<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Sports]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Wed, 25 Nov 2015 18:22:36 -0600 Wed, 25 Nov 2015 18:22:36 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[First Quarter Review: Three Stars ]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 18:10:52 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Brent+Seabrook.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks have had an interesting first quarter of the season, to say the least, as they’ve dealt with injuries, depth issues, and the difficulty of having to deal with teams gunning for them on a nightly basis as the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Despite all of the turmoil, the team still finds itself in a playoff spot in an incredibly tough division, and things are starting to look up on a number of fronts. The team has begun to get better offensive production out of players like Jonathan Toews, and players like Duncan Keith and Marian Hossa are returning to bolster the lineup after missing time with injuries.

Before we get too caught up in the second quarter of the season, we felt that it would be appropriate to name our Three Stars of the first quarter.

Third Star: Brent Seabrook

With Keith out of the lineup, the team’s defense certainly took a hit, but players like Seabrook helped to soften the blow. He’s been one of the team’s most consistent contributors on the offensive side of things, and he’s been a godsend defensively as the team works in new players like Trevor Daley and rides through the growing pains of players like Trevor van Riemsdyk and Viktor Svedberg.

With Keith back in the fold, Seabrook has gotten a bit of a reprieve from the constant pressure, but his performance on the ice has remained solid, giving us ample reason to include him on this list.

Second Star: Artemi Panarin

After seeing rookies like Teuvo Teravainen have a bit of difficulty adjusting to the North American game, it’s been remarkable to watch Panarin’s development. Robbed of a good chunk of training camp by injury, Panarin has jumped onto a line with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov and thrived, becoming the league’s top-performing rookie thus far and showing the offensive punch that the team has been searching for since having to jettison Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad over the summer.

If Panarin can continue to show the confidence he’s displayed on offense, and can continue to play the surprisingly solid defense that he’s shown as a rookie in the league, then he is going to be a big-time contender for the Calder, and he could play a pivotal role as the Blackhawks look to defend their championship.

First Star: Patrick Kane

Is there any question that Kane has been the Blackhawks’ best player in the first quarter of the season? Perhaps the better question is whether or not Kane is the league’s MVP thus far, and he would certainly garner a ton of votes if writers were pressed on the question today.

He’s not only on pace to shatter the Blackhawks’ team record for consecutive games with a point, but he’s also on pace to become the first player in recent memory to crack the 100-point barrier this season. If he can keep up this pace, he will be a surefire finalist for the Hart Trophy at the NHL Awards this summer.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top Sports Photos 2015]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 17:04:29 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/curry-GettyImages-498644464-%281%29.jpg Click to see dramatic game action photos from professional football, hockey, basketball, baseball and more.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Martellus Bennett Ruled Out for Thursday vs. Packers ]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 15:38:16 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/martellus+bennett+bears+cardinals.jpg

 The Chicago Bears have had to play without some significant components of their offense in recent games, but on Thursday they’ll be short yet another one as Martellus Bennett will miss their Thanksgiving showdown with the Green Bay Packers.

Bennett, who injured his ribs during Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos, did not participate in practices this week, and the team made it official on Wednesday that he would miss the critical NFC North showdown.

Bennett won’t be the only Bears player out of the lineup, either. Eddie Royal has been ruled out of the game as he continues to deal with a knee injury, and running back Ka’Deem Carey is still dealing with the concussion that he suffered in Sunday’s game, making him unavailable Thursday.

Thursday’s game will mark the first time that Bennett has missed a game during his tenure with the Bears. So far this season the tight end has 50 receptions for 425 yards and three touchdowns, but he has seen his responsibilities diminish in recent weeks as Zach Miller has become a more integral part of Adam Gase’s offense.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Durant's New Sneaker Is Taboo to Some in Prince George's]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:09:24 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/KD8+PG+County.jpg

With his latest Nike sneaker, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant attempted to pay homage to the Maryland county where his journey to NBA all-star and MVP began, but some find it offensive.

The $180 sneaker, which goes on sale Wednesday, is called the KD8 ‘P.G. County,’ and that abbreviation of “Prince George’s” upsets some in the county. For years, using “PG” has been considered taboo.

“We would certainly prefer that it was ‘Prince George’s County,’” said Barry Hudson, the county executive’s spokesman.

The county reached out to Nike when it learned of the name.

“Actually sent a letter to Nike kind of giving them some idea of the nature of the term ‘Prince George’s County’ versus ‘PG County’ just to let them know that it is, to many in the county, a pejorative,” Hudson said.

Melvin McCray, who once coached Durant at the Seat Pleasant Activity Center, said the name of the shoe makes perfect sense. Durant has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the facility where a room is named in his honor.

“Whether it’s ‘PG County,’ whether it’s ‘Prince George’s County,’ I just think we all should just enjoy the moment and just embrace it,” McCray said.

Photo Credit: Nike]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Beat Lakers, Set Record]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:44:18 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/178*120/Lakers-lose-to-Warriors-record-nba.jpg

The Golden State Warriors made history against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. The Warriors went to 16-0 with the 111- 77 win is an old-fashioned game of blowout basketball, which marked the best ever start to an NBA season. Previously, the 1993-94 Houston Rockets held the record at 15-0.

Surprisingly, the Warriors came out shooting cold against the visiting Lakers. Not so surprisingly, the Warriors still managed to take a massive lead on a Lakers team that has the habit of falling flat on its face. For the 12th time in 14 games, the Lakers lost. This time, though, the purple and gold trailed by 19 points before the first quarter was up.

Kobe Bryant had had an awful night. He shot up air balls, he shot up bricks and he even shot up one thud-worthy attempt that stuck in between the backboard and the rim. The 37-year-old shot 1-14 from the field and looked worse than he has all season, and Bryant has not looked good this season.

No Laker scored over 10 points, so Bryant can hardly take all the credit in the loss. Jordan Clarkson went 2-11, Nick Young shot 3-10 and Roy Hibbert went 0-4. This was a game where the Lakers' best punch would possibly give them a chance against the world champs, but the Lakers seemingly slipped and fell as the opening bell rang out.

