Georgia WR Blaylock to miss season with knee injury

Georgia WR Blaylock to miss season with knee injury

Georgia wide receiver Dominick Blaylock will miss the upcoming season with a knee injury that requires surgery, the school announced.

Multiple outlets reported that the 6-foot-1 sophomore tore his left ACL in practice Wednesday, the same knee he injured in the SEC Championship game against LSU last December.

Blaylock appeared in 12 of the Bulldogs’ 14 games as a freshman in 2019. He caught 18 passes for 310 yards and five touchdowns.

Blaylock, the son of former NBA All-Star Mookie Blaylock, was a four-star recruit in the Class of 2019 out of Walton High School in Marietta, Ga. He was ranked as the No. 5 receiver and the No. 36 overall prospect by the 247 Sports Composite.

Ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll, Georgia is scheduled to open the season on Sept. 26 at Arkansas.

–Field Level Media

Nebraska players sue Big Ten over season postponement

Nebraska players sue Big Ten over season postponement

A group of Nebraska football players sued the Big Ten on Thursday, asking the conference to reinstate the fall season and provide more information as to how the season was made to move football to the spring in the first place.

The Omaha World-Herald posted the 13-page legal document on its website. The lawsuit was filed in district court in Nebraska’s Lancaster County.

The Big Ten announced Aug. 11 that it was moving the fall season for all sports, including football, to the spring because of the dangers posed by COVID-19.

In their lawsuit, however, the players contend that the decision violated the Big Ten’s published protocols that call for such action to be determined by a vote of campus presidents and chancellors. The lawsuit cites two Big Ten presidents who have said no such vote took place and asks for transparency about the process that was followed, as well as an injunction to overturn the ruling.

The players whose names are attached to the lawsuit are Garrett Snodgrass, Garrett Nelson, Ethan Piper, Noa Pola-Gates, Alante Brown, Brant Banks, Brig Banks and Jackson Hannah.

Their attorney, Mike Flood, issued a statement along with the court filing.

“This isn’t about money or damages, it’s about real-life relief,” he said. “These student athletes have followed all the precautions, underwent regular testing, and lived according to the prescribed guidelines of the world-class experts at UNMC [University of Nebraska Medical Center] all for the chance to play football in September.

“On August 11th, six days after announcing the fall football schedule. A decision was made to cancel everything with vague reasoning and no explanation. Our Clients want to know whether there was a vote and the details of any vote, and whether the Big Ten followed its own rules in reaching its decision.

“Sadly, these student athletes have no other recourse than filing a lawsuit against their conference.”

Last week, a group of parents marched outside the Big Ten headquarters in Illinois to show their disapproval with the conference’s move. Parents with players at a number of Big Ten schools also have written letters to the conference in opposition, and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields launched an online petition seeking the reinstatement of the season. As of Thursday, nearly 302,000 people had signed it.

–Field Level Media

Virginia names Armstrong as starting QB

Virginia names Armstrong as starting QB

Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall named redshirt sophomore Brennan Armstrong as the Cavaliers’ starting quarterback on Thursday.

Armstrong got the nod over Keytaon Thompson, a graduate transfer from Mississippi State, and replaces two-year starter Bryce Perkins. Perkins signed with the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Armstrong appeared in 11 games over the past two seasons, completing 17 of 25 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns and rushing 16 times for 93 yards.

He will be the first left-handed quarterback to start for the Cavaliers since Jameel Sewell (2006-09).

Thompson, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound redshirt junior, appeared in 20 games for the Bulldogs from 2017-19 and was 2-0 as a starter. He completed 50 of 105 passes for 846 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed 99 times for 672 yards and 10 scores.

He has two years of eligibility remaining.

Virginia, which won the ACC’s Coastal Division title last season, is scheduled to open the 2020 campaign on Sept. 19 at rival Virginia Tech.

–Field Level Media

Report: Dolphins trade RB Ballage to Jets

Report: Dolphins trade RB Ballage to Jets

The Miami Dolphins are dealing running back Kalen Ballage to the New York Jets for a conditional late-round draft pick, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday.

Miami originally planned to release their 2018 fourth-round draft pick, per the report.

Ballage, 24, started six of his 24 games over the past two seasons and rushed for 326 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 23 catches for 119 yards.

The move reunites Ballage with Jets head coach Adam Gase, who was head coach of the Dolphins from 2016-18.

Le’Veon Bell is the starter in New York, backed up by 37-year-old Frank Gore and fourth-round rookie La’Mical Perine.

The remaining running backs on the Miami roster include Jordan Howard, Matt Breida, Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin.

–Field Level

Several NFL teams cancel practice to focus on social justice

Several NFL teams cancel practice to focus on social justice

Multiple NFL teams announced Thursday morning they were canceling practice to use the time instead to invest in social justice change.

The Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets said their teams would address ways to make a lasting social impact in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting by a police officer in Kenosha, Wis. Blake, an unarmed Black man, was shot seven times Sunday by a uniformed officer while moving toward his vehicle.

“The Colts will not practice today,” a team-issued release read. “Instead, the team will use the day to discuss and work toward making a lasting social impact and inspiring change in our communities.”

