NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Sterling's wife Shelly, which accused both parties of fraud and of inflicting "severe emotional damage"

Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has dropped one of his two lawsuits against the NBA, according to the Los Angeles Times‘ Nathan Fenno.

Sterling will no longer pursue his case against NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Sterling’s wife Shelly, which accused both parties of fraud and of inflicting “severe emotional damage” during his forced sale of the team earlier this year. The move frees up Sterling to pursue his other suit against the NBA, an antitrust suit that seeks more than $1 billion in damages.

MORE: NBA Atlantic Division Preview: Can the Raptors repeat as division champs?

“We believe that we can more efficiently address all the issues in our pending federal action,” Sterling’s attorney Bobby Samini told the Times Monday.

The news comes on the same day that a judge threw out the defamation lawsuit of Sterling’s mistress V. Stiviano against Shelly Sterling. Judge Richard Fruin said Stiviano could produce no evidence Shelly Sterling defamed her. Shelly Sterling called Los Angeles Police to Donald’s home earlier this month, indicating there had been a break-in at the home. Responding officers found no evidence of a break-in, however, and instead found Donald Sterling entertaining Stiviano.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME hockey

NHL Suspends Kings’ Slava Voynov After Domestic Violence Arrest

Slava Voynov of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with the Stanley Cup after the Kings 3-2 double overtime victory against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 13, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Slava Voynov of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with the Stanley Cup after the Kings 3-2 double overtime victory against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 13, 2014 in Los Angeles. Bruce Bennett—Getty Images

The NHL has suspended defenseman Slava Voynov indefinitely after he was arrested on domestic violence charges Monday morning, the league announced Monday.

There are currently no details on the exact nature of Voynov’s arrest other than that he violated California Penal Code section 273.5, Domestic Violence. He will continue to be paid while suspended.

From the NHL’s release:

The suspension was imposed under Section 18-A.5 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which provides that, during the pendency of a criminal investigation, “The League may suspend the Player pending the League’s formal review and disposition of the matter where the failure to suspend the Player during this period would create a substantial risk of material harm to the legitimate interests and/or reputation of the League.”

Voynov, 24, has been with the Kings since 2011-12 and played in all 82 games for the team last season while helping it win the Stanley Cup. He’s played in all of the Kings’ six games this season, recording two assists and averaging 23:11 of ice time per game.

Voynov signed a six-year, $25 million contract extension with Los Angeles before last season.

The NHL dealt with a similar incident last year when Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov was arrested on domestic violence charges in an incident involving his girlfriend. The charges were later dropped.

The news of Voynov’s arrest comes amidst significant controversy around the issue of domestic violence in the NFL stemming from the arrest of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

The release of video showing Rice striking his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City casino elevator led to Rice’s release from Ravens and an indefinite suspension from the NFL, with criticism levied at the latter for initially suspending Rice for just two games.

The NFL has said it is working on developing a new domestic violence policy and the handling of the Rice case by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is the subject of an investigation led by former FBI director Robert Mueller III.

The issue of domestic violence has emerged in other sports as well, including the arrests of U.S. national team goalie Hope Solo and Charlotte Hornets forward Jeffery Taylor.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Football

Peyton Manning Throws Touchdown Pass 509 to Set New NFL Record

He beat Brett Favre's record with No. 509

Many quarterbacks have come before. Few, if any, have been better.

Peyton Manning added another record to his collection Sunday night, tossing his 509th career touchdown pass to break Brett Favre’s all-time mark. The historic pass, his third TD of the night, landed in the arms of Demaryius Thomas, who managed to drag his feet near the sideline. Tight end Julius Thomas had a shot to help Manning cement the record two plays earlier, but he was unable to corral Manning’s pass.

A smiling Manning celebrated his latest accomplishment for but a brief moment, hugging head coach John Fox and several teammates as the crowd at Mile High Stadium saluted him with a standing ovation.

Earlier in the game against the San Francisco 49ers, Manning found Emmanuel Sanders for touchdown No. 507. He then tied Favre’s record with a 39-yard scoring pass to Wes Welker. A little of the drama was sapped from the Manning-to-Welker connection because the official nearest the play ruled that Welker had stepped out prior to getting the ball to the pylon. That call was overruled by a second official and stood after a review.

The record-holder before Favre came along was Dan Marino, who finished his career with 420 passing touchdowns. Manning leapfrogged that mark back in 2012, during his first season with the Broncos, leaving only Favre ahead of him.

Touchdowns Nos. 507 and 508 for Manning came 5,887 days after his first career NFL TD pass, a six-yard strike to Marvin Harrison way back in Manning’s NFL debut on Sept. 6, 1998.

He has broken record upon record since then (with a Super Bowl victory to boot), so many in fact that Manning and his teammates swore they had tuned out the noise coinciding with this latest chase.

“What I’ve concentrated on is trying to do whatever it takes to win,” Manning said earlier in the week. “I don’t feel like it’s been a distraction because we’ve handled it and focused on what’s important.”

Among the most prestigious records still in sight for Manning: Favre’s career passing yardage mark of 71,838. Manning entered Sunday’s game 5,344 yards back of that total. Should he finish out this season with good health and return for the 2015 campaign, it’s a virtual certainty that Manning catches Favre there, too.

Favre claimed on NFL GameDay Morning Sunday that he was not paying much attention to Manning’s touchdown total.

“I don’t really care to be honest with you and I mean that with no disrespect,” said Favre, in an interview with the NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci. “I think the world of Peyton. I’m not surprised that he’s going to break it.

As for the NFL’s recent tilt toward offensive prowess, Favre said, “Well, it is a little more prolific today, but I don’t want to take anything away from what he’s done. Drew [Brees], I think, if he continues to play, we know he’ll be prolific. He could put up astronomical numbers as well. But it’s becoming a different era.”

The careers of Favre and Manning overlapped for many seasons — Favre played from 1991-2010; Manning was the No. 1 pick of the 1998 draft.

Three years ago, it appeared that Manning’s days of rewriting the record books might be over. He, of course, missed all of the 2011 season with a neck injury. Indianapolis then cut the future Hall of Famer after that season and replaced him with 2012 No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck.

Manning signed with Denver and proceeded to put up 37 touchdown passes in 2012 and an NFL record 55 last season.

All told, Manning holds upward of 40 individual NFL passing records. He added another to his collection Sunday night.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NFL

Former New Orleans Saints Wives Say NFL Covered Up Their Abuse

The NFL logo is displayed on the turf on September 14, 2014.
The NFL logo is displayed on the turf on September 14, 2014. Doug Pensinger—Getty Images

Two former New Orleans Saints wives have come forward to tell their story of abuse, fear and how the NFL tried to keep them quiet

If you’re looking to marry into the NFL, two former wives of players have some advice for you: keep your mouth shut when he hits you. That’s not their playbook, it’s the one they were handed when they were put in abusive situations during their husbands’ playing days.

On Friday, The Washington Post ran a story that detailed the horrifying lives of two women who were married to New Orleans Saints players in a time period between the 1990s and present day. To highlight how tight of a grip abuse still has on them, only one woman was willing to use her name publicly.

Dewan Smith-Williams, who was married to New Orleans Saints player Wally Williams in the 1990s and 2000s, detailed her abuse and how then-head coach Jim Hasslet nudged her towards keeping her mouth shut. Smith-Williams notes that Hasslet told her that taking the fall for her husband was not a good idea, which years later caused her to silence herself about her husband’s illegal activities even after he took a baseball bat to their entire house.

“We’ve told agents about it, called the NFL Players Association when things were really, really bad,” Smith-Williams recalls. “They would say, ‘Oh, we’re really sorry that you are going through this. We’ll look into it.’ But you never heard back. There’s no one available for the wives.”

The wife that wanted to remain nameless detailed an even more horrifying incident in which she was violently abused by her NFL husband only to have no one care. She notes that the police were called by the neighbors, who proceeded to joke with her husband and ask for autographs. But the most horrific and spine chilling details came in the days after.

After the incident occurred, the New Orleans Saints called the house to not so much offer assistance but to make sure she wasn’t going to go public with what happened. If that doesn’t paint a terrifying enough picture, the woman then noted that her husband refused to take her to the hospital and drove her around to make sure she told everyone that she had been in a car accident

“I learned to listen and not speak,” she says. “He would remind me of that night, how no one would care if I was gone and how the cops did [not care]. It was all about him. He reminded me that I was alone and disposable.”

