LAKE FOREST, Ill. Austin Gomber . -- The Chicago Bears have agreed to a four-year contract with second-round draft pick Ego Ferguson. The Bears have been moving quickly to wrap up their picks, with six of eight having already agreed to deals. The 6-foot-3, 315-pound Ferguson had 58 tackles in his lone season as a starter last year and is considered raw after leaving school a year early. He was suspended from the Outback Bowl against Iowa for violating team rules and did not work out at the NFL combine because of a right ankle injury he suffered in the days leading up to it. In addition to Ferguson, the Bears announced Tuesday they agreed to four-year deals with fourth-round draft pick KaDeem Carey (running back, Arizona), sixth-rounder Patrick ODonnell (punter, Miami, Fla.) and seventh-rounder Charles Leno Jr. (offensive tackle, Boise State). The Bears also agreed to deals with safety Brock Vereen and quarterback David Fales on Monday. First-round pick Kyle Fuller of Virginia Tech (cornerback) and defensive tackle Will Sutton of Arizona State (third round) remain unsigned. Carey figures to back up running back Matt Forte after running for 1,885 yards as a junior last season and being picked the Pac-12 offensive player of the year. Leno was a first-team all-Mountain West Conference selection as a senior. ODonnell spent four-plus seasons with Cincinnati (2009-12) and Miami, Fla. (2013) and averaged 43.5 gross yards on 234 punts. Last year, he ranked third in the nation with a school record 47.1 gross average on 53 punts. Tony La Russa . The Eastern Conference-leading Celtics finished their recent trek at 3-1 on Monday in Salt Lake City when Rajon Rondo made a key jumper with 24.1 seconds remaining, as Boston held off the Utah Jazz, 107-102, at EnergySolutions Arena. Jose Martinez . Rajon Rondo had 18 of Bostons season-high 38 assists and the Celtics committed just seven turnovers in a 118-111 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.Its that time of the week when we test how much attention you paid to the latest round of Premier League fixtures with our Top of the Stats quiz. Week 33 saw Leicester maintain their seven-point advantage over Tottenham at the top of the Premier League as both teams secured comfortable victories over Sunderland and Manchester United, respectively.Meanwhile, Crystal Palace broke a 14-game winless streak with a 1-0 win over Norwich, as the boottom four clubs all suffered defeats. Mike Shannon . Weve selected some of the player stats to see how closely you were watching. Play the quiz below and see how you do...Share your score @SkyFootball Also See: Premier League video Fixtures Table Live on Sky Get Sky Sports ' ' '
GREEN BAY, Wis. Josh Hart Jersey . -- Aaron Rodgers has been cleared to return from a left collarbone injury, just in time to start Sunday for the Packers against the Chicago Bears in a game to decide the NFC North title. With no advance warning and little fanfare, the franchise quarterback received the long-awaited good news at the same time as the rest of his teammates Thursday. "This is a fun day for me, but I think the focus needs to be on this game and the opportunity we have to win the division," Rodgers said. Soon enough. But the spotlight for now is squarely on the return of one of the NFLs most irreplaceable players. Green Bay (7-7-1) is 2-5-1 since Rodgers went down during the first series of a 27-20 loss Nov. 4 to Chicago. The Packers have managed to hang on, with a shot to win a third straight division title with a victory Sunday at Soldier Field. "Ill start with the announcement that were preparing for the Chicago Bears with Aaron Rodgers as our starting quarterback," coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Thursday after practice. Win and Green Bay returns to Lambeau Field the following weekend to host a wild-card team in the first round of the playoffs. "Were in it. You know we have a chance against our rivals, and what a better way than to go down there and get some redemption and host a home playoff game," Rodgers said. The last two months have been filled with angst for Packers fans. Discussions about whether Rodgers should risk future injury or return to bolster Green Bays playoff chances have filled sports talk radio shows and holiday office parties. Now imagine what it was like for the Packers brass and team doctor. The organization made a big investment in Rodgers this past off-season, signing him to a five-year contract extension through the 2019 season worth as much as $110 million. "Every football player that plays in this game Sunday will have risk. I think we all understand that," McCarthy said. "So weve done our due diligence. Weve gone through all the evaluations and we feel it is time. Aaron is ready to play." Finally at 8:05 a.m. Thursday, McCarthy gave the official word at a team meeting. No rousing speeches or rounds of applause. "The scene? We were sitting in the team room and he told us," Rodgers said matter-of-factly. "That was the scene." Rodgers is returning just when pass-rushing linebacker Clay Matthews is leaving the lineup again with a right thumb injury. Green Bay also has gone the majority of the season without tight end Jermichael Finley (neck). Projected starting left tackle Bryan Bulaga went down in training camp. Defensive