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Jets WR Holmes won't start running until April

Jets WR Holmes won't start running until April

LINDEN, N.J. (AP) Santonio Holmes has been off his feet and away from the football field for a few months.

It will be at least April before the New York Jets wide receiver can run again as he heals from the serious foot injury that ended his season in September.

``I mean, I accepted it once it happened,'' Holmes said Monday night at a charity event, speaking publicly for the first time since he was hurt. ``Football season was over, so I just expanded my mind by reading more and spending more time with my kids, being more supportive.''

Holmes is still in a bulky walking boot and will have surgery in February to remove the metal plate that was inserted to help repair his left foot, which he injured on Sept. 30. He said doctors told him he will likely be able to start running in April, but is uncertain if he'll be ready for the start of training camp next summer.

``We have a while to go yet,'' he said.

The wide receiver was hosting an event through his III & Long Foundation at Jersey Lanes bowling alley to support families and children suffering from sickle cell anemia, including his son Santonio III. A handful of his Jets teammates, including linebacker Bart Scott and running backs Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight, were expected to attend.

Holmes has been home in Florida since having surgery in October and returned to the team's facility in Florham Park for the first time last Friday - in time to be included in the Jets' team photo. Holmes said the long layoff has made him miss his teammates and the game.

``It puts you in a mind-frame of relaxation, but at the same time, it's a recovery process that you go through,'' he said. ``Mentally, it kind of brings you down at times because you can't be active. It's been over 20 years that I've been playing this sport and it's the first time I've suffered a significant injury where I can't play and continue the season.''

Holmes went down on the first play of the fourth quarter of the Jets' 34-0 loss to San Francisco after catching a short pass, which he fumbled as he tossed the ball away, with Carlos Rogers returning it 51 yards for a touchdown. It came a week after the Jets lost cornerback Darrelle Revis to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, leaving New York without its two biggest playmakers.

``I knew the minute I didn't get off the ground that my season was over,'' Holmes said.

He has stayed in touch every week with coach Rex Ryan, keeping up with the team through phone calls and text messages as it struggles to try to keep its playoff hopes alive. The wide receiver, however, stayed away from commenting on the Jets' uncertain quarterback situation. Ryan said he is undecided on whether Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow or Greg McElroy will start Sunday at Jacksonville.

``If I get involved with that, I'm going to be the talk of the world,'' Holmes said, laughing. ``I'll stay on the IR list and keep it moving.''

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Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal

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USA TODAY Sports

Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal

Defenseman Jakub Jerabek is really happy about the opportunity to play with the Washington Capitals, but it could have come at a better time. The trade came with his parents already on their way from the Czech Republic to visit him.

“It was crazy days past three days because I had my parents on the way to Montreal and they didn't know so it was a big surprise for them,” Jerabek told reporters Saturday after his first skate with the team.

A native of the Czech Republic, Jerabek signed his first NHL contract with the Montreal Canadiens in May 2017. After spending some time in the AHL and struggling to consistently earn a spot in the Canadiens’ lineup, he knew a trade was possible.

“My family, maybe we expected some trade. When its come with Caps and it was Washington, I was really happy.”

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Jerabek said he came into the NHL with no expectations and was simply happy for the opportunity, but it is fair to wonder if he was not just the least bit frustrated with how he was utilized by Montreal.

For a player with experience playing for the national team, the Czech league and the KHL, getting only 25 games with a bad Montreal team seems a bit low.

“In first two weeks, I didn't know what's going on because the coaches just told me that I played well, but we just make some competition between the [defensemen] and that I have to wait for my next chance,” Jerabek said. “It was hard, but now I'm happy down here.”

Washington now offers a very different opportunity. In need of help on the blue line, Jeraebek has the chance to earn consistent playing time for a team on pace to reach the postseason.

Jerabek will not play in Saturday’s game against Buffalo, but he was hopeful he would be in the lineup for Monday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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For now, Jerabek and head coach Barry Trotz are unclear as to what his ultimate role on the team will be. With eight defensemen now on the roster, Trotz cautioned any lineup decision could not be rushed because of the trickle-down effect it will have on the other players.

“You always look at chemistry and all that with your group depending how high that player goes up the lineup, it affects different people,” Trotz said. “In a forward group, if you get a guy that you all of a sudden stick on the first line, there's four other guys that are bumped down and one guy's bumped out.”

The addition of Jerabek, however, offers the Caps another defenseman who can quickly move the puck out of the defensive zone, something the team has struggled with immensely throughout the season. Though he shoots left, he also said he is comfortable playing on the right said and has played there regularly over the past few years. That provides the lineup with some flexibility on the third pair behind Matt Niskanen and John Carlson.

As for Jerabek’s parents, they will be arriving in Washington on Saturday.

“I tried to figure out the situation with them to get them to here and they will come today,” he said. “So I'm really happy.”

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

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The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

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Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

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