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Brock Osweiler retires from NFL after 7 seasons

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Brock Osweiler is closing the door on finding a spot in the NFL in 2019 ⁠— and beyond.

The seven-year veteran quarterback told KUSA’s Mike Klis on Wednesday that he was retiring from the league.

“I’m extremely grateful for the time I did receive playing in the National Football League,’’ Osweiler told Klis. “The experiences I did have, people I did meet, relationships I did make — I’m not going to dwell on the things that didn’t happen in my career.” 

At 6-7 and 240 pounds, Osweiler stood out ever since he arrived in the NFL as a second-round pick by the Denver Broncos out of Arizona State in 2012. But the peak of his NFL fame wouldn’t arrive until 2015, when he took over for an injured Peyton Manning and led the Broncos to a 5-2 record as a starter before the five-time NFL MVP reclaimed his role in time for the playoffs. 

The Broncos then went on to win Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers.

Spurning the Broncos the ensuing offseason after Manning’s retirement, Osweiler instead signed with the Houston Texans on a four-year, $72 million deal. But after he threw 15 touchdowns with 16 interceptions in 2016, Houston traded Osweiler to the Cleveland Browns, parting with a second-round pick just to get him off their books.

Osweiler was subsequently released by the Browns and later served as a backup for the Broncos in the 2017 season. He also was a backup for the Miami Dolphins in 2018 and remained a free agent into the 2019 campaign.

Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.

If you love talking football, we have the perfect spot for you. Join our Facebook Group, The Ruling Off the Field, to engage in friendly debate and conversation with fellow football fans and our NFL insiders.



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Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama Is Out for the Season

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Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was carted off the field with a right hip injury late in the second quarter against Mississippi State on Saturday and is out for the season, according to a report from The Athletic.

The Athletic reported that Tagovailoa suffered a dislocated hip and a posterior wall fracture.

“We hate it that he got injured. We hate it for him. We hate it for his family. I hate it when any player on our team gets injured,” Alabama Coach Nick Saban said. “So Godspeed to him and his entire family and our thoughts and prayers are with them and hope this is not so serious it has any long-term effect on his future as a player.”

Tagovailoa, the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy last season, was hurt after being sacked and slammed to the ground by two defenders. The training staff helped Tagovailoa off the field in Starkville, Miss., as the quarterback was unable to put any weight on his right leg. His nose also was bleeding.

ESPN reported after the game that he was airlifted to a hospital in Birmingham, Ala.

Shortly after the injury, an ESPN sideline reporter, Molly McGrath, said on the game broadcast that Tagovailoa screamed in pain as he was lifted off the cart in the training room.

Tagovailoa guided the Crimson Tide (9-1) to touchdowns on their first five drives. Alabama, ranked No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings, led 35-7 at the time of the injury.

Saban told McGrath as he came off the field at halftime that the coaches were preparing to replace Tagovailoa with backup Mac Jones with the game well in hand. Saban said he left him in at the end of the half to practice the two-minute offense.

“We can second-guess ourselves all we want,” Saban said. “We told Mac to warm up. We were going to go two-minute before the half, and Tua wanted to go in the game. So I don’t really make a lot of decisions about guys getting hurt.”

Saban said he did not know how severe the injury was but did not think it had any correlation to a previous right ankle injury. Tagovailoa had surgery on the ankle on Oct. 20 and returned to play in last week’s 46-41 loss to Louisiana State. Saban said earlier this week that the quarterback was a game-time decision for the game against Mississippi State.

“He was good, at least as good as he was a week ago in terms of his ability to move,” Saban said. “I don’t think anything he did affected his performance in the first half. So the guy played, and I thought he played really well.”





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Penn State holds off Indiana to set up Ohio State showdown in Big Ten

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When everything hung in the balance at the end of this sloppy, mistake-prone afternoon, No. 11 Penn State showed an impressive dose of toughness and resolve.

With all of the their problems before, who would have expected the Nittany Lions to drive 75 yards when absolutely needed, chewing nine minutes of clock in the process?

Without their best playmaker and rugged runner.

With everything to lose coming off a debilitating defeat.

Sean Clifford and his running backs did most of the heavy lifting on the fourth-quarter drive that sealed what became a desperate defeat of No. 25 Indiana on Saturday in Beaver Stadium.

The 34-27 decision was not the finely tuned recovery act desired before heading to Columbus with the Big Ten East title on the line.

Not when next week’s Ohio State Buckeyes look like the most dominating team in the nation on offense and defense.

But this will certainly do for now.

BLAME GAME: It’s not Nick Saban’s fault Tua Tagovailoa got injured

TOUGH LOSS: Alabama’s Tagovailoa carted off field with hip injury

BIG DAY: Wisconsin’s Taylor makes NCAA history against Nebraska

It was the roughest of days, though, to get to that impressive final offensive drive.

