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NFL: Bortles, Texans getting awfully familiar


07:29 AM ET 04.16 | The Blake Bortles barnstorming tour continues, this time through Texas. Bortles met with the Oakland Raiders on Monday, jumped on a plane Tuesday afternoon and arrived in Houston on Tuesday evening in preparation for his official visit with the Texans on Wednesday. This won't be the first time Bortles has met with Texans head coach Bill O'Brien. He met with the Texans during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and then again in Orlando when general manager Rick Smith and O'Brien were there to watch his pro day at UCF. "They've been great," Bortles said of his previous meetings with O'Brien. "He's a great guy and a great coach. I'm just excited to get here, meet everybody and sit down and talk with everybody again. So I'm really looking forward to it."

CSN Houston

Blake Bortles, Icon Sports Blake Bortles, Icon Sports

NCAAF: Bielema already prepping for Auburn


07:39 AM ET 04.16 | Tick-tock. Arkansas has already started the countdown. Auburn and Arkansas are still preparing for their annual spring scrimmages in front of fans, but that isn't stopping the Razorbacks from looking ahead to their season opener against the Tigers. Arkansas plans to use this week of spring practices to prepare for the Tigers' hurry-up, no-huddle offense. ... "It'll be a little bit different," [Bret Bielema] told reporters in Fayetteville. "After three weeks you need a little bit of pace, so we'll really go hard into Auburn and Texas Tech prep and work on some of those early non-conference opponents." The Razorbacks and Tigers open the 2014 season Aug. 30 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game is something of a brooding rivalry for the schools.

Bret Bielema, Icon Sports Bret Bielema, Icon Sports

MLB: Josh Johnson may need Tommy John surgery (again)


07:36 AM ET 04.16 | Is Tommy John surgery about to claim yet another victim in 2014? San Diego Padres starter Josh Johnson's injured elbow isn't getting any better, and the organization is increasingly concerned he will need Tommy John surgery, the latest blow in his injury-plagued career, club sources told Yahoo Sports. Johnson will visit Dr. James Andrews this week for a second opinion. It would be Johnson's second Tommy John surgery as well as his second elbow surgery within the six months, after he had bone spurs removed in the offseason. While Johnson could try to rehab the injury, attempts to do so since spring training have failed, and rarely do second opinions lead to suggestions against surgery. The Padres signed Johnson to a one-year, $8 million deal over the winter in hopes he would rediscover his dominant self.

Yahoo Sports

Josh Johnson, Icon Sports Josh Johnson, Icon Sports

NBA: J.R. Smith calls Anthony's return


07:33 AM ET 04.16 | If the topic is Carmelo Anthony, people will listen to what he has to say. J.R. Smith is one of [Anthony's] closest friends in the NBA. The two have played together for seven seasons. ... Here's what the New York Knicks shooting guard had to say about Anthony's pending free agency: "In my heart, I believe he'll still be here. It's just a matter of him coming up with that decision. Whatever it is, we're still going to be friends 'til our dying days, so I mean, whether he's on my team or he isn't, I still love him like a brother." Asked if he was "worried" that he'd played his last game with Anthony, Smith replied, "No, not really." Wonder if Phil Jackson is as confident as J.R.? Anthony will sit out the season finale against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday due to a small tear in his left labrum.

ESPN New York

Carmelo Anthony, Getty Images Carmelo Anthony, Getty Images

NHL: Cup drought weighing on Sid


07:44 AM ET 04.16 | No longer Sid The Kid, he hasn't raised the Cup since the time that nickname applied. Sidney Crosby, now 26, will attempt to cap a dream season by claiming the Stanley Cup for the first time in five years. Another Olympic gold medal was his in February. He won the Art Ross Trophy in a runaway, and the Hart Trophy almost certainly belongs to him in June. ... Four postseasons in his 20s remain, and while Crosby's legs might be fresher than most his age, he sounds hungry to pounce on another championship. "Each year you get banged up more and more," he said. "You appreciate how hard it is to win it all. It's not easy. It really isn't. I just want to make the most of a chance like this. I like this team. We got pretty close last year. But expectations here are higher than that."

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Sidney Crosby, Getty Images Sidney Crosby, Getty Images

MMA: UFC 171 weigh-ins set for March 14


01:57 PM ET 03.06 | UFC 171 will take place on March 15 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, and the weigh-ins have officially been set. With a Dallas Stars game taking place in the arena that will host Saturday's fight card, weigh-ins will be held at The Gilley's Jack Daniel's Saloon. Doors open to the public at 3 p.m. CT, and the first fighter will weigh in at 4 p.m. CT. Prior to the official weigh-ins, UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will host a fan Q&A with UFC Fight Club members. Doors for the Q&A will open at 1 p.m. CT local time, with Pettis taking questions beginning at 2 p.m. CT.

Johny Hendricks, Getty Images Johny Hendricks, Getty Images

Golf: Tiger Woods might make rare Texas start


07:23 AM ET 03.18 | ...if Tiger Woods doesn't regain his once-customary form this week at Arnie's Place, where he's won only eight times, I suspect he might play in the Shell Houston Open -- the week before the Masters. The last time Woods played in Texas was 2005. It's the last time Woods won the Masters, but the Lone Star State has nothing to do with it. The man needs another start, and besides, the long-prescribed, pre-major routine hasn't exactly shortened his climb up Mount Nicklaus in recent years.

Golf Channel

Tiger Woods, Getty Images Tiger Woods, Getty Images

Auto Racing: NASCAR planning to reduce Cup horsepower


10:55 AM ET 03.23 | NASCAR is planning on making significant engine package changes in 2015 to extend the life of Sprint Cup powerplants and reduce horsepower. And along with engine changes, there likely will be aerodynamic and tire changes for the Cup cars in 2015 as well. That's the word from NASCAR Vice President of Competition and Racing Development Robin Pemberton. In an exclusive interview with Saturday morning at Auto Club Speedway, Pemberton said the sanctioning body has had four meetings so far with representatives from Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota and race teams about how to implement those changes. No consensus has been reached yet, according to Pemberton, but discussions are ongoing in advance of making the changes for next year. Although Pemberton declined to specify how many horsepower NASCAR is looking to cut, sources familiar with the discussions said the reduction would be in the neighborhood of 75 to 100 horsepower. Currently, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series engines make about 860-900 horsepower at most tracks.

FOX Sports

Robin Pemberton, Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images Robin Pemberton, Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Soccer: MLS fines Timbers' Caleb Porter for criticizing officials


10:50 AM ET 04.05 | Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber has fined Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter an undisclosed amount for public criticism of the officials, the league announed Friday afternoon. The incident in question occurred after Porter criticized the officiating in Portland's 2-1 loss to FC Dallas last Saturday, singling out an incident that saw the Timbers' Michael Harrington and Dallas' JeVaughn Watson both issued red cards. Both cards were later rescinded by an independent review panel. In his remarks, Porter also questioned the lack of protection for forward Darlington Nagbe, who left the Dallas game with a knock at halftime and is in doubt for Saturday's rivalry clash with the Seattle Sounders.

MLS Soccer

Caleb Porter, Steve Dykes/Getty Images Caleb Porter, Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Tennis: Rafael Nadal advances to ATP World Tour finals


11:14 PM ET 11.10 | You can add another great win for Rafael Nadal, and another tough loss for Roger Federer. Nadal beat Federer in a semifinal match of the ATP World Tour Finals in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3. After Federer lost the first set, you could tell he knew his time was up against Nadal. Roger had some critical errors late in the second set that ultimately led to his loss.

Rafael Nadal, Getty Images Rafael Nadal, Getty Images

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