end Johnny Jolly (shoulder/neck) was the latest Packer to get knocked out for the year last week. Still, the Packers managed to start 5-2 despite the injuries with Rodgers leading the offence. Things changed drastically after the 2011 NFL MVP got hurt on a sack while scrambling out of the pocket in the Week 9 loss to Chicago at Lambeau Field. The Packers went on a five-game winless skid, shuffling through three more starting quarterbacks. Green Bay then won two straight with backup Matt Flynn before falling 38-31 last week to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Losses by Chicago and the Detroit Lions set up the winner-take-all finale Sunday with the Bears for the division. Rodgers impending return wasnt the only good injury news Thursday in Titletown. Rookie running back Eddie Lacy was held out of practice with a lingering ankle injury, though McCarthy expects his 1,100-yard rusher to play Sunday. Playmaking receiver Randall Cobb, out since Week 6 with a leg injury, is moving well in practice and appears to be getting closer to returning. While he wont make the final call, Cobb said "This week in practice Im going out and preparing to play." And now with Rodgers back, positive vibes are reverberating through the locker room. Rodgers has gained added perspective from having to watch from the sideline with a headset. Hes been there to help Flynn. He understands that every move he makes in Chicago will be dissected by armchair quarterbacks. "Its easy to talk about it with you guys and understand the risks," he said. "But when youre out on the field, its about performing and playing and not worrying about it." Jrue Holiday Jersey .com) - New England Patriots starting center Bryan Stork will not play in Sundays AFC Championship against Indianapolis due to a knee injury the rookie sustained last week. DeMarcus Cousins Jersey .85 million contract with the two-time Gold Glove outfielder. Parra earned his second Gold Glove last season when he set a club record with 17 outfield assists.Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies have finalized their agreed-upon trade that sends former National League MVP Jimmy Rollins to the West Coast for a pair of minor league pitching prospects. Rollins, the 2007 NL MVP and the Phillies all-time hits leader, heads to Los Angeles in exchange for right-hander Zach Eflin and lefty Tom Windle. Philadelphia is also sending the Dodgers an undisclosed amount of cash to help cover Rollins $11 million salary for this coming season. The two teams have had the parameters of the deal in place since last weeks Winter Meetings, but it was held up because of a delay in the trade between the Dodgers and San Diego involving slugger Matt Kemp. Eflin, a Padres farmhand, was part of the package Los Angeles received in the Kemp deal, which was finally completed Thursday after an issue regarding Kemps physical was resolved. Rollins turned 36 years old last month but remains a capable all-around shortstop. The three-time All-Star hit 17 home runs and stole 28 bases in 138 games last season, finishing the year with a .243 average and 55 RBI. The California native had spent his entire professional career in the Phillies organization. Rollins was selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 1996 MLB Draft and made his big league debut in September of 2000. He proceeded to start the neext 14 Opening Days for the franchise, developing into a cornerstone of a Phillies team that won five straight NL East titles from 2007-11 and captured the 2008 World Series. Nickeil Alexander-Walker Jersey . Rollins amassed 2,306 hits and a franchise-record 479 doubles in a Phillies uniform, and also ranks second in team annals in games played (2,090), extra- base hits (806), stolen bases (453) and total bases (3,655). He also won four Gold Gloves for his work at shortstop, most recently in 2011. Jimmy is both an iconic player and person whom I have had the great joy of watching grow up in this game and this city, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro stated. His contributions to the franchise and to Philadelphia are unparalleled and I wish him the best in Los Angeles. This transaction is one that I believe benefits both Jimmy and the Phillies. The Dodgers were in the market for a shortstop after 2014 starter Hanley Ramirez signed with Boston as a free agent. Eflin, 20, is coming off a solid season in the Class A California League, going 10-7 with a 3.80 ERA in 24 starts for Lake Elsinore. A supplemental first round selection of the Padres in 2012, he led the Midwest League with a 2.73 ERA in his first full pro season in 2013. Windle, a second-round pick of the Dodgers in the 2013 draft, went 12-8 with a 4.26 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) for Rancho Cucamonga in the Cal League. ' ' '
