Monday’s Sports in Brief
Colin Kaepernick has a new deal with Nike, even without having a job in the NFL.
Kaepernick’s attorney, Mark Geragos, made the announcement on Twitter, calling the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback an “All American Icon” and crediting attorney Ben Meiselas for getting the deal done. Kaepernick also posted a Nike ad featuring his face and wrote: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. (Hashtag) JustDoIt”
Kaepernick already had a deal with Nike that was set to expire, but it was renegotiated into a multi-year deal to make him one of the faces of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, according to a person familiar with the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Nike hasn’t officially announced the contract.
The source says Nike will feature Kaepernick on several platforms, including billboards, television commercials and online ads. Nike also will create an apparel line for Kaepernick and contribute to his Know Your Rights charity. The deal puts Kaepernick in the top bracket of NFL players with Nike.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Super Bowl MVP gets the first start of the season.
Coach Doug Pederson made the announcement on Monday, one day after a testy exchange with reporters in which he insisted he wanted to wait before ruling out Carson Wentz.
“In the best interest of everything about the football team and this decision, Nick Foles is the starter Week 1,” said Pederson, who wasn’t scheduled to speak to the media and plans to answer questions at his regular news conference on Tuesday.
Foles wasn’t available Monday and will speak on Tuesday.
Wentz still hasn’t been medically cleared for contact as he comes back from surgery last December to repair two torn ligaments in his left knee. Foles was spectacular in the playoffs and helped Philadelphia defeat New England 41-33 to win the franchise’s first NFL title since 1960.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers are beginning preparations for their Week 1 opener against Cleveland without All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell.
Bell did not arrive at the team’s facility in time for practice and has yet to sign his one-year franchise tender, leaving his status for Sunday’s visit to the Browns in doubt.
The Steelers placed the franchise tag on Bell for a second straight season this spring, but failed to come to terms on a new contract. Bell signed his tender on Labor Day last season and was ready in time for the opener.
Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert says the team is “disappointed” that Bell has yet to rejoin his teammates.
If Bell isn’t ready, the Steelers will turn to James Conner against Cleveland.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Todd Bowles finally revealed the big decision that everyone expected.
The 21-year-old Darnold will also make some NFL history by becoming the youngest quarterback to start in Week 1 since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. At 21 years and 97 days, the rookie surpasses Drew Bledsoe (21-203), who held the distinction since starting for New England in 1993.
The announcement came as no surprise as the rookie was solid while starting the Jets’ second and third preseason games. New York traded Teddy Bridgewater to New Orleans last week , and Darnold then sat out the preseason finale at Philadelphia — clear signals the No. 3 overall draft pick would be under center against the Lions.
NEW YORK (AP) — Roger Federer was stunned in the U.S. Open’s fourth round by 55th-ranked John Millman of Australia 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (3).
It’s the first time in Federer’s career that he has lost to a man ranked outside the top 50 at Flushing Meadows. The 20-time Grand Slam champion double-faulted 10 times, including twice in a row during the final tiebreaker.
Federer certainly had his chances to take control of the match, including two set points at 5-4, 40-15 in the second. He also blew a set point in the third.
So much for that highly anticipated matchup between Federer and 13-time major champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. Instead, it’ll be the 55th-ranked Millman, who had never made it past the third round at a Slam until last week, taking on No. 6 seed Djokovic.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Nick Saban made official what anybody who watched No. 1 Alabama’s opener likely assumed: Tua Tagovailoa is the Crimson Tide’s starting quarterback.
The top-ranked Tide’s coach didn’t wait for the question to be asked Monday before saying Tagovailoa will start Saturday against Arkansas State, but even he acknowledged it wasn’t much of a secret.
He said two-year starter Jalen Hurts will still play a role.
Tagovailoa was the hero of the title game against Georgia in January after entering for the second half, guaranteeing a quarterback battle during the offseason. The sophomore from Hawaii was terrific in his first start in a 51-14 victory over Louisville. He was 12-of-16 passing for 227 yards and two touchdowns while running for a third score.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Shohei Ohtani has been evaluated after coming out of his pitching return early, and Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia is hopeful the right-hander will be good to make his next scheduled start Sunday.
Scioscia said Monday that Ohtani had no apprehension about his elbow when his velocity dropped drastically the previous night. The two-way player lasted only 2 1/3 innings at Houston on Sunday night in his first game on the mound since June 6 because of an elbow strain. He was dealing with tightness in his back and a sore right ring finger after a ball deflected off of it in the second inning, but neither issue should cause him to miss more time.
“The most important thing is his elbow feels great,” Scioscia said.
Ohtani wasn’t in the lineup as a hitter for the Angels in their series opener at Texas, which is normal the game after he pitches.
As a hitter, Scioscia said Ohtani was day to day.