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This is what we show up to spring training for.

“It’s what we work all offseason for. Ups and downs, all around the country,” Sale said. “This is what we live for.”

With that said, James’ 17 points still led the Cavs and he shot 8-for-13 from the floor with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block.

“He hasn’t played in I don’t know how long,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “Of course his rhythm is going to be off. His passing, timing. That’s just part of the game. But I’m not worried about Bron. He’ll be OK. Tonight is his first night playing in a long time. He’ll get his rhythm. I’m not too worried about that.”

Cleveland had little continuity as a group, however, and the Cavaliers could often be seen pointing and gesturing to one another in the middle of plays to direct people where to go.

“I had to do something,” said Judge, who is 0 for 10 with eight strikeouts in the series. “I wasn’t obviously making any contact at the plate, so you’ve got to make an impact on the game somehow and luckily I was able to do it on defense.”

On the night they raised their Western Conference championship banner, the Predators blew a 3-0 lead as the Flyers scored five straight goals.

But then Forsberg scored his first of the game 50 seconds after the Flyers took a 5-3 lead, and Scott Hartnell jammed in his second goal tying it with 1:17 left on a 5-on-3 that was actually 6-on-3 with Rinne pulled. When Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol challenged for offside and lost, the Predators had the man advantage, and Forsberg scored the winning goal top shelf.

Hakstol was surprised he lost the replay review.
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Kansas City picks up back-to-back first downs for the first time in the game.

The Chiefs currently have it on their own 37 with 1:30 to play in the quarter.

Pittsburgh’s drive is stalled after a holding penalty and the Steelers punt it back to Kansas City. Le’Veon Bell is up to 117 rushing yards for the Steelers, while Kansas City has recorded just 25 yards of total offense.

Kansas City moves the chains once, but Tyreek Hill drops a third down pass and the Chiefs punt again. The Steelers will start their drive at their own 10 with 8:28 to play in the third quarter.

Chiefs running back Charcandrick West is currently being evaluated for a concussion.

Peterson admitted last week that he was frustrated with his ever-shrinking role in New Orleans because of “the type of player that I am, knowing I have so much left in the tank.”

But he also continued to insist there was no animosity between him and Payton — and that the infamous sideline glare that was captured on video in Week 1 was overblown and not what it looked like.

The players seem to have some built-in advantages in such a dispute. Unlike the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the NFL CBA does not specifically require players to stand for the anthem. There is, however, a section in the NFL Game Operations Manual that mentions that players “should stand at attention, hold helmets in their left hand and refrain from talking.” And commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to teams on Tuesday reiterating the language.

But Dombrowski also has hired only two managers over the last 12 seasons. Jim Leyland has insisted he isn’t coming out of retirement, while Brad Ausmus was recently fired after a last-place finish with the Detroit Tigers. It’s unclear whether former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek could be a candidate. Varitek works for the team in an advisory capacity but has never managed.tigers_050

the Bengals are a game out of first in the AFC North.

Gase noted the crowd also lobbied unsuccessfully for Moore during a victory over Tennessee last year, when Ryan Tannehill was the struggling starter.

“That’s fine,” Gase said. “I’ll make the decision about the quarterback. We’re not going to take public polls.”

Cutler — playing his first game in Miami as the Dolphins’ QB — acknowledged he heard the chants too.

“I didn’t know what they were saying, and I don’t think anyone was going to tell me what they were saying,” Cutler said. “I just kept going about my business.”

Despite an offense that has scored three touchdowns in four games, the Dolphins (2-2) climbed to .500. The Titans (2-3) lost for the second week in a row.

“I understand the ups-and-downs,” Green said. “You know me, I’m pretty level all the time. The drops hurt, but you just have to erase everything.”

After losing their first three games, the Bengals (2-3) salvaged their season by getting the ball to their stars at decisive moments. Green’s 47-yard catch set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Joe Mixon that put Cincinnati ahead to stay in the fourth quarter.

Combined with Pittsburgh’s 30-9 loss to Jacksonville on Sunday, the Bengals are a game out of first in the AFC North.

The Bills (3-2) got their season off to an encouraging start by relying heavily on kicker Stephen Hauschka and a defense that led the league in stinginess, allowing only 13.5 points per game through the first four. The combination wasn’t enough this time as Buffalo’s depleted offense failed to take advantage of Cincinnati’s three turnovers.x (8)

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch continued to sit during the anthem.

“It’s really disheartening when everything that I was raised on was to be the best person I could be to help people that need help and the vice president of the United States is trying to confuse the message on what we’re trying to put out there. I don’t know what else to say about it.”

Around the NFL on Sunday, at least seven players from two teams knelt during the national anthem while three Miami Dolphins players and the Tennessee Titans’ Rishard Matthews remained in the tunnel or locker room for the anthem.

