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ICYMI: Cubs injury updates, Adam Engel sent to Triple-A, Bears' kicking competition underway

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USA TODAY

ICYMI: Cubs injury updates, Adam Engel sent to Triple-A, Bears' kicking competition underway

Several key Cubs players are nearing returns from the injured list, the White Sox demoted Adam Engel to Triple-A and the Bears' kicking competition is underway. Here's what you might have missed from the weekend in Chicago sports:

Cubs

Cubs catcher Victor Caratini took batting practice on Sunday, a significant step in his recovery from hand surgery. In other injured Cubs news, Mike Montgomery and Xavier Cedeño are also nearing returns to the team.

The Cubs finished off a sweep of the Cardinals on Sunday to re-claim first place in the NL Central. After the win, Kris Bryant asked "Why did we have to start 1-6?"

Anthony Rizzo is off to a solid start this season, with one major adjustment at least partially responsible. Javier Báez is also off to a great start, though he's trending in the wrong direction in one head-scratching area.

Yu Darvish had another rough outing on Saturday, though he said he sounded confident about how close he is to turning things around. Taylor Davis bailed Darvish out with a game-tying grand slam.

Kyle Hendricks delivered one of the best pitching performances in recent memory on Friday, tossing a complete-game shutout on just 81 pitches.

Is the Cubs' bullpen plan finally coming into focus?

While it's been just one month, Daniel Descalso has fit in nicely with the Cubs this season.

White Sox

The Charlotte carousel keeps on turning for the White Sox, as the team demoted outfielder Adam Engel to Triple-A following Sunday's game. Meanwhile, White Sox outfielder Jon Jay's return to the team from the injured list is still not totally certain.

The White Sox pitching problems continued in a big way on Saturday, with the team suffering an ugly loss at the hands of the Red Sox. Despite the loss, the White Sox may still have picked up a victory over the Red Sox through the Chris Sale trade.

Michael Kopech gave his stamp of approval to Tim Anderson's have-fun crusade. Fellow White Sox pitching prospect Alec Hansen earned a promotion to Double-A over the weekend.

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Kopech and Dane Dunning joined Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey to discuss their respective returns from Tommy John surgery.

Bears

The Bears' kicking competition is underway and Cody Parkey's double-doink is squarely in focus. Here's five things we learned from the first weekend of the competition.

Bears cornerbacks Duke Shelley and Stephen Denmark are learning new positions in their own way.

Our Bears insider JJ Stankevitz caught up with Mitchell Trubisky in an entertaining Q&A, covering the Jordan Howard trade, Game of Thrones and more.

Mitchell Trubisky is trying to master Matt Nagy's offense in 2019. Trubisky called Nagy the swaggiest coach in the NFL.

Trubisky might need to master hot dog toppings next, though.

Bulls

The Bulls announced a multi-year contract extension for head coach Jim Boylen on Friday.

What would the Bulls get if they drafted Virginia forward De'Andre Hunter?

ICYMI: Cubs' plan for Craig Kimbrel; Lucas Giolito continues dominance; Virginia McCaskey Q&A

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

ICYMI: Cubs' plan for Craig Kimbrel; Lucas Giolito continues dominance; Virginia McCaskey Q&A

The Cubs revealed their plan for closer Craig Kimbrel, Lucas Giolito continued his brilliance on the mound and NBC Sports Chicago sat down with Virginia McCaskey, who offered insight and stories from 100 years of football. Here's what you may have missed from the weekend in Chicago sports:

Cubs

The Cubs officially announced the signing of Craig Kimbrel on Friday, revealing their plan for him moving forward at his introductory press conference. The entire press conference is available on this episode of the Cubs Talk Podcast.

Two interesting points from the press conference include: how Jason Heyward and David Ross helped convince Kimbrel to sign with the Cubs and the importance of Cubs fans in his decision. And while Kimbrel is terrific, there are some concerns that come with signing him.

According to Joe Maddon, the Cubs starting rotation "is the engine that's gonna drive the vehicle." Maddon also discussed how the team plans to manage the second base rotation. 

