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Jets Acquire Defenseman Jay Harrison from Canes


Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- Winnipeg Jets acquired defenseman Jay Harrison from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a sixth round pick in the 2015 draft -- which originally belonged to Ottawa.

The 32-year-old Harrison helps fill a void after the Jets placed defenseman Jacob Trouba on injured reserve.

Harrison was originally selected with the 87th overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by Toronto. He's played nine NHL seasons -- three with Toronto and six with Carolina. During that time, Harrison's scored 21 goals and dished out 49 assists in 337 regular season games.

Winnipeg (16-10-6, 38 pts) will host Boston (16-13-3, 35 pts) on Friday night.

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DeMarco Murray Will 'Probably' Make Decision if He Plays Sunday


NFL via Getty Images(IRVING, Texas) -- Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray says he will "probably" make the decision whether he plays Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

Murray, who had surgery Monday night on his broken left hand, was a limited participant in practice for the second straight day Thursday. He's been wearing a hard plastic shell on top of his glove for protection.

"I'm a very competitive person and I want to help this team out as much I can, so whatever that portrays me doing Sunday, then we'll see," Murray said. "But I've had two good days, and we'll see how it goes."

The Cowboys (10-4) currently lead the NFC East by a game over the Philadelphia Eagles (9-5).

Murray has rushed for an NFL best 1,687 yards this season. His absence would be felt even more in Dallas' game Sunday against the Colts, which has allowed the 16th most rushing yards per game in the NFL.

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Jay Cutler Benched


Nick Laham/Getty Images(LAKE FOREST, Ill.) -- Jay Cutler will be the backup quarterback when the Chicago Bears host the Detroit Lions Sunday.
Bears head coach Marc Trestman announced Thursday that Jimmy Clausen would start over the NFL's highest-paid offensive player on Sunday.

Cutler just signed a seven-year, $126.7 million contract with the Bears this past off-season.

"Certainly it was not an easy decision," Trestman said. "In my mind those types of decisions never are. As I told our team today, this doesn't void us of our offensive struggles that we have or the team struggles that we have by making this change. And I think our guys are well aware of that. But for the present moment, I think this is in the best interest of our football team."
It may be true. The 31-year-old Cutler currently leads the NFL with 24 turnovers. The Bears are also one of only four teams that hasn't scored at least 30 points in a game this season -- the Jaguars, Raiders, and Titans are the others.

Now Clausen, who is 1-9 as a starter in the NFL, takes over.

"I think we need a lift at quarterback. I think we need a spark," Trestman said. "The weight of the world should not be on Jimmy Clausen. He's going to get an opportunity to play and I'm hoping that against a very, very good defense there will be some response from our football team."

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Celtics Send Rondo to Mavericks


NBA via Boston Celtics(NEW YORK) -- The Boston Celtics traded point guard Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, and a future first and second round pick, the teams announced Thursday.

"My time in Boston has meant so much," Rondo tweeted. "I've grown up with this city both as a basketball player and person. The love I have for the most loyal And supportive fans in the league is unmatched. I look forward to building something special in Dallas."

The Celtics will also send forward Dwight Powell to the Mavericks and will waive center Vitor Faverani. The C's also receive a $12.9 million trade exception.

"We would like to thank Rajon for everything that he has done for the Celtics organization and the success we have experienced during his tenure with us," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said.

The 28-year-old Rondo is in the final year of his current contract and is averaging a league high 10.8 assists per game this season.

With Rondo the Mavericks (19-8) would get a pure point guard to help deliver the ball to current starters Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Tyson Chandler, and Chandler Parsons.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 12/18/14


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars 21 (3-12) – Tennessee Titans 13 (2-13)

NBA: Chicago Bulls 103 (16-9) – New York Knicks 97 (5-23)

New Orleans Pelicans 99 (13-12) – Houston Rockets 90 (19-6)

Milwaukee Bucks 108 (14-13) - Sacramento Kings 107 (11-15)

Golden State Warriors 114 (22-3) - Oklahoma City Thunder 109 (12-14)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (2) Duke 66 (10-0) – Connecticut 56 (4-4)

(6) Virginia 70 (10-0) – Cleveland State 54 (5-6)

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes 4 (9-19-3; 21pts) – Toronto Maple Leafs 1 (19-10-3; 41pts)

Florida Panthers 2 (14-8-8; 36pts) – Philadelphia Flyers 1 (11-14-6; 28pts) SO

Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (21-6-4; 46pts) – Colorado Avalanche 0 (10-13-8; 28pts) OT

