Orioles

LB Matthews expected back for Packers

LB Matthews expected back for Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The Green Bay Packers expect to have linebacker Clay Matthews back in the lineup Sunday against the Chicago Bears and coach Mike McCarthy couldn't be happier about it.

``I thought he looked good all week,'' McCarthy said Friday after the Packers held their last practice before the game. ``I look for Clay to play and make an impact in the game.''

Matthews practiced the last three days without incident. The team's top pass rusher has missed the last four games because of a recurring hamstring injury.

``It's different speed when you're out there at game speed, but I think he's had a good week of practice building up, so I'm anxious to see him out there playing,'' defensive coordinator Dom Capers said.

The first-place Packers (9-4) are looking to clinch a second straight NFC North title by beating the second-place Bears (8-5). Capers and McCarthy both suggested Matthews could have his playing time limited against Chicago.

``Potentially,'' McCarthy said. ``I think it would be smart to watch his reps. It's something that we've talked about with him personally and just a number of guys coming back (from injuries). This is a very important game, but there's more left to be played after this game.''

Green Bay could be forced to make some more changes on their offensive line. Right guard Josh Sitton had a hip injury flare up and was held out Friday. He is questionable for the game.

``After talking with Josh, I'm not real concerned about it,'' McCarthy said.

Offensive lineman T.J. Lang is probable after missing Green Bay's last game with an ankle injury. Lang had been moved from left guard to right tackle after Bryan Bulaga suffered a season-ending hip injury last month.

But Lang might be returning to his former spot Sunday since the coaches have liked what they have seen from undrafted rookie Don Barclay at right tackle after Lang was injured. Lang is in favor of starting again at left guard.

``That's obviously where I have the most experience, so that's probably where I feel most comfortable,'' he said.

McCarthy, wouldn't divulge his plans for how the offensive line would shake out Sunday.

Lang said he took an equal amount of reps in practice this week at guard and tackle. Evan Dietrich-Smith, who has been starting at left guard since the switch of Lang to tackle, also worked some at center and right guard in practice this week.

NOTES: The Packers listed S Charles Woodson (collarbone), WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring), RB James Starks (knee) and DE C.J. Wilson (knee) as out for Sunday. Woodson hasn't played for nearly two months after suffering a fractured collarbone. . Capers laughed when asked about the compliment given to him by Brandon Marshall. The Bears WR, who has an NFL-leading 101 catches, said Capers was Green Bay's ``player MVP'' for devising a scheme that held him to two catches for 24 yards in the Packers' Week 2 win. ``I don't listen to a lot of things that go on before and after the game,'' Capers said. ``One of the things that 27 years (as an NFL coach) teaches you is you kind of focus on the things that you control and move on because there's normally a lot more said than is actually done.''

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Astros and Athletics clear benches, have a very non-socially distant brawl

Astros and Athletics clear benches, have a very non-socially distant brawl

Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, the normalities of a baseball season will continue on. That means players and managers getting heated, arguments with umpires and benches clearing. But because of the risk the virus poses, MLB has asked for those moments to remain socially distant.

The Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics did not follow that rule on Sunday.

After Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano was hit by a pitch, he appeared to be exchanging words with a Houston bench coach. With no fans, the words can be heard loud and clear by everybody. That led to both benches clearing and not even six inches of separation between players. 

It's understandable for players to get angry and caught up in the moment, but this move by both teams is rather unacceptable given the current climate of the country and the sport. Though players are being tested constantly, this close contact between teams is unnecessary and only creates a larger risk for all involved.

The non-socially distant brawl comes at a bad time for baseball, as the league is dealing with numerous coronavirus-related issues. The St. Louis Cardinals have had at least 15 games postponed due to an outbreak within the organization, and that comes just after the Miami Marlins dealt with the same problem as well. Cleveland Indians pitcher Zach Plesac was reportedly sent home on Sunday after breaking protocol and going out with friends in Chicago on Saturday night.

Despite tightening up regulations for players, MLB still faces daily challenges while trying to operate a season during a global pandemic. Moments like the brawl between the Athletics and Astros don't help.

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Report: Big Ten, other Power 5 conferences leaning towards canceling 2020 season amid pandemic

Report: Big Ten, other Power 5 conferences leaning towards canceling 2020 season amid pandemic

The likelihood that college football is played this fall is looking bleaker by the day.

The commissioners of Power 5 conferences reportedly had an emergency conference call on Sunday evening to discuss the 2020 season, and the large majority of Big Ten presidents want to postpone the season due to concerns amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.

Earlier this week, the Big Ten halted on moving forward with padded practices until more protocols are in place.

Moments later, reports surfaced that the Big Ten is leaning towards moving forward without a fall football season, and a formal decision could be made as soon as early this week, according to Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger.

The cancelation or postponement of the 2020 college football season seems to be inevitable, multiple sources have told ESPN.

The news doesn't come as a surprise considering the current state of the pandemic in the United States. However, the Big Ten just announced a new, conference-only schedule earlier this week, so the timing is a bit odd.

The Mid-American Conference postponed football and all fall sports on Saturday. If the Big Ten becomes the first Power 5 conference to postpone football, and fall sports as a whole, it will be interesting to see how quickly (if at all) the other major conferences (SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big 12) follow suit.

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