Among the least effective passing attack in the NFL, it sure could use Michael Crabtree, and he has taken another important step near a return. Coach Jim Harbaugh said the wide receiver"s performance this week will determine how soon Crabtree returns to the active roster and, eventually, to the playing field. ... [Crabtree] worked out by himself last week. He again was working by himself at the start of Thursday"s session. That, however, turned out to be an extended warmup period for the receiver, and he later joined teammates at practice. The team has until Tuesday to remove him from the PUP list and place him on the 53-man squad. Harbaugh said that move could occur sooner than that, leaving a possibility, at least, that Crabtree could play Monday night against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md. (Sacramento Bee) Comment
Eight days -- that's how much time Auburn has to look for every edge it can find to beat Alabama. You look on the practice field, in the film room and on the stat sheet. You search for every possible advantage, physically, emotionally and psychologically, to convince yourself you can do what no one else has done this year. You tell yourself Alabama has struggled with Texas A&M and Mississippi State. You tell yourself the Crimson Tide secondary is vulnerable. You also tell yourself that Nick Saban's record isn't the best against Auburn's better teams. It's a strange but true fact. Saban is 6-5 overall against Auburn as the head coach at Alabama and LSU. He's 4-2 against the Tigers at Alabama after going 2-3 against them at LSU. He's dominated them of late, winning four of their last five. (AL.com) Comment
Nearing the quarter pole in the NBA, the Knicks are one of the league's great disappointments. Carmelo Anthony came to New York nearly three years ago with a clear mandate. It's pretty obvious, after the Knicks lost their sixth straight home game and dropped to 3-8 on Wednesday night, that this isn't quite what he had in mind. ... This is about a process that began unfolding the night the Knicks finally pulled off the massive trade that brought Anthony to New York in February 2011 -- a process that will only kick into overdrive if the Knicks don't find their way out of this. If they don't, anyone can see what's coming: Mike Woodson gets fired, company man Herb Williams becomes the interim coach and the drumbeat begins in the background for John Calipari to make his long-awaited return to the NBA. (CBS Sports) Comment
Matt Ryan was sacked a season-high five times in the Falcons' 17-13 loss to the Saints, dropping Atlanta to 2-9. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The St. Louis Blues continue their hottest start in history with a shootout victory over the Boston Bruins. Watch the highlights here.