"They're a better team than we are," Lakers coach Byron Scott said on TWC SportsNet after the game. "It's pretty much that simple."

The Warriors only needed one quarter to decide the outcome, so the game never looked in doubt. However, the Lakers did show positive signs in the second period. Lakers rookie D'Angelo Russell and almost-rookie Julius Randle combined to help cut the 22-point lead down to only 16 points by halftime. Russell hit shots, while Randle bruised his way to buckets. Both players shot 50 percent from the field for the night.

Along with the other starters, Russell and Randle did not play in the fourth quarter because the Warriors led by 34 points after three quarters. Stephen Curry had already received his sendoff ovation at that stage, and the game called for emptying the bench for guys like Tarik Black and Larry Nance Jr. to get extra minutes.

Curry finished with 24 points and nine assists on 10-21 shooting. By his standards, he had a bad night in that the league's Most Valuable Player only hit four of his 12 attempts from beyond the three-point line. However, Curry sat the whole fourth quarter because the game was simply not competitive. The Warriors' largest lead on the night was 41 points.

Draymond Green also had a positive night in more ways than one. Green had a +/- of 36, which tied Curry for the best net-positive players on the team. Green finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks and one steal in 30 active minutes on the court.

"It's just another loss for us, another win for them," Scott said. "That's how I kind of look at it and just go back to the drawing board."

Next, the Warriors look to extend their record to 17 games in Phoenix on Friday night. The Lakers look to snap a four-game losing streak in Portland on Saturday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jeffery, Forte Among Bears Limited in Practice Tuesday ]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 17:18:35 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/jeffrey+and+forte.jpg

The Chicago Bears could be getting some good news on the injury front this week, as two of their key players could return against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night.

That’s because running back Matt Forte and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery seem to be all systems go to be ready to play Thursday. Both players were listed as “limited participants” in Tuesday’s practice at Halas Hall, but both indicated after practice that they were nearing a return.

The Bears had quite a few names listed on the injury report, with Ka’Deem Carey, Antrel Rolle, and Eddie Royal all missing the workout. Martellus Bennett, Sherrod Martin, Pernell McPhee, and LaRoy Reynolds were all listed as “limited” on the report, and Jarvis Jenkins and Marquess Wilson were both full participants in practice.

The Bears will release a full injury report on Wednesday, and while there hasn’t been any official word, it would seem unlikely that Rolle and Carey will be able to play Thursday. Carey still has to go through the NFL’s concussion protocol, and with the short week leading up to the game in Green Bay, it would be surprising if he cleared and were able to play.

The news is more favorable for Forte and Jeffery, who both sat out Sunday’s game against the Broncos to get extra rest. Both will likely be listed as questionable Wednesday, but there’s plenty of optimism that both will be in lineup.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bears Open Practice Window for WR Kevin White]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 12:00:03 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/kevin+white+bears.jpg

The Chicago Bears have been dealing with a slew of injuries all season long, but they finally got some good news on Tuesday as the team opened the practice window for wide receiver Kevin White.

White, who was the Bears’ first round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft in April, can begin practicing with the team immediately, although it’s unclear just how much of a participant he will be.

The decision also gives the Bears three weeks to decide whether to activate him from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, or to place him on season-ending injured reserve.

The Bears had until Tuesday to decide whether or not to open the practice window for White, who would have been placed on IR had the team not done so.

White hasn’t appeared in a game yet for the Bears after being placed on the PUP list during training camp. He had been dealing with a shin issue throughout the offseason, but when he suffered a setback during training exercises in Bourbonnais, the team decided to have the receiver undergo a surgical procedure that has kept him out of action ever since.

The big question now is whether or not White will actually make his debut at some point this season. With the Bears waiting until Tuesday’s deadline to open his practice window, it would appear that the team merely wants to get him some practice reps and get him involved in game plan construction, but if the rookie shows that he is fully healthy, then at least the team now has the option to get him on the field if his performance warrants it.

<![CDATA[Blackhawks Unveil Jerseys for 2016 Stadium Series Game]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 12:38:47 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ToewsStadiumSeriesJersey.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks will be heading outdoors again this season as they take on the Minnesota Wild at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, and on Tuesday the team unveiled the jerseys that they will be wearing for the special game.

Before we get into the details, here is Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews modeling the new look:

Obviously, these jerseys are a bit different from what the Hawks have worn before, but there are reasons for each inclusion. The logos, which are featured on the sleeves instead of the shoulders, are intended as an homage to the team’s jerseys from the 1950’s.

The black shoulder design is also a deliberate inclusion, as it’s evocative of the “City of Big Shoulders” nickname that was given to the city of Chicago in a poem by Carl Sandburg.

There are also other minor adornments, including a set of four six-pointed stars that are an homage to Chicago’s flag.

Now that we’ve gotten all of the formalities out of the way, there’s one question that has to be asked: what do you think? Would you buy one of these jerseys, or are you still holding out hope that the team will bust out the barber pole jerseys at a future date?

Photo Credit: Chicago Blackhawks
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<![CDATA[Blackhawks One of NHL's Most Valuable Franchises]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 12:10:24 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-477604226.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks have been the most successful franchise in the NHL over the past six years, and their good fortunes have translated into a financial windfall for the organization.

That monetary success is reflected in a new ranking by Forbes, which lists the Blackhawks as the fourth most valuable organization in the entire NHL. That ranking is the same as the one they got last season from the venerable financial magazine, but the numbers are where things get really interesting.

According to Forbes, the value of the Blackhawks has gone up significantly over last year, with the team now worth $925 million. That represents an increase of 11 percent over last year’s valuation, with the Hawks worth $100 million more than they were a season ago.

The team’s revenue also took a jump up in the last year, going up $10 million.

The three teams ahead of the Blackhawks remain the same, but there is a new number one club atop the heap as the New York Rangers have surged ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who dropped all the way to third place after several years in the top spot. The Montreal Canadiens also vaulted past the Leafs to finish second, and the Boston Bruins finished in fifth place on the list.

