New York Jets down to 85 players after roster moves

New York Jets

The New York Jets made the mandated cutdown to 85 players on Tuesday through three waivings and an IR placement.

The New York Jets announced the waivings of defensive lineman Michael Dwumfour, safety Bennett Jackson, and running back Austin Walter on Tuesday. With offensive lineman Cameron Clark also placed on injured reserve, the Jets made the NFL’s mandated cutdown to 85 players on training camp rosters by 4 p.m. ET.

Dwumfour had a solid showing in the Jets’ preseason victory over the New York Giants on Saturday night. The undrafted rookie out of Rutgers recovered a red zone fumble forced by fellow freshman Hamsah Nasirildeen and later united with another first-year, Jonathan Marshall, for a sack at the end of the first half. However, he was unable to make an impact in the latter stages after leaving the game due to a calf injury.

Jackson played six games with the Jets over the past two seasons, earning two tackles in that span. He entered the league as a sixth-round pick of the Giants in 2014.

Walter spent a good portion of Saturday’s second half in the Jets’ backfield. The former XFL participant and San Francisco practice squad representative lost three yards on four carries (fumbling one that was recovered by Corey Levin) though he jumped on a Mike White fumble and later gained a first down on an eight-yard aerial hookup with James Morgan, one that was granted an extra yard for a new set of downs through head coach Robert Saleh’s first unofficial challenge.

The wait continues for Clark’s NFL debut, as he did not dress in any regular season games after the Jets chose him in the fourth round of 2020’s virtual draft. Clark suffered a scary injury during August 3’s practice, one that was diagnosed as a spinal cord contusion. Despite his placement on the IR, the Charlotte alum is expected to make a full recovery.

New York (1-0) continues its preseason slate on Saturday night, as they head to Green Bay to battle the Packers in both joint practices and an exhibition contest (4:25 p.m. ET, WLNY/NFL Network).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

UFC: TUF 29 Middleweight Finale Set

Tonight on the UFC‘s Ultimate Fighter, we saw the final semifinal matchup of the season. The middleweights were featured as Gilbert Urbina (6-1) of Team Volkanovski was taking on Tresean Gore (3-0) of Team Ortega.

Last week saw the bantamweight finale booked. Team Volkanovski fighters Ricky Turcios and Brady Hiestand will be battling it out for the 135 pound TUF title. Bryan Battle (5-1) of Team Volkanovski already punched his ticket to the middleweight finale.

With that in mind, Gore was the final hope for Team Ortega. If Urbina was to take the semifinal matchup, Ortega would be shut out of the TUF 29 finale. However, Gore was not going to go down without a fight.

Throughout the entire season, Gore has really impressed. If I was Ortega, Gore is the one guy I’d want in this final spot. On tonight’s episode, both Gore and Urbina got to see their families through a FaceTime Call.

Both men used the calls as motivation as they turned their focus to competition for a spot in the UFC TUF 29 middleweight finals.

UFC TUF 29 Middleweight Finale Set

This fight was insane from the beginning and had a feel like a fight from Dana White’s Contender Series. As soon as the fight stared, Gore immediately started pressuring Urbina.

However, I was very impressed with Urbina’s striking from the outside. He was catching Gore early with jabs and he was landing powerful leg kicks. Halfway through the round, Gore really showed off his power.

A powerful left hand sat Urbina down briefly. However, Urbina was able to compose himself. When Gore looked like he was going in for the kill, Urbina rocked him with a powerful straight left. Both of these men really wanted that UFC contract.

In the second round, it was more of the same to start. Pressure from Gore and outside striking from Urbina. Urbina pushed forward with his own attack with his guard down and a massive left hook from Gore put him out cold. A stunning knockout from an incredible fight.

And just like that, the middleweight finale of TUF 29 is set. Unfortunately for the UFC featherweight champion, he will not have all four spots in the finale.

TUF 29 Middleweight Finale: Bryan Battle (Team Volkanovski) – Tresean Gore (Team Ortega)

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees make a statement in shut out of the Boston Red Sox

luis gil, yankees

Today the New York Yankees entered a three-game set with the Boston Red Sox, starting with a day-night doubleheader. The Yankees won the day game 5-3 in an exciting ninth inning. This could be a pivotal series with the Yankees overtaking the Red Sox in the wild card standing if the Yankees can sweep the series.

Winning the first game was the first step to accomplish that. Tonight was game two of that series when the Yankee sensation prospect Luis Gil took on the veteran Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi has faced the Yankees four times this season, winning 50% of those games. The Yankees shut out the Red Sox in game two.

