Despite breaking his clavicle in the San Diego Chargers' preseason opener, Ryan Mathews spent the last month telling us he'd be ready for Week 1.

On Friday, Mathews finally abandoned his optimistic personal timetable.

"I haven't been cleared for contact, and I think we're just going to wait this week," Mathews said, via U-T San Diego. "I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing. ... I just have to have the mindset right.

"I probably won't be playing in this game. But the next game, that's what I'm looking for now," he went on. "I don't know about the team, but me personally, now I'm looking for that (Week 2) game against Tennessee."

Mathews participated in individual drills for the first time this week, but the final hurdle will be taking contact on the shoulder area that was injured Aug. 9.

"They just want to be on the cautious side," Mathews said. "It's been a lot of hard work, but you can't do anything about it. You really can't. You've just got to do what you can do, cheer on your teammates as much as you can. Like I said, my goal is to try to be ready by next week."

It's worth noting Mathews remains very much on schedule in his rehab. The Chargers put him on a four-to-six week recovery period after he underwent surgery to repair the clavicle. Mathews had put himself on a three-to-four week timetable, but let's score this one for science.

Stay strong everybody. There will be a time when we'll no longer speculate about Tim Tebow's playing time. We're getting close ... but we're not there.

In "Shawshank Redemption" terms, we're roughly halfway through the raw sewage pipe.

Smith: Jets have everyone fooled
Despite public perception, the New York Jets offense knows exactly what it's doing,Jason Smith argues.More ... 
"Mark (Sanchez) is going to be on the field for the lion's share," New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaumtold ESPN Radio on Friday morning. "You guys will see. His playing time will be 80-90 percent over the 16 games. He's clearly our quarterback."

Longtime Jets beat man Rich Cimini did the math off Tannebaum's assessment, calculating that Tebow would get 206 snaps -- or about 13 per game -- if Sanchez plays 80 percent of the time. If Sanchez is on the field for 90 percent, Tebow would get 103 snaps, or 6.5 per game.

Of course, Tannenbaum's prediction ultimately means little. Actual playing time will come down to how effective the Tebowcat (my term, not theirs) is in the season's early weeks. If Tebow gashes theBuffalo Bills for 75 yards and a score this weekend, he's sure to be worked into the gameplan more than originally anticipated.

And if Tebow isn't effective? Well, MetLife Stadium will have a lot of tailgating fans wearing the jersey of the punt protector this season.

August 10th, 2012


The Netherlands successfully defended their women's Hockey title tonight with a 2-0 victory over Argentina.
Olympic gold is the only medal Argentina captain Luciana Aymar has not won, and the seven-time world player of the year admitted victory in the final would give her 'eternal glory'.

However, arguably the greatest player in the history of the women's game bowed out having won two silvers and two bronzes in her four Olympic appearances.

A cagey game was settled midway through the second half as world number ones the Netherlands scored two penalty corner goals in relatively quick succession from Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel and captain Maartje Paumen.

Even the great Aymar could not inspire world champions Argentina into a fightback as the Dutch collected the third Olympic gold medal in their history.

Earlier in the day, Great Britain's women emulated the groundbreaking side of 1992 in becoming only the second team to win Olympic bronze with a 3-1 win over New Zealand.

The squad showed impressive fortitude to bounce back less than 48 hours after most of the players left the pitch emotionally distraught having lost a close semi-final to Argentina.

But the burden of expectation did not weigh heavy as, spurred on by a vociferous 16,000-strong crowd, they dominated the game against New Zealand - even if they had to wait until 10 minutes into the second half for their nerves to ease.

Reading striker Alex Danson scored her fifth of the tournament as she dived in to convert a well-practised penalty corner routine, Leicester defender Crista Cullen joined her on that tally with a set-piece of her own and Wales international Sarah Thomas rounded off the scoring from another corner move.

Stacey Michelsen scored late on for New Zealand.

August 10th, 2012


Asli Cakir Alptekin tonight won gold in the women's 1500m at the Olympic Stadium.
The Turkish athlete won a slow race in 4:10.23, finishing ahead of compatriot Gamze Bulut, with Bahrain's Maryam Yusuf Jamal third.

There was more agony for the USA's Morgan Uceny as she fell for the second major final in succession, having also hit the track at last year's World Championships in Daegu when she was one of the favourites.

Charlotte Dujardin continued her remarkable rise to the top of world Dressage today by putting Great Britain in Team gold medal position and smashing an Olympic record.
The 26-year-old's breathtaking Olympic debut with Valegro gained a standing ovation from a capacity 23,000 crowd at Greenwich Park.