<![CDATA[Broncos vs. Bears Rewatch: Breaking Down Sunday's Loss ]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 16:51:37 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Broncos+Bears.jpg

 In this edition of Bears Rewatch, we take a look at some of the most important plays that helped shape the Chicago Bears’ 17-15 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon.

Play #1: Demaryius Thomas’ 48-yard Touchdown

To start with, we look no further than one of the first plays of the game, as the Broncos scored a 48-yard touchdown thanks to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. Even at full speed, it’s pretty clear that there is a defensive breakdown. After all, Thomas is ridiculously wide open, with no Bears player within 10 yards of him, and even though Chris Prosinski and Tracy Porter both try to tackle him, they are unsuccessful as he cruises to the end zone.

To be blunt, there was a lot wrong with the play. Before the ball was snapped, Shea McClellin is aggressively yelling and pointing at Thomas, indicating that the Bears are going to change coverage. That seems to be borne out as the play starts, with Kyle Fuller and Adrian Amos going out in man coverage on two of the receivers that were lined up with Thomas in a trips formation.

Thomas breaks free over the middle of the field, and that likely was caused by Porter drifting back as though he was still playing a zone defensive scheme.

Commentator Dan Fouts blames McClellin for not dropping back in coverage, and although that’s certainly possible, it’s far more likely that Porter missed a switch in defensive assignment and alignment, allowing Thomas to go free.

Play #2: Jay Cutler’s Third Quarter Interception

This play was one that caused a lot of consternation on Twitter and in the stands at Soldier Field, but there were a couple of elements that contributed to the poor throw by Cutler. To start with, Marquess Wilson rounded his route off at the top, failing to create separation from Danny Trevathan.

To add to that, Trevathan made an incredibly athletic play as he turned his hips and grabbed the ball in stride to force the interception. Cutler said after the game that he didn’t anticipate Trevathan being able to do that, which is a reasonable expectation for a linebacker.

To finish off the analysis, Cutler’s throw wasn’t all that great to begin with. If Wilson had cut more sharply on the play, Cutler still would have thrown somewhat behind him, making a catch on the play highly unlikely. Complicating things further was the fact that even if Trevathan hadn't been able to make the play, there was still a safety behind the play as well, making the throwing window even tinier than it was to begin with. 

To sum up, there were extenuating circumstances that elevated this play above just being a “boneheaded Cutler decision,” but it still wasn’t a good throw.

Play #3: Cutler’s Failed Fourth Down Conversion Pass

The play that is probably generating the most controversy from this game is the decision by John Fox and Adam Gase to go for the end zone on a fourth down play deep in Broncos territory. With ten minutes left in the game, going for a field goal would have left the Bears down by five points, but it at least would have made it so that the team didn’t have to go for a two-point conversion at the end of regulation.

Whether one agrees with the decision or not, there is still plenty to discuss about what went on. For starters, Cutler had plenty of time in the pocket to make a choice on where to go with the football. Wilson flashed open for a moment along the goal line, but by the time Cutler recognized it, the throwing window narrowed considerably as a defender caught up to Wilson.

The key portion of the play occurred when Cutler rolled back to the right side of the field. Patrick Omameh was still very much engaged in his block on the right side of the line, and Jeremy Langford’s positioning acted as a block for the defender covering him. That opened up a momentary seam that Cutler conceivably could have run through to get to the goal line, but instead he opted for a lofted pass that was knocked down to prevent the touchdown.

If this play demonstrates anything, it’s that the Bears miss having Alshon Jeffery in key end zone situations. His vertical game is strong, and the Broncos likely would have left somebody open enough for Cutler to throw to if Jeffery was there to draw double coverage. A pass to Martellus Bennett would have been the likely call, but Wilson or Zach Miller also could have benefitted.

Play #4: The Failed Two Point Conversion

With the Bears trailing 17-15 with less than 30 seconds to go in the game, they were forced to go for two after Langford’s touchdown run. There has been a lot of criticism of the play call that Gase dialed up, but if fans are going to point fingers, they’ll have to look in a couple of other directions as well.

When he approached the line, Cutler clearly audibled out of the set play, dialing up a run play instead. Most of the linemen heard this call, and Bennett even came back from the outside to line up closer to the offensive line. Once the ball was snapped however, Bennett ended up running a pass pattern instead, leaving Broncos linebacker Von Miller unblocked and allowing him to tackle

Langford at the line of scrimmage to end the Bears’ chances of winning the game.
Center Hroniss Grasu also made the wrong choice at the line of scrimmage, allowing considerable pressure up the middle as he stepped back in a pass-blocking stance. It was a rookie mistake by a player who has had to sit out recently, but it still contributed to the overall breakdown of the play.

<![CDATA[Cavallari Announces Birth of Daughter on Social Media]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 19:49:55 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/472832424_KristinCavallari_CutlerBaby.jpg

Kristin Cavallari announced on social media that she has given birth to her first daughter with husband Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.

"Saylor James Cutler was born today at 1:32pm!!" Cavallari wrote on Instagram with a picture of a baby outfit.

Their new baby girl joins brothers Camden Jack Cutler, 3, and Jaxon Wyatt Cutler, 1.

Cavallari revealed in an interview ahead of her daughter's birth that she planned on naming her after a dog.

Cavallari said in the interview with Cricket’s Circle, a blog for new and expectant mothers, that she decided on the name when she was pregnant with her son Camden. She met a woman and her dog and “loved her dog’s name.”

The 28-year-old has also said her children have had a positive effect on her.

"It's hard to believe I will be a mom of 3 in just a few short weeks," she captioned a photo of her baby bump. "I owe so much to my babies...They have changed me in so many ways for the better."

Earlier this month, Cavallari also told American Baby magazine she’s excited to see how her little girl fits in with the family.

"She's going to steal Jay's heart, which will in turn melt mine!" Cavallari said. "I'm excited for the boys to grow up with a sister. I think it will help them to better understand and respect women."

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<![CDATA[Bears Waive Jimmy Clausen]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 13:22:55 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-455939296.jpg

The Chicago Bears have made a change at their back-up quarterback position, as Jimmy Clausen has been waived by the team.

