It remains to be seen whether New England fans have reason to be
concerned ahead of Sunday’s AFC championship game against the
Jaguars, but Patriots quarterback Tom Brady missed a scheduled
media session to get treatment for a right hand injury. Brady
reportedly jammed his throwing hand at practice after he was
accidentally ran into. X-rays showed no structural damage.
Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette was only a limited
participant in practice, but apparently it had nothing to do with
the minor car accident in which he was involved on Tuesday. It had
more to do with an ankle injury, which forced him to leave last
Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh before returning in the second
half. Two key Minnesota players – safety Andrew Sendejo and wide
receiver Adam Thielen – were not full participants in practice, but
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer expects both will be ready for Sunday’s
NFC championship game at Philadelphia.
The Steelers have parted ways with offensive coordinator Todd
Haley, and will reportedly replace him with quarterbacks coach
Randy Fichtner. Haley, whose contract expired at the conclusion of
the season, had been Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator since 2012
and helped the team finish in the top three in total yards for
three of the past four seasons. However, Haley’s demise with the
team came about due to his inability to get along with coaches and
players, especially quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Fichtner has a
long relationship with Mike Tomlin and Roethlisberger. He has never
been an offensive coordinator in the NFL, but carried that title at
Arkansas State from 1997-2000, when Tomlin was his receivers coach.
The Jets have fired offensive coordinator John Morton after just
one season. New York finished 28th in the NFL in total yards, 29th
in first downs and 24th in scoring and ultimately missed the
postseason for the seventh year in a row. According to the New York
Daily News, the Jets are considering promoting quarterbacks coach
Jeremy Bates to offensive coordinator.
Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry isn’t pleased with playing the
waiting game in regard to contract talks with the team. Landry’s
agent, Damarius Bilbo, told the Miami Herald that the Dolphins made
an offer in early December. Landry admitted to being “encouraged”
at that time and a counteroffer followed in the middle of the
month. However, he claims that he has yet to hear from the team.
“From the offer process until this point was disrespectful,” Landry
told the newspaper. The fourth-year pro set career highs with 112
receptions and nine touchdowns for the 6-10 Dolphins this season.
Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will be out indefinitely while
continuing his recovery from a leg injury. Leonard has averaged
16.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in just nine games after missing
almost the first two months of the season with right quadriceps
tendinopathy. He’s also dealt with a shoulder injury.
James Harden is back practicing for the first time since he
strained his left hamstring on New Year’s Eve. Rockets coach Mike
D’Antoni said it’s possible last year’s MVP runner-up could return
to the court Thursday against Minnesota.
The Warriors look to push their road winning streak to a franchise
record-tying 14 games, but they’ll be without Draymond Green and
Andre Iguodala when they take on the Bulls. Jordan Bell, who was
selected by Chicago in the second round of the June draft and then
dealt to Golden State for financial considerations, will get the
start. He made his first career start against the Bulls on Nov. 24,
and blocked six shots in the Warriors’ 49-point win.
Friends and acquaintances of Washington State quarterback Tyler
Hilinski were being interviewed by police to learn why the
21-year-old died from an apparent suicide this week. According to
police, there is no apparent motive as to why Hilinski took his own
life. There was a suicide note, but police declined to provide
details regarding its content. Hilinski played in eight games while
serving as the back up to Luke Falk this season and was projected
as the Cougars’ starter heading into his junior year.
Florida Atlantic reportedly will hire Charlie Weis, Jr. to be its
new offensive coordinator. The 24-year-old is the son of Charlie
Weis, the former Notre Dame coach and four-time Super Bowl champion
assistant. The younger Weis spent the 2017 season with the Falcons
as an offensive assistant. He was hired as tight ends coach at FAU
in December 2016 shortly after current coach Lane Kiffin’s arrival,
but left for Atlanta two months later.
Miami did not go undefeated at home after all this past season. The
NCAA has ruled that the Hurricanes’ Orange Bowl loss to Wisconsin
was in fact a home game, seeing as it was played at Hard Rock
Stadium – Miami’s home field for a decade. Miami originally listed
the game as a neutral-site contest. One positive out of this for
Miami, though, was the newly credited eighth game at Hard Rock
Stadium gave the Hurricanes a single-season attendance record.
North and South Korea will have their athletes march together for
the first time in 11 years during the opening ceremonies of next
month’s Olympic games in the South city of Pyeongchang. The
countries, which also officially announced the fielding of a
unified women’s hockey team for these games, will have their
athletes march under a ”unification flag” depicting their
peninsula. The International Olympic Committee still must agree on
the decisions between the countries.
After watching the Pirates trade away the team’s staff ace and top
hitter in the span of three days, some Pittsburgh fans are a little
fed up. More than 30,000 fans have signed a petition on change.org
asking Major League Baseball to force Pirates owner Bob Nutting to
sell the team. Writing ”we deserve better,” the petition is
protesting the direction Nutting and the front office have taken in