|Verfasst am: 01.12.2018, 10:30 Titel: www.lionscheapshop.com
|The list of players sitting out this weekend’s conference championships is almost as impressive as the starting lineups: Julian Edelman. Carson Wentz. Dalvin Cook. Dont’a Hightower. Allen Robinson. Sam Bradford.
Following the NFL’s season of carnage that claimed the likes of Graham Glasgow Jersey , among others, Aaron Rodgers, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, J.J. Watt, DeShaun Watson, Odell Beckham Jr. and Joe Thomas, this year’s final four all overcame not only the odds – ”Minneapolis Miracle , anyone?” – but devastating injuries to key starters.
”We have a tough and resilient team,” Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long said of the NFC’s top seed , which is missing its second-year QB in Wentz, an MVP hopeful when he blew out a knee in December.
Even before Wentz’s injury thrust backup Nick Foles into the starting job for the playoffs, the Eagles lost nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters, playmaking middle linebacker Jordan Hicks, versatile return specialist Darren Sproles, and special teams captain Chris Maragos.
Yet, here they are, 60 minutes from Minneapolis and Super Bowl 52.
”I think that starts at the top with Doug, because he sets the tone for being resilient and even keeled,” Long said of his coach, Doug Pederson. ”At the end of the day, we have a tough group of guys.”
So do the Minnesota Vikings, who are trying to reach their first Super Bowl in more than four decades and fulfill mantra to ”Bring it Home” and become the first NFL team to play the title game in its own stadium.
And they’re doing so behind Case Keenum Kody Clark Capitals Jersey , who crashed Tom Brady’s playoff party along with fellow perennial backup Foles and Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles.
Together, the four quarterbacks left standing have a combined five Super Bowl rings, two NFL MVP awards and four Super Bowl MVP trophies. Brady, of course, owns all of that hardware himself.
Such is the panorama of these playoffs following a season of pain in which so many superstars were rendered sideline spectators with broken bones, snapped ligaments, torn muscles.
Keenum replaced an injured Bradford, who had replaced an injured Teddy Bridgewater. Bradford, now back in uniform as Keenum’s backup, blew out a knee in the first month of the season, as did rookie running back in Cook, who needed reconstructive surgery to repair a torn ACL.
Behind resilient coach Mike Zimmer , who resisted the urge to quit just before he got the Vikings’ head coaching gig in 2014, Minnesota rolled right along. Keenum deftly took over for Bradford, and Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray became a productive backfield tandem.
”We’ve got a bunch of fighters on this team,” Zimmer said. ”They’ve been a resilient bunch all year long. I expect it to continue to be that way.”
The Patriots are also a bunch of fighters; they reached their seventh straight AFC title game despite losing Edelman, Brady’s top target, to a torn ACL in the preseason, and Hightower to a torn chest muscle in November.
Play caller Josh McDaniels and Brady, who led New England to a fifth Super Bowl title last year despite the absence of Rob Gronkowski, adjusted accordingly to Edelman’s absence with another terrific year.
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy stepped in for Hightower and ranked third on the team with 73 tackles and second with 5+ sacks despite missing three of the final five games with a calf injury.
Van Noy’s sack total was just a half-sack shy of Hightower’s career high set in 2014.
”The thing about K.V. is he’s very versatile,” said Patriots safety and defensive captain Devin McCourty. ”So we’ve used him a bunch of different ways. … He’s been a big asset to our team.”
The Jaguars are the healthiest of the remaining playoff teams. They have only one opening-day starter on injured reserve: former Pro Bowl receiver Robinson, who tore his left ACL on Jacksonville’s opener.
Four months removed from reconstructive surgery http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-antonio-callaway-jersey , Robinson is now traveling with the team, so he’ll be on the sideline Sunday at New England, serving as a mentor to a raw receiving corps.
”Every person in this locker room put in a lot of work to get to this point, with me being one of them,” said Robinson, who was poised for another big year after dominating the league’s best secondary in training camp.
His injury on Jacksonville’s third offensive snap created a huge void for the offense. Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns tried to pick up the slack, but they ended up on the sideline at one point with injuries, too, leaving rookies Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook to assume bigger roles.
Cole, an undrafted rookie from tiny Kentucky Wesleyan, had 42 catches for 748 yards and three scores in the regular season. He added a clutch 45-yard catch that set up a late TD in Jacksonville’s 45-42 stunner at Pittsburgh last week.
”I wish I could just wake up tomorrow and feel like I did Sept. 9,” Robinson said, ”but I understand it’s going to be a process. I know I’ll be back to that point and better.”
Like so many other stars, Robinson will be in street clothes Sunday, cheering on his teammates in hopes of getting a sideline pass to the Super Bowl.
HOUSTON – Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier made his impact felt defensively in his return from the disabled list on Tuesday. There will be changes in playing time moving forward as well.
With Kiermaier, who missed 57 games with a torn ligament in his right thumb, back in the fold, Mallex Smith shifted to left field while Johnny Field claimed a reserve role. While Smith appears a likely bet to maintain regular at-bats, Field could see a decline in his. Field could potentially share time in right field with veteran Carlos Gomez, whose defense played a part in the Rays’ 2-1 victory Tuesday that ended Houston’s 12-game winning streak and set the stage for the rubber match of this three-game series on Wednesday night.
“Mallex is going to play a lot,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s done a good job; I think he’s deserving to play. He’s probably back in the spot that benefits us the most in left or right when he goes over there at certain times. I like that he can rove to all three of (the outfield slots) and back up K.K. in center. But now it’s like the infield thing: I’m just going to have to do a good job of making sure that everybody gets some consistency and also rest at the same time.
“I don’t think it’s going to hurt Carlos Gomez to get an extra day here and there. Same with Johnny. You see with really good teams that have a full roster the ability to rest their so-called regulars. So, we’ll take that approach.”
The Rays designated outfielder Rob Refsnyder for assignment to make room for Kiermaier.
Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (1-2, 4.63 ERA) will start the series finale for the Rays (34-39). He is 1-0 with a 2.52 ERA over four career starts against Houston but hasn’t faced them since April 7 http://www.chiefsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-breeland-speaks-jersey , 2016, while pitching for the Yankees.
Eovaldi has faced the Astros once in Houston, earning a 3-2 win on June 26, 2015, after allowing two runs on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts over six innings.
Wednesday will mark his fifth start since returning from a second Tommy John surgery.
The Astros (49-26) will counter with right-hander Charlie Morton (8-1, 2.94 ERA), who is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA over three career starts against the Rays. Morton went 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA in two starts against the Rays last season, allowing seven runs on 10 hits and five walks over 11 innings.
He picked up the win in his last start, the 200th of his career, limiting the Royals to three runs on four hits and four walks with nine strikeouts over six innings in a 7-3 victory on June 15.
Major League Baseball released the second update of the American League All-Star voting results on Tuesday, and Astros second baseman Jose Altuve leads all players in fan balloting with 1,572,101 votes. Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts is just behind Altuve at 1,568,417.
“I think it’s remarkable, and I think it’s well deserved for someone who represents our game in exceptional fashion,” said Astros manager A.J. Hinch, who will manage the AL All-Stars in Washington, D.C., next month. “I think the voters are getting it right. He’s every bit what’s right about baseball. I love the guy and I’m happy that he’s getting the recognition that he should.”
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