Portis hurt, then blames Joe Gibbs …
Had running back Clinton Portis not bothered to sprint 50 yards to disrupt an interception return in the preseason opener tonight, no one would have questioned his judgment. Yet there he was, racing down the sideline with regular season abandon, hitting Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Keiwan Ratliff, then lying on his back for several minutes with a partial dislocation of his left shoulder.
Portis, a willing and tenacious hitter despite being much smaller than many opponents, left this 19-3 defeat to Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium in considerable pain after the Redskins' second possession, and will begin rehabilitation this week pending further results from an MRI exam. He is expected to miss at least the remainder of the preseason and, standing on the sideline, vented to television cameras about being left in the game too long. He said he believes the problem could linger well into the regular season as opposing defenses target his "nicked" shoulder.
"After that eight-yard run [in the first series]," Portis said, with his left shoulder in a sling, "I was like, 'Get me out of the game.' But that's football, man. . . . You can't fault nobody. I was hustling after the ball trying to keep them out of the end zone."
When asked directly whether he thought he was left in the game too long, Portis said, "I'm going to leave that as a trick question."
Rafeal Vela’s take on the first preseason game …click on the link to read the whole thing…
Bill Parcells didn’t just start Tony Romo Saturday evening, he finished with him too. The fourth year rookie stayed true to his hot preseason form, hitting on 20 of 25 passes, showing exceptional pocket mobility and a composure. When he ran, he ran to throw. When he had time, he was accurate. When he didn’t have time, he was accurate.
Romo overcame a jittery three and out first series that contained two penalties and a fumbled snap to lead Dallas on am impressive 15 play, 88 yard TD drive his second time out. the drive featured three third-down conversions, one on the ground and two in the air. Romo led two long drives with the second unit that sputtered deep in Seattle territory. Those provided field goals and all of Dallas points in a 13-3 win. The defense showed consistency and talent, keeping Seattle far from the Dallas end zone after the Seahawks drove to a field goal on their second drive.
All concerns on Patrick Crayton …Mickey is on the case…
Third receiver Patrick Crayton?
Nothing wrong with him - four catches, 61 yards one touchdown and a long of 33.
Er, check that. Doggonit, after so much went right here Saturday night in the preseason-opening 13-3 victory over the defending NFC champion Seahawks, Crayton might not be all right. He probably is holding his breath on his way back to training camp in Oxnard, Calif. So are the Cowboys.
There already was a depth problem at wide receiver. As you might know, Terrell Owens didn't make the trip here for the first preseason game, remaining at training camp to further treat and rehab his sore left hamstring. Remember no fly, eat and watch guys on a Bill Parcells charter flight.
Parcells already had talked about wanting to add a receiver, and presumably someone more than LaShaun Ward, who was signed late last week to help eat up some practice snaps. He talked of possibly making a trade, and from what I gather, likely for a receiver of third-, fourth- or fifth-round ilk. Not some fantasy favorite of yours. And watching this game, you got the feeling the Cowboys might have been trying to showcase a player or three to use in a possible trade for a wide receiver.
But now this:
Crayton suffers a high ankle sprain in the second quarter. He didn't play another down. He didn't even return to the field after halftime. In fact, he went to get an X-ray, which was negative.
But that doesn't mean everything.
Crayton left Qwest Field with his right foot in a walking boot and using crutches. Yes, the same darn foot he had problems with last year, fracturing the ankle in the Oct. 16 game against the Giants which required surgery and caused him to miss the next five. He was never the same after he returned.
When he rolled the ankle Saturday night, said he thought back to last year, "but it was a different kind of pain." Nothing might be broken, but that doesn't mean he didn't damage the ligaments. The trainers will know more Sunday. Probably send him for an MRI.
Thus the breath holding, because as we've learned over the past few years - see Julius Jones, Jay Ratliff from last year - these darn high ankle sprains can be year-long problems or year-ending injuries.
Junior Seau to Retire today …
Rangers sweep Mariners, still way behind Oakland …Just keep winning…
The Rangers can only hope to steamroll the rest of their opponents the way they did the Seattle Mariners over the weekend.
They completed a four-game sweep of the Mariners at Ameriquest Field in Arlington with a 10-6 victory Sunday. The Rangers have won five consecutive games and remain five games behind the American League West-leading Oakland Athletics.
In the process, they all but eliminated the Mariners from postseason contention, bumping them to nine games out in the division.
"I don't think it can get better than this," outfielder Carlos Lee said. "Key hits in big situations. We're putting ourselves in position to win."
