With tight end Aaron Hernandez out for some length of time, the Patriots have their eyes open. Free-agent tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. is visiting the Patriots [Tuesday], according to ESPN. ... [ESPN.com] reports that a one-year contract agreement is in the cards. The Patriots' interest in Winslow is tied to the health of tight end Aaron Hernandez, who injured his right ankle on the third play of Sunday's home opener, a 20-18 loss to the Cardinals. Winslow previously visited with the team on Sept. 5. ... The Patriots are committed to having their offense run through the tight end position, as they ran every snap in the season-opener at Tennessee with two or more tight ends on the field. (ESPN Boston) Comment
Andy Pettitte's return may have buoyed the spirits a bit in New York. Joe Girardi laughed off the question posed to him after Sunday's game about whether he might be ready to consider starting Hiroki Kuroda rather than CC Sabathia in Game 1 of a playoff series. The manager's reaction was understandable, considering the Yankees are in a see-saw battle with the Orioles for first place. But the question, in some ways, summed up a sense around the Yankees that the crisis level had dropped dramatically over the course of a couple of days. ... If the big lefty can't find a way to again pitch to his ace-like standards, then the question of who starts Game 1 of the ALDS may be something Girardi will have to consider more seriously. (New York Daily News) Comment
By early 2013, we may be hearing more and more about the possibility of replacement players. In previous labour battles they have cancelled a half season, a whole season and even had a year where they did not award a Stanley Cup. One former NHL executive feels if a labour deal is not worked out with the players by Jan. 15, 2013, the NHL hiring non-union players could be the owners' prerogative and very well their next logical move. And former Maple Leaf assistant general manager Bill Watters said make no mistake, it could be done very easily. "There are enough free agents around and players under contract in junior, on reserve lists and in the AHL to ice a team in every city," said Watters. "It is conceivable." (Toronto Sun) Comment
Peyton Manning had a rough night against the Atlanta Falcons, throwing three interceptions in the first quarter. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Newcastle's Demba Ba came off the bench in the second half against Everton and scored two goals, including the tying goal in the 89th minute.