In the first inning, Gil faced Kiki Hernandez, who flew out to Stanton in right field. Alex Verdugo walked. Xander Bogaerts flew out to Gardner in center. Rafael Devers flew out to Gallo in left. At the bottom, DJ LeMahieu led off with a single to center. Brett Gardner reached on a force out. Aaron Judge stuck out, but Gardner stole second. Joey Gallo flew out to center for a scoreless inning.

The second inning was lead off by JT Martinez went up the middle for a base hit. Kyle Schwarber walked. Kevin Palwecki, with two on and no outs, went down looking. Jerren Duran struck out swinging. Travis Shaw struck out swinging to end the half for Gil. At the bottom, Giancarlo Stanton struck out. Rougie Odor struck out. Luke Voit hit a homer to the right-field bench. Tyler Wade struck out, but the Yankees went ahead in the game. New York Yankees 1, the Red Sox 0.

Kiki Hernandez led off the third by popping out to Voit in right-field foul territory. Alex Verdugo walked. A passed ball allowed Verdugo to got to second. Bogaerts ground out, but Verdugo went to third. Devers flew out to Gardner to end the half. Kyle Higashioka led off the bottom by lining a single to left field. LeMahieu singled to right, with Higgy moving to second. Gardner popped out to short. Judge flew out to the warning track in center with Higgy going to third. Gallo went down swinging. Yankees 1 Red Sox 0.

At the fourth, Martinez flew out to Stanton in right-center. Schwarber hit a sky-high pop up to Odor. Palwecki popped out to Voit for a 1-2-3 inning for Gil. Stanton led off the bottom by homering well (441′) into the left-field stands. Odor doubled to left field. Voit with a man on second and no outs went down on strikes. Wade ground out to left. Higashioka walked. LeMahieu popped out to end the inning. Yankees 2 Red Sox 0.

Duran led off the fifth and singled to right. Shaw struck out. Hernandez singled on a ball that Wade missed. Duran went to third. Verdugo flew out to Gallo, not challenging Gallo’s arm; Duran stayed at third. Bogaerts walked, loading the bases ending the night for Gil. Wandy Peralta came in to face Devers, who ground to second for the final out and left the bases loaded with Red Sox. At the bottom, Gardner ground out to second. Judge singled to right. Judge stole second standing. Gallo went down on strikes. Stanton flew out to center to end the inning. Yankees 2 Red Sox 0.

JT Martinez led off the sixth inning by flying out to Stanton in right. Schwarber singled. Palwecki hit into a force out. Hunter Renfroe pinch-hitting for Duran singled to left center, Gardner’s throw kept Schwarber from scoring. Bobby Dalbec pinch-hit Shaw and lined back to Peralta; the ball was knocked down, but Peralta bare-handed it to first for the final out. At the bottom, Odor against the new pitcher, Martin Perez, ground out to right. Voit went down looking. Wade singled, knocking Perez out of the game. Higashioka faced the new Sox pitcher Sawamura and flew out to right. New York Yankees 2 Red Sox 0.

At the top of the ninth inning, Chad Green came into the game to close it out for the Yankees. Hernandez flew out to LeMahieu in foul territory. Verdugo struck out on 97 mph heat from Green. Bogaerts ground out to get the win for the Yankees and let them go ahead of the Sox in the wild card standings.

The final score was the New York Yankees 2 and the Boston Red Sox Zero. The winning pitcher was Wandy Peralta, the loser Nathan Eovaldi. The save went to Chad Green (5).



New York Giants: Dave Gettleman open to negotiating contracts mid-season

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

Those who are already looking ahead to next season’s free agency may not have to wait so long for the New York Giants to make some moves. While General Manager Dave Gettleman has stayed away from negotiating new contracts during the season before, that appears to have changed. The shift may end up affecting some of the most relevant players for the Giants, such as running back Saquon Barkley and safety Jabrill Peppers.

I think it depends upon the guy, I think it depends upon where the team‘s at. I used to feel that it was a bad idea, but not so much. Have I changed my idea on that? Yes, I’m a lot more flexible on that,” Gettleman told reporters on Tuesday when asked about his current position on negotiating contracts in-season.

He was specifically asked if Jabrill Peppers could be one of the players that enters early negotiations, but Gettleman refused to go into detail about specific contract situations.

Peppers is set to enter unrestricted free agency following this season. Due to the team’s depth at safety and their ability to recover from losing Peppers’ presence at the position, a trade before the deadline looks like a possible outcome to ensure that the Giants get something back rather than letting the player walk. If the Giants are planning on making such a move, it makes sense that Gettleman isn’t willing to speak publicly on Peppers’ contract just yet.