Wes Littleton is the story of the bullpen right now …and since I sat next to his mom in Anaheim, I am pleased to see his success…
Though he is the newest to the big leagues, Littleton has been the most impressive. The 23-year-old made his major-league debut earlier this season, and entered Sunday with a 0.52 ERA in 15 outings. He had allowed just one earned run in 17 1/3 innings, that a solo home run by the White Sox's Joe Crede on July 21.
Littleton picked up his second major league victory Friday with two scoreless innings against the Seattle Mariners, just eight days after pitching two scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels for his first major league win.
"It's good that they have confidence in me to go out there and get some outs," Littleton said.
Of course, the Charity Shield is just a glorified friendly, but anytime is a good time to
beat Chelsea! …
Make that three defeats in a row for Chelsea. It is an exceedingly deceptive statistic, yet rivals have to muster hope as best they can. The champions were overcome in the closing two Premiership fixtures of last season, once the title had been retained, but the Community Shield match here yesterday was played in earnest, especially in the first half.
There was bound to be a snarl to the game, even if this occasion is prone to being a well-bred affair. Liverpool, after all, are the one club who always get under Jose Mourinho's skin. The Chelsea manager had limbered up for the season, though, with an uncharacteristic ploy as he depicted his club as disadvantaged.
His reckoning was that Liverpool, needing to get into shape for the Champions League qualifier with Maccabi Haifa, were in better condition than his own squad, who returned to training later. If the new rivalry was to see who could seize the role of underdog then Rafael Benítez was ready with his reply.
Stalwarts such as Sami Hyypia, Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso, plus the new signing Craig Bellamy, were named among the substitutes. The first half came close to illustrating that the rapport in Liverpool's line-up can be worth more than individual merit. Chelsea might argue that they rebutted that theory since it was the unique quality of Andriy Shevchenko that allowed them to equalise.
Considering that the Ukrainian cost £30m it is understandable that there is no one on Liverpool's books who bears any resemblance to him, yet still the Anfield team discovered within their ranks the means to win. As Benítez's men have previously proved in the Champions League and FA Cup, there is no fluke in their capacity to unsettle Chelsea.
See all 3 goals below. Liverpool, the greatness, in red. Chelsea, the communists, in blue.
How about some off-season hockey news? The Hockey News names their top 50 players, and 3 Stars make it …Andrew's is on the story...
Three Stars players made THN's Top 50 players list.
Defenseman Sergei Zubov was ranked No. 42 after not being ranked last year.
"He still flies under the radar despite consistently finishing among the top-scoring defensemen for 13 years," the magazine said about Zubov.
Stars forward Brenden Morrow came in at No. 46 on the list, up from No. 48 in 2005.
"Beat his previous personal bests in points by 16 and continues to be one of the NHL's best two-way grinding forwards," THN said of Morrow.
Stars goalie Marty Turco ranked No. 49, which was down from No. 37 from a year ago.
"Would be ranked higher if the criteria was regular season only," THN said about the Dallas netminder. "But his failure to get it done in the playoffs remains his Achilles' heel."
Stars captain Mike Modano, who was ranked 25th last year, did not make the list this year.
Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff was the No. 1 ranked player.
Penguins future star Malkin defects to Canada …Pittsburgh is going to get really good really fast I think.
Russian news agency Itar-Tass is reporting Penguins prospect Evgeni Malkin fled his Metallurg Magnitogorsk club on Saturday during training camp in Finland, according to Reuters.
"Malkin secretly left the club, taking his belongings and his passport," said the report’s source, allegedly a source within the Metallurg team.
The 20-year-old, who was reported to have signed a new one-year contract with Metallurg last week, is widely considered to be the best player outside of the NHL.
The Penguins have been unable to get Malkin under contract because of Russia’s refusal to sign the International Ice Hockey Federation’s transfer agreement that pays European clubs a flat fee of $200,000. Metallurg officials have said they want at least 10 times that amount to release Malkin.
Metallurg head Gennady Velichkin told Reuters on Sunday that the team would seek compensation through the courts should Malkin sign with Pittsburg.
"The players, coaching staff are very upset because for four days Malkin was training with the team and suddenly he is gone without saying a word to anyone," said Velichkin.
Malkin’s agent, J.P. Barry, recently told the Associated Press his client’s “wish is to play in the NHL, and in Pittsburgh. We will continue to talk to him about his future, and we will decide the best course for him at this time."
On Wednesday, countryman and fellow Penguin Sergei Gonchar told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review that Malkin informed him he intended to stay in Russia.
“He told me he's staying another year,” said Gonchar. "He said he has a reason to stay over. I don't know the reason, but he's staying now."
Watch out for the guns. They'll get you.