The Lions didn’t seem to play with coach James Franklin’s hopeful “urgency” with the ball for much of the day.

Their vaunted defense displayed multiple holes and weak spots yet again. Pass defense and open-field tackling was a misadventure from the beginning.

So maybe it was a good thing they were playing Indiana, after all?

More than anything, the pass-happy Hoosiers were more giving than expected. And the Lions were more than pleased to take advantage. 

After an abysmal opening series on offense, the Lions punted away the ball — only to have Indiana’s top player, Whop Philyor, inexplicably let the bouncing ball hit him before backing away.

The Lions recovered and scored five plays later.

Even worse, the Hoosiers badly bungled and fourth-and-1 situation in the third quarter. They called a timeout, then attempted a fake punt run that was doomed from the start.

The Lions scored two plays after that.

Even more painful? When Indiana got the ball back again it drove deep, only to have receiver Donavan Hale drop the ball in the end zone. The Hoosiers settled for a field goal.

Certainly, Penn State ran the ball more effectively for a second straight week behind Journey Brown and Clifford (combined 155 yards).

But the thin pass game took a huge hit when star receiver and returner KJ Hamler was lost for the game in the first quarter after landing awkwardly on a kickoff return, possibly suffering a concussion.

Meanwhile, promising tailback Noah Cain did not play yet again with an apparent ankle injury, even though Franklin had said he was “90 percent” last week.

It got to the point where Clifford and the offense were trying to hold on in the fourth quarter with runs from Brown and hopeful passes … to someone. Even heralded tight end Pat Freiermuth could not find space or any type of groove (one catch).

Clifford was not prolific by any means but, once again, played smart and gutsy, running when the opportunity arose, eluding pass rushers to find receivers downfield and throwing the ball away when necessary. 

He took some hard hits and got up each time.

The defense played to hold on at the end, too.

Indiana came into the game known as possibly the most improved passing team in the Big Ten and beyond. Penn State planned for this and still struggled to stop it.

Peyton Ramsey completed 31-of-41 passes for 371 yards, spreading the ball among nine receivers. He produced all three touchdowns (one passing, two running) and kept the Lions scrambling and lunging all afternoon.

The Lions answered last, though. Clifford took the final snap on fourth down of that drive and barreled in for the clinching score with less than two minutes to play.



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Yu Darvish, Christian Yelich Spar on Social Media as Controversy Swirls Over Sign Stealing

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Major League Baseball may be in its offseason, but Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich took to social media to discuss one of the league’s hot button issues.

In a recent report, The Athletic alleged that the Houston Astros were using technology to steal signs during the 2017 season, during which the team won the World Series.

The story has generated shockwaves throughout the sport and has sparked an investigation by the league, and one of the players most affected by the alleged sign-stealing happens to be Darvish.

At the time of the incident, Darvish was pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and was shelled during two World Series starts against the Astros, giving up eight earned runs in just three innings of work in the series.

Darvish, in a video posted to his YouTube page earlier this week, didn’t blame the alleged “sign-stealing” for his struggles, but said he was never satisfied with the Astros’ explanation that he was tipping his pitches.

“I feel that if I absolve myself and say it was the Astros’ fault I was bad in Game 7, in the World Series, I can’t develop as a person,” he said in the video. “Because I had that experience, I was able to work hard these last two years and become the person I am now.”

After the Astros’ story broke, the spotlight turned toward other potential instances of sign stealing. The popular Cubs blog Bleacher Nation published a tweet showing Darvish step off of the mound while Yelich was batting during a game at Milwaukee’s Miller Park, and while some alleged that it was evidence that Darvish suspected that the Brewers’ slugger was stealing signs, Darvish wasn’t as sure:

“I’m not sure what he is trying to do,” he said. “But to be clear his eyes move first. That’s why I stepped off.”

As some fans pointed out in replies to the tweet, the bullpen at Miller Park is in left-center field, the same direction that Yelich appeared to look in the video. In a follow-up tweet, Darvish said that he did not mean to say that the Brewers were conclusively stealing signs, but Yelich did not take too kindly to the inference, saying that “nobody needs help facing you” and calling on Darvish to “be better:”

Darvish replied to Yelich’s tweet:

“Easy man,” he said. “I’m not saying you are stealing signs.”

The sign-stealing discussion will likely last through the remainder of the offseason and into the regular season, but Atlanta Braves slugger Josh Donaldson tried to inject some levity into the situation by replying to Yelich’s tweet:

After Donaldson asked Yelich for help in facing Darvish, the Cubs pitcher responded, saying that he didn’t think Donaldson “needed help” in the batter’s box.

With the sign-stealing story seemingly generating new headlines every day, this likely won’t be the last time that a team has to face questions about its practices, but the Brewers have not been formally scrutinized. 





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