Cubs

Core players on 'D' cautious about returns

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Core players on 'D' cautious about returns

The Chicago defense allowed yardage but only three passing touchdowns to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, whose 33 scores through the air are second only to Drew Brees and New Orleans 36 TD passes.
And the Bears managed that without two linchpin players in their pass defense: linebacker Brian Urlacher, cornerback Tim Jennings and defensive tackle Henry Melton, the latter two among the leaders in fan voting for the Pro Bowl because of their work against the pass.
Jennings (shoulder separation) and Melton (clavicle) are closest to returning for the game against Arizona. Both practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and expressed guarded optimism about facing the Cardinals.
We just want to make sure that we prevent anything from happening, Jennings, who was injured making a tackle late in the Seattle game, said. Of course if it happens again it could be further damage. I feel good, body feels well enough to continue playing at a high level.
I just want to definitely make sure my shoulder is where it needs to be strength- and flexibility-wise to go out there and help contribute and help the team win. I know if I feel like I cant help them at all, then Im no good out there. I want to continue to make sure its where it needs to be.
Melton is third among defensive tackles with six sacks and the primary interior force against pass protection. He was forced out of the game in Minnesota after falling on the turf and, like Jennings, the goal is to get him on the field but with the smallest possible risk of re-injury.
Reduced work is more kind of precautionary, Melton said. I could definitely play through it, but they dont want anything worse to happen to it that would keep me out of the playoffs or something like that. Were going to see how it feels and maybe give it a go.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 30th homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 30th homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa hit the 30-homer threshold on June 21, 1998 in only his 71st game of the season. For perspective, the 2018 Cubs leader in homers on June 21 is Javy Baez with 14 and Mike Trout leads all of baseball with only 23.

At this point, Mark McGwire was ahead of Sosa, but the Cubs slugger was pulling closer. McGwire had 33 dingers on June 21 while Ken Griffey Jr. had 28 and Greg Vaughn had 25.

Sosa' June 21 homer came off Tyler Green and was his 5th blast of the series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field that year. But the Cubs lost that series, despite Sosa's efforts.

Fun fact: Sosa drove in 10 runs in the three-game series with the Phillies that summer while the rest of his teammates combined for only 9 RBI.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls trade up or down in the draft?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls trade up or down in the draft?

Mark Carman, Hub Arkush, Phil Rogers and Will Perdue join Kap on the SportsTalk Live Podcast.

The guys start by discussing Brandon Morrow's injury that he sustained while taking off his pants... what's the craziest cause for an injury the guys can remember?

Plus, should the Bulls move up or down in Thursday's NBA Draft? Does it make sense to take on a bad contract in a potential deal?

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: