In-form striker Olivier Giroud rested an ongoing knee problem during the Gunners’ 2-0 win over Hull City on Wednesday night but should return against Everton on Sunday
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Mathieu Flamini picked up a groin injury in Arsenal’s victory over Hull City on Wednesday night, Goal understands.
The Frenchman was set to have tests to assess the problem at the Gunners’ London Colney training ground on Thursday.
Aaron Rodgers is one step closer to playing again.
As expected, the Green Bay Packers quarterback practiced on a limited basis Wednesday as he makes his way back from the fractured left collarbone he suffered last month.
“I thought he looked good for what they asked him to do,” coach Mike McCarthy told reporters. “He did everything seamlessly, individual drills. Basically, he did everything he was cleared to do medically. He was in rehab mode.”
Asked about the timeline of his comeback, Rodgers told reporters Wednesday, per ESPNWisconsin.com: “It’s the strength, the range of motion and the evidence that we see on the scan. Two out of three are passed so far.”
Time is ticking away. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Packers decision-makers have pondered the idea of shutting down Rodgers — allowing him to fully heal — if Green Bay (5-6-1) tumbles out of the NFC playoff picture with a loss Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
NFL’s vice president of officiating Dean Blandino acknowledged Tuesday that Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin should have been penalized for his sideline shuffle in last week’s game against the Ravens.
A league source told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport on Wednesday that the incident will be reflected in the grades for Clete Blakeman’s officiating crew. Rapoport also reported, per a league source, that the issue of sideline placement will be addressed with the entire referee staff via video training this week.
Officials are graded on every play of every game. When there is an incorrect call, it’s referred to as a “downgrade.” Blakeman’s crew is expected to receive a downgrade for not calling a penalty on Tomlin when he stepped onto the playing field.
The upshot is that the Tomlin-Jacoby Jones controversy might affect postseason placement for Blakeman’s crew.
Conor Sammon sealed a late win for the Rams which keeps them well poised in the promotion race while the Latics endured a poor start to life after Owen Coyle
Derby County climbed into the Championship’s top six as Steve McClaren led his side to a last-gasp 2-1 win over Middlesbrough on Wednesday.
A 90th-minute strike from Conor Sammon snatched all three points for the hosts after Middlesbrough had rallied with 10 men.
The NFL fined Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin $ 100,000 and will consider modification or forfeiture of the team’s 2014 draft choices, the league announced Wednesday.
Any modification or forfeiture of the draft picks will be considered after the final order of the 2014 draft has been determined. The discipline was issued by NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson.
The penalties are a result of Tomlin’s actions on the sideline during a kickoff return in the Steelers’ 22-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 13. In the third quarter, Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones appeared to break free down the sideline only to be slowed by Tomlin — who had his back to Jones and was standing on the white stripe hugging the field.
Ultimately, Jones was corralled from behind by Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen. Though the officials did not flag Tomlin for unsportsmanlike conduct, the league decided to pursue discipline against the coach after the game.
The former West Germany international laments the fact that there has been a groundswell of support for the Portuguese because of his World Cup play-off heroics
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness feels that it would be unjust if Cristiano Ronaldo pips Franck Ribery to this year’s Ballon d’Or on the back of “one game”.
Ribery was considered a frontrunner for the prestigious Fifa award on account of the integral role he played in the Bavarians’ historic treble success last season.
However, Hoeness now fears that the groundswell of support that accompanied Ronaldo’s hat-trick in Portugal’s dramatic World Cup play-off victory over Sweden in Solna in November could – wrongfully, as the 61-year-old sees it – tip the balance in favour of the prolific Real Madrid attacker.
The NFL’s Offensive Players of the Week were awarded to players from the teams leading their respective conferences in Week 13.
Russell Wilson’s dominant performance in the Seattle Seahawks’ blowout of the New Orleans Saints earned him the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Wilson completed 22 of 30 passes (73.3 percent) for 310 yards, three touchdowns and performed myriad breathtaking plays.
Half the passes Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker caught Sunday went for touchdowns. Decker had eight receptions for 174 yards and four scores in the Broncos’ 35-28 win at Kansas City. The Broncos took a stranglehold on the AFC West and Decker won the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award.
On the defensive side of the ball, New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck’s career-high four sacks of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III Sunday night earned him the Week 13 NFC Defensive Player of the Week.