A locked-in Kyle Schwarber has locked down the Cubs' leadoff spot.

The Cubs reportedly agreed to terms with first round draft pick Ryan Jensen. Plus, the team held a Jon Lester themed flight to the west coast.

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Kelly Crull caught up with David Bote and Carlos Gonzalez, while Leila Rahimi talked to Peter Gammons about the tough NL Central.

White Sox

Lucas Giolito continued his dominance for the White Sox, throwing 7 1/3 scoreless innings on Saturday in a 2-0 win over the Royals. The White Sox won the rubber match against the Royals on Sunday, highlighted by a long home run by Eloy Jimenez.

James McCann has been raking at the plate for the White Sox, putting him amongst the best catchers in the American League. In less positive news, Dylan Covey hit the injured list on Sunday, opening up a spot in the team's starting rotation.

Bears

NBC Sports Chicago had a chance to sit down with Bears matriarch Virginia McCaskey at this weekend's Bears100 Celebration. McCaskey shared a number of memories, stories and insight from 100 years of Bears football.

McCaskey is still eminently capable of charing a mass audience, which she did as part of a panel at the convention. Also from the convention: the five best things heard on Friday, why Gary Fencik appreciates Matt Nagy and an inside look at how the Bears came to acquire Khalil Mack.

Friday, the Bears officially unveiled a new throwback uniform that they will wear in 2019. Saturday, the "Punky QB" met the "Pretty Boy Assassin." 

Will Devin Hester be the next Bears legend to make the Hall of Fame? And could one of the largest tight ends in NFL history be a solution to the Bears' depth issues?

Other

NBC Sports Chicago's Blackhawks beat writer Charlie Roumeliotis answers fan questions in the latest Blackhawks mailbag.

NBA mock draft: If the Bulls trade back with the Hawks, who might they target?

Rajon Rondo opened up on his Bulls tenure and getting benched by Fred Hoiberg.

UFC 238: Henry Cejudo defeats Marlon Moraes, becomes fourth simlutaneous two-weight champion in UFC history

UFC 238: Henry Cejudo defeats Marlon Moraes, becomes fourth simlutaneous two-weight champion in UFC history

Simultaneous two-weight champions are all the rage in the UFC right now, and Henry Cejudo joined the exclusive - and growing - group of fighters on Saturday night at UFC 238 in Chicago.

After Marlon Moraes controlled the first round, Cejudo fought back with heavy knees from the clinch in the second and third rounds. In the final seconds of the third round, Cejudo had Moraes on the mat and was dropping heavy punches, forcing the referee to stop the fight seconds before the final horn to win the vacant bantamweight championship.

Cejudo is the reigning flyweight champion and with the 135-pound strap in his possession, Cejudo becomes the fourth fighter to be a simultaneous two-weight champion, joining Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier and Amanda Nunes. The list of fighters who have won belts in two different UFC weight classes has grown to seven, with Randy Couture, BJ Penn and Georges St. Pierre.

McGregor, the founding member of the simultaneous two-weight champion club, congratulated Cejudo on Twitter.

Nunes is currently the only other fighter to currently be holding two belts. Cormier vacated the light heavyweight title and remains the heavyweight champion.

Cejudo also took exception to being labeled a champ-champ, noting that he also is an Olympic gold medalist making him a triple champion and in his words, "the greatest combat sports athlete of all time."

“I’m not a double champion, I’m a triple champion: Olympic champion, flyweight champion and now bantamweight champion of the UFC, Cejudo said. "I’m the only person in the world who has all these titles, nobody else.

"Whether you hate me or you love me, I’m the pound-for-pound king." 

Now the focus turns to the flyweight division. Will Cejudo defend the flyweight belt? Will the UFC dissolve the flyweight division and Cejudo will just carry on as the bantamweight champion?

"I want to rest and I’ll be ready to fight in the end of the year, in 'Cejudo’s division,'" Cejudo said. "I can fight at 125, 135 or 145. I’m ready for any of those.“