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Back on the road, Ravens are field-goal favorites in Week 3 meeting vs. Patriots

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Back On The Road, Ravens Are Field-Goal Favorites In Week 2 Meeting Vs. Patriots
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The Ravens are field-goal favorites over the host New England Patriots ahead of their matchup Sunday, according to Las Vegas sportsbooks.

After a stunning collapse in a Week 2 loss to Miami, the Ravens are three-point favorites over New England, which fell to the host Dolphins in Week 1 before bouncing back Sunday with a narrow road win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sunday’s game will be the Patriots’ home opener. New England went 4-5 at Gillette Stadium last season and 5-4 against the spread. With quarterback Lamar Jackson as their starter, the Ravens went 2-4 against the spread away from Baltimore last year, though they did win comfortably in a season-opening road win over the New York Jets earlier this month.

After allowing 469 passing yards to Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa on Sunday, the Ravens will face another former Alabama quarterback in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Mac Jones leads the Patriots’ offense, while former star Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon headlines their defense. Judon, who had a career-high 12 1/2 sacks last season, has two in two games this year.

The Patriots lead the all-time series 11-4 and have won four of their past five meetings. The Ravens were touchdown favorites entering their 2020 matchup in New England but lost, 23-17, in a rain-soaked prime-time game. They’re 0-6 in regular-season games in New England.

The over-under for Sunday’s game is 43 points.

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Amber alert for missing 15-year-old Wisconsin girl

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Amber Alert For Missing 15-Year-Old Wisconsin Girl
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Wisconsin authorities are asking for help in locating an endangered teenager.

The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office said 15-year-old Kryssy King was reported missing from her home Saturday morning. The sheriff’s office believes she is with 22-year-old Trevor Blackburn.

Authorities ask anyone who has seen King or knows where she is to call 911, or to call the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office at 715-726-7700 and dial option one.

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Dane Mizutani: For once, the kicking gods give the Vikings a break

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Dane Mizutani: Vikings Coach Kevin O’connell Is Not Jim Harbaugh, Which Is Kind Of The Point
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Admit it. You were getting ready for overtime between the Vikings and the Saints as Will Lutz’s 61-yarder sailed through the sky at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

No kicker misses that field goal, even at that distance. Not against the Vikings.

For the past couple of decades, the Vikings have been a living, breathing example of what can go wrong will go wrong when it comes to the kicking game. Whether it’s Gary Anderson’s miss against the Atlanta Falcons in the 1998 NFC Championship Game, Blair Walsh’s chip-shot shank in the 2015 playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks at TCF Bank Stadium, or Daniel Carlson’s unraveling against the Green Bay Packers, the kicking gods have always seemed to hate the Vikings.

That might explain why Vikings receiver Adam Thielen thought Lutz’s kick was going in as soon as it left his foot on Sunday. Never mind that it was an extremely low-percentage kick. Growing up in Detroit Lakes, Minn., Thielen learned from an early age to hope for the best and expect the worse whenever a ball leaves a kicker’s foot.

“You’re just hoping it doesn’t go in,” Thielen said. “To go to overtime after a hard-fought battle would have been tough.”

Nonetheless, the extra session felt inevitable after Lutz put a charge into it.

Then something amazing happen. For once, the kicking gods gave the Vikings a break.

Not only did Lutz miss the game-tying field goal as time expired, he did so in the most incredible fashion you can imagine. The ball caromed off the inside of the left upright, then bounced off the crossbar, before landing harmlessly in the back of the end zone. The double doink.

The reaction from both teams was priceless. After the ball hit the crossbar, Saints players started to celebrate, thinking the kick was going to bounce throughout the uprights. A few seconds later, Vikings players were the ones who were celebrating after realizing what actually happened.

“There was a crazy, crazy moment,” Vikings defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson said. “It bounced our way.”

This type of stuff almost never goes in favor of the Vikings. They will certainly take it.

“Yeah,” Vikings safety Harrison Smith said. “Just glad it didn’t bounce the other way.”

Meanwhile, Greg Joseph finished for 5 for 5 on field goals, another example of the kicking gods being kind to the Vikings across the pond. He impressively shook off a missed extra point to nail a 47-yarder that proved to be the difference. Clutch.

“Just an awesome day,” Joseph said. “A great team win.”

The juxtaposition of Lutz’s day and Joseph’s day shouldn’t be lost on Vikings fans who have been traumatized over time by the kicking game.

Maybe this signals the turning of a page. Maybe the kicking gods will go bug another franchise for the foreseeable future. Maybe Joseph will be the goat next week.

Either way, the Vikings will take the win, knowing they have been on the other side of it more than their fair share of times.

“As soon as he hit it, I thought it was going in,” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said of Lutz’s 61-yarder. “A couple of bounces later, we’re able to walk off as the winning team.”

No overtime necessary.