To replace Clausen on the 53-man roster, the Bears have promoted quarterback David Fales from the practice squad, making him the new back-up for the remainder of the season.

In two seasons with the Bears, Clausen has appeared in six games, completing 55.7 percent of his passes for two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also started two games for the Bears, replacing Jay Cutler as the starter in Week 16 of the 2014 season and started in place of Cutler in Week 3 of this season when the Bears lost to the Seattle Seahawks.

The reason for the change is a practical one for the Bears. According to head coach John Fox, Fales received interest from another NFL team looking to sign him to their active roster, so the Bears opted to keep him and move forward without Clausen in the mix.

One team that likely expressed an interest in Fales was the Baltimore Ravens, who not only lost starting quarterback Joe Flacco for the season on Sunday but also happen to have former Bears head coach Marc Trestman on staff as their offensive coordinator. 

Fales has yet to appear in an NFL game since being drafted by the Bears in the 2014 NFL Draft, and he was limited during training camp this year, missing time due to illness.

<![CDATA[Ditka Curse Ends as Packers Beat Vikings]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 18:50:15 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mathews+bridgewater.jpg

The dreaded Ditka Curse has been vanquished as the Green Bay Packers went into Minneapolis and knocked off the division-leading Minnesota Vikings on Sunday evening.

The victory snaps a three game losing streak for the Packers, who will next take on the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving.

The Packers had been held winless ever since former Bears coach Mike Ditka donned a Green Bay Packers sweater in a McDonald’s advertisement in late October. Since then, the Packers were knocked off by three teams, including the Detroit Lions, who had not beaten Green Bay at Lambeau Field since the 1991 NFL season.

The Dallas Cowboys were also the victims of a McDonald’s related-curse, as San Francisco 49’ers great Jerry Rice donned their jersey in an ad, but they too snapped that streak on Sunday as Tony Romo led them to a victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top NFL Photos: Week 11]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 23:17:01 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_386456190580.jpg Get an up-close look at all the best NFL plays and players from Week 11.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Denver Freezes Bears' Playoff Hopes]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 08:14:50 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Bears+Broncos.png

The Chicago Bears had an opportunity late to tie things up against the Denver Broncos Sunday, but Von Miller's stop of Jeremy Langford sealed a 17-15 victory for John Fox's former team. 

The Bears didn’t get off to a good start offensively, and the Broncos made them pay as they scored on their first drive. Brock Osweiler made two big completions to Demaryius Thomas, and on the second catch the receiver tiptoed his way along the sidelines and got in at the pylon to give Denver a 7-0 lead just three minutes into the game.

The two defenses took center stage as the first quarter wore on, with both sides making some quality plays. Jay Cutler was sacked to end Chicago’s second drive of the game, and Willie Young and Bruce Gaston each picked up sacks against Osweiler as the Broncos were forced to punt the ball away.

Early in the second quarter, the Bears were able to take advantage of their strong defense as they got on the board. Cutler nearly threw a touchdown pass to the corner of the end zone, but Jeremy Langford wasn’t able to make an adjustment on the back shoulder throw. Robbie Gould did kick a 46-yard field goal however to make it a 7-3 game.

After the Bears got the ball back again, their offense slowly churned up field. Josh Bellamy got a big gain along the sidelines after he hauled in a lofted pass from Cutler, and although the Bears couldn’t convert on a third down play in the red zone, Gould made another field goal to trim Denver’s lead to just 7-6 with about six minutes to go in the first half.

The Bears nearly got a safety on the ensuing kickoff, but Omar Bolden was able to scramble out of the end zone and down the ball at the two yard line. The Bears’ defense forced a three-and-out after that, but their offense couldn’t capitalize as they booted the ball away after three plays of their own.

On the last drive of the half, the Broncos got a couple of big plays over the middle of the field to Owen Daniels, and they drove deep into the red zone. Adrian Amos made a key stop short of the goal line with about nine seconds to go, and after Osweiler overthrew Thomas on an end zone shot, Brandon McManus knocked through a short field goal to make it 10-6 at the half.

Both teams traded unsuccessful drives to start the third quarter off, and the defensive battle continued as both teams forced turnovers on their second possessions. Cutler threw an interception into the waiting arms of Danny Trevathan to give the Broncos back the ball in Bears territory, but Chicago responded as they stopped Ronnie Hillman short of the first down marker near the goal line to force a turnover on downs.

The Bears moved the ball down the field thanks to penalties on Shane Ray and Brandon Marshall, and then Marquess Wilson made a big play to gain 30 yards and get the Bears into scoring range. The Broncos’ defense did stop them short however, and a Gould field goal was all Chicago could muster as they trimmed the lead to 10-9 after three quarters of play.

As the fourth quarter got underway, the Broncos managed to get a drive going, and Osweiler converted when his team needed him the most. On a third down play, Osweiler fired a bullet over the middle of the field, and Cody Latimer made the catch in the end zone to put Denver up by a score of 17-9. 

In the late stages of the game, the Bears got the ball back at the two minute warning, and Cutler led the team on a long scoring drive. Jeremy Langford did the honors as he dove across the goal line to make it 17-15, but he couldn't repeat the feat on the two-point conversion attempt as Miller stopped him short of the goal line to seal the victory for Denver. 

The Bears won't have much time to lick their wounds as they have to prepare for a Thanksgiving showdown with the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. 

<![CDATA[Forte Breaks News on Injury Status Sunday]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 11:56:24 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-495274554.jpg

 There has been a ton of speculation this week about whether or not Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte will take the field against the Denver Broncos, but on Sunday the veteran offensive dynamo may have broken the news himself.

Taking to Twitter before the Bears took the field, Forte indicated that he will not play in the game, saying that it “kills” him to not be out there:

The official inactives list comes out around 10:30 a.m. for noon kick-offs, and Forte’s tweet came in about a half hour early. Does this mean that he’s taking on the mantel of player that breaks his own news from former Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall?

