Chargers RB Gordon (Knee) Won’t Play vs. Chiefs – Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is inactive for Thursday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Gordon went through pregame workouts wearing a brace on his sprained right knee but could not convince Chargers coach Anthony Lynn and general manager Tom Telesco that he was healthy enough to play. The Wisconsin product will miss his third game in a row and fourth this season. After suffering the injury Nov. 25 against Arizona, Gordon sat out the Chargers’ victories this month over Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. He also missed the Chargers’ 20-19 win over Tennessee in London in Week 7.
Nets To Re-Sign ‘Thankful’ Dinwiddie To 3-Year Deal – The Brooklyn Nets and guard Spencer Dinwiddie have agreed to a three-year contract extension, the team announced Thursday. The deal is for $34 million, league sources told ESPN. There will be a player option on the third year, sources said. Dinwiddie was eligible for four years and $47 million, but the sides went with a shorter deal that would get him back into free agency more quickly. His new deal will pay him $10.6 million, $11.4 million and $12.3 million annually starting with the 2019-20 season, sources said. Dinwiddie, 25, is averaging 16.9 points per game. He scored 39 on Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers.
- Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy will start Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, making his return from a fractured left foot suffered last month.
- The Carolina Hurricanes have placed forward Jordan Staal on injured reserve with a concussion.
- Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray was activated Wednesday after being sidelined since mid-November with a lower-body injury.
- Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom is expected to be sidelined weeks with a hand injury sustained during Tuesday night’s win over the Colorado Avalanche.
- Paul Stewart has a very big goal for the next stage of his already lengthy hockey career, and that’s helping women follow in his footsteps by officiating in the NHL.
- The New York Rangers say defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will be sidelined two to four weeks with a shoulder injury.
Trier Gets $7M Deal In Knicks Contract – New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier, a rookie revelation on a two-way contract, has signed a new deal, the team announced Thursday. The deal is for two years, $7 million with a team option for the second year, sources told ESPN. The Knicks were rapidly closing on 45 days of allowable NBA service under Trier’s two-way deal, clearing the way for general manager Scott Perry to negotiate use of the team’s full bi-annual exception over the next seasons. Trier will earn nearly $3.4 million this season and $3.5 million in 2019-20 under the bi-annual exception, sources told ESPN. Trier, 22, is signing the biggest contract to emerge out of the brief history of the two-way contract format, and a contract with the largest first-year salary for a non-international undrafted player. The previous high was Malcolm Delaney, who made $2.5 million in his first season with the Atlanta Hawks.
Encarnacion, Santana On Move In 3-Team Trade – The Seattle Mariners have acquired slugger Edwin Encarnacion from Cleveland, sending Carlos Santana back to the Indians as part of a three-team trade that also includes the Tampa Bay Rays, it was announced Thursday. The Indians will receive first baseman Jake Bauers from the Rays, while Tampa Bay will get third baseman Yandy Diaz from Cleveland. The Indians also are sending minor league pitcher Cole Sulser to the Rays and the 77th pick in the 2019 competitive balance draft to the Mariners. The Mariners also receive cash considerations from the Rays. Encarnacion, who turns 36 in January, hit .246 with 32 home runs for the Indians last season. He was third in the American League with 107 RBIs. His streak of seven consecutive seasons with at least 30 home runs leads all active players. Santana returns to the Indians, where he started his career in 2010 before signing with the Philadelphia Phillies in free agency prior to last season. He was traded to the Mariners on Dec. 3.
UPDATE: Eagles’ Wentz Has Fractured Vertebra – A recent CT scan on Carson Wentz‘s back revealed a fractured vertebra that, if allowed time to rest, would fully heal so that there would be no further expected issues, sources told ESPN. There will be a continued evaluation of his back to determine whether continuing to play this season would worsen the injury for the Philadelphia Eagles‘ starting quarterback. Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday that Wentz was experiencing “soreness” and “tightness” in his back and wouldn’t practice. This isn’t the first time this season that Wentz has appeared on the team’s injury report because of his back. He was a limited participant on consecutive Wednesdays in late October, but Wednesday’s absence marked the first time he missed a practice this season. Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles will take the reins as the 6-7 Eagles try to keep their playoff hopes alive against the 11-2 Rams.
Jets’ Top Rusher and Receiver Out vs. Texans – Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold will be without his leading rusher and receiver Saturday against the Houston Texans, as the New York Jets have ruled out running back Isaiah Crowell (toe) and wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (ankle). Crowell has been battling a toe issue for several weeks, and the pain was “excruciating” when he aggravated it last Sunday. This will be the first missed game in his career, ending his streak at 77 games. Crowell has rushed for 685 yards and six touchdowns, but he has topped 49 yards only once in the past eight games. Enunwa missed two games earlier in the season with a high ankle sprain, but this injury is to his other ankle. It happened in last week’s win over the Buffalo Bills. He leads the Jets with 38 receptions, but it has been a disappointing year overall. He has no 100-yard receiving games. The timing is bad for Enunwa, who will be a free agent.
Chicago Blackhawks 6 – Pittsburgh Penguins 3
Highlights: The Chicago Blackhawks finally got to celebrate Wednesday night. It had been a while. Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists, and Chicago stopped an eight-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Marcus Kruger, Brent Seabrook, Andreas Martinsen, Brandon Saad each had a goal and an assist in Chicago’s first win since Nov. 24 at Florida. Alex DeBrincat scored a power-play goal. Toews became the 16th active player to reach 700 career points with the same franchise. He assisted on Saad’s empty-netter for his 701st point.Kruger snapped a 3-all tie when he beat Casey DeSmith from the front of the crease 3:49 into the third period. Martinsen set up Kruger’s fourth goal of the season with a centering pass from below the goal line. Toews also had an empty-netter before Saad made it 6-3 with his ninth goal at 19:39. Bryan Rust scored three times for Pittsburgh in his second career hat trick. The 26-year-old forward, who entered with one goal in 29 games this season, missed on several other prime chances. Corey Crawford made 40 saves for last-place Chicago. DeSmith blocked 23 shots in his sixth straight start and 10th in the last 12 games.