This unnamed woman is still shackled in chains of an abusive relationship as her anonymity is on account of her abuser is still associated with the NFL in enough capacity that she is scared to say her name.

As if the NFL didn’t already have a big enough problem with abuse, this highlights just how deep the roots are. You can’t hear these stories and not feel sick. All of this happened over the last decade, which means the NFL needs to stop cowering behing the facade that abuse is a ‘societal problem’.

Abuse in the NFL being a societal problem is like saying obesity is a problem because gym memberships cost too much. There’s correlation but pretty transparent correlation. The NFL needs to stop hiding behind machismo and answer to what is very clearly a societal problem that the largest sports business in the world is enabling.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME health

Football Players Have More Concussions Than Are Diagnosed, Study Suggests

From left: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers and the medical staff check out Eric Reid after he received a concussion during the game against the Carolina Panthers on November 10, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
From left: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers and the medical staff check out Eric Reid after he received a concussion during the game against the Carolina Panthers on November 10, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Michael Zagaris—Getty Images

‘Dings,’ ‘bell-ringers’ ... regardless of what they’re called, a new Harvard study reveals that potential concussions are being ignored at the line of scrimmage

The collisions that draw the most attention are usually the ones that happen in the open field: A receiver streaking across the middle gets blindsided by a safety, for instance. In the trenches, the hazards are less obvious but, perhaps, even more prevalent. Offensive linemen engage with an opponent on pretty much every play—when they don’t, it usually means they’re not doing their job.

“We’re backpedaling while someone is coming at us full speed,” Giants right tackle Justin Pugh says. “You use your technique, you try to use your hands as much as possible, but obviously the head gets put into that, and there is a lot of hand-slapping [against the helmet]. A lot of stuff goes on in the trenches you can’t get penalized for, and probably a lot of guys get hit or hurt.”

Part of changing the culture around brain injuries in football is gaining greater understanding of how they’re most likely to occur, and a new research study yielded interesting findings about the number of potential concussions that go unreported, particularly among offensive linemen.

The study, authored by Harvard Ph.D. student Christine Baugh, is based on a 2013 survey of more than 700 college players from 10 Division 1 FCS schools. Players were asked to respond with numeric answers to three questions based on both the previous football season (2012) and their entire playing careers: 1) How many times have you been diagnosed with a concussion by a medical professional? 2) How many times have you sustained an impact that you suspect was a concussion but was never diagnosed? 3) How many times did you get a ding or get your bell rung?

Players reported having about six times more suspected concussions than diagnosed concussions during the 2012 season, and about 21 times more “dings” or “bell ringers.” While offensive linemen didn’t have significantly more diagnosed concussions than the average for all players, they reported about 62% more suspected concussions and 52% more “dings” or “bell ringers” than their peers at other positions. (When providing numbers for their entire football careers, running backs reported significantly more “dings” or “bell ringers” than the average).

Those words—“ding” and “bell ringer”—are often used as code words for hits that may be potentially concussive. Players in this survey were more willing to admit absorbing these kinds of hits, though the words may have different meanings to different players. That highlights a central issue: No two head injuries are the same, yet much of proper treatment and recovery management relies on players self-reporting.

Not all of the suspected concussions reported in this survey would be diagnosed as concussions, nor would all the “dings” or “bell ringers,” but the results show top-level athletes are playing through impacts that may result in brain injuries. “Even in the era of concussion awareness, if we treat the diagnosed concussions properly, will that make a difference in the long-term?” says Chris Nowinski, co-founder of the Sports Legacy Institute and co-director of the BU CTE Center. “It also shows, in a sense, no matter how many changes the NFL game makes we’ve still got these potentially unfixable problems at the levels below.”

In recent years, the NFL has employed measures like the “eye in the sky” athletic trainers, who serve as injury spotters from a perch above the field, to catch more potential head injuries. The controversy at the University of Michigan, though, in which Wolverines quarterback Shane Morris was allowed to re-enter a game for one play despite showing signs of a concussion, emphasizes that the process can be better at all levels of the game.

For offensive linemen in particular, the study provides a different perspective on the subconcussive hits—lower impact, but with higher frequency—that players on the front lines absorb. Players were asked to report how often they experience concussion-related symptoms after a hit. Compared to most other position groups, offensive linemen reported more frequently experiencing symptoms that were not likely to be externally observable, such as dizziness, headaches and concentration difficulties. The responses also showed that offensive linemen, on average, returned to play while experiencing symptoms after a hit more frequently than their peers during the 2012 season.

