The New York Giants fired offensive co-ordinator Jason Garrett following Monday's loss to NFL Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Garrett lost his job on Tuesday after the struggling Giants fell to 3-7 for the season on the back of a 30-10 defeat to Tom Brady's Buccaneers.

The Giants parted ways with former Dallas Cowboys head coach Garrett amid the team's offensive woes in 2021.

"We made a decision to move on from Jason Garrett as the offensive coordinator of the New York Giants," Giants head coach Joe Judge said. "Look, I have a lot of respect for Jason as a person, as a coach.

"He's been a tremendous asset for me as a young head coach. He's helped our development here. He's built very strong relationships in the building with the players, along with other support staff members.

"He's done a good job putting the team first. I have a lot of respect and appreciation for everything he's done for us."

The Giants hired Garrett in January 2020 after he left the Cowboys following nine and a half seasons as coach.

This season, only the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars (both eight) and Chicago Bears (seven) have thrown fewer touchdowns than the Giants (10).

The Giants are 25th in the NFL with an average of 18.9 points a game, while they have scored fewer than 20 points five times and have not reached 30 points since October 11 last year in a 37-34 loss in Dallas – their 21-game streak with less than 30 points is the league's second-longest, behind Jacksonville's 24.

Also, the Giants are last in the NFL with a 44.4 red zone touchdown percentage (12 TDs in 27 trips inside the 20).

"I feel we have to be more productive as an offense," Judge said. "Generally speaking, the offense's job is to score points. I don't believe we're scoring enough points.

"It's my job as the head coach to make sure I give our players the opportunity to go out there and make plays."

The Giants – bottom of the NFC East – have not reached the playoffs since a Wild Card defeat to the Green Bay Packers in 2016.

The Tennessee Titans waived veteran running back and seven-time NFL Pro Bowler Adrian Peterson, the franchise announced on Tuesday.

Peterson was signed to the Titans' 53-man roster earlier this month after star running back Derrick Henry's season-ending foot injury.

However, the Titans waived the 36-year-old and 2012 NFL MVP after only three games.

Peterson debuted for the Titans in the 28-16 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 9 – he scored with a one-yard touchdown.

The veteran rushed for 82 yards across 27 carries as well as four receptions for eight yards in his three games for the Titans, who are 8-3 for the season and top of the AFC South.

The decision on Peterson was one of 13 roster moves made by the Titans on Tuesday, including adding defensive back Buster Skrine, running back Dontrell Hilliard and outside linebacker John Simo to their active roster.

Klay Thompson is back in full-team practice for the first time in more than two years and believes his return can help the Golden State Warriors win the NBA title.

Thompson was a key member of championship-winning teams in 2015, 2017 and 2018 but sustained an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear as the Warriors' 'three-peat' bid failed against the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Finals.

The guard then suffered an Achilles tendon injury while recovering, meaning he missed the entirety of two seasons prior to 2021-22.

But Thompson is now close to his long-awaited return, with his 19.5 career points per game and 41.9 per cent three-point shooting set to boost a Warriors team already leading the league.

Back practising alongside his team-mates on Tuesday, Thompson said: "It's so exciting. Just to be running up and down the court and playing basketball, it's truly a blessing and it makes coming to work so easy.

"The boring stuff's behind me and now it's just getting back in game shape. I've got to stay patient because I can be an overeager person to get out there and play, but I'm just incredibly grateful to be out there.

"The work the training staff and I have done over the last two years is really paying off, and it's hard to put into words how grateful I am to be playing basketball again."

After two tougher years following Thompson's injury and Kevin Durant's departure, Golden State are an outstanding 15-2. Only in 2015-16, when they had won each of their first 17 games, have the team enjoyed a better start.

The need for Thompson to return is not as desperate as had been imagined, as Stephen Curry is averaging 28.4 points in an MVP-calibre season while Andrew Wiggins (19.1) and Jordan Poole (18.4) have each also provided consistent scoring.

But adding Thompson into the mix is only going to improve the Warriors' chances, the man himself believes.

"We're 15-2. That's a great indicator of [being able to win a title]," he said.

"And our defence, I think it's top three in the league [allowing 101.1 points per game, ranked first], as well as our offense [scoring 114.2 points per game, also ranked first] – and I'm not even out there yet. Think about that. Really think about that.

"I'm more motivated than ever as well. I want a championship so bad. More than anything."