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How long could Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa remain out in NFL’s concussion protocol?

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Ravens Q&Amp;A: Olb Daelin Hayes On Learning From A Frustrating Rookie Season, Reuniting With Kyle Hamilton, The Importance Of Community Service And More
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Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel repeatedly said there is no timetable for Tua Tagovailoa’s return on Friday after his quarterback suffered a concussion in Thursday night’s loss at the Cincinnati Bengals.

His thoughts are certainly more with Tagovailoa’s personal health than how quickly he can get game ready.

But Dolphins fans — and Tagovailoa himself, as he noted in his statement released Friday night — are eager to know when he might be able to return to action.

The reason there is no said timetable, though, is because of exactly that: There is no set timetable for concussion recovery. Different athletes respond differently to concussions. Many take several weeks and even a month to get back into a game. Contrarily, there is ample precedence for NFL players, quarterbacks included, not even missing the following week’s game.

The only other Dolphin to experience a concussion this season, tight end Cethan Carter, has not yet returned to practice since first getting concussed in the Sept. 11 opener against New England Patriots. There were differences in the blows to the head, of course. Carter’s occurred on a kickoff collision. Tagovailoa was spun and driven to the ground on a sack, causing the back of his head to hit the turf from the whiplash.

Tagovailoa’s concussion has also come under significant controversy. Many on the outside speculate Tagovailoa sustained a concussion four days earlier in the Sept. 25 win over the Buffalo Bills. The quarterback similarly hit the back of his head against the ground but after a push. He grabbed at his head, shook it as if to shake the cobwebs and stumbled after getting up. He was evaluated for a head injury and cleared to return for the second half in concussion protocol. Tagovailoa and McDaniel said postgame it was a back injury that caused him to appear woozy.

The NFL Players Association, which is investigating Tagovailoa’s clearance, terminated the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant involved in clearing Tagovailoa in the Week 3 game against Buffalo. The union also said, in a joint statement with the league, that no conclusions about medical errors or protocol violations have been made. The statement also said the league and union agree modifications need to be made to the concussion protocol.

Tagovailoa has had his tests come back clean — X-rays and CT scans, plus his Friday MRI, according to NFL Network — since being released from University of Cincinnati medical facilities and traveling back to South Florida with the team after the Thursday night game, although he was still dealing with headaches when McDaniel last updated his situation on Friday. Tagovailoa remains in concussion protocol.

The protocol has five steps to return to participation after being diagnosed with a concussion:

The first phase, symptom-limited activity: The player is prescribed rest, limiting or, if necessary, avoiding activities (both physical and cognitive) which increase or aggravate symptoms. Under athletic training staff supervision, limited stretching and balance training can be introduced, progressing to light aerobic exercise, all as tolerated.”

Second is aerobic exercise: “Under direct oversight of the team’s medical staff, the player should begin graduated cardiovascular exercise and may also engage in dynamic stretching and balance training. Neurocognitive and balance testing can be administered after completion of Phase Two and the results should be interpreted as back to baseline.”

Third is football-specific exercise: “The player continues with supervised cardiovascular exercises that are increased and may mimic sport-specific activities, and supervised strength training is introduced. The player is allowed to practice with the team in sport-specific exercise for 30 minutes or less with ongoing and careful monitoring.”

Fourth is club-based non-contact training drills: “The player continues cardiovascular, strength and balance training, team-based sports-specific exercise, and participates in non-contact football activities (e.g. throwing, catching, running, and other position-specific activities). Neurocognitive and balance testing should be completed no later than the end of Phase Four with the results interpreted as back to baseline.”

Finally, full football activity/clearance: “Upon clearance by the Club physician for full football activity involving contact, the player must be examined by the Independent Neurological Consultant (INC) assigned to his Club. If the INC concurs with the Club physician that the player’s concussion has resolved, he may participate in his Club’s next practice or game.”

In Tagovailoa’s case, the independent doctor that initially cleared him from the first hit to the head in Buffalo was fired, so another unaffiliated specialist will be brought in.

Among some notable recent instances of quarterbacks sustaining concussions, recovery timelines vary.

Dolphins backup Teddy Bridgewater, who will start while Tagovailoa is out, went through two last season in Denver. He didn’t miss a game after the first one in Week 4, but he didn’t play for the rest of the season after he had another in Week 15.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes entered concussion protocol last October in a loss to the Tennessee Titans. He cleared to return the following week.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill missed three weeks, including a bye, after a helmet-to-helmet hit against Washington last October.

In what has been a difficult week for the NFL regarding concussions in the sport, multiple players left games due to head injuries on Sunday. Among them: Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie, Giants quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer.

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Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa, 77, reportedly will announce his retirement Monday

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Chicago White Sox Manager Tony La Russa, 77, Reportedly Will Announce His Retirement Monday
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Tony La Russa returned to the Chicago White Sox after the 2020 season looking to take a young and promising team to the next step.

