Sick bay: Latest on Urlacher, Jeffrey, Carimi

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Sick bay: Latest on Urlacher, Jeffrey, Carimi

Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher already has been declared out of Sundays game against the Minnesota Vikings with his hamstring injury suffered in the Seattle game. But, for a change, the Bears are on track to get some good injury news.
Rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was able to practice on a limited basis after missing the past two games following minor knee surgery. Given that he missed four games with a fractured hand and two with his knee injury and only played in one of the last seven, his return is being met with reservations.
Were excited to have him back, but I want to temper that by we havent had him for any length of time this year to get him really in a groove, said offensive coordinator Mike Tice. He is certainly a talent. Hes shown in the games he has played that he can be a talent for us and certainly a complement to Brandon Marshall.
So that really helps us because when they try to key on Brandon, we really have two go-to guys on the field at the same time...Lets just see how the week of practice goes and hopefully there are no setbacks.
Earl Bennett (concussion), Michael Bush (ribs), Tim Jennings (shoulder) and Stephen Paea (foot) were out of practice, and Marshall rested on coaches' orders.
Devin Hester (concussion) was limited in practice, as was Gabe Carimi with a sore hamstring. And while guard Chris Spencer (knee) also was limited, the plan remains to leave Carimi as the starter at right guard.
Right now, we dont anticipate any changes up front, Tice said. We felt like the line played solid football vs. Seattle. Certainly not great football, but solid football.
Anytime with a line, you want to have the same guys in there, so theres no sense at this point of the week making any drastic changes. Were just trying to keep building on some of the things weve done the last two weeks.
The Vikings were without defensive end Jared Allen (back, shoulder) and wide receiver Percy Harvin (ankle). Allen is expected to play but Harvin is likely out.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph (shoulder), linebacker Jasper Brinkley (shoulder), tackle Phil Loadholt (knee), center John Sullivan (ribs, knee) and cornerback Antoine Winfield (knee) were limited on Wednesday.

Jose Quintana gets the Opening Day start for White Sox

Jose Quintana gets the Opening Day start for White Sox

 

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana has been named the Opening Day starter — for the White Sox.

While many are surprised he still hasn't been traded, few should be shocked by the news manager Rick Renteria delivered on Friday, when he announced Quintana would pitch the April 3 opener.

With Chris Sale gone to Boston, Quintana, a first-time All-Star in 2016, has been the odds-on favorite to take over as the team's ace. The only question seemed to be whether or not he'd still be in a White Sox uniform when the season began. But the club made it clear Friday that Quintana is their guy and he'll face the Detroit Tigers in the first game of 2017. The only one who seemed a little taken aback about the news is Quintana.

"I was surprised," Quintana said. "I knew I may get the ball for that day, but they didn't say nothing, so you didn't know. I just kept going and doing my workouts and all my stuff. I'm really, really happy with this opportunity. It's huge for me. I can't wait for that day to come.

"I'm excited to have this opportunity. It's a huge honor for me to have the ball for Opening Day the first time in my life. And I think it's a once-in-a-life opportunity."

Asked about the announcement earlier in the week, Renteria said he needed more time. Many speculated that it meant the White Sox were continuing to listen to offers for Quintana, who has drawn constant interest since the team began its rebuild in December.

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Quintana, who went 13-12 with a 3.20 ERA and 181 strikeouts in 208 innings last season, has looked fantastic all spring. Pitching in front of more than a dozen scouts on Thursday, Quintana made his first Cactus League appearance in a month and allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings. The left-hander also put on a brilliant performance for Colombia in the World Baseball Classic on March 10 as he retired the first 17 Team USA hitters he faced before allowing a hit.

"He's very happy about it," Renteria said. "He has obviously earned it.

"I don't know if he was surprised as much as he was elated and proud to be given the opportunity to be the Opening Day starter. It's a privilege."

Quintana's resume of consistency made him a clear-cut choice for the nod. He heads into 2017 having pitched at least 200 innings in each of the past four seasons. In that span, he's produced a 3.32 ERA and 18.1 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com. That figure represents the seventh-highest WAR total among all big league pitchers in that span.

Even though he's viewed as the staff ace, Quintana — who potentially has four years and $36.85 million left on his current contract — said he was surprised by the news because the club hadn't yet informed him of the honor.

"It means a lot for me, especially after last year when you make the All-Star team and this year the opportunity to play in the WBC and now you have the opportunity to pitch on Opening Day," Quintana said. "That's a lot of things happening for me now and I'm happy. And really blessed. You just try to do all my things every time.

"Maybe they don't know what it means for me, but it's a big thing."

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Miami QB Brad Kaaya

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Miami QB Brad Kaaya

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami

6'4" | 214 lbs.

2016 stats:

3,532 YDS, 62.0 CMP%, 27 TD, 7 INT, 150.3 QBR

Projection:

Third/Fourth round

Scouting Report:

"Groomed to be a quarterback from an early age, Kaaya flashes the mechanics and intelligence of a player who has spent hours in quarterback camps. However, he can be too mechanical and thinks too much rather than just flowing and responding to what the field offers him. Kaaya could have used another year of college, but he has the tools and intangibles to become an NFL starter. While he can work around his average arm strength, he must improve his accuracy and anticipation if he is to make a mark in the NFL." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles