fans are left wondering how a game that appeared to be firmly in hand got away from them

The idea of “tanking” a season and the logic behind it, insomuch as you can call it “logic,” is something that I find to be completely idiotic. It has never made any sense, it doesn’t make any sense now, and it won’t make any sense going forward. I’m sure that we’ve had this discussion before, and I was hoping that it would be a while before we’d have to have it again, but this is the situation we’re in right now. Let me explain why the idea of “tanking” a season is stupid.

The first part of this is quite simple. . .you are not going to get a group of professional athletes, led by professional coaches, to simply give up and stop attempting to win football games. That’s not how it works. You’re talking about a group of individuals that have excelled at this profession their entire lives, and then asking them to do something that goes completely against the way they’ve been programmed all these years. Think about this. . .every single college football player in America was a star in high school. Every single professional football player in America was a star in college. They’ve built their entire lives around being the best of the best at what they do. And you really think they’re going to be receptive to someone saying, “Yeah, you know, if you could just go out there and maybe not try as hard in this game, that would be pretty awesome. We’re playing for draft position, you know.” Yeah. . .I have my doubts.

As for the Redskins, fans are left wondering how a game that appeared to be firmly in hand got away from them. The offense looked unstoppable for a half, but then familiar problems crept back. The offensive line stopped protecting Robert Griffin III, and Washington managed just three points in the second half. On defense, the secondary was once again a sieve.

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Eric Reid injury: 49ers safety leaves with possible concussion

San Francisco 49ers rookie safety Eric Reid left Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers with an apparent concussion.

Reid attempted to tackle Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert when he struck the runner’s shoulder with his head and immediately went limp. Reid remained face-down on the field for some time before he was able to sit up and finally stand, then walking off the field with the assistance of trainers.

The injury is similar to one Reid sustained earlier this season when he attempted to tackle Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice. That hit wasn’t as violent, but had the same result as Reid appeared to be knocked out on both plays.

Jean Segura Elite Jersey Sunday’s game between the Panthers and 49ers is a defensive affair and the score is currently 9-7 in favor of San Francisco. The team will turn to five-year safety C.J. Spillman. Spillman, who has been used primarily on special teams, has 15 tackles this season.

It starts with the defensive line. Because Carolina rarely blitzes, they must be very stout, active, strong at the point of attack, and athletic enough to handle double teams.

The example below from last week’s matchup with the Falcons shows you how much this team trusts their front seven to get the job done in run defense. At the snap, Kawann Short fires out of his stance and gets an angle on the left guard to put himself into the running lane. Around him, everyone plays a role, maintains gap integrity, and waits patiently for the run to develop:

Devontae Booker Kids Jersey This is actually a rare occasion where the Panthers blitz with a corner, and veteran Captain Munnerlynn holds Steven Jackson on the edge and doesn’t allow him a cutback lane. The patience and discipline that each player exhibits on this play makes for a good example of how the Panthers have managed such a solid run defense. No one getting out of their gaps, going off script, or trying to do too much.

Angels IF Luis Valbuena strains right hamstring; to miss four to six weeks

Los Angeles Angels infielder Luis Valbuena will miss four to six weeks after an MRI revealed a right hamstring strain, the team announced Thursday.

The 6-5 left tackle, a former Pro Bowler, provides an immediate upgrade to the Chargers’ offensive line protecting Philip Rivers’ blind side.

Henrik Sedin Youth Jersey Okung, who played the first six seasons of his career in Seattle, played all 16 games in his only season with the Broncos last year, but the team declined to pick up his contract after the season.

Jason Kasdorf Youth Jersey The World Baseball Classic has produced highlight-reel moments such as Team USA’s Adam Jones’ clutch catch against the Dominican Republic.

Although the likes of Mike Trout and Kris Bryant stayed in their big league camps, the current American team is likable and entertaining, and it even reached the final for the first time this year.

Manager Jim Leyland believes his All-Star-laden group has begun the domestic transformation of the WBC from a novelty to a must-see event.

I think we’ve at least been a small part of maybe putting this WBC on the map for the United States more so than in the past, Leyland said. I’m hoping in the future that a lot of the players have seen what’s happened here, and will be a little bit more excited about playing in this event.

This is not a widespread situation, said Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay, chairman of the league’s competition committee. This is a situation where there are certain plays in our game that we want to get out of the game, and we just want to make sure the players are put on notice that if these type of actions [happen], then they could be subject to suspension.

Switching to the basketball itself for our final thoughts: any sense of who will win this thing?

The Kentucky kids and Markkanen are the biggest draws other than Ball, but I’d like to get a better sense of Justin Jackson, even though he is a junior. These UNC upperclassmen so often look better in college than they do in the league, but he’ll go in the top 20 with decent expectations. We won’t know if he can meet them until he gets to the league, but I need to see more.

Elite Bobby Hebert Jersey Switching to the basketball itself for our final thoughts: any sense of who will win this thing?
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The Lions’ tight end need remains a substantial one, and they’ll use a first-two round pick on the position. Njoku had an expectedly awesome NFL Combine, and if he is available at 21, I Would be surprised if he wasn’t the pick.