Eddie Lacy, RB, Seattle Seahawks: With Chris Carson’s (ankle surgery) season finished, Lacy became fantasy owners’ most popular pick from the Seahawks’ backfield in Week 5, his 50.7 percent ownership and 17.0 percent start rate in ESPN leagues easily greater than Thomas Rawls’ 34.3 and 5.6 percent and J.D. McKissic’s 9.2 and 1.9 percent. Lacy unfortunately flopped, his 3.8 PPR fantasy points worst of the three, despite his managing the most carries of the trio (nine, compared to Rawls’ eight and McKissic’s two). It was the ninth time in his 23 games played since the beginning of 2015 that Lacy finished with five PPR fantasy points or fewer.

The Lions can feel pretty confident that Cooter, still only 33, won’t pull a Sean McVay quite yet and get his own head-coaching gig in the near future. Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has seen his name come up in several head coach searches, but the Lions are lucky to have had him in place for the entire Caldwell tenure. As both are an extension of Caldwell, it’s easy to get player-friendly schemes designed to bring out the best in each individual.

There has been dysfunction in the past in play-calling and producing complementary football in Detroit. That’s no longer the case, as the plan is firmly in place to keep everyone on the same page week after week, season after season.x (7)

The Cardinals finally got going when Palmer threw a 13-yard TD pass to John Brown to cut it to 21-7.

Agholor’s TD catch was on third-and-19. He blew past safety Budda Baker, caught Wentz’s perfect pass over the shoulder and used a spin move and stiff arm to reach the end zone.

I shouldn’t have been able to make the throw, but Jason Kelce made a great block on two guys, Wentz said about his center. And then Nelly made the guy look silly.

Wentz made a mistake late in the second quarter after guiding the Eagles to the Cardinals 25. He overthrew Ertz and Antoine Bethea made a toe-tapping interception in the end zone.

The career arcs of Luck and Manning are going to be linked forever, and right now, Luck’s is following the injury-marred portion more than the perennial-contender portion.

Manning’s coronation this weekend has that element of a homecoming, a triumphant return, of course. If the NFL world was just and fair, none of that would be a factor — Manning, of all of the superstars of this era, should have worn the same uniform his entire career. If anyone should have been a Colt for life, it was him. (Then again, Johnny Unitas didn’t get to be one, but again, that’s the NFL, then, now and forever.)

But Manning got hurt, his contract became an albatross, the Colts were paralyzed as a franchise and owner Jim Irsay purged everything and everybody.
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Hearing on Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension set for next month

An appeals court next month will hear arguments on a stay that has kept Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott on the field while his suspension makes its way through the court system.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Friday to hold oral arguments between the NFL and NFL Players Association. The session is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 2 in New Orleans.

Now the question is this: Who else is primed for a huge game this week?

Our weekly ESPN Insider cheat sheet provides a rundown of the greatest hits from all of our Insider fantasy football content. You’ll find answers to the top questions of the week, along with injury updates, matchup advantages and wild-card plays from Eric Karabell, Tristan H. Cockcroft, Mike Clay, Al Zeidenfeld, Matt Bowen, KC Joyner and Scott Kacsmar. It’s all the best tips, distilled into one handy file.

Here’s what our experts are saying about Week 3:

If you’re new to fantasy football, we recommend just sticking with the default PPR fractional scoring setup. You’ll see big scores and have lots of ways to field competitive players.

If you want to get more adventurous with your scoring settings, you can tighten them up by making higher yardage thresholds (say, one point per 15 rushing yards, instead of 10) or giving 0.5 points per reception (instead of 1.0). Or you can go the other direction, and look to boost your scoring ability even more by granting bonuses for 100-yard rushing/receiving performances or 300-yard passing games.

You can also include quarterback sacks as a negative, increase or decrease the impact of turnovers, safeties and kickoff and punt return yardage and scores.

If you choose individual defensive players, you can choose how much you want to weigh each interception, sack, stuff, tackle, etc.

The same goes for head coach positions, choosing the weight of team scoring, win, loss and margin of win/loss.
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J.J. Watt’s hurricane relief fundraiser ends with more than $37 million raised

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt began the Hurricane Harvey relief effort with a goal of raising $200,000. He raised more than $37 million.

Watt closed his fundraising effort Friday, overwhelmed by the generosity of those who donated to assist the victims of the devastating storm that made landfall around Houston Aug. 25.

While his national anthem protests and subsequent inability to find NFL employment have generated most of the conversation, the former 49ers QB has now given $900,000 to charitable organizations since last season as part of his pledge to donate $1 million to a variety of causes.

Though Kaepernick does not currently have a job, the NFLPA pointedly noted in a news release that anyone who is a dues-paying member of the organization and on and NFL roster “or actively seeking employment as a free agent” is eligible for the award.