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr will not rush back his most reliable second man, though, explaining: "We don't have a target date.

"What we have is a number of weeks ahead of us for certain where we're going to play it out, keep letting him scrimmage as often as possible so that he'll build that endurance.

"And I would think within a few weeks we'll be able to finally sort of get a target date, but we don't have one right now."

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy poured cold water over speculation his sacking is imminent, labelling the report inaccurate.

Nagy has found himself under pressure following Chicago's 3-7 start to the NFL season and there have been reports his job is on the line heading into Thursday's clash with the winless Detroit Lions.

A report claimed Nagy's final game would be against the Lions and that he has already been told of the franchise's decision.

Nagy was asked about his future and the particular report on Tuesday, telling reporters: "That is not accurate."

The Bears – beaten by the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11 – have lost their last five games, and they had a six-game losing streak last season.

According to Stats Perform, this is the first time the Bears have endured a five-game or longer losing streak in each of two consecutive seasons since 1997 (seven straight losses) and 1998 (six in a row).

Nagy, who has led the Bears to the playoffs in two of his three full seasons since being appointed in 2018, added: "My focus is on these players and Detroit, and that's it. That's my job as a head coach and a leader, is to do that.

"These players have been amazing. They've been great. You have this quick turnaround after a loss like [Sunday's to the Ravens], and now here you go.

"The only thing we can do is focus on the now and do everything we can. Thursday is going to be here quickly."

China has called for people to stop "deliberately and maliciously hyping up" the Peng Shuai saga.

Two-time grand slam doubles champion was reported to have been missing since making sexual assault allegations against Zhang Gaol, the ex-vice premier and member of the Chinese Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee, more than three weeks ago.

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) welcomed pictures that showed Peng on a video call with International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, but say the images do not alleviate its concerns about her wellbeing.

According to the IOC, Peng said she is "safe and well" in the call on Sunday and the 35-year-old spoke to president Bach for half an hour.

Despite footage released by Chinese state-run media on Saturday purporting to show Peng in a restaurant with friends, followed by images of her at a youth tournament on Sunday, concerns have continued to be raised regarding her safety.

Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic are among many fellow players to have issued a plea for answers over Peng's whereabouts.

Human rights group Amnesty International stated the IOC is "entering dangerous waters" by taking part in a call with Peng and "should be extremely careful not to participate in any whitewash of possible human rights violations."

There was a firm message from China's foreign ministry on Tuesday, declared the issue is "not a diplomatic matter".

"I believe you have all seen that she recently attended some public events and had a video call [with IOC president Bach]," spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.

"I think some people should stop deliberately and maliciously hyping [the issue] up, let alone politicise this issue."

 

 

Ash Barty has announced her engagement to Liverpool fan and golfer Garry Kissick, capping a memorable year in style.

Barty added another sparkler to her collection when she revealed an engagement ring on Tuesday, having already landed the glistening Wimbledon trophy and an Olympic medal in the 2021 season.

She posted a picture of herself and Kissick on Instagram, showing off her ring and captioning the shot "Future Husband".

Kissick is a trainee professional at Brookwater Golf Club, a venue close to Brisbane, and is often seen in a Liverpool Football Club shirt, as was the case with the engagement picture.

He and Barty have visited Liverpool's home ground of Anfield together.

Speaking about having the likes of Kissick and coach Craig Tyzzer with her on the road, Barty said during her run to the Wimbledon title in July: "It's nice to be able to share some of these awesome moments with those that put so much time and energy into my career and allow me, encourage me, help me kind of work and figure out a plan and a way that they try and achieve our dreams. I think being able to share that with them is really special."

Barty won a bronze in mixed doubles at Tokyo 2020 alongside long-time friend John Peers, describing that achievement as "a dream come true".

She also won the Yarra Valley Classic, the Stuttgart Open, and WTA 1000 titles at Miami and Cincinnati before calling time on her season after a third-round exit from the US Open, where she lost to Shelby Rogers.

Barty finished the season as world number one for a third successive year, despite her recent inactivity.

She said a major triumph in her homeland was a priority for 2022, saying: "My focus is now on the Australian summer and doing everything I can to win the Australian Open. I can't wait to play at home again."

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge has hit out at his own coaching staff, rather than his players, following Monday's defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The reigning Super Bowl champions got back on track as Tom Brady led the way with a pair of touchdown passes in a 30-10 rout at Raymond Jones Stadium.

