=== News Summaries from The Sports Network - Monday, December 22 ===
=== Lions' Raiola suspended one game for leg stomp ===
Allen Park, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - The NFL suspended Detroit Lions center
Dominic Raiola one game without pay for stomping on Chicago Bears defensive
lineman Ego Ferguson's leg in Sunday's game.
Raiola violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 12 (b) of the NFL Rule Book
prohibiting "kicking or kneeing an opponent." The incident took place in the
third quarter of Detroit's 20-14 win.
Raiola said after the game he didn't intentionally step on Ferguson's ankle
and apologized to him after the game.
"Obviously, I took a good look at it," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Monday
before any suspension had been levied by the league. "I looked at both the
coaches copy and also the television copy as well. I believe what Dom told me,
that it was inadvertent, but I could also see why it's obviously being
reviewed by the league and everybody is taking a real good look at it."
This is Raiola's sixth safety-related rules violation since 2010. He was fined
$10,000 earlier this year for striking a New England player in the back of the
helmet in the final minute of a Nov. 23 game.
Raiola must stay away from the team during his suspension. He will be
reinstated on Dec. 29.
The suspension may be appealed within three business days. Appeals are heard
and decided by either Derrick Brooks or Ted Cottrell. Raiola is expected to
appeal the suspension.
The Lions play at the Packers on Sunday in a winner-take-all game for the NFC
North title. Rookie Travis Swanson will likely start in Raiola's place.
=== Clausen diagnosed with concussion ===
Lake Forest, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chicago Bears quarterback Jimmy Clausen
was diagnosed with a concussion after experiencing delayed symptoms on Sunday
Clausen has already been ruled out for this weekend's season finale against
Minnesota. Jay Cutler will be back as the starter, Bears coach Marc Trestman
Clausen suffered the concussion on Chicago's final offensive possession when
Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah made helmet-to-helmet contact with him as
the quarterback slid at the end of a short scramble.
Ansah was whistled for an unnecessary roughness penalty on the play.
The Bears said Clausen didn't exhibit symptoms after the hit or following the
He contacted trainers after experiencing delayed symptoms later Sunday night
and was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a concussion.
Trestman made the controversial decision last week to start Clausen over
The Bears (5-10) have lost four games in a row and will miss the playoffs for
the fourth consecutive season.
=== Cards' Arians leaning toward Thomas ===
Tempe, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is
considering starting quarterback Logan Thomas over Ryan Lindley in the team's
regular-season finale on Sunday.
Arians said he hasn't made a final decision yet.
The Cardinals are 11-4 and have already clinched a playoff berth. They need
help to clinch the top spot in the NFC heading into the final game and it all
starts with a win at San Francisco in Week 17.
Arizona has had QB problems this season. Starter Carson Palmer was lost for
the season with a knee injury. Then, back-up Drew Stanton suffered a partially
torn ligaments in his knee and is still sidelined.
Lindley started Sunday against the Seahawks and struggled as Arizona lost
35-6. He finished 18-of-44 for 216 yards with no touchdowns and one
Thomas appeared for one play and had his lone pass attempt go incomplete.
=== Panthers add Alexander to 53-man roster ===
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Carolina Panthers added defensive end
Frank Alexander to the 53-man roster on Monday.
Alexander takes the place of wide receiver De'Andre Presley, who was placed on
injured reserve with a concussion.
Alexander missed the first 14 games for two separate violations -- four and 10
games -- of the NFL's substance abuse policy.
The 25-year-old Alexander had 15 tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery and
two passes defensed in 12 games (three starts) last season.
The Panthers will play at the Falcons on Sunday in a winner-take-all game for
the NFC South title.
=== Bills release Mike Williams ===
Orchard Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Bills released wide
receiver Mike Williams on Monday.
Williams was previously on injured reserve for Buffalo with a calf injury.
Once he passed a physical, the Bills were able to release him.
In nine games this season, Williams caught eight passes for 142 yards and a
touchdown. He last appeared for the Bills in Week 12 and made his last catch
in Week 5.
In October, Williams requested a trade after his playing time was reduced.
The Bills acquired Williams from Tampa Bay in April, reuniting him with head
coach Doug Marrone who also coached him in college at Syracuse.
In a five-year career mostly with the Buccaneers, the 27-year-old Williams has
223 catches for 3,089 yards and 26 touchdowns.
=== Chargers put G Troutman on IR ===
San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Diego Chargers will be without
starting guard Johnnie Troutman if they reach the playoffs, with the team
placing the third-year pro on injured reserve Monday.
Troutman, who started each of San Diego's 15 games this season at right guard,
hurt his knee during the Chargers' 38-35 overtime win at San Diego on
A fifth-round pick of the Chargers in 2012, Troutman missed his entire rookie
season after undergoing pectoral surgery and returned to start nine games last
Offensive lineman Kenny Wiggins was signed to the active roster to take
=== Pistons waive Josh Smith ===
Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Pistons waived forward
Josh Smith on Monday.
Smith averaged 13.1 points and 7.2 rebounds this season for the 5-23 Pistons,
who enter Monday's action with the third-worst record in the league.