Instead, the second season of his second stint will end with the Sox missing the playoffs and, reportedly, a managerial change.

La Russa plans to announce his retirement Monday, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported Sunday.

“Obviously health is No. 1,” Sox reliever Joe Kelly said before Sunday’s game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. “As much as he probably wants to be here day in and day out, the stress and the edge and the anxiety that this team probably gave him probably wasn’t good for his health.

“So he’s going to have a good retirement. It would be different if he was 50. He’s not in the beginning part of his career. He’s had a great career, Hall of Famer. Ultimately we fell short as players and we didn’t perform as well as we should have.”

La Russa’s hiring on Oct. 29, 2020, shocked the baseball world because he had not managed since leading the St. Louis Cardinals to the 2011 World Series title.

Monday’s reported announcement does not come as a surprise.

The Sox have been without La Russa since Aug. 30, when less than an hour before a game against the Kansas City Royals the team announced he would not manage that night at the direction of his doctors. The next day the Sox said La Russa was out indefinitely and would undergo further testing with doctors in Arizona.

On Sept. 24 the Sox announced La Russa — who turns 78 Tuesday — would not return for the rest of the 2022 season at the direction of his doctors.

Nightengale reported the health issues related to La Russa’s heart are at the center of the retirement, with doctors advising him not to return.

“I think health is more important than the game,” acting manager Miguel Cairo said.

La Russa is second all time among major-league managers with 2,889 victories (he is credited with the wins during Cairo’s time as acting manager).

“I played for him, I know how intense he was,” Cairo said. “I know how prepared he was.”

La Russa won World Series titles with the Oakland Athletics (1989) and Cardinals (2006, 2011) and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

“He needs to take care of his health, that’s first and foremost,” Sox outfielder/first baseman Andrew Vaughn said. “It was a privilege to learn what he knows, how to go about stuff. Picking his brain has been helpful. People would say he’s probably forgotten more about baseball than I’ve learned so far.”

La Russa’s managerial career began with the Sox from 1979-86, guiding them to the 1983 American League West title.

He returned after the Sox parted ways with manager Rick Renteria following a 2020 season in which they made the playoffs but lost to the Oakland Athletics in three games in an wild-card series.

Less than a month after he was hired, reports emerged that La Russa was charged with two Class 1 misdemeanor counts of driving while under the influence after a February arrest. He pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless driving at a change of plea hearing that December in Arizona.

The Sox navigated through injuries and situations such as a discussion on “unwritten” rules to run away with the AL Central in 2021. But they lost in four games to the Houston Astros in an AL Division Series.

The expectations grew for this season, and the team fell far short. The Sox entered Sunday two games under .500 (78-80) with four games to go.

“Wish we would have played a little bit better for him as a unit,” Kelly said.

Injuries to core position players, as well as starting pitchers and relievers, made an impact. But the team also had glaring miscues on the bases and in the field while never reaching its potential.

Additionally, moves such as intentionally walking Trea Turner with a 1-2 count in a June 9 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers gained national attention. Fans voiced their displeasure with the inconsistent play, including chants of “Fire Tony” during an extra-innings loss to the Texas Rangers on June 11.

The Sox made a charge when Cairo took over, winning 13 of 19, before fading from contention during an eight-game losing streak.

There will be plenty of speculation about who’s in line to be the next manager and what other changes are ahead.

Asked before Sunday’s game if he would be interested in taking over full time, Cairo said: “That’s something I cannot control. Right now what I can control is what I’m doing right now with the players. We’ve got four more games and that’s up to the guys in charge.

“Would love to do it — of course I would love to be a manager somewhere. I hope here. But you know how it is. It is something you cannot control. I’ve just got to concentrate and finish my job here and make sure I do it the right way.”

The Sox played their final road game of the season Sunday. While the Padres were looking to secure a playoff spot, the Sox were playing out the string.

“The disappointing year we had, the players didn’t play to our potential,” Vaughn said. “It’s on us. We’re professionals. … With the talent we have, we should definitely have won more games and got into the postseason, but it didn’t happen. We have to go home hungrier and think about that.”

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Yankees lose final regular season home game 3-1 against Orioles, Judge stuck at 61 home runs

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Yankees Lose Final Regular Season Home Game 3-1 Against Orioles, Judge Stuck At 61 Home Runs
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That was a bummer of a finale.

Not only did Aaron Judge not make history in the final regular season home game in the Bronx in a 3-1 loss to the Orioles, but the Bombers might have lost reliever Ron Marinaccio in the process.

The Yankees lost the three-game series to the Orioles and finished the regular season at the Stadium 57-24.

Judge went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts Sunday. He has four games in Texas to try and break the 61-year old American League single-season record, set 61 years ago by Roger Maris.