Tampa's victory snapped a two-game losing streak to take them to 7-3 for 2021, after successive road defeats to the New Orleans Saints and the Washington Football Team.

New York (3-7) scored on two of their first three possessions – highlighted by a TD catch by tackle Andrew Thomas – to keep the game tight at 10-10 midway through the second quarter but could not put a point on the board from there as Brady, who completed 30 of 46 passes for 307 yards, stamped his authority on proceedings.

While the Bucs top the NFC South, the Giants are rooted to the foot of the NFC East with a 3-7 record in 2021, and Judge shouldered the blame.

"Credit to the Buccaneers. They're a well-coached team, very talented and obviously deserved to win tonight," he told reporters.

"We gotta do a better job putting our players in position to make plays. We’ve got too many good players, we've got to put them in a better position to capitalise on it.

"That's it. We got to make sure we sit down tomorrow as a coaching staff and understand how we've got to play this game and give our players a chance to make plays.

"In reference to the body language [from the players] at the end of the game, I'll handle the corrections we have to make, but as a player, there'd be some things that I'd be frustrated with as well."

Asked if he believed the coaching was the Giants' main issue, Judge added: "Yeah you can put that down tonight. You guys can write that.

"Now the players have got to execute, that's their job. It's our job to teach them, it's their job to go out and execute. But we've got to make sure we keep putting them in a position to have success."

Brady hit Chris Godwin for a touchdown on the opening drive of the game and teed up Mike Evans for a five-yard score midway through the third quarter. 

Evans' touchdown was the 72nd of his Buccaneers career, breaking the franchise record of 71 previously held by Mike Alstott. 

Ronald Jones ran for another Tampa Bay touchdown and Ryan Succop made all three of his field goal attempts for the Bucs.

After a pair of losses sandwiched around their bye week, it had been nearly a month since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers enjoyed a victory. 

That led to a "lot of bad nights' sleep" for ultra-competitive Tom Brady as he stewed over mistakes made and opportunities lost. 

Even after they got back on track with a 30-10 defeat of the New York Giants on Monday, though, the quarterback and his team-mates did not sound entirely satisfied. 

"I think we've got a long way to go," Brady told ESPN afterward. "Seven games left, so there's a lot of football left.

"The games are bigger because there's fewer of them, and we put ourselves in a decent position but we've got to keep going."

On the heels of defeats against New Orleans and Washington, the Buccaneers (7-3) and little trouble fending off the Giants (3-7), but the reigning Super Bowl champions could have been more efficient. 

While all three of their touchdowns came from deep in Giants territory, the Bucs drove inside New York's 25-yard line three more times but had to settle for field goals. 

"We executed a little bit better," Brady said. "Still left a few out there, I thought, but better.

"Good win for our team, obviously. Losing two straight, that really sucks in the NFL. But glad it's not three straight, glad we won." 

Brady completed 30 of 46 passes for 307 yards with an interception and a pair of touchdown passes, hitting Chris Godwin for a TD on the opening drive of the game and finding Mike Evans for a five-yard score midway through the third quarter. 

Evans' touchdown was the 72nd of his Buccaneers career, breaking the franchise record of 71 previously held by franchise icon Mike Alstott. 

"It's something I dreamed of," Evans told NFL Network. "I've been blessed to have great teammates, good health, and I've worked really hard for it, so I'm proud of it. I'm just happy to be in the same sentence with Mike Alstott."

Only 28 years old, Evans has spent his entire eight-year NFL career with Tampa Bay and reached double digits in touchdown receptions four times. 

With 10 TD catches this year, he is well-positioned to top his career-best mark of 13 in a season established last year. 

Brady said Evans is "amazing, in every way – as a player, teammate, friend, leader. He's just awesome. Love being out there with him, love playing with him. He really sets the tone for that group."

In addition to Evans' steady contributions, the Bucs also benefited from tight end Rob Gronkowski's return to the lineup Monday after playing only five snaps since Week 3 due to a variety of injuries. 

He had six catches for 71 yards against the Giants, and if he can stay healthy he will provide another valuable weapon as Brady and the Bucs gear up for another playoff run. 

"We're at a decent point but we can play a lot better than we've played," Brady said. "I'm hoping our best football is in front of us."

The Memphis Grizzlies scored the final seven points of the game for a stunning 119-118 road defeat of the Utah Jazz on Monday.

