MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: NHL: Oilers at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN) NHL: Capitals at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Suns at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NFL: Giants at Dolphins, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
Soccer: Premier League, Chelsea at Leicester City, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)
“It’s unfortunate it happened at this point in the season,” Dalton said. “I’m going to do what I can to get back as soon as I can to help this team. We will kind of see.”
Dalton was hurt making a tackle after throwing an interception deep in Pittsburgh territory in the first quarter.
“When I got to the sideline, I tried to grip the ball,” Dalton said. “Thought maybe it was a little bruise or something I could get through. Then I went and got the X-ray.”
Dalton, who led the league in passer rating heading into the game (107.4), returned from the locker room with a cast on his throwing hand and watched backup A.J. McCarron get his first meaningful NFL action. McCarron threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green but later threw a pick-six, finishing 22-of-32 for 280 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions as the Bengals fell to 10-3, a game behind the Patriots.
“It is disappointing especially the way this season has gone,” said Dalton, who will see a specialist Monday. “There is still a lot of football left to be played and I’m going to try to get back as quick as I can.”
The Steelers were upset because during the team’s first meeting this season on Nov. 1, Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict appeared to celebrate after tackling running back Le’Veon Bell, who suffered a season-ending knee injury on the play.
Steelers linebacker Vince Williams tweeted a threat to Burfict hours after that game, writing: I catch Vontez on south beach I’m painting that boi on sight.
During Sunday’s pregame warmups Burfict and some Steelers started jawing, and pretty soon a bunch of players joined in and exchanged unpleasantries.
Whitworth said after the game that the league should have stepped in and punished Williams for his threat.
“That’s the NFL’s fault for not protecting the players,” Whitworth said (via Bengals.com). “After he sent that tweet he should have been suspended or fined or they should have made a stand that you shouldn’t do that. Making a threat off the field, in the street, and you do nothing about it in this in this day and age? If he made that threat to me, I’ve got four small kids and I’ve got to worry about this guy jumping me?
“It sparked everything,” Whitworth continued. “We’re competitive and Bengals-Steelers has always been chippy. But what that almost turned into was out of control. And it was an easy fix. You don’t threaten another player’s life off the field.”
McCoy, who said during the week he would not shake Eagles coach Chip Kelly’s hand, hugged Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and kissed the Eagles logo at midfield before the coin toss, but he avoided Kelly.
McCoy rushed for 74 yards on 20 carries and had four receptions for 35 yards. He struggled in the second half, with 10 carries for 11 yards.
When the game ended McCoy ran into the tunnel instead of greeting his former teammates. He then slammed his helmet against a wall and yelled obscenities as he entered the locker room. He later declined interview requests, telling reporters, “I’ve got nothing to say.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 14, 1960, the first expansion draft in baseball history was held. The Red Sox lost four players each to the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Senators. One of the players they lost to the Angels went on to a long career as a manager of four major league teams. Who is he?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: 13 — Years since the Patriots have lost three games in a row
STAT OF THE DAY: “He’s a huge influence on what we do offensively. He really toughed it out, so I’m proud of him. He had a big touchdown catch. He’s obviously a big part of what we do so it was great to have him out there. … Football is always trust and anticipation and there’s nobody that I trust more than Gronk.” — Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, on Rob Gronkowski returning for Sunday’s 27-6 victory over the Texans
‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): With less than a second remaining in the second quarter, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook inbounds the ball off the back off Jazz guard Rodney Hood, catches it and nails a jumper at the buzzer.
The Suns run a double alley-oop, as Jon Leuer takes a pass from an airborne Eric Bledsoe and dunks against the Timberwolves.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Jim Fregosi
SOOTHING SOUNDS: The late Charlie Rich was born on this day in 1932.
Fauria calls the boys to preview the game and his thoughts on Gronk's return. He isn't surprised because he thinks the injury really wasn't as bad as it seemed at first. He also discusses the Pats' status after the Bengals and Broncos both suffered losses today.
Field calls Greg and Chris on NFL Sunday to discuss the Patriots game tonight in Houston. He previews the game and discusses the last couple losses for New England, especially the one that shocked him against Philly. He gives his take on the Gronk factor tonight and how the Texans will look to attack. Then Field gets into the Bengals situation after a loss to the Steelers and the Andy Dalton injury, the Broncos with Manning/Osweiler and other league news.
Greg and Chris get into what went on with the early games today and how the AFC landscape was effected, including a big loss with the Bengals falling to the Steelers to earn their third loss on the season. The real loss may be Andy Dalton though - he left the game early on with a thumb injury.
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Curran calls the NFL Sunday boys to help preview Pats and Texans and what he thinks will go down tonight in Houston. He gives his thoughts on if Gronk will play and why he thinks everyone is so positive on him giving it a go tonight. He also gets into what the Texans bring to the table, JJ Watt's impact, the Patriots' running game and more.
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The guys get into the injury situation with Gronk and how it looks as if he will play, especially since he made the trip to Houston. But no one from the Patriots are talking, which isn't surprising. This leads to a discussion on how they handle the media - Greg isn't a fan of athletes that have no personality and speak in generalities.
Greg Dickerson and Chris Price get NFL Sunday started with a preview of the big game in Houston tonight on Sunday Night Football. The Pats will look to get back on track after losing two in a row. Will Gronk play? The guys get into the lack of production from their running game. Price says it's time for a RB to step up, mainly one Mr. Blount.
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Gary and Rob talk about the Pats game and Rob pressed Gary on the evolution of when he thought he was getting the PBP job.... to when he started to realize it was a futile effort.
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