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Canucks Clobber Blackhawks 6-3]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 08:25:32 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cauncks+hawks+crawford.jpg

An Artem Anisimov goal tied things up late in the third period, but the Chicago Blackhawks couldn’t overcome a combined nine points by Henrik and Daniel Sedin as they fell 6-3 to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

The loss for the Blackhawks is their second in a row, and it sends them to the California leg of their circus trip with a 1-1-1 record thus far on the lengthy road spell.

Patrick Kane did extend his points streak to 16 games, but it wasn’t enough as the Hawks fell behind late in the game.

The game got off to a great start for the Blackhawks, as they got an early power play and capitalized to seize the lead. Jonathan Toews was the player that drew the penalty as he was tripped up on the rush, and he was the player that capitalized as he received a pass from Marian Hossa and ripped a shot into the top corner of the net to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, their lead was short-lived as the Canucks tied things up. With Niklas Hjalmarsson and Toews both in the penalty box, Daniel Sedin found a wide open Henrik Sedin in the slot, and he fired home a shot past Corey Crawford to knot things up at 1-1.

Henrik Sedin notched another point later in the period, as he won a puck battle along the boards. His pass was pushed out to the front of the net, and Jannik Hansen was there to poke home the loose puck to put Vancouver up by a score of 2-1.

The Blackhawks responded a few moments later with another goal to knot things up. This time Toews played the role of facilitator, carrying the puck around the net and sliding a pass to Ryan Garbutt in the slot. The winger found paydirt as his shot beat Ryan Miller, giving Garbutt his first goal as a member of the Blackhawks.

In the second period, the Blackhawks dominated possession early on, but a power play seemed to turn the momentum of the game and gave Vancouver back the lead. Henrik Sedin forced a turnover in the corner of the ice, and the puck jumped off Duncan Keith’s stick and into the middle of the ice. Daniel Sedin found an open seam and slid a shot between Crawford’s leg pads to make it a 3-2 game.

The teams traded chances to score as the second period ended and the third begun, but neither was able to get the critical next goal. The Hawks had a late power play in the second period that they failed to score on, and then the Canucks picked up a 3-on-1 rush early in the third, but Alex Burrows’ shot never made it on net as the Vancouver lead remained at one goal.

With about eight minutes to go in regulation, the Blackhawks scored to tie things up. Patrick Kane found Trevor Daley open in the slot, and although the defenseman’s shot bounced off of Alex Edler in front, Artem Anisimov was there to pick up the rebound as he flipped it into the net to tie things up at 3-3.

That all changed in the span of two minutes, as Daniel Sedin scored two goals to secure his hat trick and give Vancouver a two-goal advantage with three and a half minutes to go. His second goal in the sequence was a beautiful one, as he pulled off a backhanded one-timer off a pass from his brother Henrik to make it a 5-3 game.

Alex Burrows added an empty net goal late in the game to seal it, sending the Blackhawks to defeat.

The Hawks will look to get things going in the right direction on Wednesday night when they head to San Jose to take on the Sharks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Teravainen, Dano Ruled Out for Blackhawks vs. Flames Friday ]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 17:06:22 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Side-Black1.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks will be without two of their youngest stars on Friday night in Calgary as Teuvo Teravainen and Marko Dano will both miss the team’s game against the Flames.

Teravainen, who suffered an upper body injury in Wednesday’s win over the Calgary Flames, was already expected to miss this contest, and could potentially miss Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks as well. The winger would then have several days to recover before the Hawks resume their circus trip in California Wednesday when they take on the Sharks.

As for Dano, the winger did sit out for big chunks of the Wednesday victory after making several miscues on both ends of the ice, but his absence isn’t related to performance, according to head coach Joel Quenneville. Dano will actually miss the game with an illness that kept him out of the team’s morning skate in Calgary, and although his status for Saturday is unclear, he has been completely ruled out for the Hawks against the Flames.

Andrew Desjardins will slot back into the lineup to replace Teravainen on Friday night, and Viktor Tikhonov will skate in place of Dano. There has been no talk at this point of recalling another forward like Bryan Bickell or Ryan Hartman, so the maladies and ailments are still considered temporary at this point.

<![CDATA[Willie Young Fined For Hit on Nick Foles in Win Over Rams ]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 16:06:55 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/209*120/GettyImages-455569326.jpg

Chicago Bears linebacker Willie Young was tagged with a personal foul penalty in Sunday’s win over the St. Louis Rams, and on Friday he got dinged a second time as he was fined by the NFL.

The fine comes as a result of the roughing the passer penalty he picked up late in the fourth quarter of the game. As a result of his illegal hit on Rams quarterback Nick Foles, Young was tagged with a $17,363 fine for the infraction, according to the league.

Even with the fine, Young has been a big part of the Bears’ success in recent weeks. He’s been getting extended playing time at the defensive end and outside linebacker spots, picking up three tackles and a defended pass in the team’s win over St. Louis last week.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clausen Rates Poorly Among NFL Backups]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 13:50:13 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/jimmy+clausen+vs+seahawks.jpg

The Chicago Bears are preparing for a very important game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, and to help prepare fans for the contest, we’ve got a fresh batch of stories to keep an eye on in this Friday edition of Bears Bites.

- We start out with backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who has appeared in two games for the Bears this season. According to a new ranking of back-up quarterbacks in the NFL, Clausen is ranked dead last. Ouch. [Chicago Sun-Times]

- The Bears have made some big strides on the offensive side of the ball this season, and the team’s success has not gone unnoticed, as Danny Kelly examines what is making the Bears so dangerous when they have the ball in their hands. [SB Nation]

- Not to be outdone, the team’s defense has also made some remarkable progress under the direction of Vic Fangio this season. Larry Mayer takes a look at what has made them successful. [ChicagoBears.com]

- While there’s been plenty of talk this week about John Fox going up against his former team (Jay Cutler is as well, but he’s so far removed from Denver that it feels almost silly to discuss it), the fact remains that the coach feels absolutely no sentimentality toward his former club. [Chicago Sun-Times]

- Robbie Gould will be booting field goals for the Bears on Sunday, but his brother will be on the Denver sideline as he works as a special teams coaching intern for the Broncos. [ESPN Chicago]

- Finally, the Bears’ recent success has certainly taken the minds of fans off of the 2016 NFL Draft, but E.J. Snyder is not one of those people as he examines the impact that Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III could have on the Bears if they draft him. [Windy City Gridiron]

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Experts Weigh in on Trevor Daley's Future ]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 13:46:22 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_586284513440.jpg

 The Chicago Blackhawks are one game into their circus trip, with a win over the Edmonton Oilers already under their belts as they stay in Alberta for a Friday game against the Calgary Flames.