I have been touting Willis as a top-32 player for a while, and his NFL Combine performance proved his worth. The Dolphins have invested in their offense, and they’ll likely use the draft to add to the defense.

Cunningham could go much higher, but he can finally give the Giants a feature linebacker and an inside leadership presence they have been lacking since Antonio Pierce retired. Cunningham could go much higher than this.

There is a real chance Dalvin Cook falls out of round one, with his character, athletic test and previous injury concerns. But the Raiders need a feature running back, and they have interest in Cook. He could be Ezekiel Elliott 2.0 in Oakland.

This photo of Adam Jones’ heroic World Baseball Classic catch belongs in a museum

Saturday night, the U.S. advanced to the World Baseball Classic semifinals after defeating the Dominican Republic 6-3. Part of that victory goes to Adam Jones, who made a heroic leaping catch against his Orioles teammate Manny Machado. The catch was so good, Machado couldn’t help but show respect to Jones for taking that homer away from him:

The undercard was exciting, getting started with a lightweight showdown between Ryan Martin and Bryant Cruz. Martin’s high-tempo offense kept Cruz on the defensive for too long, and the fight was eventually stopped in Martin’s favor in the eighth of 10 rounds.

After that, Carlos Cuadras took a controversial unanimous decision win over David Carmona. Cuadras was heavily favored for the fight, but Carmona seemed to have the edge overall and it’s surprising that two judges saw the fight as 97-93 in Cuadras’ favor. That would have set up Cuadras for a potential rematch with Roman Gonzalez for the flyweight title, but those plans were thrown away when Gonzalez suffered defeat in the final undercard fight.

That fight saw him lose a 12-round majority decision to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. It’s the first time that Gonzalez has lost a fight as a professional. He clearly won his share of rounds and looked good doing it, but he was knocked down in the first round. Despite Rungvisai losing a point due to repeated headbutts, he ended up with the win, though one judge saw it as a 113-113 draw.16

C.J. Spiller injury: Bills RB could sit out Week 8

Authentic Kids Danny Salazar Jersey The Buffalo Bills’ C.J. Spiller has played through a persistent ankle injury for the better part of a month now, and on Wednesday, head coach Doug Marrone discussed the possibility of sitting the running back this Sunday to allow him to heal up, according to the team.

“I think we¡¯re going to have to evaluate that during the week,” Marrone said of Spiller’s availability against the New Orleans Saints in Week 8. “We¡¯ll have to make a good decision. He¡¯s working hard, he wants to come back and he wants to play, but at the end of the day, we¡¯ve got to make a good decision to see where he¡¯s at. We¡¯ve just got to get him over this hump and we haven¡¯t been able to do it for three weeks.”

More: Should Bills rest Spiller?
Spiller has not missed a game since spraining his left ankle three weeks ago but has yet to fully recover. He sat out practice on Wednesday, but the team is clearly considering giving him a longer break in order to return to 100 percent.
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Spiller, for his part, has continually insisted that the ankle is improving despite the constant workload.

“[The injury feels] a whole lot better — 10 times better,” Spiller said. “Like I said, just a couple more hurdles I have to cross over before I can say I’m 100 percent. I definitely feel a whole lot better than I did last Wednesday.”

While the injury has not kept Spiller off the field, is does seem to be limiting his workload. Through the first four games of the season, he averaged just over 16 carries per contest. That average has dropped to eight in the three games following the sprain, including a season-low six carries against Miami last week.

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NFL painkiller lawsuit filings portray team doctors as willfully negligent

The NFL and NFL teams have been screwing up science for a long time. It took the league more than a decade to admit the link between football and CTE that Dr. Bennet Omalu published in 2005. Last year, the New York Times found that an NFL committee omitted at least 100 concussions from a database it used to downplay the prevalence of head injuries. Later, the Times found that the NFL was perpetuating unsubstantiated claims that a youth football safety program reduced injuries.

Thursday evening, the Washington Post published portions of court filings in a lawsuit by more than 1,800 former players alleging that NFL teams improperly distributed and administered painkillers, causing long-term organ and joint damage. It’s fortunate that the Post got to see the filings at all. The complaint was sealed from public view because of a protect order, but “because of an apparent technical error in the filing process,” the Post was able to view redacted information.

The result is something unique. Allegations of painkiller abuse in NFL locker rooms have existed for a long time, but they have largely stemmed from players. The court filings claim that team doctors and trainers across the league may have been willfully negligent when distributing drugs like Vicodin and Toradol. According to the filings, “every doctor deposed so far” has testified to violating one or more federal drug laws and regulations.

The fight has especially seemed out of them in recent weeks, with reports of unrest in the dressing room and a widening gulf between Wenger and certain parts of the squad. Mesut ?zil has seemed increasingly out of sorts of late, and if recent reports are to be believed, a training ground argument between Wenger and Alexis led to the player storming out of training, and to Wenger benching him against Liverpool.

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