After Bojan Bogdanovic made a pair of three-pointers to give Utah a 108-112 lead with 1:28 to play, Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. combined to make four free throws and Jackson hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 5.7 seconds to play as Memphis (9-8) pulled out the win.

Utah (11-6) missed their final four shots of the game and also turned the ball over twice in the final 20 seconds. 

Morant had 32 points to lead all scorers and added seven assists, while Desmond Bane scored 28 and Jackson finished with 26. 

Bogdanovic led the Jazz with 24 points and Rudy Gobert contributed 23 on nine-of-10 shooting while grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds and blocking five shots. 

 

Durant, Nets hold off Cavaliers

Kevin Durant had 27 points and nine rebounds while James Harden chipped in 14 points and 14 assists for the Brooklyn Nets in a 117-112 road victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting off the bench for Brooklyn (13-5) as Darius Garland led Cleveland (9-9) with 24 points and 11 assists as he made only nine of 27 shots from the field. 

Tyrese Maxey scored 24 and Andre Drummond collected 23 rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers (10-8) pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 102-94 defeat of the Sacramento Kings (6-12) despite playing without Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and Seth Curry. De'Aaron Fox led the Kings with 23 in Alvin Gentry's first game as interim head coach. 

Jaylen Brown scored 19 points in 23 minutes as he returned to the Boston Celtics lineup after missing the previous eight games with a right hamstring strain. Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 30 as the Celtics (10-8) defeated Houston 108-90, sending the Rockets (1-16) to their 15th consecutive loss as they fell to 0-11 on the road. 

The Phoenix Suns held off a late charge by the San Antonio Spurs to prevail 115-111 for their 13th consecutive win. Devin Booker had 23 points to lead the Suns (14-3) while Deandre Ayton added 21 points and 14 rebounds. 

 

Bulls draw blanks from field

The Chicago Bulls entered Monday level with the Nets for the best record in the Eastern Conference but could not find their shooting touch in an ugly 109-77 home defeat against the Indiana Pacers. The Bulls (12-6) made 31 of 85 shots from the field (36.5 per cent), including just six of 28 (21.4 per cent) from three-point range. They scored 30 points in the second quarter but just 47 in the other three combined as Indiana (8-11) built an earl lead, then ran away with it in the second half. 

The reigning Super Bowl champions got back on track Monday as Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 30-10 rout of the New York Giants.

The victory at Raymond James Stadium marked a welcome return to normalcy for the Bucs (7-3), who had dropped successive road games at New Orleans and Washington. They are now 5-0 at home this season. 

Brady completed 30 of 46 passes for 307 yards with an interception and a pair of touchdown passes for Tampa Bay, hitting Chris Godwin for a TD on the opening drive of the game and finding Mike Evans for a five-yard score midway through the third quarter. 

Evans' touchdown was the 72nd of his Buccaneers career, breaking the franchise record of 71 previously held by Mike Alstott. 

Ronald Jones ran for another Tampa Bay touchdown and Ryan Succop made all three of his field goal attempts for the Bucs. 

The Tampa Bay defence forced three turnovers as Giants quarterback Daniel Jones went 23-of-38 passing for just 167 yards with a TD and two interceptions. 

New York (3-7) scored on two of their first three possessions to keep the game tight at 10-10 midway through the second quarter but could not put a point on the board from there. 

Saquon Barkley returned after missing four games with a sprained ankle, but the Giants' star running back managed only 25 yards on six carries. 

 

It took Jaylen Brown a while to get heated up Monday in his first game in two and a half weeks, but the Boston Celtics liked what they saw once he got going. 

Brown returned to the Boston lineup after missing eight games with a right hamstring strain and did his part as the Celtics pulled away from the woeful Houston Rockets in the second half for a 108-90 victory. 

Head coach Ime Udoka said before the game that Brown likely would be limited to 24 minutes, and he ended up playing 23, scoring 19 points on six-of-13 shooting from the field. 

The 25-year-old guard missed his first three shot attempts before sinking a jumper midway through the first quarter, but he did not show signs of his usual self until the second half. 

Midway through the third quarter, Brown embarked on a personal 10-0 run capped by a pair of three-pointers just 24 seconds apart to boost the Boston lead to 72-50. 

"He got warm, then got on that flurry in the third quarter," said Udoka. "To have him back in that third quarter to see what he did was a great sign."