The research paper suggests that many of the hits considered “subconcussive” may in fact be symptomatic impacts left unreported. Perhaps because they are more routine; offensive linemen may also be less likely as a position group to self-report, for any number of reasons, whether it’s less attention being paid to head injuries among their position-mates or a pride that they rarely come out of the game.

“Since there are normally just five guys that play the offensive line position, a lot of times you just don’t want to come out of the game at all,” Pugh says. “As a defensive lineman, you can come out for a few plays, and you rotate, so it is part of the norm. With us, I won’t say it’s frowned upon, but no guy wants to come out of the game and hurt the chemistry of the team or hurt a good drive.”

Pugh was sidelined during his rookie training camp with a concussion after he collided with a teammate while pulling out in space. He now checks himself after every collision, using that experience as his context for what the symptoms of a brain injury feel like. Not every player has that context, though, nor does every concussion feel the same.

Many rule changes have focused on those big open-field hits, but this study suggests a wider lens in making the game safer. Nowinski recalls a visit to the University of Miami last year to discuss head trauma with coach Al Golden, after which the coach had his team wear baseball caps during a non-contact practice to ensure that the linemen were not continuing to knock helmets.

For now, proper technique is one way linemen can lessen the frequency of collisions in the trenches.

“The best way to pass block is to see your opponent,” Giants left tackle Will Beatty says. “Keeping your head up; keeping your eyes on your target. It is physical, but you are not out there head-butting people each play. You want your helmet to be clean. You want to use power from your arms and your chest rather than trying to use your head in a block. Even though you are in the trenches, you can still protect yourself.”

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NFL

Tom Brady Has ‘Significant’ Ankle Injury

Brady played through the injury on Sunday

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady‘s ankle injury is “significant,” CSN New England’s Tom Curran reported Sunday, citing two sources familiar with Brady’s injury.

Brady played through the injury on Sunday, leading the Patriots to a 37-22 victory over their AFC East division rival, the Buffalo Bills. Brady had his best game of the season, completing 27 of 37 passes for 361 yards and four touchdowns.

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According to Curran, the 37-year-old Brady “needed a lot of therapy” to play in Sunday’s game. According to the report, Brady rolled his ankle in practice on Friday, which led him to be listed as “questionable” ahead of Sunday’s contest.

Earlier this month, there were reports that personnel and coaching changes have led to tension between Brady and the Patriots’ coaching staff. The rift, according to the reports, could reportedly lead to him finishing his career with another team.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

 

TIME NFL

Los Angeles Mayor Says It’s ‘Highly Likely’ an NFL Team Comes to City Soon

Key Speakers At The 2014 Milken Conference
The Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti speaks after an interview at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. on April 28, 2014. Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Anschutz Entertainment Group has been working to find a team to relocate and play in its downtown stadium

Mayor Eric Garcetti said it is “highly likely” an NFL team moves to Los Angeles within the next year.

During an interview on radio station KNX, via The Associated Press, Garcetti said he thinks the NFL is “finally interested” in Los Angeles 20 years after the Rams and Raiders left. The Anschutz Entertainment Group has been working to find a team to relocate and play in its downtown stadium. AEG’s proposal for a six-month extension will be reviewed on Friday. Garcetti has said he supports the extension.

The San Diego Chargers are opposed to a team relocating to Los Angeles because they receive 30 percent of their local revenue from the market. The Rams and Raiders have the ability to leave their current stadium leases at the end of this season.

Mike Florio of NBC Sports reported the NFL is planning to have one or two teams move to Los Angeles by 2016. New York Giants co-owner John Mara said he believes a team will move to Los Angeles in the near future. Fellow co-owner Steve Tisch, however, said the situation hasn’t moved forward or backwards.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was hesitant earlier this week to discuss relocation to Los Angeles.

“I’ve always been reluctant until we have a solution to project where we are,” Goodell said. “There are reasons for optimism, but that can change quickly also. What we want to do is make sure we’re doing the work to evaluate those alternatives, understand those alternatives, and if there’s an alternative that makes sense, bring that to the membership.”

Three-quarters of the league’s owners must approve of any team relocating.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

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