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Monday Sports in Brief

Monday Sports in Brief

SAN DIEGO (AP) Tiger Woods is a winner again at Torrey Pines, and the only question Monday was how long it would take him to finish.

Woods stretched his lead to eight shots in the Farmers Insurance Open before losing his focus and his patience during a painfully slow finish by the group ahead.

Despite dropping four shots over the last five holes, he still managed an even-par 72 for a four-shot victory on the course where he has won more than any other in his pro career. Defending champion Brandt Snedeker and Josh Teater finished tied for second after both shot 69..

He won the tournament for the seventh time, one behind the record held by Sam Snead, who won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times. It was the eighth time Woods won at Torrey Pines, which includes his playoff win in the 2008 U.S Open.

PRO FOOTBALL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed agrees with President Obama that football needs to be made safer, and he wants to help make that happen.

Reed, an 11-year veteran and one of the most respected players in the NFL, was in the minority among players at the Super Bowl on Monday when said that Obama's comments questioning the safety of the game are on target.

``I am with Obama,'' Reed said. ``I have a son. I am not forcing football on my son. If he wants to play it ... I can't make decisions for him. All I can do is say, `Son, I played it so you don't have to.' ``

While acknowledging he's a football fan, Obama told The New Republic in an interview that he's concerned about the violent nature of the sport - enough so that if he had a son, he'd think twice about allowing him to play.

``I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence,'' he said.

``In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won't have to examine our consciences quite as much.''

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Former San Francisco 49er Kwame Harris was charged with felony domestic violence and assault charges from an August beating involving a former boyfriend, a prosecutor and defense lawyer said.

Following a pretrial hearing in the case, a San Mateo County judge set a late April trial date for Harris, an offensive tackle who played five seasons with the 49ers and one season with the Oakland Raiders, Assistant District Attorney Al Serrato said.

The charges stem from an altercation outside a Menlo Park restaurant between Harris, 30, and Dimitri Geier, who suffered several facial fractures that required surgery, Serrato said.

HONOLULU (AP) - At least one key NFL executive thinks play improved at the Pro Bowl this year: Commissioner Roger Goodell.

During a one-hour question and answer session on Reddit he said he thought the game improved from last year, when players were clearly not trying and were booed by fans in Hawaii.

The NFC dominated the AFC 62-35 on Sunday in a game that had some highlight-quality plays but that quickly became lopsided.

Goodell says he appreciates the commitment from players to make the game better.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Chastising the NFL Players Association for standing in the way of testing for human growth hormone, two members of Congress told union head DeMaurice Smith in a letter that they might ask players to testify before their committee.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa, a California Republican, and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland asked Smith to turn over documents connected to HGH negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans Saints spokesman Greg Bensel says general manager Mickey Loomis has a contract that runs through 2017.

Bensel says Loomis agreed to the deal last August but the team chose not to discuss it publicly until Monday, when the subject came up during media events connected to the Super Bowl.

PRO BASKETBALL

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama honored the Miami Heat for winning the 2012 NBA Championship title after falling short just a year before.

``Everybody doing their part, is what finally put the Heat over the top,'' Obama said, as he welcomed the team to the White House to celebrate their victory.

LeBron James, who presented Obama with an autographed basketball, said the team that included members that hail from Illinois, Texas, Michigan, Ohio and South Dakota was honored to be in the executive mansion.

``We're in the White House right now, which is like, like `mama I made it,''' James said, as the audience laughed and cheered.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Rick Adelman is back on the court and coaching basketball after three weeks away to help his wife through a health scare.

His Minnesota Timberwolves lost nine of 11 games without him to fall behind in the powerful Western Conference playoff race.

Adelman ran practice Monday and said he planned to coach against the Clippers on Wednesday night if all is satisfactory with Mary Kay Adelman, who is being treated for an undisclosed condition.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NCAA says it is committed to ensuring the safety of all college athletes and plans to open a national sports science institute to make playing sports safer.

The comments came in a statement emailed to The Associated Press the day after President Barack Obama acknowledged that if he had a son, he would have to think about letting him play football. The NCAA did not specifically address Obama's comments, choosing instead to address the broader issue.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Two Pennsylvania congressmen want the NCAA to restore football scholarships taken away from Penn State, saying in a letter those sanctions unfairly punish innocent student-athletes for the child sex abuse scandal involving retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

In the letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert, U.S. Reps. Charlie Dent and Glenn Thompson wrote that taking away up to 40 scholarships harmed players who had nothing to do with the scandal that engulfed the university in 2011.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Michigan is No. 1 in The Associated Press' college basketball poll for the first time since its Fab Five days 20 years ago.

For the second straight week the No. 1 team lost. This time it was Duke, which was routed 90-63 by Miami in the third-worst defeat by a top-ranked team.

Michigan received 51 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel, 38 more than Kansas, which moved up one spot. They are the only one-loss teams in the poll. Indiana, Florida, which drew the other first-place vote, and Duke complete the top five

In the women's poll, Baylor remained No. 1 for a fourth straight week.

Notre Dame and UConn stayed second and third, Stanford moved up to fourth and Duke fell one spot to fifth after losing by 30 points to the Huskies last Monday.

CYCLING

LONDON (AP) - The International Cycling Union disbanded an independent panel put together to review any involvement the cycling governing body had in the Lance Armstrong scandal, saying it will go ahead with a ``truth and reconciliation commission'' instead.