In the first, Judge got ahead 2-0, but Orioles right-hander Kyle Bradish battled back and got him looking at an 89-mile an hour slider. In the second, with the bases loaded and two outs Bradish got ahead 0-2 and thought he had him on a checked swing at 2-2. First base umpire Dan Merzel gave Judge another chance and Bradish finished him off with a curveball that Judge swung and missed at. In the fifth with one on and no outs, Judge worked a five-pitch walk.

That walk extended Judge’s on-base streak to 30 games. During that span, Judge is hitting .398 with 12 home runs and 21 RBI. In the seventh, Bryan Baker got Judge to swing through an 87-mph curveball, a 99-mph fastball and struck him out on a 98-mph fastball.

Judge is 7-of-30 with one homer in 11 games since hitting his 60th homer on Sept. 20 against the Pirates.

In the eighth, Marinaccio left with an apparent injury. The rookie, who has become one of the bullpen’s most reliable pieces, had cleaned up a mess left by Aroldis Chapman in the seventh, facing two batters and got one out in the eighth. He was facing Jorge Mateo and after throwing a 1-1 pitch, he let one go wide, but at normal velocity for him. Aaron Boone popped out of the dugout with a trainer.

That is just another concern for the Yankees, whose bullpen was a big reason for their first half success. They have lost Clay Holmes (shoulder) and Wandy Peralta (back) down the stretch. They were already without Michael King since July.

Chapman showed once again he is not consistent.

The Yankees former closer gave up a lead off single to Cedric Mullins and walked the bases loaded before recording his first out — a strikeout looking. Chapman walked in a run and Boone had to go get Marinaccio to get out of the jam. The Orioles scored another on an Austin Hays sacrifice fly and Aaron Hicks saved two more runs from crossing the plate with a tremendous catch on a Terrin Vavra line drive.

Heading into this final home season series, Boone would not commit to Chapman having a postseason roster spot. These last few games were going to help them decide who they can take into the Division Series with them, now it just may be whoever is still standing.

Chi Chi Gonzalez gave the Yankees 4.2 innings allowing one run on four hits and three walks. He struck out three. Gonzalez was called up to the Bronx because of the threat of rain and his arrival allowed the team to push back their regular rotation.

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Twins’ Luis Arraez sits with hamstring issue but increases lead in race for batting title

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Twins’ Luis Arraez Sits With Hamstring Issue But Increases Lead In Race For Batting Title
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DETROIT — Scoreboard-watching looks a little different this time of year than the Twins might have expected — or hoped — it would. Instead of checking in on how the Guardians or the White Sox are doing, as the season winds down, there are more than a few members of the Twins checking in on one specific person: Yankees star Aaron Judge.

With three games remaining for the Twins (and four for the Yankees), Twins infielder Luis Arrraez and Judge remain locked in a tight race for the American League batting title. Should Judge win, it would seal a Triple Crown for the 6-foot-7 slugger.

Count Twins shortstop Carlos Correa among those intently watching the race.

“It’s been a lot of fun to watch Luis, hitting behind him and watching him do his thing all year and be consistent,” Correa said. “It’s also been a lot of fun watching Judge try to break the record for the American League in home runs and also compete for MVP and Triple Crown and all that stuff that he’s up for. Obviously, I want my boy to get his batting title. He’s been great all year.”

Arraez, who holds a .31549 to .31127 edge over Judge with one series remaining, took a seat on Sunday as he continues to deal with a left hamstring issue that has been bothering him for some time now.

While Arraez sat, Judge went 0 for 3 against the Orioles on Sunday, helping the infielder increase his lead in the race.

“If he was completely healthy and fine to be playing, he would have been in the lineup (Sunday),” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “That’s actually what we’re going to have to work through from here until the end of the year. We’ll be keeping a close eye on him. He’s been dealing with this to one level or another for a while now. It’s affecting his ability to run, his ability to defend, sometimes his swings. It does affect him. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t.”

Even while dealing with the hamstring issue in recent days, Arraez has been productive at the plate, rattling off a seven-game hitting streak. He has two hits in four of thes past five games he has played, including multi-hit efforts in his past three games.

“Every guy in the clubhouse, every staff member, every person here gets excited every time he steps to the plate and every time he whacks one and it gets through the infield, you see the dugout come alive,” Baldelli said. “… He’s a really good player, and he’s a guy that we want this for — maybe not as much as him but pretty (darn) close.”

BRIEFLY

The Twins optioned Ronny Henriquez to make room on the roster for rookie pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson. To make space on the 40-man roster, they transferred catcher Sandy León to the 60-day injured list. León underwent surgery earlier this week to repair his meniscus. … Woods Richardson is believed to have the longest name in major-league history — 15 letters and 16 characters. … Reliever Trevor Megill warmed up on Sunday but was pulled early after Baldelli said Megill had some tightness in his side.

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