Udoka said Brown "still doesn't feel normal, normal" so the team likely will take care to avoid rushing him back to his typical load of about 36 minutes per game. 

Any contribution figures to be a positive for the Celtics, who have now won three in a row for the first time this season as Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 30 points Monday.

All of the Celtics' big-picture plans include Brown as a key piece, though, so seeing him back on the court was a relief. 

"Once he was able to get a couple baskets, you could just see that he felt more comfortable with everything and he opened up," said team-mate Al Horford. "He's such a good player that he'll find his way."

Robert Williams III also returned to the Boston lineup after missing three games with a knee injury. The big man attempted just one shot from the field, and made it, but made his presence felt by racking up 15 rebounds. 

Andy Dalton is expected to start at quarterback for the Chicago Bears on Thursday as Justin Fields recovers from a rib injury. 

NFL Network reported the short turnaround ahead of the trip to Detroit to face the Lions likely will keep Fields out of action, though Bears head coach Matt Nagy said Monday the team was still "gathering facts". 

Rookie QB Fields got pummelled by the Baltimore Ravens defence in a 16-13 defeat Sunday, leaving in the third quarter with rib problems. 

He had completed just four of 11 passes for 79 yards at the time. Dalton came on in relief and completed 11 of 23 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. 

Nagy acknowledged there could be a "safety issue" playing Fields against the Lions but remained vague about the team's plans. 

"‘We always want to make sure that we’re not putting our players at more risk, regardless of who you are," Nagy told reporters Monday.

"Obviously, there’s more magnitude to everybody else — and to us — with Justin. And being the quarterback and touching the football every play and throwing and that sort of thing. So we’ll have to keep that in mind.’’

Quarterback shuffling has been a season-long theme for the Bears (3-7), as the veteran Dalton started the first two games of the season before suffering a knee injury.

Sunday marked only his second appearance since then, as the 22-year-old Fields has had mixed results but generally shown improvement while settling into the starting role. 

The 11th overall pick in this year's draft threw for a career-best 291 yards in Chicago's previous game, a 29-27 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

The Lions (0-9-1) also are expected to be without their starting QB, as Jared Goff continues to deal with an oblique injury that kept him out of Sunday's 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns. 

Tim Boyle likely will start again in Goff's place in the Lions' annual Thanksgiving Day showcase. 

 

 

All-purpose offensive weapon Taysom Hill has agreed to a new four-year contract with the New Orleans Saints. 

Multiple outlets reported the deal, which ESPN says could more than double in value if Hill ends up settling in as the Saints' starting quarterback. 

The 31-year-old is in the final season of his existing two-year, $21million deal and will be paid at a similar rate going forward if he remains a hybrid player for New Orleans. 

He is guaranteed $22.5m but could make up to $40m for staying in his current role or as much as $95m if he takes over as the reguar QB. 

Hill has spent this season as a backup to starting quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Trevor Siemian while also seeing regular time at running back and receiver. 

Injuries have limited Hill's playing time this season. Through seven games, he has rushed the ball 20 times for 104 yards and three touchdowns, caught four passes for 52 yards and completed seven of eight passes for 56 yards with an interception. 

A member of the Saints since the end of the 2017 preseason, Hill saw his most extensive NFL playing time last year. 

He started four games at quarterback in place of the injured Drew Brees, completing 72.7 per cent of his passes for 928 yards with four touchdowns and an interception for the season. He also rushed for 457 yards and eight TDs and caught a touchdown pass.

 

 

Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz are among the newcomers on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame's Class of 2022, which was announced Monday by the Hall.

Their arrival coupled with 2022 being the last year on the ballot for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens guarantees questions about how the game should grapple with the legacy of performance-enhancing drugs will remain at the forefront for another election cycle.

Ten-year members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) can vote for up to 10 of the 30 players on this year's ballot, and a candidate must receive at least 75 per cent of the votes to be elected. Results will be announced on January 25. 

The BBWAA did not elect anyone last year, with Curt Schilling coming the closest at 71.1 per cent followed by Bonds (61.8) and Clemens (61.6). 

All three will be in their 10th and final year on the writers' ballot, along with Sammy Sosa. 

Bonds, Clemens and Sosa have seen their candidacies stall thanks in part to long-standing rumours of PED use, and Rodriguez and Ortiz could face similar hurdles. 

