Thursday’s Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) For a second day Thursday, lawyers for the NFL and its players’ union met separately with a federal judge to try to resolve their legal dispute over whether Commissioner Roger Goodell’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady should stand.
Two hours of morning meetings occurred a day after Judge Richard M. Berman in Manhattan oversaw more than four hours of discussions aimed at moving both sides toward a settlement of a dispute over deflated footballs that threatens to taint next month’s start of a new season.
Neither Brady nor Goodell attended Thursday’s talks. The judge instructed both sides that Brady and Goodell are not required to attend a scheduled court hearing next Wednesday.
Last month, Goodell upheld Brady’s suspension, concluding he ”knew about, approved of, consented to, and provided inducements and rewards” to support a scheme in which a Patriots employee deflated balls before the Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 in the Jan. 18 AFC championship game. The Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl.
Brady has repeatedly said he knew nothing about a plot to deflate game balls.
NEW YORK (AP) – Geno Smith’s broken jaw is on the mend.
The New York Jets quarterback had plates and screws inserted Thursday into his jaw, which was broken when he was punched by former teammate Ikemefuna Enemkpali in the locker room Tuesday.
Smith, whose jaw will not be wired shut, will remain in a New Jersey-area hospital overnight after electing for the surgery after getting a second medical opinion on the injury.
Coach Todd Bowles initially said Smith was expected to be sidelined 6-10 weeks, and that timetable was expected to remain in place.
Enemkpali was released and claimed off waivers by Buffalo, now coached by Rex Ryan, who drafted him last year in the sixth round with the Jets.
The linebacker apologized Thursday for what happened while speaking for 45 seconds at Bills camp.
MANKATO, Minn. (AP) – An angry Mike Zimmer has ended the Minnesota Vikings’ practice early after a lackluster effort from his players.
The Vikings were set to have their final practice of the Mankato portion of training camp Thursday morning and head back to Minneapolis in the evening.
Perhaps with their eyes on leaving town, the players coasted in practice. That infuriated Zimmer, who made the entire team run a lap.
The coach called the players together on the field, expressed his dismay and dismissed them. He says the only positive from the day was that the team was going home.
Asked if he will lean on his veterans to get the team back in gear, Zimmer says, ”I will lean on my size 10s.”
MONTREAL (AP) – The ATP fined Nick Kyrgios $10,000 on Thursday for his ”insulting comment” toward French Open champion Stan Wawrinka during a match at the Rogers Cup.
On Wednesday night, a courtside microphone picked up Kyrgios saying that fellow Australian player Thanasi Kokkinakis had slept with a player who is reportedly Wawrinka’s girlfriend.
The $10,000 is the maximum fine allowed by the ATP rule book for incidents of verbal abuse or unsportsmanlike conduct. Also, the ATP fined Kyrgios an additional $2,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct related to a comment made to a ball person during the match. The tour said Kyrgios has been served with a ”Notice of Investigation,” which begins a process to determine if his actions also constitute a violation of the ”Player Major Offense” provisions set forth under ”Aggravated Behavior” or ”Conduct Contrary to the Integrity of the Game.”
Wawrinka tweeted early Thursday morning: ”There is no need for this kind of behaviour on or off the court and I hope the governing body of this sport does not stand for this.”
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) – Rory McIlroy had the right leg of his pants rolled up as he hit out of the water. Jordan Spieth couldn’t make a putt.
The familiarity of the final major of the year came from Dustin Johnson. He was in the lead Thursday after the opening round of the PGA Championship, a spot he already has occupied after five rounds this year in the majors – just not when the trophy is handed out.
Johnson breezed his way to a 6-under 66 in the morning to build a one-shot lead over David Lingmerth of Sweden.
The main event was McIlroy and Spieth in the same group in the afternoon, No. 1 and No. 2 in the world.
Call it a draw.
McIlroy handled all of the par 5s, including the fifth hole when he pulled his third shot into the water. He turned what could have been a double bogey into par when he rolled up his pant leg – but not the left, which features the bum ankle – and splashed out to 7 feet to save par.
A bogey on the final hole sent McIlroy to a 71, a reasonable score for a guy competing for the first time in 53 days.
Spieth had one birdie chance after another on the front nine and missed them all. When he started to press, he missed an easy opportunity on the 10th and then three-putted from about 15 feet on the par-5 11th to make bogey.
Right when the round was getting away from him, Spieth chipped in for birdie and wound up with a 71.
QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand (AP) – Lindsey Vonn has another injury to worry about after fracturing an ankle bone in a training crash in New Zealand.
”Unfortunately I crashed today and have a small fracture in my ankle,” the American skier said on Twitter. ”Headed home now but will keep u posted.”
She was heading home to Vail, Colorado, to have the ankle examined further. It is the latest setback for Vonn, who returned from serious leg injuries to break the all-time record for victories on the women’s World Cup last season. She also won her seventh World Cup downhill title.
Vonn, who was spending a second week in New Zealand for her first on-snow training ahead of the new season, did not say which ankle was damaged. She used the hashtag ”minorsetback” in her tweet, indicating she didn’t think the injury was very serious.