Packers not ruling out Bulaga
Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur isn’t ready yet to rule out starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga for Sunday’s game at the New York Giants.
LaFleur said Wednesday that he and his staff will take the week to figure out the best combination of starting five for the offensive line. LaFleur said Bulaga, who left with a knee injury in the first quarter of Sunday night’s 37-8 loss in San Francisco, could still be a part of the equation up front.
“Our goal is just to put our best five out there and we’ll go from there,” LaFleur said. “We’re going to go through the week of practice and see what combination works the best. I also wouldn’t rule Bryan out at this point.”
The 6-foot-5, 314-pound Bulaga, who did not practice on Wednesday, got rolled up on from behind against the 49ers and did not return. The Packers believe he avoided a significant injury, confirmed by LaFleur’s hope that the nine-year veteran could still play against the Giants.
TITANS PUT WALKER ON IR: The Tennessee Titans have placed three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker on injured reserve for a second straight season.
The Titans announced the move Wednesday.
Walker had missed the past four games and played only five snaps Oct. 20 in a win over the Chargers after aggravating the right ankle he broke in the 2018 season opener. That injury cost him the season. Walker told reporters last week that a key to his return would be how his ankle handled practice.
Brewers trade Davies, Grisham
SAN DIEGO — The rebuilding San Diego Padres rewarded free agent Drew Pomeranz for two strong months in Milwaukee’s bullpen and addressed two big needs by acquiring right-handed starter Zach Davies and lefty outfielder Trent Grisham from the Brewers on Wednesday.
San Diego and Pomeranz — an All-Star during his brief stay with the Padres in 2016 — agreed to a $34 million, four-year contract.
The left-hander had a strong final two months of the season with the Brewers after being traded to Milwaukee from San Francisco. He was 0-1 with a 2.39 ERA in 25 games, including one start. The Padres, last in the NL West at 70-92 this year, sent infielder Luis Urias and left-hander Eric Lauer to Milwaukee for Davies and Grisham. They’ll also send cash or another player to the Brewers, who made it to the playoffs the last two seasons.
Davies was 10-7 with a 3.55 ERA in 31 starts in 2019, his fifth big league season. He and Garrett Richards will add a veteran presence to an otherwise young rotation.
The Padres get a left-handed bat in Grisham, who is expected to play center field.
PIRATES HIRE SHELTON AS MANAGER: The Pirates’ leadership overhaul is complete.
Pittsburgh hired longtime major league coach Derek Shelton as manager on Wednesday, the final piece of a new-look leadership following a last-place finish in the NL Central. Shelton replaces Clint Hurdle, who was fired on the final day of the regular season.
Shelton was the third high-profile hire by the Pirates since the end of a 69-93 season marred by issues both on and off the field. Travis Williams replaced Frank Coonelly as president in October. The team brought in Cherington this month after Neal Huntington was let go after 12 years on the job.
Shelton filled the eighth and final manager vacancy, joining Joe Maddon (Los Angeles Angels), Joe Girardi (Philadelphia), David Ross (Chicago Cubs), Jayce Tingler (San Diego), Mike Matheny (Kansas City), Carlos Beltrán (New York Mets) and Gabe Kapler (San Francisco). Beltrán was the only minority hired for a manager opening.
The 49-year-old Shelton spent the last two seasons as the bench coach for the Minnesota Twins.
TWINS SS POLANCO HAS ANKLE SURGERY: Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco is rehabilitating from arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle and is expected to be fully recovered in plenty of time for spring training.
The Twins announced Wednesday that Polanco underwent a debridement procedure Friday in Los Angeles with Dr. Richard Ferkel to address a chronic impingement injury stemming from repetitive stress. Polanco will be able to resume baseball activities in about six weeks, the team said.
Polanco had a breakout season in 2019 for the AL Central division champion Twins, making the All-Star team for the first time and hitting .295 with 22 homers, 107 runs, 79 RBIs, 40 doubles and an .841 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
Wiseman’s appeal denied
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis center James Wiseman won’t get any reduction in his 12-game suspension.
The NCAA has denied Memphis’ appeal of the penalty Wiseman received last week. The heralded freshman won’t be able to play again for the 16th-ranked Tigers until Jan. 12 at South Florida.
Memphis issued a statement Wednesday saying that “although (this is) disappointing, we look forward to a promising season.”
The penalty surrounds the $11,500 that Memphis coach Penny Hardaway gave Wiseman’s family for moving expenses from Nashville to Memphis in the summer of 2017.
Schiano could return to Rutgers
Greg Schiano could be returning Rutgers after all.
A source close to the New Jersey university, the coach and insiders in the football program, told The Associated Press on Wednesday night there is now optimism an agreement can be reached. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information was not authorized for public release.
“I think there is a chance of getting it done,” the source said.
The source said no talks have taken place since the university announced Sunday that an eight-year, $32 million deal — with $25 million guaranteed, along with $7.5 million to spend on coaches and football operations staff — to bring back Schiano had fallen apart.
There was a wave of criticism from boosters, fans and former players, who felt Schiano was the right man to revive the program for a second time. He was the coach from 2001-11 and led the Scarlet Knights to post-season bowl berths in six of his final seven seasons.
Athletic director Pat Hobbs has refused to comment on the search to replace Chris Ash since he was fired in late September. Nunzio Campanile has served as the interim coach for the last six games (1-6). The Scarlet Knights (2-9, 0-8 Big Ten) finish the season Saturday at No. 12 Penn State.