Before the Hawks take the ice for their morning skate, we’re here with a fresh batch of Hawks Headlines to get your Friday off to a good start.

-Will the Blackhawks trade away Trevor Daley? It’s the question on a lot of minds in recent days, and Pierre LeBrun weighed in on the topic this week. [ESPN]

-Teuvo Teravainen, who suffered an injury in Wednesday’s win over the Oilers, will likely miss a couple of games with an upper body ailment. [Chicago Tribune]

-Could Bryan Bickell’s red-hot play in Rockford pave the way for a return to Chicago in the coming weeks? [CSN Chicago]

-Patrick Kane celebrated his 27th birthday on Thursday, and Kyle Thele wrote about some of the more memorable moments of his Blackhawks career. [Chicago Sun-Times]

-Trevor van Riemsdyk has made some big strides forward this season, and he’s proving to be the key second pairing defenseman that the Blackhawks need. [Second City Hockey]

-Finally, James Neveau and Jay Zawaski are back with the latest edition of the Big Nevawski Chicago Hockey Podcast. [670 the Score]

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bears Ask Fans to Arrive Early for Sunday's Game]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 10:00:29 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/177*120/GettyImages-459083182.jpg

With the Chicago Bears preparing to take on the Denver Broncos on Sunday, the team is asking fans to arrive at the stadium a little bit earlier than usual for the noon kick-off.

In a statement released by the team Friday, the Bears let fans know that there will be additional security measures in place in and around Soldier Field, and the gates will open to the public at 10 a.m. at the venerable stadium.

Here is more information on the policies the Bears will be enforcing:

“The NFL’s Bag and Purse Policy remains in place and will be strictly enforced. Backpacks, purses (exceeding the 4.5” x 6.5” limits), and bags will not be allowed into Soldier Field. Each guest may carry in their pockets items such as keys, makeup, combs, phones, wallets, and credit cards. Guests may also continue to carry a blanket or jacket into the stadium.”

Fans will continue to be allowed to bring in NFL approved clear plastic or vinyl bags, in accordance with policies that went into effect in previous seasons.

<![CDATA[Rizzo Finishes 4th in NL MVP Voting ]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 17:40:15 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-491744336.jpg

The Chicago Cubs weren’t able to hit a grand slam during awards season, but they can take comfort in the high finishes of several of their best players in National League MVP voting.

Anthony Rizzo finished just outside of the top-three vote getters, grabbing a fourth place finish. He got three second place votes and four third place votes among the BBWAA members that voted, finishing just 13 points behind Reds first baseman Joey Votto.

Rizzo wasn’t the only Cubs player that received some love in the voting results. Jake Arrieta, who took home the National League Cy Young Award on Wednesday, finished just outside of the top five in voting, finishing just five points behind Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen. Arrieta scored five second place votes, and also got seven eighth place votes to help boost his total score.

The Cubs did have one other player finish with votes to his name, as third baseman Kris Bryant finished just outside of the top 10 in 11th place. Bryant, who won National League Rookie of the Year honors on Monday, received one third place vote and one fifth place vote.

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper became the first player in the history of the organization to win the award and did so unanimously, grabbing all 30 first place votes. Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt grabbed 18 second place votes and finished in second place in the voting, followed by Votto, Rizzo, and McCutchen.

No Cubs player has won National League MVP honors since Sammy Sosa won the trophy in 1998, when he blasted 66 home runs and led the team to a playoff berth.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NHL Unveils 3-on-3 ASG Tournament ]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 01:26:04 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/172*120/GettyImages-462728974.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks have a myriad of stars that they will be sending to the NHL All-Star Game in Nashville next year, but the game will have a decidedly different feel as the league sends its best and brightest to the Music City.

That’s because the NHL is tossing out their fantasy draft format in favor of a new one this season, as they will conduct a three-on-three tournament to declare which division is the best.

The tournament will be comprised of two rounds, with the Central Division taking on the Pacific Division and the Atlantic Division taking on the Metropolitan. Each team will get nine skaters and two goaltenders, and they will compete in a 20-minute mini-game to determine which squad advances to the final.

For advancing to the final and ultimately winning the tournament, the winning team will split a $1 million cash prize.

For NHL fans who love the concept and execution of 3-on-3 overtime, this is a dream come true. Will Steven Stamkos and PK Subban take the ice together at the same time? How about Tyler Seguin and Patrick Kane?

The line combinations are certainly interesting, but the real question is whether the players themselves will enjoy the new format. Sure it means less time on the ice than they would have in a full 60-minute game of 5-on-5 action, but they still will be doing an awful lot of skating at a faster pace than usual as well, so it could even things out.

The All-Star Game will take place on January 31, with the skills competition taking place on January 30 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Photo Credit: NHLI via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hossa's Heroics Help Hawks to 4-3 Victory ]]> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 23:22:56 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-497764558.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks coughed up their lead late in regulation, but Marian Hossa ensured that they would get both points in the standings as he scored an overtime goal to give them a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

The Blackhawks didn’t exactly get off to a good start to the Circus Trip, only managing three shots on goal in the first period, but they still managed to keep things tied up at 0-0. Corey Crawford made several good saves in the period, including a couple on an Edmonton power play, and despite facing 11 shots in the period he kept the game scoreless after 20 minutes of play.

The Blackhawks seemed to find their groove early in the second period, and seven minutes into the stanza the team scored to take the lead. Artemi Panarin made a quick cross-ice pass to a wide open Patrick Kane, and the Hawks’ winger fired a slap pass to the netfront that Duncan Keith deflected into the back of the cage to put Chicago up by a score of 1-0.