Unlike the others, Rodriguez was suspended for violating MLB's drug policy, missing the entire 2014 season, while Ortiz reportedly was among the players who tested positive during unofficial survey testing in 2003. 

Voters will have to weigh that against their impressive on-field accomplishments. Rodriguez is one of the best hitters the game has ever seen, a three-time American League MVP and 14-time All-Star whose 696 home runs and 2,086 RBIs rank fourth in baseball history. 

Ortiz was a 10-time All-Star who led the Boston Red Sox to three World Series titles after a decades-long drought for the franchise and remains one of the most beloved figures of his era. 

Other first-time players on the 2022 ballot include longtime first baseman Mark Teixeira, 2007 National League MVP Jimmy Rollins, 2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau, 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy and the man who won that award the next two seasons, Tim Lincecum. 

Closers Joe Nathan and Jonathan Papelbon, catcher A.J. Pierzynski, speedy outfielder Carl Crawford and slugger Prince Fielder also are on the ballot for the first time.

Players must get at least five per cent of the vote each year to remain on the ballot for the following election. 

Other holdovers from previous ballots back this year include Scott Rolen (52.9 per cent last year), Omar Vizquel (49.1), Billy Wagner (46.4), Todd Helton (44.9) and Gary Sheffield (40.6). 

LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart have both been handed suspensions following their chaotic confrontation during the Los Angeles Lakers' win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday. 

Four-time NBA champion James received a one-game ban for "recklessly hitting Stewart in the face and initiating an on-court altercation" at Little Caesars Arena, ruling him out of the Lakers' game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. 

Stewart was left bloodied after being caught in the face by James when jostling for position on a free throw. He reacted angrily and attempted to pursue the 36-year-old on multiple occasions, with a large-scale brawl ensuing on the court.

Stewart was suspended for two games without pay "for escalating an on-court altercation by repeatedly and aggressively pursuing … James in an unsportsmanlike manner". 

Both players were ejected following the incident in the third quarter of the Pistons' 121-116 loss to the Lakers. 

The Green Bay Packers will be without Elgton Jenkins for the remainder of the NFL season due to a knee injury.

Offensive lineman Jenkins did the damage while blocking Minnesota safety Harrison Smith on a blitz during the fourth quarter of a 34-31 victory for the Vikings on Sunday.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur on Monday confirmed Jenkins has played his last match of the campaign.

"It's unfortunate," LaFleur said. "Certainly, Elgton's been a big part of this team and still is a big part of this team. But he just won't be out there with us."

Jenkins had been deputising for David Bakhtiari at left tackle for much of this year as he recovers from ACL surgery.

LaFleur says he is unsure when Bakhtiari will be able to return, so Yosh Nijman is set to step in at left tackle once again.

Nijman featured in that role three times this season while Jenkins was sidelined by an ankle injury.

LaFleur said of Nijman: "I think every time a guy goes out there and is able to perform at a high level, you just see their confidence build, and I think that is so important in this game.

"Yosh has all the traits you look for in an offensive lineman. He's big, he's athletic, he can bend, he's strong, powerful, everything. It's just about putting it all together on a consistent basis."

Aaron Rodgers will not be able to practice fully this week, but a toe injury will not keep the quarterback out of a Week 12 showdown with the Los Angeles Rams.

Just over a month ago, no team appeared better placed to represent the AFC in Super Bowl LVI than the Buffalo Bills.

Buffalo laid their AFC Championship Game demons to rest with a blowout win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, their offseason focus on stacking talent on the defensive line seeming to pay dividends in a 38-20 success that saw Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' offense held in check while Josh Allen produced a performance that seemed to solidify him as an MVP frontrunner.

Yet the winds of change blow swiftly across the NFL, especially in a season where parity reigns supreme, and six weeks on from Buffalo's victory in Kansas City, the Bills look a long way from Super Bowl contenders.

Indeed, while the Chiefs – though still far from consistent on offense – look to have got their house in order and are firmly in contention for the top seed in the AFC, the Bills no longer own top spot in their division after being run over in their own building by Jonathan Taylor and the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts marched to a 41-15 rout at Orchard Park, running back Taylor scoring five touchdowns and looking a more likely MVP contender than Buffalo's dual-threat quarterback.

While Taylor's astounding success will of course be concerning to the Bills, their season-long performance on defense has generally been impressive.

