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17.12.2018 02:18
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Panthers coach Ron Rivera still isnt sure wholl protect quarterback Cam Newtons blindside this season. But he doesnt seem overly worried. The Panthers have been searching for a replacement for longtime left tackle Jordan Gross, who retired earlier this off-season. Byron Bell, last years starting right tackle, and Nate Chandler, a converted defensive tackle, have been working as the starting tackles during OTAs. Theyve been flip-flopping from left to right tackle, depending on the day. Neither has played left tackle before in the NFL. Rivera said veteran Garry Williams, who is coming off a knee injury, could also figure into the mix once healthy. "Weve not decided on a lot of positions yet," Rivera said. "The biggest thing we have right now is competition and guys working. ... Well see how we are once we get into training camp." Newton hasnt participated in OTAs except to throw on the side. He said he could be ready for minicamp next week, but at the very least should be completely healthy when training camp begins July 24. "Come game time, its no doubt in my mind that every single person will be ready to go. That is what OTAs and minicamp are designed for -- to get these guys prepared, to get myself prepared," Newton said. "When that ball is snapped I have full confidence in Nate Chandler and Byron Bell that they will get the job done." While many teams invest millions in protecting their quarterbacks blindside, the Panthers seem to be taking a chance with lower-priced players who havent played the position. Bell and Chandler will make a combined $2.6 million this season. Both players insist they dont have a preference on which position they play. "Were both getting an equal opportunity to win a job, which is nice," Chandler said. Said Bell: "I really dont care. Either position, wherever coach sees being the best fit for either one of us is fine. Im just trying to win football games. If that means left tackle, right tackle or on the bench, wherever the team needs me is fine." Filling Gross shoes wont be easy. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Gross started 167 games during his 10 seasons with the Panthers and was a member of the Super Bowl team as a rookie in 2003. The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Chandler is an intriguing story. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012 out of UCLA. He started his career with the Bruins as an offensive lineman, but later moved to tight end as a sophomore and then to defensive tackle for his final two seasons. When he arrived in Carolina he saw spot duty at defensive tackle a rookie, playing in 10 games with five tackles in 2012. But coaches thought with Chandlers combination of quickness and size he might be more valuable on the offensive line, so they moved him there last year in training camp. Chandler started eight games in 2013 -- six at right guard and two at right tackle -- due to injuries. Bell was also undrafted. He came out of New Mexico in 2011 and was thrust in the mix as a rookie. Hes started 41 games over the past three seasons for Carolina -- all but one of those at right tackle. "Im left handed, so Ill feel comfortable over there," said Bell, who started three years at left tackle at New Mexico. "But if it is right tackle, Im certainly fine over there. "The big thing is we as an offensive line have to do is go in with the mindset that we have to keep No. 1 (Newton) upright. And if you have a bad play, you have to forget about and move on the next one because that (pass rusher) will be coming again." Adam Oates Jersey . The defending champions’ roller coaster season included trading offensive star Percy Harvin in the midst of the team’s 3-3 start. That move that reportedly irked several Seahawk players, but one management saw necessary to save the team’s chemistry. Charlie McAvoy Jersey . "This is my city," the Toronto native said upon his arrival Wednesday night. And the 35-year-old former league MVP says he is hoping to making 2014 a memorable year. http://www.officialbruinsfanstore.com/au...-bruins-jersey/. -- The defending Canadian womens curling champions squandered an opportunity to take sole possession of first place in the standings Tuesday at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Joakim Nordstrom Jersey .com) - Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson lost an appeal to have his indefinite suspension overturned, the NFL announced Friday. Chris Wagner Jersey . -- Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday for the first time in his seven-year career because of a swollen muscle in his left upper back. MIAMI -- Marlins pitcher Henderson Alvarez heard a teammate yell and realized he had been caught by surprise. Desperate for a run, the Tampa Bay Rays were attempting a delayed steal. So Alvarez wheeled toward second base and threw yet another strike. The right-hander had good command all night long, needing only 88 pitches to toss an eight-hitter for his third shutout this year. He beat Tampa Bay 1-0 on Tuesday, sending the reeling Rays home after a winless eight-game trip. "Henderson took that game over," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "That was fun to watch." The only run scored when Christian Yelich walked on a 3-2 slider with two out and the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Alvarez (3-3) struck out five and walked none in his third consecutive scoreless outing, a stretch covering 19 innings. He retired his last five batters to close out the win in 2 hours, 10 minutes. "My sinker was working, and thankfully the batters were swinging early," Alvarez said through a translator. "That determines the brevity of the game. I was attacking the strike zone, and they were attacking as well." Alvarezs three shutouts lead the majors. He had been 0-5 in five previous career starts against the Rays, but this time he faced a team in a miserable slump. Kevin Kiermaier had the Rays only extra-base hit when he tripled with two out in the third. They went 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position and are hitless in their past 22 at-bats in those situations. Theyve scored six runs in their past six games. "Were just not able to find that hole," Evan Longoria said. "We just have to keep going, keep fighting, stay positive through the tough times." The Rays eight-game losing streak is their longest since 2009. Theyve lost 10 consecutive road games while being outscored 52-19. Tampa Bay hit into three double plays -- one on a sacrifice attempt -- and had two runners caught stealing, including Yunel Escobar on the delayed steal attempt in the fifth. He singled with one out and took off for second when Alvarez had the ball on the mound before the next batter stepped to the plate, prompting catcher Jeff Mathis to holler at his pitcher. "Escobar caught me by surprise," Allvarez said.dddddddddddd "What alerted me was Mathis scream. An easy out. A gift." Chris Archer (3-3) allowed only five hits in seven innings, but Rays starters remained winless in the past 16 games, mostly because of poor run support. Alvarezs past four victories have been shutouts, including a no-hitter on the final day of the 2013 season. He left his previous start last Wednesday after five innings because of a sore elbow, but he had only the Rays feeling any pain Tuesday. Alvarez said his arm felt fine, and he allayed any concerns with excellent velocity from start to finish. His final pitch was a 95 mph fastball. "We could tell early on that he had great stuff and was feeling good," Redmond said. Alvarez helped himself with six assists. The biggest came after a leadoff single in the eighth, when catcher Jose Molina bunted into a 1-6-3 double play. The Marlins needed three singles -- one by Alvarez -- and a walk to score the games only run. After they loaded the bases, Yelich fell behind 0-2 but got a walk when Archer missed with a 3-2 breaking ball. "A great at-bat by Yeli," Redmond said. "I dont know how he laid off a couple of those sliders. For a young kid like that, thats an amazing at-bat." Archer hopped off the mound in dismay at the call, but a TV replay showed the pitch was wide. "Instead of executing a pitch and letting him put it in play, I put it in the umpires hands, and it turns out he made a great call," Archer said. "I should have thrown it over the plate." The four-game, home-and-home series continues with two games in St. Petersburg beginning Wednesday. The Rays play 18 of their next 21 games at home. NOTES: After the game, the Marlins optioned 2B Derek Dietrich to Triple-A New Orleans. ... Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton broke hit bat when he lined out in the fourth inning, and the barrel sailed into the Marlins on-deck circle and hit Casey McGehee in the stomach. He wasnt hurt. ... RHP Kevin Gregg passed his physical and signed a minor league deal with the Marlins. ... Molina turned 39 Tuesday. ... RHP Tom Koehler (4-5, 3.18 ERA) is scheduled to start Wednesday for Miami against LHP David Price (4-4, 4.27 ERA). 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