- Created on 07 November 2013
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Jay Cutler's time away proved shorter than the Chicago Bears originally expected.
After missing one game, the quarterback will return Sunday to face the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field following a groin tear suffered Oct. 20. Team officials originally expected Cutler to be out four weeks and then be assessed week to week, but doctors cleared Cutler to play Thursday and he practiced without a problem.
"As soon as I got hurt, I felt like I'd be back quicker than they thought," Cutler said. "I kind of had that mindset."
Coach Marc Trestman saw no reason to believe the team is pushing its starter back onto the field too soon.
"He had an excellent practice," Trestman said. "He moved around. We worked the entire game plan today: our movements, climbing the pocket, throwing the football, down the field, short throws, everything. He did everything today."
Cutler does not view his quick return as a gamble. He credited the use of an Athletic Rehabilitation and Performance machine (ARP), a device that helps heal soft tissue, with his rapid recovery.
"If I wasn't back to 100 percent, or if they had any doubts, I wouldn't have been able to practice today," he said. "That was the stipulation."
The Bears had a bye after their 45-41 loss to Washington, which provided some extra time for Cutler to recover. He suffered the injury with 10 minutes left in the first half of the Washington game on a sack, and backup Josh McCown completed the contest, then played all of Monday night's 27-20 win at Green Bay.
Cutler is slated to become a free agent after this season, but called his contract status no factor in coming back so soon.
"I haven't worried about my contract," he said. "I haven't worried about it, period. That stuff takes care of itself somehow some way.
"So my biggest thing was just helping Josh last week to make sure, even though I knew he would be ready, to make sure I could help him in anyway, and then get back as soon as possible so I could help those guys."
McCown completed 36 of 61 for 476 yards and did not turn the ball over as Cutler's replacement. He had a passer rating of 100.2. Cutler has completed 146 of 225 for 1,658 yards and 12 touchdowns with seven interceptions. He has a passer rating of 91.7.
McCown said he had no problem returning to the sidelines after playing so well.
"Jay got hurt and I served my team by playing and doing what I could to help us win a ballgame, and then play effective football when I was in there," McCown said. "When he's healthy, he comes back and he's the starter and that's how it goes. That's how we operate."
- Created on 07 November 2013
(AP Photo / Chris Pizzello, Invision)
Mike Tyson's life story is the gift that keeps giving.
And giving. And giving.
At one time he was the baddest man on the planet, a heavyweight champion who terrorized anyone who got in his way, inside the ring or out. More recently he's unburdened himself as perhaps the most tortured soul on earth, with a one-man show on Broadway that Spike Lee has turned into an HBO special airing Nov. 16.
It turns out that Tyson didn't tell us everything. Not to worry, because he's taken care of that in a hefty autobiography that might be the most soul baring book of its genre ever written.
The title is "Undisputed Truth," and the truth is that Mike Tyson is one messed up dude. He's desperate to put his demons to rest, but the book needed an extra epilogue written just before printing to talk about him falling off the sobriety wagon once again.
And though things might be better these days in Tyson's world, he constantly warns that he's not far from slipping off the edge, or slipping back into a strip club to party with drugs and women.
"Sometimes I just fantasize about blowing somebody's brains out so I can go to prison for the rest of my life," he writes. "Working on this book makes me think that my whole life has been a joke."
If so, Tyson has yet to figure out the punch line. Though he has reinvented himself in recent years as a family man and vegan with enough comedic chops to act in movies, he says he lives daily with the dark past of a junkie who loved to snort cocaine and drink and was constantly preoccupied with finding women to bed.
The sex is detailed in almost clinical terms, and the many women in Tyson's life flow in and out of the pages like they did in his life. One big exception is Desiree Washington, the beauty pageant contestant who Tyson was convicted of raping in Indianapolis - a charge he heatedly denies - and spent three years in prison.
"How do you rape someone when they come to your hotel room at two in the morning?" he asks.
Even in prison he got his fill, he says, first with visitors and then with a prison drug counselor who suddenly became available after Tyson had $10,000 sent to her home to fix her roof.
"I was having so much sex that I was too tired to even to go the gym and work out," Tyson wrote. "I'd just stay in my cell all day."
The book is in Tyson's voice but written by Larry Sloman offers a fascinating look into a life that up until now had already been well chronicled. It's raw, and so profane that Tyson needs to explain some of the terms he uses for women and blacks in a separate chapter at the end.
But it is also quite funny in parts, like the time Tyson forgot about a suitcase that contained $1 million in cash, only to have one of his gofers find it a week later.
"I had had a rough night in the city and had forgotten where I left it," Tyson said.
Or when Monica Turner finally tired of his ways and filed for divorce.
"I guess she had had enough of my fooling around because I sure did a lot of it," Tyson said. "Calling to tell her I had AIDS probably didn't help either."
Tyson is brutal on himself throughout the book, despairing of his lack of self-control and feelings of inadequacy. But he's equally brutal about the people around him in a career that made him more than $300 million, yet left him so broke today that he says he will never be able to pay off his IRS debts.
He calls first wife Robin Givens a manipulative shrew who made him act like a trained puppy, says Evander Holyfield was a serial head butter with ties to steroids, and claims the late referee Mitch Halpern was drunk in the ring during his first fight with Holyfield in 1996.
And while he tells an epic tale of beating up British promoter Frank Warren in a London hotel room in 2000 for not paying his $800,000 jewelry bill, he saves special venom for the havoc Don King wreaked in his life.