As part of the recognition, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 donation to Kaepernick’s foundation or a charity of his choice.

Texans star J.J. Watt took the honor at the end of the preseason last week for his Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Since 1994, kickers have gone 15-for-71 on attempts between 60 and 65 yards. With the game on the line in the fourth quarter and overtime, those same kickers were 4-of-21 before injury fill-in Jake Elliott atoned for an earlier miss from 52 by hitting a 61-yarder to beat the division rival Giants and cap a thrilling second half.

She got her doctorate from Ohio State. When you’re 5 years old and you’re seeing your dad have a gun pointed at his head because he looks suspicious in the neighborhood at 6 a.m. because he’s dropping his son off at a babysitter, it’s not about race. It’s not about black and white, it’s about right and wrong.
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Lone Steeler stood on field for anthem as rest of team stayed in locker room

In the biggest development — so far — on a surreal Sunday of protests around the NFL, the Steelers opted to remain in the locker room during the national anthem prior to their game against the Bears at Soldier Field.

All except for one Steeler, that is. Offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a U.S. Army Ranger who won a Bronze Star during three tours in Afghanistan, stood by himself outside the Steelers locker room tunnel, hand over his heart.

At the end of each positional section, there is a subgroup of players, “Players off game status injury report.” The probable tag no longer exists, so players who would have been listed as probable in previous years are now simply removed from the report. This means there will be players who appear in the practice injury reports during the week but will not appear on the game status report Friday, since they are presumed active for game day. They are included in this blog so that fantasy owners can see where players who were on the practice injury report during the week have been upgraded to in advance of the games.

At the end, key fantasy players listed Friday as “Out” for the week’s games will appear as a group.

The Rams and the 49ers played on Thursday night (shoutout to those who started Carlos Hyde or Sammy Watkins in their fantasy leagues), but everyone else is playing this weekend and their fantasy-relevant injured players are represented here.
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The Chargers’ new home at StubHub Center will be best place to watch an NFL game

The Stubhub Center, the Chargers’ home for three seasons, seats 27,000 fans, fewest in the league.

From 1961 to 1966, the San Diego Chargers played at Balboa Stadium, a relic built in 1914 that had a seating capacity of 34,000 for football. The now-Los Angeles Chargers will play for the next three seasons in a stadium even smaller in an era of 80,000-seat megaplexes.

Some people wonder if he’s pulling a LeGarrette Blount, forcing his team to cut him with designs on returning to his former team and a legitimate shot at a Super Bowl. Before the suspension, Gase mentioned he doesn’t know what the future holds for Timmons in Miami. He did say that his team is moving on with or without him. To me, it sounds like they are trying to move on without him

It would be hard simply to cut Timmons. He’s a salary cap hit of $11M and the Dolphins are still anorexically thin with healthy linebackers even with the addition of Anthony. Trading him is tough, because nobody is going to want to or be able to afford that cap it at this time. Plus, his Dolphins teammates have been very supportive of him during this ordeal.

They rightfully suspended Timmons and even though Dolphin players are speaking highly of him, he’s probably going to lose his job. I’ve ticked off my bosses before and when they want you gone, you’re going to end up gone. Gase also doesn’t want to lose control of his team, so he’s probably going to send a message and punish Timmons further because of his insubordination.

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NFL picks against the spread 2017, Week 2: Browns, Bills are sneaky underdog bets

We have a full slate of games this week. Though, I’d like to ask the NFL to have the Texans-Bengals game from Thursday night stricken from the record. We’re actually worse off having seen that.

The Bengals looked like they might actually score a touchdown at one point (they didn’t) until Tyler Eifert basically ruined it.

Eifert, who was wide open in the back of the end zone, was calling for the football. Except he was calling for it while he was out of bounds — way out of bounds:

He established himself back in, but you can’t be the first to touch the football after that, so he was called for illegal touching. The Bengals were forced to settle for a field goal because of it.

Deshaun Watson was making his first NFL start on Thursday, and Geno Atkins gave him a taste of what getting swept off your feet by a two-time All-Pro feels like:

So much in recent times that it makes the two franchises seem closer than their 900-plus mile separation.
Mike Daniels is questionable with a hip injury, but expected to play after a dominant performance against the Seahawks.

The Packers listed seven players on this week’s Friday injury report, four of whom are essentially starters and another two who play key backup roles. Joining Bulaga with the questionable tag are a pair of the team’s brightest stars in the trenches: left tackle David Bakhtiari and defensive tackle Mike Daniels.

Meanwhile, Daniels had a hip issue flare up in Thursday’s practice, limiting him in practice. However, despite his questionable tag, he expressed confidence in his availability on Twitter Thursday night.
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