Saquon Barkley, on the other hand, is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023. Given his important role in the offense and the future of the franchise, it’s likely the Giants work out a deal before the point where Barkley hits the open market.

Could that deal make progress this season after Barkley makes his return? We’ll have to wait to find out, but much of it likely depends on just how fast Barkley gets back up to speed and whether his performance on the field gives him the leverage for a larger payday come contract time.

Mets’ Noah Syndergaard expected to take huge step towards a return

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

The New York Mets’ season is going south in a hurry. The team has, before Tuesday’s games, lost seven of their last ten contests, and they are currently in the midst of a rough stretch in the calendar, seeing a lot of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants.

The good thing for the Mets is that despite their 59-59 record, they are still relatively close to a playoff spot via the NL East top spot. New York is just 3.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves for the division lead.

One potential avenue to improve the team would be getting some of the injured players back, most notably Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. The latter was close to returning in June-July from his Tommy John surgery performed last spring, but suffered a setback that pushed back his timeline.

At this point, the Mets’ fireballer is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Tuesday for the first time since resuming his rehab, according to Mike Puma of The New York Post.

The Mets will proceed cautiously

He needs to go through that step without consequences for him to restart a rehab assignment. Per SNY, the length of that assignment, should he make it that far, would depend on the role Syndergaard will fulfill with the Mets.

It should be noted that back on July 26, Mets’ acting general manager Zack Scott mentioned the possibility of Syndergaard returning as a reliever instead of as a starter. The executive confirmed that sentiment in August.

If he returns with the idea of helping in the bullpen in mind, he could get back to the Mets’ first team much faster than if he is stretched out to be a rotation piece. New York could use an upgrade in both areas.

In case he returns as a reliever, the Mets could be looking at an early September return. Mid-September is more likely if he comes back as a starter.

New York Giants: Carter Coughlin’s transition to inside linebacker seems to be a great success

New York Giants, Carter Coughlin

The New York Giants played their first preseason game of the 2021 season on Saturday. The Giants lost to the Jets, 12-7, as their offense struggled for the majority of the game. Preseason games are exhibitions, of course, and the main takeaways are seldom the scoreboard. Instead, there is a greater emphasis on individual performances.

Despite the loss, the Giants did have some individual performances stand out. Second-year linebacker Carter Coughlin had a tremendous performance in his first game primarily playing inside linebacker, rather than on the edge.

Carter Coughlin stats and highlights

In the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected edge rusher, Carter Coughlin, out of Minnesota. Coughlin was a highly productive pass-rusher in his collegiate career, playing on the edge as a defensive end/outside linebacker.

In his rookie season with the Giants, Carter Coughlin continued to play on the edge. He had some impressive moments as a rookie and showed some real promise. Coughlin racked up 17 combined tackles, two tackles for loss, and one sack in 14 games and two starts.

After a seemingly successfully rookie season playing edge rusher, the Giants decided to make a switch. Carter Coughlin transitioned to inside linebacker this offseason, a new position. His first time playing in this new spot on Saturday seemed to be a major success.

According to Pro Football Focus, Carter Coughlin graded out 91.8 on 24 snaps in his first extended look at inside linebacker. Coughlin totaled five tackles, one sack, and one tackle for loss on Saturday.

“It’s been really, really fun to work on. It was fun to do that on the scout team last year and get kind of a feel for it and then really dig into it during camp and get those off-the-ball reps.” – Carter Coughlin on playing inside linebacker via NY Daily News

Carter Coughlin is still a young player with plenty of areas to improve. But this transition to a new position seems to be a successful one after an impressive summer of practices and a stellar preseason Week One performance. If the Giants were excited for Carter Coughlin in his rookie season, their level of excitement has surely grown in year two.

Walker, Fournier face Celtics in season opener; Knicks-Hawks rematch on Christmas

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

Newly acquired Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier will start their New York Knicks career facing their old team.

The Knicks will host the Boston Celtics at the Garden on October 20 as part of the NBA’s Opening Week. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN at 7:30 pm ET.

Walker played for two seasons with the Celtics before he was shipped to Oklahoma City Thunder for Al Horford. Walker completed a buyout with the Thunder and joined his hometown team, Knicks, on a $18 million, two-year deal.

Fournier, on the other hand, arrived in New York via a sign-and-trade agreement with the Celtics. He was Celtics’ trade-deadline acquisition who was eyed to be the team’s third scoring option behind Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown when Walker was shipped out.

But Fournier and the Celtics couldn not agree to a new deal and the Knicks landed him on a $78 million, four-year deal with the last year as team option.