Tyson was an equal opportunity fighter when it came to beating up promoters, detailing several times he bloodied King, including once on Miami highway when he tried to strangle him in the car from behind.
"When I think about all the horrific things that Don has done to me over the years I still feel like killing him," Tyson said.
There's more, much more. Tyson knows how to tell a story, and he tells them about people you don't expect, like the day he found actor Brad Pitt at Givens' house. When Tyson confronted them, he said Pitt begged, "Dude, don't stroke me. Don't stroke me. We were just going over some lines."
He talks about money as dispassionately as he does about sex, though it was difficult for him to hold on to any of it. When he fired everyone and got new accountants in 2000 they prepared a statement showing he started the year $3.3 million in the hole but made $65.7 million.
"The problem was that I spent $62 million that year," Tyson said, including $2.1 million on cars.
And the Maori tribal tattoo he got on his face? It was supposed to be some little hearts instead, but the tattoo artist talked him out of it.
By the time his career ended with a loss to journeyman Kevin McBride in 2005, Tyson was fat and more interested in partying than fighting. He would go on to bloat up to 380 pounds and continue to drink, smoke and snort his way through strip clubs and bars.
"I just said to myself, Wow, this is over. Now I can go out and really have fun."
The book was supposed to have a happy ending, with Tyson slim and happy in his new life with wife Kiki, who he credits for his attempt at sobriety. But Tyson had to write a new epilogue after acknowledging in August that he had gone out drinking again.
He's back in AA and he's trying to stay sober, he says. But life for Tyson has always been a constant struggle.
"I desperately want to get well," he says. "I have a lot of pain and I just want to heal. And I'm going to do my best to do just that. One day at a time."
- Created on 07 November 2013
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Shaun Phillips is in a good place.
With the Denver Broncos (7-1) visiting San Diego (4-4) on Sunday, the 32-year-old pass rusher who spent nine seasons with the Chargers wants to clear up a few things:
He holds no grudges.
He harbors no regrets.
He can't wait to renew his trash talk with Philip Rivers.
The Chargers let Phillips go in free agency after he'd collected 69½ sacks over nine seasons.
"Everyone is like, 'I know you're (ticked) off.' But I'm not (ticked) off. I made a lot of money and a lot plays and made a lot of friends in San Diego," Phillips said. "The fun part is going back to play against your old friends."
The Broncos needed another pass-rusher after losing Elvis Dumervil to Baltimore following the infamous fax foul-up, and they signed Phillips, who had 9½ sacks last season, to a one-year deal for $1 million.
Switching from a 3-4 outside linebacker to a defensive end position in Denver's 4-3 scheme, Phillips has provided a fantastic return on that investment.
He's collected 6½ sacks, six tackles for loss, eight quarterback hurries and three pass breakups. Moreover, he's served as a veteran locker room leader for the Broncos, who were without the services of star linebacker Von Miller for the first six games of the season.
Interim head coach Jack Del Rio said Phillips "brought a certain element to our defense that we would miss without him."
Phillips said he's in "a great situation ... and I'm still playing football."
So, it's all good.
And he's also thrilled to face Rivers in a game again.
The two entered the league together in 2004 a few months after they faced each other in the Senior Bowl, where their talents and their trash talk were on full display.
- Created on 07 November 2013
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Luis Scola, Donald Sloan and Lance Stephenson accounted for all the points in a decisive 12-2 run, thwarting a late charge by the Chicago Bulls and sending the Indiana Pacers, the NBA's last unbeaten team, to an 97-80 victory Wednesday night.
The Pacers are 5-0 for the first time since 1971-72. Paul George had 21 points and six rebounds to lead Indiana, while David West had a season-high 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Luol Deng and Derrick Rose scored 17 points each to lead Chicago (1-3). Rose scored only three points in the second half.
For three quarters, it was topsy-turvy. Then, with Chicago leading 67-65 with 8:38 left, things changed quickly.
Sloan hit a 17-footer to tie the score. Stephenson gave Indiana the lead with a 3-pointer. Scola followed that with consecutive baskets and Stephenson closed the run with another 3 to make it 77-69. The Bulls never seriously challenged again.
After missing all seven shots he took in the first half, Stephenson finished with 15 points — all but three coming in the final 12 minutes of a game that looked more like a 15-round title fight.
Bodies crashed hard to the court all night, and the game got progressively more physical.
It took a toll.
Pacers backup center Ian Mahinmi left late in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle and did not return. Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich was called for a flagrant foul in the fourth. There was a resounding thud in the arena when Joakim Noah of the Bulls crashed hard to the court trying to protect his own basket late in the fourth.
Until the final stretch, neither team could get the upper hand in this defensive slugfest.
Indiana led 25-19 after one quarter, trailed 43-37 at halftime and then looked like they might pull away in the third after opening the quarter on a 10-2 run to reclaim the lead. The Pacers followed that spurt with a 9-2 run that ended with George's 3-pointer to make 56-51. Sloan's 3 with 1:12 left in the third extended the margin to 63-55.
Hinrich answered with a 3, and then George fouled Deng on an 11-footer. Before Deng could finish the three-point play, Pacers coach Frank Vogel drew a technical. Chicago made both free throws, trimming the deficit to 63-62.
The Bulls finally got even on Dunleavy's 3 early in the fourth and retook the lead at 67-65 on Deng's 18-footer with 8:38 to play.