Their Grand Prix score of 83.66 per cent was more than four percentage points better than the previous Olympic best of Germany's Kristina Sprehe that stood for just two hours.

The Team competition resumes and concludes next Tuesday with the Grand Prix Special test - Dujardin is world record-holder in that - with Britain having never previously won an Olympic Dressage medal.

Their current team score of 79.40 per cent - the average mark of all three riders Dujardin, Carl Hester and Laura Bechtolsheimer - is 0.56 per cent above Germany, with the Netherlands (76.80 per cent) third.

Dujardin's score was the best over two days of competition, with Dutch star Adelinde Cornelissen in second, Germany's Helen Langehanenberg third, Hester fifth and Bechtolsheimer seventh.

Barely 20 months ago, Dujardin had never ridden a competitive Grand Prix test, but today's performance has increased the prospect of double Olympic Games gold.

The Individual competition - freestyle to music - takes place next Thursday and closes the Olympic Equestrian schedule.

 The top 11 individual scores, plus all three members of the leading seven teams after today, go forward to the Grand Prix Special stage.
The Australia women's Water Polo team hung on to beat world champions Italy 10-8 and kick-start their Olympic Games campaign.
They led for almost all of the Group A match, but the Italians kept bouncing back in a thrilling cat-and-mouse encounter. However, Australia held their nerve to close out victory.

Australia captain Kate Gynther scored a hat-trick, while Nicola Zagame slotted home twice. Single goals from Holly Lincoln-Smith, Bronwen Knox, Rowie Webster, Glencora Ralph and Ash Southern completed the tally.

Italy duo Federica Radicchi and Tania di Mario each scored a brace, with Simona Abbate, captain Elisa Casanova, Aniko Pelle and Roberta Bianconi contributing a goal each to their haul.

Meanwhile, USA edged past Hungary 14-13 in a thrilling match.

Maggie Steffens scored seven for the winning side, while Courtney Mathewson found the back of the net four times.

Captain Brenda Villa, Kelly Rulon and Kami Craig each scored one goal.

Barbara Bujka scored four for Hungary, Dora Antal netted three, and Gabriella Szucs scored two.

Orsolya Takacs, captain Rita Dravucz, Ildiko Toth and Dora Csabai scored one goal.

Meanwhile, Spain overcame China 11-6 and Russia edge out Host Nation Great Britain 7-6.

World number one Lee Chong Wei survived a huge scare before booking his place in the last 16 of the men's Singles.
The top seed was taken to three games by Finn Ville Lang in a late-night thriller at Wembley Arena, but produced a strong finish to prevail 21-8 14-21 21-11.

Lee had been troubled in the build-up to London 2012 by an ankle injury and showed signs of rustiness as world number 45 Lang fought back in the second game.

Although the Malaysian eventually came through by winning 10 of the last 11 points, his performance will offer encouragement to his rivals, particularly reigning champion Lin Dan.

Lin, the Chinese superstar and second seed, looked in superb form as he brushed aside Ireland's Scott Evans earlier in the day.

Lee, who plans to retire after the Games, said: 'I am only mentally strong because I have had an injury and I am still not 100%.

'But I had nothing to lose and I just tried my best.'

Danish veteran Peter Gade, playing his fourth and last Olympics at the age of 35, started his latest bid for gold with an easy win over Portugal's Pedro Martins.

Watched by Crown Prince Frederik, the Sydney 2000 semi-finalist and fifth seed won 21-15 21-8.

The day's highest-profile casualty was Japan's eighth seed Kenichi Tago, who crashed out after a shock loss to Sri Lanka's Niluka Karunaratne.
The big guns in the women's Singles had no such trouble.

Chinese pair Wang Yihan and Wang Xin, seeds one and two respectively, both reached the last 16 with comfortable wins in a morning session.

Visitors in the afternoon were denmied a potentially thrilling finish in a men's Doubles match between Thailand's Bodin Isara and Maneepong Jongjit and the Poles Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz.

The Polish pair were trailing 17-15 in a deciding game when Logosz snapped an Achilles tendon landing awkwardly after jumping. He left the arena in a wheelchair and the Thais won by default.

America's 2005 world champions Howard Bach, 33, and Tony Gunawan, 37, announced their retirement after going down to a third successive loss in the men's Doubles, this time to Japan's Naoki Kawamae and Shoji Sato.

Korean Lee Yong-dae saw his hopes of defending the Mixed Doubles title ended as he and new partner Ha Jung-eun lost 21-15 21-12 to Danes Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl.