Update on the latest sports
Nike drops Antonio Brown amid 2nd accusation; Belichick mum
UNDATED (AP) – Nike has cut ties with Antonio Brown, and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is through answering questions about his receiver.
Belichick cut short his regular media availability Friday. He said the team is looking into “some things,” then refused to answer several more questions about Brown, saying, “I’m done with the rest of it.” After another question about Brown, Belichick walked out.
Earlier Friday, Nike spokesman Josh Benedek confirmed that the company is no longer working with Brown, telling The Associated Press, “Antonio Brown is not a Nike athlete.” The move comes after Brown, who already faces a civil suit contending he raped a former trainer, was accused of exposing himself to a woman working on a mural at his Pittsburgh home.
Through his lawyer, Brown has denied the allegations. Asked if he expected Brown to play on Sunday against the New York Jets, Belichick said, “He’s on the roster.”
In other NFL news:
– Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals with a mid-foot sprain. Coach Ron Rivera says Kyle Allen will make his second career NFL start at quarterback. The coach says Newton is “day-to-day,” leaving his status unclear for Week 4. Newton aggravated his left foot in Carolina’s 20-14 loss to the Buccaneers on Sept. 12 and has not practiced since. It will be only the sixth game Newton has missed during his nine-year NFL career due to injury.
– The Cleveland Browns could be without their entire starting secondary Sunday against the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams. Safety Damarious Randall has been ruled out because of a concussion. Starting linebacker and defensive captain Christian Kirksey and tight end David Njoku are sidelined indefinitely. They may need surgery. Safety Morgan Burnett and cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams are questionable.
– Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson won’t play Sunday against the Lions and wideout Alshon Jeffery and tight end Dallas Goedert are questionable. Jeffery and Goedert haven’t practiced this week because of calf injuries. Jackson has an abdomen injury. Running back Corey Clement is also out with a shoulder injury while linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill is doubtful with a knee sprain.
– The Buffalo Bills have ruled out rookie running back Devin Singletary for their home opener against the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend. Singletary hurt his left hamstring in a 28-14 win at the New York Giants last weekend. The third-round draft pick has combined for 127 yards rushing and a touchdown and 28 yards receiving in two games. The Bills have also ruled out tight end Tyler Kroft and starting cornerback Taron Johnson.
– The San Francisco 49ers have signed tackle Sam Young to a one-year deal and placed receiver Trent Taylor on injured reserve. The Niners made the move to bring back Young on Friday after losing starting left tackle Joe Staley to a broken leg last week. Staley is expected to miss at least six weeks. Taylor has been sidelined with a foot injury since training camp. After being placed on IR the earliest he will be able to return is for the game Nov. 17 against Arizona.
– The NFL has banned any on-field pyrotechnics and “flame effects” at games or team events after an incident last Sunday at Nissan Stadium before the Titans hosted the Colts. Equipment used for pyrotechnics during pre-game festivities burst into flames in the north end zone about five minutes before kickoff. Workers quickly extinguished the flames. A league spokesman says the ban will last at least until a review of the incident is complete.
Ex-Rangers, Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi retires after 13 seasons
UNDATED (AP) – Former New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi has announced his retirement from the NHL after 13 seasons.
Girardi appeared in 927 games, finishing with 56 goals and 264 points and a plus-78 ratings. He also played in 143 playoff games, four Eastern Conference Finals and one Stanley Cup Final over 11 seasons with the Rangers and two with the Lightning.
The 35-year-old defenseman entered the league with New York as an undrafted free agent in 2006 and appeared in 788 regular-season games with the Rangers, helping them reach the playoffs 10 times. He signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent in 2017 and had 10 goals and 24 assists for 34 points the past two seasons.
In addition to ranking 30th all-time for playoff games played by a defenseman, no player has more blocked shots than Girardi’s 1,954 – nearly 1,700 of them with the Rangers – since the NHL began keeping track of the statistic for the 2005-06 season.
In other NHL news:
– Goaltenders in the National Hockey League are seeing a recent increase in head injuries. Just two NHL goalies were concussed in 2016-17, missing a total of 15 games. Over the past two seasons, 14 different goalies missed a total of 276 games with a concussion or head injury caused by everything from elbows and knees to pucks off their helmets. Players are crashing the net more than ever and there is little goalies can do to avoid contact. The NHL has taken steps to penalize contact to the head, but goalies say they are not seeing any kind of deterrence among players trying to score goals.
‘Hopalong’ Cassady, Ohio State Heisman winner, dies at 85
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio State says Heisman Trophy winner and NFL running back Howard “Hopalong” Cassady has died. He was 85.
Jerry Emig, the school’s associate athletic director, says Cassady died early Friday in Tampa, Florida.
Cassady played both football and baseball at Ohio State in the early 1950s, winning the Heisman Trophy in 1955. He was a two-time consensus All-American and finished with nearly 2,500 yards and 37 touchdowns. He got the nickname “Hopalong” from local sports writers after the black-hatted Western star of the 1950s.
Cassady played 10 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Detroit Lions.
After football, he spent two decades working as a scout and coach in the New York Yankees organization for longtime friend and team owner George Steinbrenner.