KANSAS CITY – His Blue Jays mired in their first prolonged slump of the season, losers of six of eight and prone to giving away games in which theyve enjoyed healthy leads, star shortstop Jose Reyes has noticed bad habits creeping into the teams games and wants them nipped in the bud. Clint Capela Jersey . "We cannot stay the same way the whole season long," said Reyes. "This is not acceptable. Something needs to change because were a better team than what were showing right now. Its a long season and we just need to continue to push." Its been a frustrating week for the ballclub. Dating back to the start of the last homestand, a week ago Tuesday versus Baltimore, the Jays have lost four games in which theyve led by at least three runs. The bullpen, usually reliable, has allowed 23 earned runs in 25 2/3 innings (8.06 ERA) in that span. Making matters worse, the Jays played perhaps their worst game of the season on Tuesday in Kansas City, which starts a string of 20-consecutive games without a day off. There were fundamental mistakes sprinkled throughout, including a run-scoring throwing error; the Royals taking an extra base twice on balls hit to left field; an arcing fly ball that bounced on the warning track for a double to start the Kansas City comeback; and Edwin Encarnacion not hustling out a ground ball and wild throw with two runners on. "This is baseball," said Reyes. "Sometimes the stuff in baseball doesnt go perfect. Sometimes youre going to make a mistake but you have to learn from that mistake." Its early and the Jays entered action on Wednesday only three games behind the division-leading New York Yankees but Reyes doesnt want the club consistently giving away games any longer. "When you go through September, if youre competing for making the playoffs those are the games you say, Oh man, I lost those games in April and you see where we are now and we need those games," said Reyes. "But like I said thats in the past and as a player you have to put stuff in the past and try to get it the next day." LAWRIE OUT OF THE LINEUP Brett Lawrie missed his first game of the season on Wednesday night, sitting out with tightness in his back. The 24-year-old is hitting .192/.243/.384 in 107 plate appearances. His six home runs rank second on the club behind Jose Bautista (8). Lawrie leads the Blue Jays with 20 RBI. Lawrie gave no indication he was concerned for the long-term, deeming himself day-to-day. GIBBONS CONSIDERING McGOWANS ROLE Dustin McGowans six-inning, two earned run effort on Tuesday night may have earned him another start. "As of right now its going to stay the same," said manager John Gibbons. "Were still debating adding that extra guy for that long stretch. Weve got to decide quick." McGowan, a type 1 diabetic, wore his insulin pump for the first time in an attempt to regulate his blood sugar and maintain energy throughout the game. It worked. McGowan alluded to "feeling stronger" as the night progressed. "He did a helluva job (Tuesday) night," said Gibbons. "Hes probably going to start again. My only reservation about it is how good he was in the bullpen. Weve struggled at times down there. Im still not sure where it all leads." On top of McGowans move out of the bullpen, Gibbons is without his closer, Casey Janssen, meaning hes down two quality late-game right-handers. JANSSEN THROWS BULLPEN Casey Janssen is making tangible progress toward his much-anticipated return from an oblique strain. He threw a bullpen session of more than 30 pitches on Wednesday. "Yeah, pain free, just trying to get my arm to work fast again," said Janssen. "I didnt get much of a spring training and want that to start building up and getting strong and getting used to the grind of throwing all those pitches off a slope and throwing aggressively." Janssen will throw another bullpen on Friday in Pittsburgh. If all goes well hell head out on another, hopefully his final, rehabilitation assignment. Hell ask the Blue Jays to place him at Double-A New Hampshire, hoping for better competition than he would get at Single-A Dunedin. Janssen also wants to be closer to Toronto and with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons scheduled to play early next week against the Braves affiliate just outside Atlanta, New Hampshire seems the appropriate spot. As for the recent struggles of his bullpen mates, Janssen doesnt expect the issues to persist. "Honestly, I kind of use this line, but I truly feel that zeroes can be contagious," he said. "When everyones putting up zeroes it seems easier to put up zeroes. Unfortunately when those hitters are comfortable in the box and putting good swings, their confidence level goes up and makes our job a little bit tougher. Its the same guys that had unbelievable years last year, and I dont want the first month to skew anybodys vision of what our bullpen is and what they can be, because its an electric bullpen." LIND TO RESUME BASEBALL ACTIVITIES Adam Lind, out with lower back tightness, is eligible to come off the disabled list on Thursday. He wont be back then but the Blue Jays are hopeful his return will come soon. "Hes feeling better," said Gibbons. "Hes going to take some ground balls either today or tomorrow. Hes swinging the bat. Hes starting to feel better. They backed him off a couple of days ago because it was still irritating him but hes back to go." Lind is under the care of team doctors in Dunedin, Florida. He received a medicinal injection nine days ago to alleviate his symptoms. Hell appear in at least one extended spring training game and could play in a Gulf Coast League game before rejoining the Blue Jays no sooner than this weekend in Pittsburgh. Russell Westbrook Jersey . The International Ice Hockey Federation says Pavlovs avoided a two-year sanction because he acted "without significant negligence in failing to verify the safety of the supplements he was taking. Rick Barry Jersey .com) - Its fair to call Mike McCarthy one of the best coaches in the NFL but its also more than objective to point out that the veteran mentor bookended the Green Bay Packers season with two, truly awful game plans in Seattle.It had been the greatest World Cup most could ever remember. A World Cup full of wonderful moments and wonderful matches. Then it became the World Cup that Luis Suarez bit someone in. Hyperbole has been destroyed in Brazil. World Cups of recent memory have tried to convince us that they have been entertaining but, in general, they were dull. This time it seemed anyone could say anything about this World Cup and no one would say wait, what?. And then Suarez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. Wait, what? It came just as some might have been taking a snooze. For the first time in Brazil two games, being played out at the same time, gave us very little to enjoy. England, whose multitude of writers on social media reminded us they were still relevant, finally put their fans out of their misery with a lifeless scoreless draw against sudden group powerhouses, Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte. In Natal, meanwhile, Uruguays plan was going to script. Blessed with two legitimate world class strikers, and very little else, Oscar Tabarez played it cautiously, waited for a moment or two to go his way and thats how they qualified. Anyone willing to criticize such a tactic should remember just how they won Copa America 2011. And how they have scored in Brazil. A penalty by Edinson Cavani, a header made by Cavani and scored by Suarez, a bullet of a shot finished by Suarez and started by the goalkeeper and now a header from a set play. Tuesdays hero, Diego Godin, is the only one anywhere close to the talent of the front pair. Italy, meanwhile, didnt get The Tabarez Memo. Needing a draw to advance they played far too close to the line of uncertainty. A line that could move with a red card, a set play goal of a poor display by their main striker. Lightning struck three times for the Italians. Claudio Marchisios red card was debatable but not enough to chastise the referee. The marking on the goal wasnt good enough and then there was Mario Balotelli. The term world class is thrown around far too often when describing players. It is the elite of the elite, a section reserved for the greatest players in the game today. There is nothing left after that. On Tuesday, Balotelli made a mockery of those quick to place him in that category. On the biggest stage of all, when his country needed him he was an absolute liability, forcing his coach to remove him at half-time. The problem for Balotelli is that he has run out of his immaturity excuse. The great footballerrs are gifted, of course, but also have a level of football intelligence about them, that allows games to come to them rather than trying to do it themselves. Houston Rockets Gear . Balotelli has misfired regularly at the top table of club football, the Champions League, and has now done the same at the top table of the international game as well. Italy came to Brazil to win the World Cup and needed their striker at the top of his game, physically and mentally. He played one good half out of five and thats not good enough. Sure, he is not the only one to blame for their early exit. Cesare Prandelli couldnt up the tempo and had to resign afterwards. Andrea Pirlo, one of the greatest footballers of this era, was a shadow of his former self, joining the likes of Iker Casillas, Xavi, Diego Forlan and Steven Gerrard who have all been exposed by age at this level. And then there is FIFA who are also to blame for this, of course. Italy became another European team humbled in the intense heat of Brazil. Asking these teams to play afternoon games, rather than evening games, has made a significant impact on the results. Not that they care about that. Their attention now turns to the Suarez investigation and they need to get it right. He should and will be suspended with a lengthy ban. What happens next is even more important. After his 10-game ban came down last April for biting Branislav Ivanovic, the Uruguyan showed a tremendous amount of remorse. How can he not have? After all, this is clearly not a man who believes that biting an opponent is the right thing to do. However, it is also clearly a man who is unstable on the field and needs help. Throwing the book at him, in terms of a suspension, will satisfy all of those who care about the sport. That then leaves a man, a man who will clearly be broken by this. It is easy to feel no sympathy for him but if you think he was crushed by the Liverpool suspension wait for this one to come down. Uruguay is a very proud footballing country and that is shown in the way they play the game. Suarez will be distraught that he has let his country down and, with it, given a poor reflection on them internationally. As he sits out the rest of this World Cup and, subsequently, likely the 2015 Copa America he will have a lot of time on his hands to get help and become a better man. Many hours were put in to get him to reach the level of world class as a footballer and now he must do the same to achieve that as a man. ' ' '