Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports
5hAndrea Adelson

Heisman race features plenty of the unexpected

Lamar Jackson was a midseason lock to win the Heisman. But after Louisville's late-season stumble, that honor is no longer a foregone conclusion.

15hMike Triplett

Witness says Will Smith brought 'his own demise'

A witness in the trial of Cardell Hayes said that former Saints player Will Smith brought about 'his own demise' by acting as an aggressor on the night that Smith was shot and killed.

Jordan's legendary run of seven straight triple-doubles (1:20)
7hMatt Bowen

The Uncoverables: Best NFL WRs in every category

Who's the best deep threat? Which WR is most dangerous after the catch? What about the toughest player to cover in the red zone? Here's your ultimate breakdown of the league's top wide receivers.

Did Jerry Jones jinx Dak Prescott? (1:43)
Howard thinks Applewhite is great hire for Houston (0:43)
Were we too hard on Cam Newton? (2:16)
Is it fair for Pop to call out 18-5 Spurs after loss? (2:45)
Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images
6hPaul Lukas

Uni Watch: The NFL's shell game

Friday Flashback: With the NFL's helmet rule, there are now 16 throwback looks that are off-limits.


Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

Rams QB Jared Goff returned to practice today from what he deemed a stomach issue and said he feels good. RB Benny Cunningham (neck) is doubtful after not practicing all week. CB EJ Gaines (thigh) also did not practice all week and is listed as questionable. LG Rodger Saffold (hand) and WR Tavon Austin (chest) were full participants all week and are good to go. DE Robert Quinn (concussion) is questionable, but practiced in full on Friday.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The state has now rested in the murder trial against Will Smith's alleged killer, Cardell Hayes. The defense will begin presenting its side after a short recess.

Jeff Legwold ESPN Senior Writer 

The person who sent a racist letter to Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall wanted to make "to make sure I got It," Marshall said, so the person put the return address as "Mrs. Jackson's Sixth Grade Class" and on the back of envelope was written "we love you Mr. Marshall." And the letter was filled with slurs -- disgusting, disheartening, deplorable," Marshall said.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints WR Michael Thomas (foot) and RB Mark Ingram (toe/knee) returned to practice on a limited basis Friday, increasing their chances of playing Sunday at Tampa Bay. Only three Saints did not practice -- center Max Unger (foot), linebacker Craig Robertson (shoulder) and safety Shiloh Keo (hamstring). All of them are officially listed as questionable, though.

Jenna Laine ESPN Staff Writer 

Adam Humphries and Demar Dotston both officially out this weekend for the Bucs. So is Luke Stocker and Chris Conte.

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Rams running back Todd Gurley was fined $9,115 for a chop block on Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower in Sunday's game. While Hightower was upset during the game, pointing towards Rams players, he said after the game that he spoke with Gurley and didn't believe it was intentional.

Sarah Barshop ESPN Staff Writer 

Friday's injury report: OLB John Simon, WR Braxton Miller, WR Jaelen Strong, RB Tyler Ervin and QB Tom Savage have been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Colts.

Michael Rothstein ESPN Staff Writer 

Travis Swanson OUT for Lions. DeAndre Levy, Theo Riddick, Ezekiel Ansah among the questionable.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The prosecution appears to be wrapping up its case in the murder trial of Will Smith's accused killer, Cardell Hayes, with jurors looking through evidence displays. Jurors heard testimony Friday from a forensic pathologist, a vehicle crash expert and Smith's friend and former police captain Billy Ceravolo. The forensic pathologist testified that the first shot hit Smith from a level angle and into his left side, which suggests he wasn't reaching into his car for a gun as the defense has suggested. The crash expert testified that he believed Hayes intentionally hit Smith's vehicle before the shooting, since he didn't slam on his brakes and only slowed from 20 to 17 miles per hour. And Ceravolo refuted public claims made by defense attorney John Fuller in the media that he may have tampered with evidence.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Officially Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is questionable for Sunday's game against the New York Giants with a back injury, but he is expected to be available even after missing the last two days of practice. Safety J.J. Wilcox (thigh) will miss his second straight game and cornerback Morris Claiborne (groin) and tackle Chaz Green (back) have also been ruled out.

ESPN Stats and Information  

Sam Houston State's Jeremiah Briscoe enters tonight's FCS quarterfinal against James Madison four touchdown passes shy of the NCAA all-division single-season record of 61, set by Brett Elliott of Linfield. Briscoe has thrown an FCS-record 57 touchdown passes this season, including at least five in each of his last five games.

Eric D. Williams ESPN Staff Writer 

Cornerback Brandon Flowers (concussion) did not practice all week and has been ruled out by the San Diego Chargers. Linebacker Jatavis Brown (knee) and guard Orlando Franklin (knee) were limited participants on Friday and are questionable for Sunday's game against the Panthers. DE Joey Bosa (knee), WR Dontrelle Inman (ankle), S Dwight Lowery (hand) and WR Tyrell Williams (shoulder) were full participants all week and are expected to play.

Tim McManus ESPN Staff Writer 

Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews missed his first game ever last week against the Cincinnati Bengals. He's fighting his way through an ankle injury and intends on playing Sunday versus Washington.


Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

Four happy Heisman finalists. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is in Baltimore for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm dinner and arrives Saturday.

Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield talks about trying to stay relaxed before the Heisman ceremony.


Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

Oklahoma receiver Dede Westbrook on quarterback Baker Mayfield: "I call Baker LeBron James. He makes everybody around him better."

Craig Custance ESPN Senior Writer 

Wayne Gretzky on NHL players participating in the Olympics, an issue very much up in the air for 2018: "I'm a big believer in the Olympic Games. I happen to love everything about the Olympic Games."


Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

Michigan's Mr. Versatility Jabrill Peppers first met Heisman winner Charles Woodson on his recruiting visit to the Big House for the spring game. "It was everything I thought it would be," he said. Has it sunk in their names are now linked as defensive players who became Heisman finalists? "It hasn't," Peppers said. "Right now I'm on cloud 9 trying to soak it all in."

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

Snead, on Fisher: "I have immense respect for what he's done and how he's handled this situation." On the team, he said they're "very, very close" to being contenders, but that they've "been competitive too long."

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

Rams GM Les Snead called reports of a "toxic" relationship between him and head coach Jeff Fisher "very false" and "definitely inaccurate."

Sarah Barshop ESPN Staff Writer 

Bill O'Brien said cornerback Johnathan Joseph (ribs) has a "remote" possibility of playing Sunday against the Colts.

Adam Schefter ESPN Senior Writer 

S Tyrann Mathieu out again for the Cardinals this week.


Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints coach Sean Payton confirmed that safety Kenny Vaccaro will not appeal his NFL suspension and will not play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was previously reported that Vaccaro was facing a possible four-game suspension for testing positive for Adderall. That's a big blow for the 5-7 Saints, since Vaccaro has been playing some of the best football of his career. Veteran Roman Harper is a likely replacement as a third safety to supplement Jairus Byrd and rookie Vonn Bell.

Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

Alvin Gentry said the Pelicans' recent struggles sting more than their 0-8 start to the season because the team felt like it was going in a positive direction with the return of Jrue Holiday and because of their dwindling playoff chances. Gentry said Anthony Davis was "very vocal" in team video sessions this morning. Davis did not speak to media today after practice despite requests.

Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said the chances of Jrue Holiday (left turf toe) and E'Twaun Moore (right toe contusion) playing tomorrow in Los Angeles against the Clippers is "probably not good." Gentry said Holiday is less likely than Moore. The New Orleans guards have missed the past two games