Walker and Fournier are expected to start for the Knicks replacing the ineffective Elfrid Payton, who signed with Phoenix, and 3-and-D forward Reggie Bullock, who went to Dallas.

The Knicks’ rise to relevance have earned them a Christmas playdate against emerging rival Atlanta Hawks.

The Knicks will host the Hawks at the Garden 12 noon to be aired over ESPN.

The Hawks, led by Trae Young, beat the Knicks, 4-1, in the first round of the playoffs last season.

With a retooled starting lineup, the Knicks are hoping to improve on their fourth seed finish and first round exit.

It will be the Knicks’ first Christmas game since 2018 when they lost to Milwaukee Bucks, 109-95. The Knicks are 22-31 on the holiday games.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo discusses his “rough week” with COVID-19, is nearing a return

anthony rizzo, yankees

New York Yankees’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who came over from the Chicago Cubs before the trade deadline, revealed the details of his battle against COVID-19, one that knocked him out of action for several days in an important stretch of games.

While his return to the Yankees’ active roster isn’t imminent, he is getting closer.

He dealt with most of the symptoms of the disease and was “knocked out” for about a week, as he told NJ Advance Media himself. He confirmed he couldn’t taste or smell, which are pretty typical signs.

“(I) feel a lot better than I expected,” Rizzo told reporters after working out before the Yankees’ victory against the Boston Red Sox in the first game of the doubleheader.

The Yankees’ slugger could be back playing in a few days.

“Soon,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We’ll see if it’s tomorrow or the next day. We’ve just got to see where we’re at today with how he’s doing, how he responds to the uptick in workload.”

The Yankees’ slugger told his story

Rizzo explained that he started feeling some symptoms on August 7. He said he was “tired and achy.” After that game, he tried to eat, but couldn’t taste the food. At that point he was tested, and the result was positive.

His rough week started at that point. He was continually exhausted and lacked appetite. Slowly, but surely, he was able to take walks. He couldn’t stand the lack of activity, saying that “watching games on the TV, it’s a lot more stressful than playing in them.”

On Tuesday, he ran, took grounders and hit in the cage.

At this point in time, he is still yet to fully recover his taste and smell, but they “come and go.”

He will need to hit during bullpens and batting practice to have a shot at returning this week to the Yankees, but he has a good chance of doing so.

Mets Game Preview (8/17/21) @ San Francisco Giants (77-42)

The New York Mets and San Francisco Giants matchup for game two of their series while the Mets look to avoid their fifth consecutive loss. Game two has a great pitching matchup lined up as runs should be at a premium tonight. The first pitch from San Francisco is scheduled for another 9:45 p.m. ET start from Oracle Park.

The Mets’ ability to score runs despite failing to get hits with runners in scoring position has become broken all logic. Pete Alonso‘s two-run triple was the only hit the Mets had with runners in scoring position, but the Mets still found a way to put up five runs. They recorded 10 hits but left nine runners on base and continues to make us question how good they could be if they could get multiple clutch hits.

Yesterday’s win was a perfect example of the way Gabe Kapler has managed his first-place Giants. Kapler used five of his six bench players and five relievers after Kevin Gausman‘s solid outing. He looks for every possible matchup and advantage he can squeeze out, and his players have executed far more times than they have not this season. It also helps when Kris Bryant tattooed two home runs as well. Bryant reminded the Mets of what they were missing when they decided to look elsewhere at the trade deadline.

Pitching Matchup

Marcus Stroman gets the start for the Mets and attempts to put an end to the losing streak. In his last start against the Washington Nationals, Stroman battled through 5.1 innings, allowing just one run and tying a season-high with eight strikeouts. This is an interesting matchup because of Stroman’s groundball prowess against the Giants’ high-powered home run offense.

Logan Webb is the Giants starter and has pitched like an ace since returning from the IL. In seven starts since returning, he has a 1.75 ERA, .195 average against, and 36 strikeouts in the same amount of innings. Webb was terrific in his last outing, shutting out the Colorado Rockies and holding them to three hits in six innings. He has pitched at least six innings in each of his last four starts.

Matchup To Lookout For

Marcus Stroman vs. Evan Longoria: 9-for-33 (.273), 2 Doubles, 2 Home Runs, 2 Walks, 7 Strikeouts

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees pull out a win in first game of a doubleheader (video)

New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga

After a series win over the Chicago White Sox and a win in a makeup game with the Los Angeles Angels last night today, the New York Yankees entered what could be a pivotal three-game series. The three-game series could go a long way to who will secure a wild card berth. Today will be a day-night doubleheader; if the Yankees win both, they will be even with the Red Sox in the race. Game one had Jordan Montgomery on the mound in his first game returning from the Covid list. He faced Tanner Houck. The Yankees won it 5-3.