"Our team has not performed the way we had expected throughout the first third
of the season and adjustments need to be made in terms of our focus and
direction," said Stan Van Gundy, head coach and president of basketball
operations for the Pistons in a statement.
"We are shifting priorities to aggressively develop our younger players while
also expanding the roles of other players in the current rotation to improve
performance and build for our future. As we expand certain roles, others will
be reduced. In fairness to Josh, being a highly versatile 10-year veteran in
this league, we feel it's best to give him his freedom to move forward. We
have full respect for Josh as a player and a person."
The Pistons acquired Smith as a free agent after the 2012-13 season. During
his time with Detroit, Smith averaged 15.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
For his career, Smith has averages for 15.4 points and 7.8 rebounds in
781 games with the Atlanta Hawks and Pistons.
=== Horford, Aldridge are NBA Players of the Week ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford and
Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge were named the NBA Players of
the Week on Monday.
Horford led the Hawks to a perfect 3-0 week, averaging 18.3 points, 6.7
rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.7 blocks.
Aldridge helped the Trail Blazers to a 4-0 mark last week, posting point-
rebound double-doubles in all four games. He averaged 26.3 points, 14.3
rebounds, 1.3 assists, 2.25 steals and 1.25 blocks.
=== Twins extend Hughes ===
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Twins agreed to terms with
starting pitcher Phil Hughes on a new five-year contract extension on Monday.
Hughes, who was originally signed to a three-year contract last winter which
would have paid him $8 million in both 2015 and 2016, will now earn $9.2
million in 2015, $9.2 million in 2016, $13.2 million in 2017, $13.2 million in
2018 and $13.2 million in 2019.
Hughes, 28, went 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA in 32 starts last season, his first
with the Twins. He set a major league record with an 11.63 to 1 strikeout to
walk ratio and made news when he finished one-third of an inning shy of a
In his final start of the season, rain forced the Twins' game against Arizona
into a delay after eight innings, forcing Hughes from the game one out shy of
210 innings and the bonus. The club offered Hughes a shot at the bonus by
allowing him to work out of the bullpen in one of the remaining games, but he
Hughes has a career record of 72-60 with a 4.32 ERA over 214 games in eight
seasons with the Yankees and Twins.
=== Giants officially re-sign Romo ===
San Francisco, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Francisco Giants officially
re-signed right-handed relief pitcher Sergio Romo to a two-year contract on
The deal is reportedly worth $15 million.
Romo's numbers dipped in 2014 as he finished the year with 23 saves, a 3.72
earned run average and a 6-4 record over 64 games.
The 31-year-old Romo, who has been a part of all three of the Giants' World
Series teams since 2010, has racked up 78 saves, a 2.51 ERA and a 31-21 record
over 405 games spanning seven seasons with San Francisco.
The right-hander has also gone 3-1 over 25 career postseason appearances,
registering a 2.11 ERA and four saves.
=== Pirates win bidding process on SS Kang ===
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Pirates submitted the
highest bid for the negotiating rights to Korean shortstop Jung Ho Kang.
The Pirates now have 30 days to try and work out a contract with Kang.
Kang, 27, hit .356 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI over 117 games last season
for the Nexen Heroes.
=== Penguins send three home to be tested for mumps ===
Sunrise, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Penguins announced Monday that
forwards Brandon Sutter and Steve Downie and goaltender Thomas Greiss were
sent back to Pittsburgh to be tested for mumps.
The Penguins play at the Florida Panthers on Monday. The three players will be
placed in isolation until test results are known.
Sidney Crosby, Beau Bennett and Olli Maatta have all tested positive, though
Crosby is back in the lineup.
=== Kopitar, Voracek, Fleury earn NHL weekly honors ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar,
Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury were named Monday as the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week
ending Dec. 21.
Kopitar led the NHL with nine points and eight assists in three games. He set
a career high with five points and matched a career high with four assists in
a 6-4 come-from-behind victory over the Blues in the second half of their
home-and-home set Dec. 18.
Voracek had three goals and four assists in four games.
Fleury went 3-0-0 with a 0.99 goals-against average, .971 save percentage and
one shutout to help the Penguins record a trio of victories and maintain the
top spot in the Eastern Conference.
=== Kentucky remains unanimous choice in men's poll ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Kentucky is still the undisputed top-ranked
team in men's college basketball, while a few changes toward the bottom
included Michigan State's complete omission after a stunning overtime loss to
Texas Southern on Saturday.
The Spartans were ranked 25th last week, but didn't even receive a vote this
week after a 71-64 setback to a Texas Southern team that had just a 1-8 record
entering the Breslin Center.
As for Kentucky, the nation's No. 1 team kept rolling along Saturday, scoring
the first 24 points in an 83-44 annihilation of UCLA in Chicago. The Wildcats
have been the top-ranked team all season and are a unanimous selection for the
third straight week, receiving all 65 first-place votes and a total of 1,625
points from a nationwide media panel.
Duke, Arizona and Louisville kept their places from 2-4, while Virginia
swapped places with Wisconsin and is now fifth after Sunday's thorough 76-27
pounding of a Harvard team that was ranked at the start of the season.
