Hinrich making progress, hopes to play in Bulls opener


Hinrich making progress, hopes to play in Bulls opener

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Bulls starting point guard Kirk Hinrich fully participated in the team's practice Monday afternoon at the Berto Center and while neither he nor Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau would commit to saying that the veteran will be ready for the Halloween season opener, they both indicated that he's making progress. Hinrich received treatment after the afternoon session and was optimistic about the strained right groin injury suffered in the preseason not keeping him out of his regular-season return to the United Center.

"I'm doing much better," Hinrich said. "I participated in practice today and was pretty pleased about it.

"As of right now, if I don't have any setbacks tomorrow or anything, I plan on playing," he added. "It's something I've never really have before, I'm just happy with the improvement, and I just felt it was important for me today to get out there and get some reps, and try to test it as much as I could.

"For a chance to be playing, I was going to be out here a couple days to see how it feels and I was very happy with it today, so moving forward, I'm going to approach tomorrow the same way and try to get through a full practice without any issues and see how I'm feeling."

Thibodeau concurred: "He was fine, a little bit better today. Practiced, went well, so we'll see where we are tomorrow."

Between Hinrich's original stint in Chicago and his return this season, he's been nicked up with various ailments while playing in Atlanta and Washington. Although his hard-charging style hasn't changed much since his younger days, the veteran explained that he now takes a different approach when he's banged up.

"All I can do is get my treatment, try to give an honest opinion of how I feel and try to test it out, and push it in ways that I'll be pushed in the game, so I felt like today was very positive in that regard," Hinrich said. "I'm probably a little bit smarter. I've had some injuries that have kept me out for extended periods of time at this point in my career. Just smarter in that regard."

Bears announce release of Matt Slauson, Antrel Rolle


Bears announce release of Matt Slauson, Antrel Rolle

The Bears announced the departures of a pair of veteran players Sunday, releasing offensive lineman Matt Slauson and safety Antrel Rolle.

"We thank Matt and Antrel for the dedication and leadership they brought to our organization," Bears general manager Ryan Pace said in the announcement. "Both men did everything we asked of them. Part of growing as a team is making difficult decisions like the ones we made today. We never take them lightly given the respect we have for everyone who has put on a Bears uniform. We wish each of them the very best as they move forward."

Slauson started 37 games during his three seasons with the Bears including all 16 last season, starting 12 games at left guard and four at center. Slauson spent four seasons with the New York Jets prior to joining the Bears.

Rolle's release was reported earlier Sunday afternoon, and the safety — who appeared in seven games in his lone season with the team in 2015 — tweeted the following shortly after the initial report came out.

Rolle spent five seasons with the New York Giants before joining the Bears last offseason. Bothered by injuries, he appeared in just seven games last season, recording 45 tackles.

Photos: Cubs all dressed up for 'minimalist zany' themed road trip


Photos: Cubs all dressed up for 'minimalist zany' themed road trip

Joe Maddon's themed road trips are the stuff of legend.

Cubs fans will remember the "onesie" road trip from last season, a trip that featured Jake Arrieta's no-hitter at Dodger Stadium and the team pajama party that followed — as well as Arreita's post-no-no press conference, during which he wore a mustache-themed onesie.

Well, the first themed road trip of the 2016 campaign is here, and the Cubs were all dressed up following Sunday's loss to the Braves at Wrigley Field.

The theme this week is "minimalist zany," something Maddon concocted while online shopping during spring training. He said he wanted the team to dress up in suits — but not conventional suits, an obvious Maddon touch.

Check out the Cubs in their "minimalist zany" duds.


Northwestern's Traveon Henry, Deonte Gibson sign with NFL teams


Northwestern's Traveon Henry, Deonte Gibson sign with NFL teams

A pair of former Northwestern defenders are on their way to the NFL despite not getting drafted this weekend.

Safety Traveon Henry and defensive end Deonte Gibson signed with NFL teams on Saturday following the conclusion of the NFL Draft, Henry going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Gibson to the Detroit Lions.

Henry was the Wildcats' third-leading tackler last season, recording 74 total tackles in addition to his three tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

Gibson led the team and tied for sixth in the Big Ten with nine sacks, also recording 39 total tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss.

Two other former Cats were drafted on Saturday. Defensive end Dean Lowry went to the Green Bay Packers at No. 137, and full back Dan Vitale went to the Buccaneers at No. 197.