The Chicago Bears announced a schedule change and dismissed media from the facility.

The Washington Football Team postponed their planned scrimmage.

The Arizona Cardinals canceled all team activities Thursday.

“We have the day off to educate and reflect on who we are as individuals and where we need to progress as a people,” Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake tweeted. “Honored to be in an organization of men and women who lead the charge for change in this country.”

The Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers also called off Thursday’s practices.

New Orleans Saints players practiced with the name “JACOB BLAKE” taped across the front of their helmets.

“I think we’ve got a really good, close locker room,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “They came up with something they felt they wanted to do, and I would support it. There still might be something they wish to do. The idea of putting his name on everyone’s helmet was an idea we felt would be appropriate and they were for it.”

The Detroit Lions canceled practice on Tuesday to join protests related to the shooting. The New York Giants delayed their practice on Wednesday before deciding to move forward with the workout.

–Field Level Media

Report: Bears RB Montgomery (groin) out 2-4 weeks

Report: Bears RB Montgomery (groin) out 2-4 weeks

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery will be sidelined two to four weeks with a groin injury, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday.

That timeline gives the second-year player a shot at being ready for the scheduled Sept. 13 season opener against the Lions in Detroit.

Montgomery, 23, slipped and fell to the ground before taking a handoff from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky during Wednesday’s practice.

A third-round draft pick in 2019 out of Iowa State, Montgomery led the Bears with 242 carries for 889 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie. He also caught 25 passes for 185 yards and one score.

Chicago’s thin depth chart behind Montgomery includes Tarik Cohen and converted wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

–Field Level Media

Several NFL teams won't practice Thursday to focus on social justice

Several NFL teams won’t practice Thursday to focus on social justice

Multiple NFL teams announced Thursday morning they were canceling practice to use the time instead to invest in social justice change.

The Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets said their teams would address ways to make a lasting social impact in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting by a police officer in Kenosha, Wis. Blake, an unarmed Black man, was shot seven times by uniformed officers while moving toward his vehicle.

The Chicago Bears announced a schedule change and dismissed media from the facility.

The Washington Football Team postponed their planned scrimmage.

The Detroit Lions canceled practice on Tuesday to join protests related to the shooting. The New York Giants delayed their practice on Wednesday before deciding to move forward with the workout.

“The Colts will not practice today,” a team-issued release read. “Instead, the team will use the day to discuss and work toward making a lasting social impact and inspiring change in our communities.”

–Field Level Media

Officials: Bengals CB Alexander's father found alive

Officials: Bengals CB Alexander’s father found alive

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Mackensie Alexander’s father was found alive and is being reunited with the family after a three-day search in Florida, according to state officials on Thursday morning.

NFL Network reported the man was in good health when he was located in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park.

Alexander was arrested and released after being charged with one count of battery. He returned to the team Wednesday night, only to learn Thursday morning that his father was alive.

Alexander left the team after learning Jean Odney Alexandre (last name spelled differently) had gone missing while on a trip to pick berries. The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office said the man was reported missing Monday night.

The 65-year-old Alexandre reportedly was left behind by another man he joined on the berry-picking expedition.

The Bengals cornerback, 26, was charged with one count of battery and released on $2,000 bond. NFL Network said Wednesday morning that Alexander was arrested following an alleged confrontation with the man who allegedly deserted the player’s father.

The Bengals signed Alexander to a one-year, $4 million contract in March. He played four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, who selected the Clemson product in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

In 55 career games (10 starts), Alexander has 99 tackles, two interceptions and 21 passes defensed.

–Field Level Media

Bucs coach Arians: 'Protesting doesn't do crap'

Bucs coach Arians: ‘Protesting doesn’t do crap’

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians ripped ongoing protests and sports-driven boycotts as counterproductive.

“Your responsibility is to take action. I don’t know that protest is an action. I would beg them to take action,” Arians said, per The Athletic. “Protesting doesn’t do crap in my opinion. I’ve been saying it since 1968.”

Arians said the team’s social justice committee was meeting later in the day Thursday. But he said the team wouldn’t cancel or postpone practice for the sake of it.

Arians said he fully supports moving or canceling practice if the team comes up with a way to bring change.

“Not just taking a day off,” Arians said.

–Field Level Media

Bengals RB Mixon (migraines) misses another practice

Bengals RB Mixon (migraines) misses another practice

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon was not at practice again Thursday while dealing with migraine headaches, NFL Network reported.

The health issue hasn’t changed Mixon’s desire for a new contract, but his absence is not holdout related, per the report.

Player personnel director Duke Tobin said in the offseason that the Bengals are willing to address Mixon’s deal, but no progress has been reported.

Mixon, who is slated to make $1.2 million in base salary in 2020, is coming off back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons. He was a workhorse the second half of the 2019 campaign with 194 carries over the final nine games.

The 24-year-old has rushed for 2,931 yards and 17 touchdowns and added 108 receptions for 870 yards and four scores in 44 career games with the Bengals.

Mixon dropped in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma because of an incident caught on video in which he was shown punching a female student. He was still selected in the second round of the draft.

–Field Level Media