Derrick Henry also enjoyed a dominant outing running the ball against Buffalo in the Bills' Week 6 loss to the Tennessee Titans. However, for the most part, Buffalo's is a defense that has typically prevented opponents from performing efficiently through the air or on the ground, the Bills allowing the fewest yards per play in the NFL.

The bigger problems for Buffalo concern an offense that has stalled in recent weeks and the performance of a quarterback whose step back from his stunning 2020 is more worrying than first thought.

Buffalo's damaging offensive downturn

The Bills remain a top-10 offense by yards per play, in which they rank sixth with 5.95, yet a deeper look at their form over the past four games should only further doubt over whether this team can make the playoffs.

Indeed, since their shootout loss to the Titans, in which Buffalo would have prevailed if not for a botched quarterback sneak on a potential game-winning drive, the Bills have passed for 300 yards just once in four games, and that performance came against a New York Jets defense last in the league by yards per play allowed.

The Bills have committed nine turnovers across that span, four coming against the Colts after they gave the ball away twice in the win over the Jets and three times in an embarrassing loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars where they managed only six points.

That fourth-down failure in Tennessee right now looks to be an inflection point, both for the Bills and Allen, who has struggled for the accuracy that astounded so many last season.

Allen a long way from MVP calibre 

Were it not for Aaron Rodgers' incredible 2020, Allen might have been named the MVP last year.

He was a distant second to Rodgers in the voting, receiving four votes to 44 for the Green Bay Packers star. Mahomes (2) was the only other player to receive a vote.

Allen earned those votes with a campaign he finished with 4,544 yards passing, 37 touchdown throws and 10 interceptions. He also ran for eight scores and caught another.

While he is tied fifth in the NFL with 21 passing touchdowns, Allen has already thrown eight interceptions, with his completion percentage declining from 69.2 in 2020 to 65.7 this season.

That is a reflection of his drop-off in accuracy. Last year, Allen delivered an accurate well-thrown ball on 80.5 per cent of attempts, seventh in the NFL among quarterbacks with at least 100 passes.

In 2021, his well-thrown percentage of 77.8 is below the average of 78.8 for quarterbacks who meet that same threshold.

No quarterback with three-figure pass attempts has thrown more interceptable passes than Allen, whose tally of 19 gives him a pickable pass percentage of 5.21 that trails only Mike White (6.87), Zach Wilson (6.86) and Davis Mills (6.06).

Only five quarterbacks have had more attempts under duress than Allen (110) and his pickable pass rate balloons to 8.47 per cent when pressured. Justin Fields (9.43) is the sole signal-caller with at least 50 passes under pressure to fare worse.

With a well-thrown percentage of 70.6 and four pickable passes against the Colts, he is trending in the wrong direction.

Yet he is not solely to blame, with his struggles partially a symptom of playing behind an offensive line that has struggled with injuries. However, protection issues aside, the numbers suggest there are gameplan adjustments available to the Bills that can make Allen's life easier.

Putting the boot in

The Colts finished with 264 yards on the ground compared to 91 for Buffalo, the Bills running the ball only 13 times.

That disparity is a reflection of the game script, with the Colts jumping out to a 24-7 lead in the first half they never looked like relinquishing.

But, in more conventional game situations, the Bills may be well served by leaning more on a run game that has been surprisingly efficient. 

The Bills are sixth in the NFL in yards per rush (4.70) but are running the ball just 32.8 per cent of the time. Devin Singletary and Zack Moss have not lived up to expectations but, with the former averaging 3.34 yards per carry on rushes where this a run disruption by a defender, there is an argument for putting more faith in a ground game in which Allen can easily be incorporated.

That threat of the run and Allen's ability with his legs could also feature more heavily as part of the passing attack. The Bills average 9.85 yards per play on play-action throws (the league average is 9.28) but use it on only 13.56 per cent of pass attempts. That is slightly the league average of 12.9 but, given the success they have had when utilising a play-fake, there is room for it to become a more prominent part of the offense.

Similarly, the Bills use a boot-action on 3.68 per cent of pass attempts, below the NFL average of 5.9, yet, on the small sample size of 11 such passes, Allen is delivering a well-thrown ball 81.8 per cent of the time when they use it.

On a short week in the wake of a chastening defeat, the Bills now face a potentially season-defining game on Thanksgiving with a New Orleans Saints team that will themselves be desperate to bounce back from a humbling at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles, the turnaround giving them little time to implement significant changes to the offensive approach.