The UCI said its independent panel did not have the support of the American and global anti-doping bodies, and that a truth and reconciliation process favored by those groups offered the best way ``to clear the air'' and get to the bottom with the rampant doping culture during the Armstrong era.

MADRID (AP) - Spain's Operation Puerto finally went to trial after a delay of seven years, raising the prospect over the coming weeks of new revelations about doping in cycling following the confession of Lance Armstrong.

Cyclists themselves will not be on trial because of the legal limitations of the case. But there is great interest in the event other sports - particularly soccer and tennis - are mentioned in evidence.

Thirty-five witnesses are expected to testify in a trial due to last until March 22.

BASEBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers formally announced a deal with Time Warner Cable to create a new TV channel that people familiar with the situation say assures the team more than $7 billion over 25 years. That is double what Major League Baseball thought the local TV rights were worth when the team was sold out of bankruptcy just last year.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Derek Jeter worked out on a baseball field for the first time since breaking his left ankle last October.

The 38-year-old New York Yankees captain fielded 55 grounders on the grass in front of the infield dirt at shortstop at the team's minor league complex. He also hit in a batting cage.

``Everything went well,'' Jeter said as he drove out of the complex.

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Carl Pavano's spleen was removed last week after the pitcher was injured when he fell in the snow.

The 37-year-old right-hander was hurt in mid-January at his home in Vermont and has been in a Connecticut hospital for nearly two weeks.

``He lost a lot of blood. It was very, very serious,'' agent David Pepe said Monday.

PRO HOCKEY

MONTREAL (AP) - Defenseman P.K. Subban signed a two-year, $5.75 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens.

WINTER SPORTS

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) - Snowmobile rider Caleb Moore remained in critical condition after a crash at the Winter X Games in Aspen and is being closely monitored.

His family thanked Moore's fans for their support and asked for their prayers.

The 25-year-old was performing a flip Thursday when he clipped the top of a jump and went over the handlebars. The snowmobile rolled over him, but he walked off the course with help and went to a hospital with a concussion.

While there, he developed bleeding around his heart and was flown to Grand Junction for surgery Friday. His family said Sunday that Moore then had a secondary complication involving his brain.

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Ravens tight end suspended a year or more for violating substance abuse policy

Ravens tight end suspended a year or more for violating substance abuse policy

The NFL announced today that tight end Darren Waller of the Baltimore Ravens would be suspended for a year or longer for his second violation of the substance abuse policy.

Waller was a 2015 sixth-round pick out of Georgia Tech who served a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season for a substance abuse violation. After returning from his suspension last year, he posted 10 catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns in a limited role.

After his 2016 violation, he was quoted as saying [via Ravens.com]:

“There were other personal issues, and [marijuana] was the one thing I always turned to,” Waller said. “It was just about finding more positive outlets for me to do, like talking to people about it and things like that. I’m definitely at a better place with that now.”

Unfortunately for the Ravens, he will miss the 2017 season and potentially longer after the latest violation. It leaves the Ravens down two tight ends from last year after Dennis Pitta was released earlier this month after re-injuring his hip.

MORE RAVENS: Zach Orr considering coming out of retirement

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Former Raven Zach Orr considering NFL comeback after postive health prognosis

Former Raven Zach Orr considering NFL comeback after postive health prognosis

In January of 2017, former Ravens linebacker Zach Orr took the podium at the team's training facility alongside head coach John Harbaugh, GM Ozzie Newsome and defensive coordinator Dean Pees, to announce he would be retiring from football at the age of 24.

Why? Orr suffered a shoulder injury during their week 16 game against longtime rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, which shed light into a condition he's had since birth.

He had a routine MRI, but the Ravens training staff suggested a full body CAT scan as well. The CAT scan reveled Orr had a congenital back/spine condition where one of the upper vertebra isn't totally formed causing there to be an opening. Less than 1 percent of people are born with such a condition and he wasn't aware of it until he suffered this injury.

Doctors told Orr he was at risk of paralysis or even death if he played with such a condition. He also would have never been able to pass an NFL physical, ultimately forcing him to retire.

During his press conference, Orr said this,

"If there's some miracle way where I can play the game, I promise I'd be the first one to grab my cleats again, start back training and try to find a way to get back out there," Orr said.

Well, fast forward to today and it seems that miracle may have happened.

NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo told Good Morning Football that after getting a second opinion from doctors, and receiving positive news, Orr is considering a return to the NFL.

"I had my mind made up. I was like man, the doctors told me I was done. This is a serious issue. So I'm going to leave it alone. But I just kept hearing that from multiple people and some were telling me to just go check out and seek out some more opinions and things like that and come to find out my condition, it is rare – .01 percent of the people have what I have – but there's no actual evidence or facts that I'm at a higher risk than any other player. And it's actually been documented that a college player who had the exact same thing that I have that returned to play with no problems."

The doctors' real concerns would be if someone with Orr's spinal condition played with a herniated disk. He did suffer from herniated disks last season, but that injury has since diminished. 

MORE RAVENS: 2017 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

If Orr does decide to get back into the NFL, getting signed could be pretty easy. 

When he announced his retirement, he never filed for retirement papers and the Ravens never placed him on their reserve/retired list because they never thought he would play again.

Because of this, Orr is considered an unrestricted free agent and can sign with a team right away. 

Orr had his best season in 2016, where he lead the Ravens in tackles with 133. It's been reported that eight teams have reached out to the linebacker since his announcement and that he will be meeting with the Lions on Thursday.