Malnati/Hurley lead as play halted at Zurich Classic

Malnati/Hurley lead as play halted at Zurich Classic

Play was suspended for the second consecutive day at the PGA’s Zurich Classic in New Orleans on Friday, but not before Peter Malnati and Billy Hurley III carded rounds of 63 and 67 to take a one-stroke lead on the field at 14-under par. When the second round was suspended because of darkness, 40 groups had completed play.

Malnati and Hurley were among the many players in the field of 80 teams that played 36 holes Friday after Thursday’s opening round was interrupted after the TPC of Louisiana course was deluged with 2 1/2 inches of rain.

Play was suspended at 7:36 p.m. CT Friday and will resume at 7 a.m. Saturday. Tournament officials hope the rest of the field can complete the second round by 11 a.m., when the field will be cut to the low 35 teams including ties.

“I know Billy and I both are into our conditioning and it’s important, but you’re not prepared to be on your feet walking for what we were today, 10 hours or more,” Malnati said in a story at nola.com. “It’s a long day. Playing 36 holes, the greens definitely got kind of scruffy a little bit and harder to make putts, so we’re super thrilled with pretty much every shot I think we hit today.”

Beginning the second round on No. 10, Malnati/Hurley coupled for birdies at Nos. 11, 13, 17, 2 and 6 to finish 5 under.

“We were just consistent and solid, and I think we had a really good plan on every shot,” Malnati said. “And we executed quite well, too. Just good sold golf today. That made it a lot of fun.”

Malnati is searching for his first top-10 finish of the season. Hurley, playing out of the Past Champion category, is making only his fifth start of the season, with a tie for 30th at the Valspar Championship his best showing this season.

The team of Russell Knox and Brian Stuard trails by one shot after rounds of 62 and 69. Three other teams are also at 13 under, but did not complete their second round — Scott Stallings/Trey Mullinax (through nine holes), and Rory Sabbatini/Brian Gay and Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown (both through four holes).

The two-player team event includes four-ball (best-ball) rounds (first and third rounds), and foursomes (alternate shot) in the second and final rounds.

No official world rankings are awarded for the team event, but each member of the winning team will earn 400 FedEx Cup points and a two-year winner’s exemption on the PGA Tour along with entry into the Tournament of Championship and The Players Championship next year.

NOTES: In 2016, when the event was reduced to 54 holes (inclement weather), Stuard beat Byeong Hun An and Jamie Lovemark in sudden death to claim his lone PGA TOUR title. That was the last year before the event converted to a team format … Sabbatini, who finished tied for second in the 2009 event, missed the cut with Bryson DeChambeau in 2017 and John Daly in 2018 … Kisner is seeking fourth PGA Tour title and second of the season (WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play), while Brown is searching for his second Tour victory (2013 Puerto Rico Open).

–Field Level Media

Eagles QB Wentz says back still not fully healed

Eagles QB Wentz says back still not fully healed

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz says the stress fracture in his back hasn’t fully healed, but he still plans to be ready for the start of organized team activities next month.

“It’s still getting there,” Wentz told reporters Monday when the Eagles began their voluntary offseason program. “Some of the stuff just takes time. That’s not really the main concern, it’s just kind of how I feel and I feel really good with where I’m at.”

Wentz, 26, was diagnosed with the injury in mid-December and missed Philadelphia’s last three regular-season games and both playoff contests.

He said he is taking things “week by week” and that he has been cleared to run and throw some, but he declined to discuss specifics of his recovery.

The Eagles begin OTAs on May 21.

“That’s the goal. That’s the goal,” Wentz said. “But there really is no timetable, no rush. But I feel good with the progression I’ve been on.”

Wentz, who also missed the Eagles’ Super Bowl run in 2017 with a torn ACL, was asked to comment on concerns about his overall durability. That is a greater concern about that entering 2019 because former backup Nick Foles is now the starter in Jacksonville.

“I get it. I get it,” Wentz said. “I’m looking forward to putting those behind me. I understand it’s a part of this league, it’s a physical league and things happen. Some of those things are out of my control and I look forward to putting that behind me.”

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Wentz is 23-17 through three seasons with 10,152 passing yards, 70 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Texans TE Griffin arrested in Nashville

Texans TE Griffin arrested in Nashville

Houston Texans tight end Ryan Griffin was arrested in Nashville, Tenn. on Friday night after allegedly punching a hotel window.

The 2019 NFL Draft is currently being held in Nashville. The Texans took tight end Kahale Warring out of San Diego State in the third round earlier Friday night.

The 29-year-old Griffin was charged with vandalism and public intoxication, according to court records, and released Saturday morning on $1,750 bond.

Griffin, who suffered a bloody left hand in the incident, faces a May 31 court date.

A former sixth-round pick, Griffin is in the final year of his contract.

He had 24 catches for 305 yards last season. In his six seasons, all with the Texans, he has 136 catches for 1,491 yards and seven scores.