Leading off for the Red Sox was Kiki Hernandez, who ground out on the first pitch. Then, Hunter Renfroe got a base hit to left. Next, Xander Bogaerts went down on strikes. Next, Rafael Devers singled, but Renfroe was tagged out by Velaquez trying to reach third to end the inning. At the bottom, with Tanner Houck on the mound, DJ LeMahieu ground out to third. Brett Gardner also ground out to third, as did Aaron Judge to end the inning with no score.

At the top of the second, JT Martinez went down on strikes. Kyle Schwarber was called out on strikes, but a wild pitch allowed him to get to first, where he was called safe, but on review, he was out. Christian Vázquez flew out to right field. At the bottom, Joey Gallo led off by flying out to center field. Luke Voit was hit by the first pitch he saw. Rougie Odor hit a single to center, moving Voit to second. In his return from the Covid list, Gary Sanchez lined directly to third, holding the runners. Now with two outs, Tyler Wade singled, loading the bases. Andrew Velazquez got two-run single driving in Voit and Odor. LeMahieu popped out to end the inning, but the kid from the Bronx, Velaquez, created his own field of dreams with his family in the stands. New York Yankees 2 Boston Red Sox 0. Velazquez got hugs from third base coach Phil Nevin.

Alex Verdugo led off the third inning by grounding out to second.  Bobby Dalbec singled beyond short. Hernandez walked. Renfroe tapped to Monty for the second out as the runners moved up. Bogaerts got a two-run single, but Bogaerts was out at first as Sanchez fired. New York Yankees 2 Red Sox 2.

At the bottom of the third, Gardner tapped back to Houck. Judge struck out swinging. Gallo flew out to center, keeping the game tied at 2.

Devers led off the fourth inning popped out to Sanchez. Martinez went down on strikes. Schwarber struck out as the Red Sox went down 1-2-3. At the bottom,  Luke Voit struck out. Rougie Odor singled. Sanchez ground out. Tyler Wade singled, and Velaquez flew out to center to end the inning.

Vazquez led the fifth inning, who homed to the left-field stands for a solo shot, putting the Sox up by a run. Verdugo hit a line drive out to Odor. Dalbec struck out. Hernandez walked, and that was the day for Montgomery, as Aaron Boone called in Albert Abreu to face Renfroe, who flew out to Judge to end the half.

At the bottom, with Garrett Whitlock on the mound, LeMahieu struck out. Gardner walked. Judge walked. With Gallo coming up, Cora went with Josh Taylor; Gallo walked the bases loaded. With the bases loaded and one out, Voit got a bloop single to center, scoring Gardner and Judge as the Yankees took the lead in the game. Giancarlo Stanton pinch-hitting for Odor with men on the corners and one out singled to center, driving in Gallo. Jonathan Davis was brought in to pinch-run for Stanton. Cora again went to the bullpen for Hansel Robles to face Gary Sanchez, who struck out. Tyler Wade, with two on and two outs, walked. Velaquez struck out to finally end the inning, but the Yankees picked up 3 runs in the half to go ahead in the game. New York Yankees 5 Red Sox 3.

In the sixth inning, with Jonathan Loaisiga on the mound, Bogaerts struck out. Devers ground out to short, and Martinez lined out to Velaquez at short. At the bottom, it was the top of the order for the Yankees. LeMahieu against Robles singled to left. Gardner walked with LeMahieu taking second. Judge struck out. Again Cora went to the bullpen to have lefty Austin Davis face lefty Joey Gallo. Gallo struck out for the second out of the inning. Then the lefty had to face the righty Luke Voit who walked to load the bases for the Yankees again. Jonathan Davis brought in as a pinch-runner struck out, leaving the bases loaded. Yankees 5 Red Sox 3.

Schwarber led off the seventh and final inning of the game with Jonathan Loaisgia in for the close and singled to short. Vazquez singled to Judge in right, with Schwarber stopping at second. Arauz pinch ran for Vazquez. Verdugo singled, loading the bases with no outs in the seventh. Travis Shaw pinch-hitting flew out to Gardner, but Gardner’s arm held the runners. Hernandez struck out. Renfroe struck out to get Loaisiga out of the inning unscathed. The Yankees win!!!

Nothing comes easy for the New York Yankees, but they get the win. The final score was New York Yankees 5 and the Boston Red Sox 3. The winning pitcher was Albert Abreu, the loser was Whitlock, and the save went to Jonathan Loaisiga (5). The video below is Velazquez’s two-run shot in the second.