However, facing an aggressive Saints defense that was gashed on the ground by a dual-threat quarterback Jalen Hurts in Week 11, the Bills' best hope of getting back on track may be to show more belief in their highly drafted running backs and lean on the athletic upside that convinced them to make Allen the face of the franchise.

Courtland Sutton has signed a four-year contract extension with the Denver Broncos. 

Sutton's new deal, which runs until 2025, is reportedly worth up to $60.8million, with $34.9m of that guaranteed. 

The Pro Bowler follows fellow wide receiver Tim Patrick in putting pen to paper on a new deal with the 5-5 Broncos. 

A second-round pick in 2018, Sutton was in the last year of his rookie contract. 

The 26-year-old only played one game last year after suffering a torn ACL but has played in all 10 games for the Broncos this season, taking 43 catches for 617 yards and two touchdowns. 

Only Demaryius Thomas and Brandon Marshall racked up more receiving yards through their first 43 games for the Broncos than Sutton. 

Denver general manager George Paton said: "Courtland is one of our core players and among the best wide receivers in the NFL. 

"With his combination of size, speed, athleticism and work-ethic, Courtland is a special talent and an integral part of what we are building. 

"It's been a key priority to make sure he's a Bronco well into the future. We're thrilled to reach an agreement on this extension and look forward to Courtland's continued growth and impact for the Broncos." 

Luka Doncic's status remains in question as the Dallas Mavericks aim to end their losing streak and quickly avenge a defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers. 

Mavs coach Jason Kidd was "hopeful" Doncic could play in LA, yet the Slovenian was absent again on Sunday as the Clippers claimed a 97-91 win at Staples Center. 

Doncic has missed each of their past three games, all of which have ended in defeat, the Mavs having lost back-to-back games to Western Conference champions the Phoenix Suns prior to heading to southern California. 

Eleventh in the NBA in points per game with 24.9, the Mavs did not require any further illustration of Doncic's importance. 

Yet their efforts without him over this three-game stretch have hammered the point home, Dallas ill-equipped to deal with two fellow Western Conference playoff hopefuls in his absence. 

By contrast, the Clippers have impressed of late without Kawhi Leonard, the two-time Finals MVP yet to play a game this season as he recovers from surgery to repair a partial tear of his ACL. 

The Clippers have won seven of their past 10, Paul George unsurprisingly shouldering the burden sans Leonard and putting up 26.4 points per game. 

Having lost to the Clippers in a fascinating seven-game series in the first round of last season's playoffs, the Mavs will surely be desperate for some measure of revenge, but the odds will be stacked against them if they are again without a player considered by some to be the best in the world. 

PIVOTAL PERFORMERS

Dallas Mavericks - Jalen Brunson

Brunson has taken on the role of facilitator in chief without Doncic. 

The fourth-year point guard is averaging 5.5 assists per game this season and has 27 over his past three games, including 10 in a double-double in the second loss to Phoenix. 

If Doncic is unavailable, Brunson will be relied upon once more as the Mavs' creative force. 

Los Angeles Clippers - Luke Kennard

Kennard is taking advantage of his increased minutes with Leonard on the shelf. 

He is averaging 10.2 points per game and providing significant value from beyond the arc. 

His three-point percentage of 43.9 on 98 attempts is 12th in the NBA but is short of his career high of 44.6, which he set last year. 

That suggests room to grow for the former Detroit Piston, and the Clippers will hope he can show that development on Tuesday and in the rest of what will be a challenging season minus their best player. 

KEY BATTLE - Porzingis or George to the fore

The previous game between the teams may have lost some of its lustre with Leonard and Doncic sitting out, but Porzingis and George did their best to set up a thrilling finale.

After trading buckets late in the fourth quarter at Staples Center, it was the Clippers who came out on top.

Porzingis finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and two blocks and has finally shown signs of consistency recently. Across the Mavericks' past 10 games, the Latvian has played eight times and averaged 23.1 points on 50.4 per cent shooting from the field, 9.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

He will need to be on top of his game for Dallas to stand a chance, with the red-hot George, who is sixth in the league in scoring and shooting 44.1 per cent, sure to take charge and make the Mavs pay if Porzingis comes up short.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The Clippers' win on Sunday means they have now won two of their past three in the regular season against the Mavs and will hope it starts a run of victories over Dallas, having won four in a row between February 2019 and August 2020.

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