–Field Level Media

Reports: RB Crowell tears Achilles, Raiders re-sign Martin

Reports: RB Crowell tears Achilles, Raiders re-sign Martin

Oakland Raiders running back Isaiah Crowell suffered a torn Achilles tendon on Tuesday and is out for the season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday.

Crowell, who signed a one-year contract valued up to $2.5 million in late March, will have surgery next week, Schefter said. He became available when the New York Jets released him after signing free agent running back Le’Veon Bell to a four-year contract.

The 26-year-old spent his first four seasons with Cleveland before signing with the Jets before the 2018 season. Last year, he gained 837 total yards and scored six touchdowns in 13 games (six starts).

The injury has prompted the Raiders to re-sign free agent RB Doug Martin, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

The Raiders had let Martin, their leading rusher last season, walk away with Crowell in the fold. Martin, 30, appeared in all 16 games (nine starts) in 2018 and had 839 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns.

The Raiders were counting on Crowell to play a prominent role following the retirement of Marshawn Lynch. Aside from Martin, their depth chart now includes rookie Josh Jacobs — the No. 24 pick in the draft from Alabama – along with Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and Chris Warren.

–Field Level Media

NFL puts dates on International Series games

NFL puts dates on International Series games

Five International Series games on the 2019 NFL schedule were assigned dates on Wednesday, including a primetime AFC West rivalry game in Mexico pitting the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers at Azteca Stadium.

The matchups for all five games, four of which are scheduled to be played in London, were announced by the NFL on Jan. 21.

The Chiefs-Chargers game is the final date on the International Series schedule, which opens Oct. 6 with the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders in a 1 p.m. ET game at Tottenham Stadium.

NFC South division foes are at Tottenham the following Sunday, when the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers square off in a 9:30 a.m. ET game (Oct. 13).

Play shifts to Wembley Stadium on Oct. 27 as the Cincinnati Bengals and NFC champion Los Angeles Rams meet (1 p.m. ET), and AFC South opponents — Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars — play Nov. 3 in a 9:30 a.m. ET contest.

The Rams were scheduled to play the Chiefs at Azteca Stadium last season, but that “Monday Night Football” game was moved to Los Angeles due to field conditions.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the Super Bowl in February that NFL officials are confident the game will be played in Mexico City this year.

–Field Level Media

QB Haskins not attending NFL draft

QB Haskins not attending NFL draft

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ name was notably absent when the league listed the 23 players who will attend the NFL Draft in Nashville later this month.

Haskins has not commented on his decision to forego the festivities, but the revelation follows speculation this week that his draft stock is slipping.

Peter King wrote in Monday’s “Football Morning in America” column that the former Buckeyes star “could plummet” and might be the fourth quarterback off the board after Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray of Oklahoma, Missouri’s Drew Lock and Duke’s Daniel Jones.

Murray, Lock and Jones will be in attendance when the draft kicks off on April 25. So will Ohio State pass rusher Nick Bosa, a potential No. 1 overall pick along with Murray.

Haskins completed 70 percent of his passes for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 14 starts last season.

It’s not uncommon for top players to skip the green room and attend draft parties at home with friends and family. The last two No. 1 overall selections — Baker Mayfield in 2018 and Myles Garrett in 2017 — opted not to attend the draft.

–Field Level Media

Report: Vikings to add QB Mannion

Report: Vikings to add QB Mannion

The Minnesota Vikings will be signing unrestricted free agent Sean Mannion as a backup to Kirk Cousins, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Sunday, citing a source.

Mannion spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Rams, who moved on from Mannion in the offseason when they signed former Jacksonville Jaguars starter Blake Bortles as an experienced backup to Jared Goff.

Mannion appeared in 10 games with the Rams, with one start in 2017 — a season-ending loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Mannion, a 2015 third-round pick out of Oregon State, completed 33 of 53 passes for 258 yards, with one interception and no touchdowns, in his career with the Rams.

The Vikings let Trevor Siemian go via free agency — he signed with the Jets — and also have quarterback Kyle Sloter on their roster. Sloter, 25, has yet to appear in an NFL game.

–Field Level Media

Raiders' Gruden: Carr is 'going to be our QB'

Raiders’ Gruden: Carr is ‘going to be our QB’

Amid rumors and speculation that the Oakland Raiders could be looking to move on from Derek Carr, head coach Jon Gruden said Monday that Carr’s status is set for 2019.

“Yeah. He’s going to be our quarterback,” Gruden said in an interview with NFL Network from the league meetings in Phoenix. “I’m not going to address all the rumors. I could care less about the rumors.

“He threw for 4,100 yards. Threw for almost 70 percent (completion rate) in a very dire, tough circumstance. So I’ve got a lot of confidence in Carr; what he can do with Antonio Brown, with Tyrell Williams, with Trent Brown coming in here to help our offensive line.”

