Thursday’s Sports In Brief
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Patriots receiver Josh Gordon was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating an agreement that allowed him to play after multiple drug suspensions, casting doubt on whether the talented but troubled playmaker would ever play in the league again.
League officials said Gordon was returned to the reserve/commissioner suspended list indefinitely for breaking the terms of his reinstatement under the NFL substance abuse policy.
The news came several hours after Gordon said he was stepping away from football to focus on his mental health.
Gordon said on Twitter his decision was spurred by his own feelings that he could have a better grasp on things mentally. He thanked the Patriots for their support and vowed to work his way back.
Gordon has been suspended several times by the NFL for violations of its drug policies since being drafted by the Browns in 2012, and missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons.
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Beloved Browns offensive line coach Bob Wylie broke his ankle during practice and underwent surgery.
A team spokesman said Wylie got hurt during the workout as the Browns prepared to face the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. There were no immediate details on how the popular Wylie, who is in his second season with Cleveland, was injured.
Wylie is resting at University Hospitals and will likely miss the home finale.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler was approached two months ago with a special request. A longtime season-ticket holder asked team president Gillian Zucker if he could call a game on television with Lawler and honor his 40 seasons with the club.
Lawler apprehensively said yes, until he found out it wasn’t just any season-ticket holder. It happens to be one that has hosted the Academy Awards nine times.
Billy Crystal, who has been the team’s most well-known fan through the good times and bad, will be the analyst for the Jan. 31 game against the Lakers.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA will play its first games in India next year.
The league announced the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings will play two exhibition games Oct. 4-5 at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai.
The NBA, in another step toward expanding its global footprint, says these are the first games in the country by a North American sports league. NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum and NBA India managing director Yannick Colaco in Mumbai announced the matchups.
The Kings are owned by Vivek Ranadive, the NBA’s first Indian-born majority owner. He calls it an honor to help bring the game to his home country. He says the “world wants to watch basketball and India is a fast-growing new frontier.”
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Isaiah Green completed 17 of 25 passes for 221 yards, Keion Davis ran for two touchdowns and Marshall beat South Florida 38-20 in the Gasparilla Bowl.
Green also had a touchdown run in the first quarter, while Davis’ second TD — from 16 yards out — put the Thundering Herd (9-4) ahead 38-20 with 6 1/2 minutes to play.
Davis had 94 yards on 14 carries, while Brenden Knox gained 93 yards on 12 rushes — all during the first half.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan running back Karan Higdon says he’ll skip the Peach Bowl.
Higdon, a senior who has rushed for 1,178 yards this season, said on Instagram that it is in his best interests to miss the game to prepare to pursue an NFL career.
The eighth-ranked Wolverines face 10th-ranked Florida in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 29.
Michigan will also be without defensive end Rashan Gary in that game. He’s skipping his senior season and entering the NFL draft.
Linebacker Devin Bush announced Wednesday he will also leave early for the NFL, and he said he hasn’t been cleared to play in the Peach Bowl after injuring his hip.
DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Rockies have brought in Daniel Murphy to boost an offense big on pop but lackluster in batting average.
The veteran infielder has agreed to a $24 million, two-year contract with the Rockies, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press
The Rockies hit .256 last season, their lowest mark in team history. The team had 210 homers, the fifth-most in franchise history and the most since 2001.
Murphy figures to raise that batting average. He is a .330 hitter in 26 games at Coors Field.
The 33-year-old Murphy spent last season with the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs, where he hit a combined .299 with 12 homers.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Ian Kinsler finalized an $8 million, two-year contract with the San Diego Padres, who cleared space on the 40-man roster by designating veteran left-hander Clayton Richard for assignment.
It’s expected that Kinsler will play second base, allowing rookie Luis Urias to play shortstop until top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. arrives in the big leagues sometime during the 2019 season.
Kinsler will make $3.75 million in each of the next two seasons. The Padres hold a $3.5 million option for 2021, with a $500,000 buyout.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels have added to their pitching staff, agreeing to a $9 million, one-year deal with Trevor Cahill.
Cahill can earn $1.5 million in performance bonuses based on innings: $250,000 each for 100, 110, 120 and 130, and $500,000 for 170. He would get a $250,000 assignment bonus the first time during the deal he is traded.
The 30-year old right-hander went 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA for Oakland last season. He allowed just eight home runs in 110 innings, at 0.65 per nine innings being the fourth-lowest in the American League. His 7.36 hits allowed per nine innings were te ninth-lowest.