Washington Capitals 5 (15-10-6; 36pts) – Columbus Blue Jackets 4 (13-15-3; 29pts) OT

Anaheim Ducks 2 (22-7-5; 49pts) – Montreal Canadiens 1 (20-11-2; 42pts)

San Jose Sharks 4 (18-11-4, 40pts) - Edmonton Oilers 3 (7-20-6, 20pts)

Los Angeles Kings 6 (16-11-6, 38pts) - St. Louis Blues 4 (21-9-2, 44pts)

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K.C. Royals Sign RHP Kris Medlen to 2-Year Contract


Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The Kansas City Royals agreed to a two-year contract with free agent right-handed pitcher Kris Medlen, the club announced on Thursday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 29-year-old Medlen missed the entire 2014 campaign, recovering from Tommy John surgery, after suffering an elbow injury during spring training.  He also missed most of the 2011 season recovering from the same procedure.

Medlen was originally selected by the Braves out of Santa Ana College in the 10th round of the 2006 MLB draft. In five seasons with Atlanta, he posted a record of 34-20 with a 2.95 ERA. He has struck out 434 batters in 512 2/3 innings of work.

The contract contains a mutual option for the 2017 season. 

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A's Acquire LHP Eury De La Rosa from Diamondbacks


iStockphoto(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- The Oakland Athletics acquired left-handed reliever Eury De La Rosa from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday for cash considerations.

In 25 games last season with the D-Backs, De La Rosa went 2-0 with a 2.95 ERA. He also struck 32 batters in 36 2/3 innings of work.

De La Rosa opened the 2014 season at Triple-A Reno, where in 36 relief appearances  he had a 2.52 ERA while holding opponents to a .224 batting average.

To make room for De La Rosa on the 40-man roster, the A’s designated right-handed pitcher Fernando Rodriguez for assignment.

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Matt Ryan Says Falcons Know 'What Time of the Year It Is'


Leon Halip/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- The Atlanta Falcons can keep their playoff hopes alive on Sunday when they take on the NFC South leading New Orleans Saints.

The Falcons are 2-4 on the road this year, and they sit one game behind the Saints in the division.

Quarterback Matt Ryan has faith that his team will be up for the game.

"Everybody understands the situation," Ryan said on Wednesday.

"Everybody understands what time of the year it is, where we're at," he continued. "I think [head coach Mike Smith] has done a great job of setting the schedule up to have everybody as fresh and prepared as we can possibly be."

Ryan and the Atlanta offense are averaging 24.9 points this year, while the Saints defense is giving up 26.7.

"It comes down to hitting [receivers] when you have the opportunity," Ryan said.  It's about making the play when they present themselves.  We've got to make sure we understand our plan and that when things come open, we nail it."

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Ravens Preparing for 'Physical' Game Against Texans


Rob Carr/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) -- The Ravens enter Sunday's game against the Texans holding onto the final spot in the AFC playoffs.

With the Chiefs and Chargers right behind them, Baltimore understands the importance of getting a win against Houston.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said he expects it to be a tough game on the body. "Every time we play Houston, it's always extremely physical," he said Wednesday.  "They're always committed to running the football; they have one of the best backs in football [Arian Foster]."

Baltimore is 4-3 on the road this season and Houston is 3-3 at home.

"We've played down there a good amount," Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said.  "It's not going to be a new scene, we've played against most of those guys, how much that really matters, I don't know."

Houston Pro-Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt has recorded seven sacks in the last three games for a season total of 16 1/2, which is third in the league.

When asked what will happen if Watt gets to him on Sunday, Flacco said, "I'm going to pick myself up off the ground. I don't know who hits me; I hope it's not him. I hope it's not any of them."

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Philip Rivers Expects the 49ers Best


Stephen Dunn/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- The San Diego Chargers find themselves still in the thick of things in the AFC as they head into their game on Saturday against the San Francisco 49ers.

San Diego sits in the eighth spot with the Chiefs, Ravens, and Steelers ahead of them.  

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is expecting the 49ers to be in spoiler mode, having been eliminated last weekend.

"Not only can they embrace that role if they so choose. I also know that there's a lot of prideful, Pro-Bowl players on that team," Rivers said. "When they suit up they play."

San Francisco is allowing 20.4 points a game this year.

49ers safety Antoine Bethea said of Rivers is a "veteran quarterback one of the top ten, quarterbacks in the league. He's been doing it for a while and he's got a lot of weapons to get the ball to."

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