Lions' Stafford day-to-day; Skins' Hightower out for season
Matthew Stafford is "day-to-day" after sustaining a right-ankle injury in the final minutes of the Lions' loss to the Falcons on Sunday. Detroit Coach Jim Schwartz said Monday that his quarterback wore a protective boot after the game, but he wouldn't go into details about X-ray or MRI results. The coach said that if tests had shown anything too significant, Stafford would be "more than day-to-day."
Washington running back Tim Hightower is out for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, and receiver Santana Moss will miss five to seven weeks with a broken bone in his left hand. The Redskins have now lost five offensive starters to significant injuries in the last two games, including tight end Chris Cooley, left tackle Trent Williams and left guard Kory Lichtensteiger in the previous week's loss to Philadelphia. Lichtensteiger is out for the season with torn knee ligaments, Cooley is sidelined indefinitely with a broken finger, and Williams is week-to-week with a sprained ankle.
Browns kicker Phil Dawson nailed field goals of 52 and 53 yards in Cleveland's 6-3 win over Seattle on Sunday despite a bruised thigh sustained before the kicks. Coach Pat Shurmur said Monday that Dawson "gutted it out" after getting hurt. He added that Dawson is not likely to kick during practice early this week but is hopeful the 13-year veteran will be ready for the game at San Francisco. Shurmur said the team has no immediate plans to bring in another kicker.
Oakland's Darren McFadden, the NFL's leading rusher entering the weekend, sprained his right foot in a loss to Kansas City. McFadden was on crutches and had a walking boot Monday.
Broncos leading rusher Willis McGahee is expected to have surgery later this week for a broken finger on his right hand and will not play against Detroit on Sunday. With McGahee sidelined, the Broncos will rely on Knowshon Moreno and Lance Ball.
Rams Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Sam Bradford remains in a walking boot and isn't sure of the quarterback's availability for Sunday against the Saints. Bradford has a high left-ankle sprain and sat out Sunday's loss to the Cowboys.
Pacman back to practice, smiling
Cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones smiled broadly as he left the practice field and headed to the Bengals' locker room, wearing his No. 24 jersey for the first time all season. At the end of an interview, he yelled, "Yeah!" Then, for effect, he yelled it again.
"I'm smiling," he said, in case anyone hadn't noticed.
Jones was cleared to resume practice Monday under a three-week roster exemption. He missed training camp and the first six weeks of the season while recovering from two surgical procedures on his neck to fix a bulging disk. The Bengals (4-2) could activate him at any time during the next three weeks without having to cut a player. Running back Cedric Benson is suspended for the game in Seattle, serving his one-game penalty for violating the NFL's conduct policy. Benson served five days in jail in Texas before the season started, settling two misdemeanor assault cases.
World Series tops NFL in ratings Sunday
The World Series beat the NFL on Sunday night this time. A close Game 4 drew a higher preliminary television rating than the football rout. The Texas Rangers led the St. Louis Cardinals 1-0 into the sixth inning, winning 4-0. The baseball game on Fox earned a 10.1 overnight rating and 16 share. The New Orleans Saints led the Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts 21-0 after the first quarter of a 62-7 victory to draw an 8.2/13 on NBC.
Last year, Steelers-Saints on Sunday Night Football earned an 11.8/18 while the Giants-Rangers World Series drew a 10.4/16.
Phillies decline options for Oswalt, Lidge
The Phillies have declined the 2012 options for pitchers Roy Oswalt and Brad Lidge. Oswalt gets a $2 million buyout instead of $16 million next season. Lidge receives a $1.5 million buyout instead of $12.5 million next year. Oswalt was 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts for the Phillies this past season. The three-time All-Star right-hander was acquired in a trade with Houston on July 29, 2010. He was 16-11 with a 2.96 ERA in 35 starts for Philadelphia.
Lidge went 0-2 with one save and a 1.40 ERA in 25 appearances for the Phillies in 2011. In four seasons with Philadelphia, Lidge was 3-11 with 100 saves and a 3.73 ERA. He was 1-1 with 12 saves in 12 opportunities and a 1.77 ERA in the post-season. Lidge was 48 for 48 in save chances, including postseason, in helping the Phillies win the 2008 World Series. General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the team will consider re-signing both players.
Thome wants to keep on slugging
Jim Thome tied The Bambino on Monday. Now he wants to get a little closer to Babe Ruth's home-run total, too. The 41-year-old slugger became the first ballplayer to address the City Club of Cleveland since Ruth did so on July 17, 1925, and said he still has the passion to play. Whether that is with the Indians or another team will be determined when impending free agents become eligible to start negotiations five days after the end of the World Series.
"I'll keep playing," said Thome, eighth on the all-time list with 604 career homers. "I just need teams to call me. I can't go play in the backyard by myself. I don't know the demand for a 41-year-old DH, but my passion is I want to continue to play."
U.S. beats Cuba in Pan Am semis
The United States beat 10-time defending champion Cuba 12-10 Monday in the baseball semifinals at the Pan American Games. The Americans, who won their only Pan Am Games title in 1967, led 7-0 in the third inning and stretched their advantage to 12-2 before the Cubans rallied. Cuba has won 12 of the 15 baseball titles at the Pan Am Games, including every one between 1971 and 2007. The United States has finished second to Cuba eight times. The Americans will face either Mexico or Canada in Tuesday's finals.
Houston authorizes conference change
University of Houston regents will meet Thursday and are expected to give the chancellor authority to move the Cougars out of Conference USA to a new league, possibly the Big East. The regents on Monday scheduled the special meeting to give Chancellor and President Renu Khator the authority to "execute a contract for athletic conference affiliation and to negotiate and provide notice of contract cancellation." The item does not specify a conference destination.
Xavier's Holloway must sit first game
Senior point guard Tu Holloway will sit out Xavier's season opener for a secondary violation of NCAA rules limiting summer league games. Holloway played in too many summer-league games, a violation that was reported to the NCAA. He'll miss the opener on Nov. 11 at Morgan State.
Delay in PGA Tour top-player voting
The PGA Tour decided Monday to wait two weeks before sending player-of-the-year ballots to the players because of the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, a World Golf Championship event Nov. 3-6 that counts as official if a PGA Tour member wins it. The plan was for the ballots to go out Tuesday until tour officials realized a change in the schedule. Luke Donald became a strong favorite for player of the year when he won Disney on Sunday.
The last word
Roger Staubach, the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys when they won their first Super Bowl title in January 1972, threw out the ceremonial first pitch of Game 5 of the World Series Monday. A former baseball star himself, Staubach has followed the Rangers throughout the decades and is as excited as any Dallas-Fort Worth resident about the team's consecutive AL pennants and their chances for a first-ever title this week, especially coming a few months after the Dallas Mavericks won their first NBA title.
"It's kind of a neat deal. And I think the Cowboys are coming back, too, by the way."