Gruden also confirmed the team will conduct private workouts with top quarterback prospects Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State, as The MMQB reported earlier Monday. But he noted that those workouts are simply part of the team’s due diligence.

“We’re going to meet with a lot of guys at every position,” Gruden said. “We’re not going to look past anybody at any position. We have the fourth pick in this draft and we’re going to make sure we get it right.”

Unlike pre-draft visits — for which each NFL team can host up to 30 players at its facility — private workouts must be conducted on the player’s campus or near his hometown. To this point, neither Murray nor Haskins has been reported to be scheduled for a visit with the Raiders.

Like Gruden, general manager Mike Mayock has been similarly supportive of Carr, but he has also been open about his responsibility to look into all avenues available to improve the team. Speculation has swirled since before the NFL Scouting Combine that the Raiders have interest in Murray, who many expect to be chosen first overall by the Arizona Cardinals.

Haskins, once considered the likely first quarterback off the board, has been connected to the Raiders and the New York Giants (picking sixth), though a recent ESPN report said the Giants are less interested in the New Jersey native than many believe.

Missouri’s Drew Lock impressed at his pro day last week and has garnered some top-10 buzz, with some projecting him to go off the board ahead of Haskins. Gruden and his staff coached Lock at the Senior Bowl in late January.

Carr, who turns 28 on Thursday, is coming off a career high in passing yards (4,049) but a career low in touchdowns (19). He remains under contract for four more seasons, but the team could trade him this offseason and save $15 million of his $22.5 million cap figure.

If the Raiders chose to draft a top quarterback and move on from Carr next offseason, they could save $16.5 million of his $21.5 million cap figure for 2020.

Oakland also two other first-round picks in April’s draft, at Nos. 24 and 27.

–Field Level Media

Raiders’ Gruden: Carr is ‘going to be our QB’

Raiders’ Gruden: Carr is ‘going to be our QB’

Amid rumors and speculation that the Oakland Raiders could be looking to move on from Derek Carr, head coach Jon Gruden said Monday that Carr’s status is set for 2019.

“Yeah. He’s going to be our quarterback,” Gruden said in an interview with NFL Network from the league meetings in Phoenix. “I’m not going to address all the rumors. I could care less about the rumors.

“He threw for 4,100 yards. Threw for almost 70 percent (completion rate) in a very dire, tough circumstance. So I’ve got a lot of confidence in Carr; what he can do with Antonio Brown, with Tyrell Williams, with Trent Brown coming in here to help our offensive line.”

Gruden also confirmed the team will conduct private workouts with top quarterback prospects Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State, as The MMQB reported earlier Monday. But he noted that those workouts are simply part of the team’s due diligence.

“We’re going to meet with a lot of guys at every position,” Gruden said. “We’re not going to look past anybody at any position. We have the fourth pick in this draft and we’re going to make sure we get it right.”

Unlike pre-draft visits — for which each NFL team can host up to 30 players at its facility — private workouts must be conducted on the player’s campus or near his hometown. To this point, neither Murray nor Haskins has been reported to be scheduled for a visit with the Raiders.

Like Gruden, general manager Mike Mayock has been similarly supportive of Carr, but he has also been open about his responsibility to look into all avenues available to improve the team. Speculation has swirled since before the NFL Scouting Combine that the Raiders have interest in Murray, who many expect to be chosen first overall by the Arizona Cardinals.

Haskins, once considered the likely first quarterback off the board, has been connected to the Raiders and the New York Giants (picking sixth), though a recent ESPN report said the Giants are less interested in the New Jersey native than many believe.

Missouri’s Drew Lock impressed at his pro day last week and has garnered some top-10 buzz, with some projecting him to go off the board ahead of Haskins. Gruden and his staff coached Lock at the Senior Bowl in late January.

Carr, who turns 28 on Thursday, is coming off a career high in passing yards (4,049) but a career low in touchdowns (19). He remains under contract for four more seasons, but the team could trade him this offseason and save $15 million of his $22.5 million cap figure.

If the Raiders chose to draft a top quarterback and move on from Carr next offseason, they could save $16.5 million of his $21.5 million cap figure for 2020.

Oakland also two other first-round picks in April’s draft, at Nos. 24 and 27.

–Field Level Media

Eagles add veteran S Sendejo

Eagles add veteran S Sendejo

The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a one-year deal with veteran strong safety Andrew Sendejo, the team announced Monday.

Sendejo spent the past eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. He became a free agent earlier this month when the Vikings declined the $5.5 million 2019 option on his contract.

Sendejo, 31, only played in five games last season due to a groin injury. He had 27 tackles.

Sendejo intercepted six passes and recovered three fumbles in 93 games (58 starts) for the Vikings. He also played in two games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2010.

The Eagles figure to use Sendejo as the third safety in the defense with Malcolm Jenkins set as the starting strong safety.

–Field Level Media