Marian Hossa had a chance to give the Blackhawks a two-goal cushion a few minutes later, but Anders Nilsson made a big save to keep Edmonton in the game. The Oilers tried to take advantage of the momentum they got from the save, but Crawford continued to make big saves as the Oilers had several big possessions.

Late in the second period, the Blackhawks were able to thank Crawford by extending their lead. Panarin forced a turnover in the corner, and quick tic-tac-toe passing moved the puck from Kane to Artem Anisimov and back to the Russian rookie. He flipped a wrist shot past Nilsson in the front, giving the Blackhawks a two-goal edge.

A few minutes later, a bad change by the Blackhawks allowed open ice, and the Oilers scored a late goal. Jordan Eberle got a breakaway off a quick stretch pass through the zone, and he fired a shot just underneath the crossbar to make it a 2-1 game after the end of two periods.

The Oilers continued to pound away as the third period got underway, and a great individual play by Darnell Nurse helped them to tie the game up at 2-2. Nurse held onto the puck through the zone, drawing in Trevor Daley, and after Benoit Pouliot blew past Michal Rozsival, he grabbed a pass and slid the puck past Crawford to even the score.

At a critical turning in the game, it took an excellent play by Andrew Shaw to give the momentum back to Chicago. Tanner Kero found the winger with space in the slot, and although Shaw fell to the ice after attempting his first shot, his second attempt beat Nilsson high, and the Blackhawks found themselves with a 3-2 lead.

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they couldn’t hold onto their lead, and the Oilers tied things up with less than three minutes to go. Taylor Hall won a puck battle in the corner of the ice, and Leon Draisaitl cleaned up the mess as he flipped the puck past Crawford to tie things up at 3-3.

After Crawford made an insane glove save to rob Hall of an overtime goal, Marian Hossa ended things. Brent Seabrook found him with a stretch pass, and Hossa fired a slap shot past Nilsson on the stick side to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory.

Photo Credit: NHLI via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How Much Would an Alshon Jeffery Franchise Tag Cost Bears? ]]> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 17:24:38 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/GettyImages-459536210.jpg

With his prodigious skill and ability to be a difference maker in the Chicago Bears’ offense, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is going to command a hefty salary next season, but the question is how long of a contract he will get.

The question comes up because the Bears have several options to sort through as they decide what to do with Jeffery. Obviously a long-term contract would make sense for the team, as Jeffery is a potential cornerstone player amid a sea of roster turnover, but injuries and questions about his happiness in Chicago could make negotiations contentious or complicated.

The Bears could also try to work out a shorter-term deal with Jeffery, or they could let him walk (which is highly unlikely), but odds are that they will either agree to a long-term deal or place the franchise tag on the star wide receiver.

The franchise tag would allow the Bears to keep Jeffery regardless of whether or not he agrees to a long-term deal with the team, but it would come at a significant cost. According to estimates calculated by former sports agent Joel Corry, the Bears could be on the hook to pay Jeffery a salary of $14.5 million next season if they place the franchise tag on him.

That number represents an estimated 13.29 percent of the team’s total salary cap space, a hefty increase from the 9.4 percent that a wide receiver on a franchise tag would have gotten this season.

Fortunately for the Bears, if they want to use the tag on Jeffery, they have the cap space to do it. Ryan Pace will have approximately $59 million in salary cap space to play with next season, according to Over the Cap, and so whether Jeffery wants a long-term deal or a one-year contract, the team will be able to afford to give it to him.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Arrieta Takes Home Cy Young Award]]> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 17:52:04 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/jake+arrieta+nlcs+22.jpg

The Chicago Cubs are now 3-for-3 in major baseball awards on Wednesday as starting pitcher Jake Arrieta won the National League Cy Young Award.

Arrieta, who posted a 22-6 record and a 1.77 ERA this season, beat out a talented crowd of contenders for the trophy, with Los Angeles Dodgers hurlers Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw finishing just behind the Cubs’ ace in the balloting.

Arrieta joins teammate Kris Bryant, who won the National League Rookie of the Year award on Monday, and manager Joe Maddon, who won the NL Manager of the Year award, as trophy winners for the Cubs after a momentous 2015 season.

The 2015 season was a memorable one for Arrieta and the Cubs, as he reeled off a second-half performance for the ages. That run of incredible starts carried into the early stages of the postseason, as Arrieta pitched a complete game shutout and helped the Cubs to a wild card game victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

With his win, Arrieta becomes the first Cubs pitcher to win a Cy Young Award since Greg Maddux won the trophy after the 1992 season with the team.

Arrieta’s numbers extend far beyond just his impressive record and ERA. He also struck out 236 batters in 229 innings pitched in the 2015 season, both of which were career highs. He also set a slew of records for the Cubs, including longest scoreless innings streak in games played at Wrigley Field, and he also threw a no-hitter in August against the Dodgers.

The next big question for Arrieta will concern his contract status, as it’s been rumored that the team is trying to sign him to a long-term extension before he hits free agency at the end of the 2017 season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NFL's Doug Flutie Loses Both Parents on Same Day]]> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 16:02:51 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/flutie-AP_05060901526.jpg

Legendary Boston College quarterback and longtime NFL player Doug Flutie lost both his parents Wednesday morning.

Flutie said his father, Dick, died of a heart attack in the hospital following an illness. Less than an hour later, his mother, Joan, also suffered a heart attack, Flutie wrote in a social media post Wednesday.

"They say you can die from a broken heart and I believe it," Flutie said on Facebook. "The most important part of their 56 years of marriage was providing opportunities to their children. They were incredible parents and grandparents and my family and I will miss them both."

Flutie's NFL career was sporadic, withhin playing 92 games and starting 66 between 1986 and 2005. During that time, he played with the Bears, Patriots, Bills and, finally, the Chargers, from 2001 through 2004. During a long NFL hiatus, he played in the Canadian Football League from 1990-97, being inducted into both the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.

The quarterback is best known for his time at Boston College, during which he received the Heisman Trophy and other accolades. He threw for an astounding 10,759 yard sand 70 touchdowns in four years.

