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Athlete Health

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Flag football is rising in popularity, especially among girls. Interest has picked up in youth leagues and also following a push by NFL teams to help start teams for high schoolers. Now, officials in the southern section of the California Interscholastic Federation are expected to vote on making flag football an official girls’ high school sport. State interscholastic sport officials could soon follow. Football enthusiasts say the move could lead more schools to start more teams and give girls more opportunities to play the sport. In Southern California, some high schoolers are gearing up for their second season in a pilot league started by the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams.

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CeeDee Lamb made a one-handed touchdown catch with 8:30 to play to cap a go-ahead drive, and the Dallas Cowboys beat the New York Giants 23-16. Ezekiel Elliott scored on a 1-yard run to ignite a comeback from a seven-point deficit and Brett Maher kicked three field goals as the Cowboys beat the Giants for the 10th time in 11 games. Cooper Rush threw for 210 yards and a 1-yard TD in winning his second straight start. Saquon Barkley scored on a 36-yard touchdown run and Graham Gano added three field goals for the Giants.

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Chicago's police chief says a man used a fire escape to infiltrate a police facility where officers were undergoing a SWAT training exercise and grabbed at least two guns before he was shot and wounded by police. Police Superintendent David Brown said the suspect was taken to the hospital Monday with injuries not considered to be life-threatening. One officer was taken to the hospital with a sprained ankle. Brown said the suspect had asked where to go to retrieve personal property before entering the building in Homan Square by climbing a fire escape before entering the building through a door that was propped open. He was seen on video leaving the facility and then returning to infiltrate it.

Whether the Green Bay Packers will continue rotating David Bakhtiari and Yosh Nijman at left tackle remains uncertain. The Packers are just happy they have the option of using Bakhtiari in any fashion now that he's finally returned from a severe knee injury that required three surgeries. Packers coach Matt LaFleur worked Bakhtiari in gradually Sunday by having him alternate series with Nijman during Green Bay’s 14-12 victory at Tampa Bay. The Packers’ decision will depend in part on how well Bakhtiari’s knee responds in the next day or so.

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The NFL’s quarterback carousel may start spinning a bit faster. Mac Jones, Tua Tagovailoa and Josh Allen got banged up Sunday. Justin Herbert and Jameis Winston played hurt. Already, Dak Prescott and Trey Lance have gone down. Backups, be ready. Jones’ leg injury appears most serious. The second-year pro hopped off the field late in the fourth quarter of New England’s 37-26 loss to Baltimore, and he appeared to be in extreme pain in photos showing him being assisted to the locker room. Backup quarterbacks are always one play away from entering the game. They have to be prepared.

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Melvin Gordon scored from a yard out and Kareem Jackson recovered a fumble in the closing minutes Sunday night to secure Denver's 11-10 win over Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers. Russell Wilson again struggled to get the Broncos offense humming. The Broncos went three-and-out nine times and Denver's only sustained drive was an 80-yarder over 12 plays that Gordon capped with his 1-yard TD. Garoppolo threw a touchdown pass and was intercepted in his first start in place of injured starter Trey Lance, who broke an ankle in Week 2.

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A man who was one of eight people injured in an explosion that tore through the top floor of a Chicago apartment building has died. Authorities have determined the blast resulted from an ignition of natural gas. Chicago fire officials said Friday that the most seriously injured person had succumbed to injuries following Tuesday's blast. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified the dead man as 29-year-old Shabron Robinson of Chicago. The Chicago Fire Department said Friday that its investigators have “determined the source of the explosion to be the ignition of natural gas.” The cause of the ignition remains under investigation.

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Jacoby Brissett threw two touchdown passes, Nick Chubb ran for a score and the Cleveland Browns bounced back from their epic meltdown four days earlier to beat the rival Pittsburgh Steelers 29-17. The Browns built a nine-point lead early in the fourth on Chubb’s 1-yard run and then held on for dear life. On Sunday, Cleveland blew a 13-point lead in the final two minutes and lost by a point to the New York Jets. The Steelers pulled within 23-17 on Chris Boswell’s 34-yard field goal with 1:48 left but couldn't recover an onside kick. The Browns concluded the game with a meaningless defensive touchdown.

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Aaron Judge fell a few feet short of a record-tying 61st homer, hitting a 404-foot drive caught just in front of the center field wall, and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Josh Donaldson’s 10th-inning single to clinch their sixth straight playoff berth. Judge had walked three times and struck out once before he came to the plate with the score tied 4-4 in the ninth. He drove a fastball from Matt Barnes just to the right of straightaway center. The ball left the bat at 113 mph, and fans waited in anticipation as Judge jogged toward first base. But they groaned in unison as Kiké Hernández made the catch a step in front of the fence.

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The Boston Celtics have suspended coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season. The move takes effect immediately and with no guarantee he will be back with the franchise. The Celtics said Thursday night that Udoka was suspended for “violations of team policies.” Earlier Thursday, two people with knowledge of the matter said Udoka was being sanctioned because of an improper relationship with a member of the organization. Those people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not reveal that detail publicly.

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Aaron Judge disappointed fans by staying stuck at 60 homers but doubled twice and scored on Oswaldo Cabrera’s first-inning grand slam that started the New York Yankees to a 14-2 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates. A day after hitting home run No. 60 to spark a stunning five-run, ninth-inning rally capped by Giancarlo Stanton’s game-ending slam, Judge doubled on the first pitch to him in the first and fifth innings. Judge leads the AL in average, home runs and RBIs, in position to become the first Triple Crown winner in a decade. Cabrera and Gleyber Torres had five RBIs each.

