Packers S Woodson out 6 weeks, broken collarbone


Packers S Woodson out 6 weeks, broken collarbone

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Green Bay Packers safety Charles Woodson has a broken collarbone and will be out approximately six weeks.

Coach Mike McCarthy confirmed the severity of the injury Monday, a day after the team's 30-20 win at St. Louis.

The 36-year-old Woodson broke his clavicle in the 2011 Super Bowl win over Pittsburgh. McCarthy says Woodson is nervous about his latest injury.

The Packers played without four defensive starters against the Rams. They host Jacksonville on Sunday.

``He was a little nervous about it last night,'' McCarthy said when he addressed reporters. ``If you've seen the play, it was a very similar action as he experienced in the Super Bowl.''

Both McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dom Capers said Woodson was hurt with 2:44 left in the game when he dove for a pass that Sam Bradford completed to wide receiver Brandon Gibson.

Woodson briefly rolled around on the turf before getting up, holding his right shoulder area.

Woodson stayed in the game for the next play, on which Bradford completed a pass to Steve Smith on fourth down. It appeared that Woodson, still in pain from the previous play, allowed fellow safety Morgan Burnett to secure the tackle.

``You saw him protecting his one shoulder,'' Capers said. ``He kind of hit (Smith) with one shoulder and kind of walked away. So you could tell that he hurt his shoulder on that play. But I went to him in the locker room after the game and he wasn't sure. He definitely said it was when he dove to make the interception.''

McCarthy said the team would give Woodson every opportunity to return this season.

With the game in hand at 30-13, Woodson did not return to the field for the Rams' final possession with 1:52 to play. In their dime defense, their six defensive backs were Tramon Williams, Casey Hayward, Jerron McMillian, M.D. Jennings, Davon House and Burnett. McMillian and Jennings had shared the nickel and dime safety job - with Jennings getting more snaps in that role - while Woodson had been in the game.

On the final drive, the Packers lined up McMillian and Hayward on the Rams' slot receivers. Hayward had played that slot position opposite Woodson in the dime all game to that point. McMillian worked as a slot cover man during the offseason when Woodson was not participating in the organized team activity practices.

The Packers played without defensive tackle B.J. Raji (ankle), outside linebacker Nick Perry (knee), cornerback Sam Shields (shin/ankle) and inside linebacker D.J. Smith (knee) on Sunday. Smith joined preferred inside linebacker starter Desmond Bishop on season-ending injured reserve with the knee injury he suffered at Houston. Bishop was lost for the season when he ruptured his hamstring tendon in the preseason opener on Aug. 9 at San Diego.

Asked if he thought Woodson would indeed return this season, Capers said: ``Well, just knowing Charles, all I have to go on is him in the past. He's been doing this long enough that he knows his body and he's kept himself in tremendous condition or he wouldn't be playing at his age right now and be able to play at the level he's played.

The Packers cannot place Woodson on injured reserve and bring him back because they have already designated for return running back Cedric Benson, who hurt his foot at Indianapolis on Oct. 7.

``There'll have to be some other guys pick up the leadership role,'' Capers said. ``Obviously, Charles is a leader. He's been a very productive guy on the field and that's the way you develop into a leader. I think there's an awful lot of respect for him. Now, we've got to have some other guys step up and produce.''

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We have ourselves a goalie rotation in Washington


We have ourselves a goalie rotation in Washington

It’s happened. The Caps no longer seem to have a No. 1 goalie anymore, they have a No. 1 and 1a.

That’s right, we have a goalie rotation in Washington.

“There's no sense riding one,” Barry Trotz said after practice on Monday. “[Braden Holtby] is coming back and looking better every game and [Philipp Grubauer] played pretty well for a long stretch so why not have both of them going?”

Grubauer got the start Sunday in Philadelphia and Holtby is slated to get the start Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. After that we will have to wait and see.


Trotz has no layout for which goalie he wants to start and when in the remaining ten games. He is not thinking about each goalie splitting five games or which one he wants to use more.

Nope. Trotz has just one thing on his mind. It is all about who starts the next game, that’s it.

“I think you just go with a guy that's hot at the time and your team feels comfortable with and go from there,” Trotz said.

So where does this leave the goaltending situation when it comes to the playoffs? A goalie rotation is all well and good in the regular season, but he has to have one starter for the postseason, right?

Not necessarily.


When Trotz was asked if he philosophically believed in having one starter for the playoffs, Trotz initially said he would not answer, but then said, “Why don't you ask Mike Sullivan what he thinks.”

Sullivan, of course, is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins who has led his team to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons despite turning to both goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in both seasons.

While Pittsburgh’s goalie rotation was largely based on injury, however, it still provides an example of how using both goalies can work in the playoffs and that seems to be the path the Caps are headed on at the moment.

Said Trotz, “You just have to go with your gut who you think is going to get the job done.”

UMBC's NCAA Tournament hopes end vs. Kansas State, but its Cinderella run was unforgettable


UMBC's NCAA Tournament hopes end vs. Kansas State, but its Cinderella run was unforgettable

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — UMBC's improbable run through the NCAA Tournament was brief. The statement the Retrievers made and their place in history is forever.

For one weekend in March, the tiny commuter school from Baltimore known for its academics and championship-winning chess team captured the hearts of the college basketball world and beyond. UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 in March Madness, a victory over Virginia that made the Retrievers the ultimate Cinderella.

The fairytale came to an end Sunday night in a 50-43 loss to No. 9 Kansas State -- heartbreaking because it was a game UMBC could have won, but still satisfying because the Retrievers touched so many people by accomplishing what many thought was impossible.

"We put our name on the map. We gave hope to teams that come to the tournament with lower seeds," said senior guard K.J. Maura. "I think we gave hope to guys that are not even that tall like me. People that feel like they are underdogs in their life, I think we gave hope to everything they want to do in life."


Stephen Curry noticed the team and sent UMBC the sneakers the team wore against Kansas State. The Golden State Warriors had his Curry 5s, which are in limited release, and other swag sent to the team. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams declared the Retrievers "Surgeon General approved" and posted a photo of himself on Facebook wearing a sweatshirt from his alma mater.

NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers tweeted to UMBC guard Joe Sherburne, who claims to be Rodgers' biggest fan. And for a team addicted to the video game "Fortnite," their dreams were made when Ninja, a popular gamer who recently played against rapper Drake and JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers, FaceTimed with the team early Sunday.

"They play with passion, they play with heart, they play together," coach Ryan Odom said. "We do things together for one another, and obviously when you have a big win like that (over Virginia) and it's so shocking, you know, people love to see that. They love to see the upset.

"And our guys handled it with grace and understood the circumstances. They weren't pounding their chests or anything. They expected to be here and expected to compete."

When UMBC returned to the locker room following its ouster, Odom had written just one word on the whiteboard. The Retrievers needed a buzzer-beating 3 against Vermont to win their conference title and make the NCAA Tournament, but they showed up believing they could beat Virginia, and the same about Kansas State.


So Odom simply penned "Proud" on the board for his players.

"Just very proud of these kids and what they've been able to do as the representatives that they are for our university," Odom said. "Just captured our country and beyond, to be honest, from a sporting perspective and it's really, really neat to see."

Sherburne said Odom relayed stories from friends who had texted or called from outside the country to rave about UMBC. Near tears after an 0-for-9 shooting night, Sherburne found consolation in the joy UMBC brought to so many.

"From when we beat Vermont until the last two hours were the greatest time of my life," Sherburne said. "What we did, everyone in here, it's the greatest time of our lives."

Odom arrived at UMBC two years ago and inherited a team accustomed to losing. He told them he was going to get them to .500 that first year; they thought he was joking. But slowly the culture changed and the Retrievers did everything Odom told them they could accomplish.

And then some.

"When I got here, first we were a four-win team that year, and then the next year we went on to win seven games," said graduate student Jairus Lyles. "Then Coach Odom and his staff came in, we won 21 games and this year we had a tremendous season."

Odom doesn't know how far the UMBC program can grow. Those four letters are now synonymous with the biggest upset in college basketball history, but it's a long way from becoming a basketball school.

"UMBC is a unique place -- lot of high achieving kids on campus," Odom said. "We want guys that want to be great from a basketball perspective and want to play after college. But, at the same time, we want folks that are highly motivated academically that want to do great things past basketball. Because the air goes out of the ball at some point for everybody."