From Comcast SportsNetCHICAGO (AP) -- Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat on Wednesday night and was expected to stay overnight in a Chicago hospital.Baker left Wrigley Field in street clothes more than two hours before Wednesday night's game, and a team spokesman said he would have chest X-rays to "rule out pneumonia.""I guess the good thing is it's not pneumonia, but the bad thing he has an irregular heartbeat, so basically they will over keep him over at the hospital and run some more tests in the morning before he is set free," Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said.Baker will not be with the team on Thursday and his return is uncertain."He is not going to be here for tomorrow's game because they will be running tests. He said he will meet all the reporters in Cincinnati," Lessard said following the Reds' 6-5 victory in 11 innings.Cincinnati lowered its magic number to clinch a playoff spot to one with the Los Angeles Dodgers splitting a doubleheader at Washington. The Reds' magic number for a second NL Central title in three years is three.Lessard said Baker was having trouble breathing and has a history of having an irregular heartbeat.
Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.
Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.
Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards.
The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.
Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.
It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade.
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The Ravens may need to rethink their draft strategy regarding cornerbacks. They haven’t drafted a cornerback in the first three rounds since 2011, when they took Jimmy Smith with the 27th overall pick.
Smith is still the Ravens’ best corner. However, he has been plagued by injuries in recent years, and lack of cornerback depth has become a glaring weakness for the Ravens, in a league that features many explosive wide receivers.
Related: NFL Mock Draft 1.0
According to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., this year’s draft is loaded with talented corners. With the 16th overall pick, the Ravens can address their need at cornerback with someone who might be talented enough to start as a rookie.
“There’s a lot of corners in this draft that are going to go in the first round,” Kiper said during a recent conference call.
Many believe Marshon Lattimore of Ohio St. will be the first cornerback off the board, and will likely be gone before the Ravens can grab him. In his first mock draft, Kiper had Lattimore going No. 6 to the Jets.
However, the list of top-rated corners that could be available for the Ravens at No. 16 includes Marlon Humphrey of Alabama, Sidney Jones of Washington, Jourdan Lewis of Michigan, Teez Tabor of Florida, Cordrea Tankersley of Clemson, and Quincy Wilson of Florida.
The Ravens grabbed a promising corner in the fourth round last year in Tavon Young, who had a strong rookie season. But the Ravens may not have the luxury of waiting to take a cornerback this spring. Instead of taking the best player available at No. 16, the Ravens will have to consider taking the best corner available.