Villanova, which escaped with an overtime victory over Syracuse on Saturday to
remain unbeaten, is still seventh and again followed by Gonzaga, Texas and
The second 10 consists of Wichita State, Iowa State, Washington, Utah,
Maryland, Notre Dame, St. John's, West Virginia, Oklahoma and North Carolina.
Notre Dame moved up five spots from 21st for the biggest jump within the poll,
while Oklahoma tumbled four spots from 15th after a narrow loss to Washington
Ohio State had the biggest drop within the poll, falling nine spots from 12th
to 21st after its loss to North Carolina on Saturday in Chicago. Baylor,
Northern Iowa, Colorado State and TCU are the last four teams ranked and all
are newcomers this week.
In addition to Michigan State, Miami-Florida, San Diego State and Butler all
dropped out of the poll after losses last week. Miami-Florida was 18th and
suffered a 72-44 home loss to Eastern Kentucky, while San Diego State was 19th
fell at Cincinnati. Butler was 23rd and lost to Indiana on Saturday.
The lone ranked matchup for Christmas week is the titanic Bluegrass State
showdown between Kentucky and Louisville on Saturday in the Derby City, which
could be the Wildcats' toughest remaining challenge until the NCAA Tournament.
=== Gamecocks continue to hold women's poll top spot ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - South Carolina again kept the top spot in
the latest Associated Press women's college basketball poll.
The Gamecocks are No. 1 for the fifth straight week after receiving 24 first-
place votes and a total of 840 points from a nationwide media panel.
Connecticut picked up six first-place votes to remain second, while Texas is
again third after claiming four No. 1 tallies. Notre Dame and Texas A&M
swapped places to complete the top five.
Baylor, Louisville, Tennessee, North Carolina, Duke and Oregon State are the
next teams ranked. Duke and Oregon State are tied for the 10th spot.
Kentucky and Nebraska are tied for 12th and followed by Georgia, Maryland,
Stanford, Rutgers, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State and Michigan State.
Stanford tumbled nine spots from seventh after losses at Chattanooga and
Tennessee last week.
The last five teams ranked are West Virginia, Syracuse, Iowa, Green Bay and
Green Bay and Arizona State are this week's newcomers, replacing California
=== McIlroy ends year atop world rankings ===
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - There was not much change to the
men's world rankings as there were just two changes inside the top 20 this
Rory McIlroy finished the year as the No. 1 ranked player as he holds a
comfortable lead atop the rankings.
Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson all stayed put as Nos. 2-4. The
lone change to the top 10 saw Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose swap spots, with
Garcia moving up one to No. 5.
Jim Furyk, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and Martin
Kaymer all remained the same at Nos. 7 through 12. FedEx Cup champion Billy
Horschel exchanged places with Phil Mickelson, moving Horschel up one to No.
13 and Mickelson down a spot to No. 14.
Graeme McDowell, Hideki Matsuyama, Victor Dubuisson, Zach Johnson, Dustin
Johnson and Chris Kirk rounded out the top 20 once again from No. 15.
With this being the final world ranking for 2014, several players earned
invitations to the 2015 Masters for ending this season in the top-50 in the
rankings. Among that group were Joost Luiten, Stephen Gallacher, Shane Lowry,
Mikko Ilonen and Danny Willett, who moved from 51 to 50 this week.
=== Ko jumps Lewis into No. 2 spot in world rankings ===
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Despite not playing last week, 17-year-
old Lydia Ko jumped Stacy Lewis and is No. 2 in this week's world rankings.
Ko, who trailed Lewis by 0.01 average points last week, fell 0.14 average
points, while Lewis dropped 0.18 average points, allowing Ko to move up a spot
to No. 2.
That was the only change inside the top 20 this week as Inbee Park remained
the No. 1 player in the world. After Ko and Lewis, Suzann Pettersen, Shanshan
Feng, Michelle Wie, So Yeon Ryu, Hyo-Joo Kim, Karrie Webb and Lexi Thompson
rounded out the top 10 from No. 4.
Kyu Jung Baek, Anna Nordqvist, Cristie Kerr, Azahara Munoz, Sun Ju Ahn, Mi Rim
Lee, Na Yeon Choi, Brittany Lincicome, Paula Creamer and In Gee Chun all
stayed put and they are Nos. 11 through 20.
=== Roughriders sign Jamel Richardson ===
Regina, SK (SportsNetwork.com) - The Saskatchewan Roughriders signed wide
receiver Jamel Richardson on Monday.
Richardson returns to Saskatchewan for a second stint after originally
entering the Canadian Football League with Saskatchewan in 2003. He spent four
seasons with the Roughriders and caught 113 passes for 1,471 yards and four
After sitting out the 2007 CFL season, Richardson spent the next six seasons
with the Montreal Alouettes where he amassed 6,603 yards and 48 touchdowns on
Richardson was released by the Alouettes in June and missed all of the 2014
He has won two Grey Cup championships (2009, 2010) and was named the game's
MVP in 2010 after leading the contest with 109 receiving yards on eight
12/22 17:46:16 ET