Photo Credit: AP/File
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<![CDATA[Blackhawks Look to Reverse Road Fortunes on Circus Trip]]> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 15:40:24 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/kane+new.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks have had a rough go of things on the road this season, and they’ll be put to the ultimate test with their six-game circus trip over the next two weeks.

Their journey will begin on Wednesday night when they play their final regular season game at Rexall Place in Edmonton, battling an Oilers team that has hit hard times ever since rookie sensation Connor McDavid went down with an injury.

The Blackhawks will stay in Canada after their tilt with the Oilers, travelling to the other side of Alberta to take on the Calgary Flames on Friday night and to Vancouver on Saturday to battle the Canucks.

After a nice break, the Blackhawks will head down to California for three games in four days, with the Sharks, Ducks, and Kings all on the docket to round up the trip.

On its face, the trip looks as though it could be a very prosperous one for the Blackhawks. The Flames, Oilers, and Ducks are all dwelling in the bottom tier of NHL teams, and the Canucks have struggled recently as they’ve lost seven of their last 10 games. The Kings are a strong team, but the Blackhawks showed some serious mettle by beating LA with a third period comeback earlier this month.

Even with that being the case, the Blackhawks’ road struggles cannot be underestimated. They are 2-5-0 on the road so far this season, with their victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday providing their most impressive result away from the United Center this season.

The reasons for those struggles vary from poor goaltending (in their five road losses, they have allowed at least three goals, and on three occasions they allowed four or more) to struggling on offense, as they haven’t gotten consistent production out of three of their four lines. Those issues seemed to resolve themselves a bit against St. Louis on Saturday, but it will be interesting to see how the Hawks respond when they are away from home for a long period.

Their past results on the circus trip certainly provide a reason for optimism for Hawks fans. Over the last five seasons, the Blackhawks have gone 22-8-1 on the circus trip, picking up critical victories over teams that they could potentially be battling with for a playoff spot later this season. They also have gained ground in their division with the victories, as they rack up conference victories and stash away points for any struggles they’ll encounter later in the season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rose 'Highly Doubtful' to Play Wednesday vs. Suns ]]> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 15:25:11 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/GettyImages-494743282.jpg

The Chicago Bulls have gotten used to life without Derrick Rose over the past few seasons, and it appears that they’ll be without the injury-riddled point guard once again on Wednesday when they take on the Phoenix Suns.

Rose, who has been dealing with double-vision after breaking an orbital bone during preseason practice, was termed “highly doubtful” by Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg after spraining his ankle in a victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. Rose did not practice with the team during their shootaround Wednesday, and the team is likely exercising patience with him as a four-game road trip looms.

Kirk Hinrich will get the start in place of Rose at point guard, but the team hasn’t made any other roster moves indicating that they feel Rose would miss more than a few games.

“All of it’s positive,” Rose told reporters after Monday’s game. “For what I went through and all I’ve been through, just me playing and feeling all right after the game. Of course, my ankle’s a little bit sore, but I’m just happy nothing’s tore or broken. So I’ll be all right.”

The Bulls’ next game will come on Friday night when they take on the undefeated Golden State Warriors in Oakland.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Big Papi' Plans to Retire]]> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 12:04:35 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TLMD-Boston-medias-rojas-david-ortiz-red-sox-getty-images-470371776.jpg

One of Boston's most beloved athletes has announced he will be retiring after the 2016 season.

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, on his 40th birthday, confirmed what many people were already talking about in a video posted to YouTube Wednesday, courtesy of The Players' Tribune.

"I thought a lot about it and, you know, for every single one of us, athletes-wise... we run out of time at some point and life is based on different chapter and I think I'm ready to experience the next one in my life," Ortiz said in the video. "I picked this day to announce that after the next season, I'm going to be done with my career."

Nicknamed "Big Papi," Ortiz will leave the game a three-time World Series champion, at least, and holder of the Red Sox single-season record for home runs. The Red Sox designated hitter is also a nine-time All-Star.

"I would like people to remember me as a guy that was just part of the family, you know?" he said. "A guy that was trying to do the best, not only on the field, but with everyone around him."

"It is difficult to adequately convey what David Ortiz has meant to the Boston Red Sox," says Principal Owner John Henry. 

"David's first home run in a Red Sox uniform set the tone for the rest of his career," says Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner. It was a go-ahead pinch-hit home run in the top of the 14th inning against the Angels. In that summer of 2003, David became the best slugger in all of baseball and carried the team on his back for the last three months of the season - a trend we would come to see time and again throughout his career. He has been in a Red Sox uniform nearly as long as we have been here, and he has been integral in all of the successes that we have all experienced."

"David Ortiz transcends numbers, home runs, and wins," says Red Sox President Sam Kennedy. He is one of the game's greatest players - and greatest champions - and he has been there for the city of Boston through thick and thin every step of the way. He has been a pillar of our team and a pillar of our city."

Photo Credit: FILE - Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Maddon Wins NL Manager of the Year ]]> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 17:50:16 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/joe+maddon+beard.jpg

The Chicago Cubs made some huge strides forward this season, and one of the biggest architects of that success was rewarded on Tuesday as Joe Maddon was named the National League Manager of the Year. 

Maddon, who guided the Cubs to a 97-65 record and a berth in the NLCS in his first year at the helm, beat out New York Mets skipper Terry Collins and St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny for the award. 

The victory is Maddon's third as a manager, following two that he won while he was in charge of the Tampa Bay Rays. 

Maddon ended up receiving 18 of the 30 first place votes for the award, and he also got 11 second place votes. He was the only manager in the National League to appear on all 30 ballots cast. 

With his victory, Maddon becomes the first Cubs manager to win the award since Lou Piniella was awarded the prize in the 2008 season. 

The Cubs racked up 97 victories in the 2015 season, their highest total of wins since they won an identical number in the 2008 season. Their record improved by 24 games overall from the 2014 season, and several players stepped up their games as a result of Maddon's tutelage, including Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro. 

The Cubs may end up grabbing a third award on Wednesday night, as Jake Arrieta is one of the three finalsts for the National League Cy Young Award. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>