Month: September 2016

Jay Cutler has right thumb sprain, not expected to need surgery

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has a sprained thumb on his throwing hand but is not expected to need surgery, coach John Fox said Tuesday.

“To my knowledge, right now, no [he will not need surgery],” Fox said. “But to eliminate it down the road, I’m not a doctor, so I can’t tell you that. But it doesn’t appear like that at this point.”

Fox said the veteran quarterback is considered day to day, but stopped short of declaring Cutler out for Sunday night’s road game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Cutler, 33, completed 12 of 17 pass attempts for 157 yards and one interception. He also lost a fumble.

An 11-year veteran, Cutler has missed 15 games because of injuries since 2010. He broke his right thumb in a Nov. 2011 game against the San Diego Chargers while trying to make a tackle following an interception. The injury caused him to miss the rest of the season.

“Jimmy played a lot of plays yesterday, which was good,” Pete Carroll said. “Not quite as many targets that I know what everybody would like to see, but he did a really good job when the ball was thrown to him. He had some nice plays, blocking, he had a lot of play time. He’s really in the groove to go, and that was significant that he was able to do that. That’s a good deal for us.”

Together, Allen and Woodhead accounted for about one-third of San Diego’s offensive output in 2015.

“I will promise you one thing — Danny will be back stronger than ever,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy said about Woodhead, who is in the final year of his contract. “And that is why he has been so successful in this business. He always has that chip on his shoulder, comes to work every day and treats it like his last day. He is a great example of what it means to be a pro.”

With those two prolific playmakers out, the Chargers will have to count on the person who has not missed a start in more than a decade: quarterback Philip Rivers.

Pittsburgh Steelers’ new weight room powered by jerky and AstroTurf

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers’ new weight room is so sprawling that it’s basically broken up into suburbs.

Better believe the team’s strength and conditioning staff has named them.

“If you go to Shake City, you know you’re going to the power plates,” strength and conditioning coordinator Garrett Giemont said. “If you go to Machine Alley, you know where you’re headed. If you go to Rack Row, if you go to Speed City, you know where it’s at.”

Keiser weights with air-resistant training.

I’ve made a ton of predictions this preseason, and while the odds say it’s unlikely all of them will come true, they are steeped in research, scouting and facts that suggest they are much more likely to happen than not.

So the idea for this column is not to nail low-percentage outrageous predictions, but rather to highlight players I have strong feelings about, one way or the other. These are scenarios that are not likely to happen, but they aren’t impossible, either.

For the past two years, after Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson gave rise to a volatile America divided by police and protest, the sports machine — rooted in the structure of black player/white media/white ticket buyer/white owner — was largely silent. Some prominent black players expressed support for the protesters; virtually no white male players did. With the exception of the Baltimore Orioles, teams have ignored the grief of their large black fan bases and abandoned their historical neutrality on social issues in favor of hero worship of police at the ballpark, supported by a white mainstream that is rarely the target of police aggression.

Kaepernick protested, and the reaction was predictable. White athletes and the predominantly white media, once largely silent, finally spoke but said very little about the substance of his dissent. They opted for intimidation by pile-on. Athletes and pundits were canvassed, leaving the likes of Drew Brees and Boomer Esiason — who have no record of scholarship, interest or knowledge regarding police brutality — to distort Kaepernick’s position into a lazy, pseudo-erudite conversation about patriotism. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said something while saying nothing. “I understand and respect the cause … but I love the flag,” he said, only adding to a false argument designed to reinforce the foundation of the establishment.