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Travis d’Arnaud broke a scoreless tie with a two-run homer in the fourth inning, Dansby Swanson went deep in the eighth, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 and clinched a playoff berth. The defending World Series champion Braves secured their trip to the postseason when Milwaukee lost to the New York Mets 7-5 less than 30 minutes later. Atlanta (93-55) is also vying for its fifth consecutive division title, but remained in second place, one game behind the Mets in the NL East. Swanson added his 21st homer in the eighth off Kyle Finnegan. The Braves have won 10 straight games at home, outscoring opponents 47-15 over this stretch.

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A Utah boy who suffered a serious head injury after falling from a bunk bed during last month’s Little League World Series has returned home from the hospital, and his family is suing the league and the company that made the bed. The family's lawyer said Tuesday that 12-year-old Easton Oliverson has undergone three brain operations and is now experiencing seizures. He said the boy fell in his sleep on Aug. 15. The lawsuit accuses Little League International and Savoy Contract Furniture of Williamsport of negligence for using or selling bunk beds without safety railings. A Little League spokesperson declined comment, and the furnituremaker did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

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Officials say eight people were rushed to hospitals after being injured when an explosion Tuesday tore through the top floor of a Chicago apartment building. The explosion at the four-story, 36-unit apartment building occurred at about 9 a.m., officials said. The department conducted a search of the building and found no other victims underneath the debris. No cause of the explosion had been determined. The department said that the Chicago police bomb squad and agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded.

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Josh Allen threw four touchdown passes, including three to Stefon Diggs, and the Buffalo Bills rolled past Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans 41-7 in their home opener. The Bills followed a season-opening 31-10 rout of the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams by throttling an opponent that has been their nemesis in each of the past two seasons. Fullback Reggie Gilliam and linebacker Matt Milano, with a 43-yard interception return, also scored touchdowns for Buffalo. Buffalo's defense limited Tennessee to 182 yards of offense and 12 first downs, while registering two sacks and forcing four turnovers. The Titans fell to 0-2 for the first time since 2012.

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Max Scherzer was pulled from his 200th win with a perfect game intact, and the New York Mets clinched their first playoff berth in six years by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2. Reinstated from the injured list before the game, Scherzer struck out nine in six innings. The 38-year-old ace threw only 68 pitches, but that was as far as the NL East leaders let him go in his first start in 16 days. Christian Yelich doubled leading off the seventh against Tylor Megill. Pete Alonso hit a three-run homer off Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes, and the Mets won their fifth straight to wrap up at least one of the three National League wild cards. They lead the NL East by one game over Atlanta.

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The Houston Astros clinched their fifth AL West title in six years, getting a leadoff home run from Jose Altuve in a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Headed to the postseason for the sixth straight season, Houston won for the eighth time in nine games and improved the AL’s best record to 97-51. Luis Garcia won his fifth straight decision, giving up two hits and four walks in five innings while striking out four. Hunter Brown and Héctor Neris finished a five-hitter, the Astros 16th shutout this season.

Elgton Jenkins offered a mixed review on his return to the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line. Jenkins’ teammates and coach were considerably more generous in their appraisal. They marveled at how well he performed less than 10 months after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament at Minnesota last November. The versatile lineman started at right tackle and provided a major boost in the Packers’ 27-10 victory over the Chicago Bears. Packers coach Matt LaFleur said after the game that “if he’s not in the lineup, we don’t win that game.”

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Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes, rookie Jaylen Watson returned an interception 99 yards for the go-ahead fourth-quarter score, and the Kansas City Chiefs held on to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 27-24. Mahomes finished with 235 yards passing, and Jerick McKinnon and Justin Watson hauled in the TD passes for the Chiefs. Kansas City fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter and spent most of the game playing catch-up. Justin Herbert finished with 334 yards passing and three touchdowns for the Chargers. The Chiefs improved to 2-0 and lead the AFC West.

The Chicago Bears head into Lambeau Field in an unusual position. The Bears lead the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North standings for the first time since 2018. That's the year Chicago earned its last NFC North title. The Packers have won the NFC North every year since and are 6-0 against the Bears during that stretch. The Bears’ recent struggles in this series stem from their inability to slow reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers. The Packers are 23-5 against the Bears in games Rodgers has started.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says running backs A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones need to get the ball more than they did in a season-opening defeat at Minnesota. The reigning MVP suggested the Packers need to stick with the running game. The Packers finished the game with 39 pass attempts and 18 carries. Jones and Dillon are Rodgers’ top playmakers now that two-time All-Pro receiver Davante Adams is with the Las Vegas Raiders.

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Geno Smith threw two first-half touchdown passes, Denver fumbled twice at the 1-yard line in the second half, and the Seahawks beat the Broncos 17-16 in Russell Wilson’s return to Seattle. Brandon McManus missed a 64-yard field goal attempt with 20 seconds left and the Seahawks escaped with another wild victory involving Wilson at quarterback. Except this time Wilson was the opponent and there will be plenty of questions about Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett’s late-game clock management and decisions in his first game. Denver faced fourth-and-5 at the Seattle 46 and had three timeouts left, but the Broncos ran significant time off the clock before Hackett called timeout and decided to have McManus try the long field goal.

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A former Major League Baseball pitcher who retired in 2016 to become a police officer in the New York City area was killed in a car crash on his way to work at the Sept. 11 memorial ceremony. Police officials and his former teams said in statements that 37-year-old Anthony Varvaro died Sunday morning in the crash in New Jersey. He was an officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey since 2016. He played baseball at St. John’s University before a career in the majors as a relief pitcher with the Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox.

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