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Bears K Gould has calf strain; Cutler hurts neck

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Bears K Gould has calf strain; Cutler hurts neck

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler left Sunday's game at Minnesota in the fourth quarter with a neck injury.

Cutler took a hit to the head by Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen that drew a penalty, but he said afterward his neck was bothering him all afternoon and worsened as the game went on, complaining of stiffness. Cutler stayed in for the rest of that drive, but when the Bears got the ball back Jason Campbell was running the offense instead.

Cutler, who missed a game last month because of a concussion, got up slowly after Griffen's hit and had his hands on his knees for several seconds before composing himself for the next play.

``I thought he fought `til the end,'' coach Lovie Smith said.

The Bears were already missing three defensive starters: nose tackle Stephen Paea, linebacker Brian Urlacher and cornerback Tim Jennings, plus wide receiver Earl Bennett. Their health situation worsened during the game.

Kicker Robbie Gould strained his left calf in warm-ups, limiting his ability to take long kicks. He was kicking midrange field goals without trouble shortly before the game started, but punter Adam Podlesh handled the kickoffs. The Bears reached the Vikings 35-yard line late in the first quarter, and Podlesh came out to punt. Gould made the extra point after both of Chicago's touchdowns and tried the onside kick near the end of the game.

``It is of some concern,'' Smith said.

Defensive tackle Henry Melton limped off in the first quarter and was taken to the locker room on a cart. He returned in the second quarter but then hurt his shoulder. Three backups were also hurt: defensive end Shea McClellin (knee), safety Craig Steltz (chest) and cornerback Sherrick McManus (knee).

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Tom Haberstroh believes Wizards' Rui Hachimura should be NBA All-Rookie First Team

Tom Haberstroh believes Wizards' Rui Hachimura should be NBA All-Rookie First Team

Rui Hachimura has had an impressive rookie season, even if there were some struggles along the way. But, was his first NBA campaign impressive enough to land an NBA All-Rookie First Team nod?

According to NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh, the answer is a clear yes.

“He does, in my book he’s first-team all-rookie," Haberstroh said Sunday on NBC Sports Washington's Wizards Pregame Live.

RELATED: BEAL THINKS RUI WILL BE SF LONG TERM

Haberstroh understands that Hachimura may not get the same attention as other big-name rookies such as Zion Williamson or Ja Morant, but that shouldn't take away from his body of work. Though there were some tough showings at points during the campaign, which is to be expected, Hachimura established himself as a solid scorer. 

Yet, what is more impressive to Haberstroh than the 13.4 points per game as a rookie is how Hachimura kept that scoring total despite Washington's situation. The forward was thrown right into the middle of a young roster and asked to create shots. The analyst also noted that Hachimura started playing the sport of basketball at a much later age than other rookies and he's still competing at the same level.

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Hachimura also didn't have the luxury of John Wall, a point guard who could've helped him find more shot opportunities. For times throughout the season, he was asked to be one of "the guys" in Washington, which is no easy task for a rookie. When looking at what he did and who he did it with, Haberstroh thinks the All-Rookie honor makes sense. 

“The minutes that he played, the consistency from a scoring standpoint and the fact that he didn’t have a true playmaker to work with, John Wall out for the season," Haberstroh said. “It’s really been an impressive year for Rui Hachimura and I think he’s done a very, very good job considering the environment that seemed like guys were dropping left and right.”

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‘Stephen Strasburg’ the dog catches first pitch for Stephen Strasburg’s first start

‘Stephen Strasburg’ the dog catches first pitch for Stephen Strasburg’s first start

Stephen Strasburg made his 2020 debut Sunday after missing the first two and a half weeks of the season with a nerve issue in his throwing hand. But before he could take the mound, the Nationals put up a video on the jumbotron of another Stephen Strasburg catching the first pitch.

“Stephen Strasburg” was adopted from the Humane Rescue Center by Nationals fan Mary Elizabeth Pratt just before last fall’s World Series. Her pitch was a little bit outside but Stephen had no problem scooping it up and running it back over to her.

The baseball-playing Stephen Strasburg is coming off a year in which he won World Series MVP honors and signed a seven-year extension to remain with the Nationals.

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