oncordia star. But Barker wouldnt say whethe

13 Czerwiec, 2018 - 10:00

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- For a guy who loves to talk on the field, New Englands Aqib Talib sure has been quiet lately. The Patriots cornerback injured his hip in the Patriots win against New Orleans on Oct. 13 and missed the next three games. He hadnt spoken after practice until Thursday, when he said hes eager to return to the field Monday night for New Englands game against the Carolina Panthers. "Im practicing good," Talib said, with a wide grin. "Day to day. Trying to get back." Fresh off the Patriots bye last week, Talib was a limited participant in Thursdays practice. Thats the same designation hes had for a while, and he said watching his teammates play without him was "the worst thing in the world." Coach Bill Belichick was more candid than usual when asked about the player who leads the team with four interceptions and whos been solely responsible for shutting down some of the leagues elite pass catchers. "Hes continued to progress. Well keep doing, as they can tolerate it, do more and evaluate how they do at a little bit higher level," Belichick said. "Then if that goes well, then ramp it up and see where we are as we go through the week." New Englands secondary withstood the absence of its top playmaker, going 2-1 during the stretch. The Patriots (7-2) could benefit from his return against the Panthers (6-3), who have won five straight games and scored 30 or more points in five of their past seven. "Unbelievable player, happy to have him on the field with us," said defensive end Rob Ninkovich. "I think the guys that stepped in when he was gone, they did a great job, but having him back is just going to help us as far as have more depth and keep guys rolling." Should Talib return for New Englands only Monday night game this season, he likely will be matched up with one of the most successful receivers of the past decade in Steve Smith. Talib, who spent his first four-plus seasons playing in the NFC South with Tampa Bay, is familiar with the flashy veteran. "He brings it every Sunday or Monday or whenever the game is," Talib said. "I think if youre competitive like that, youre going to be pretty successful." Smith has tallied more than 800 receptions and 11,000 yards in his career, and has a team-high 42 catches for 450 yards and three touchdowns this season. Talib knows exactly what to expect from Smith -- his best effort and a lot of chatter. "Youve got a lot of guys who do a lot of talking to (the media), and we get out there and they dont say too much on the field," Talib said. "But Steve is definitely one of those guys, hes going to do it on the field." Not unlike Talib. "Yeah," he said with a smile, "I say a couple words." Shadowing the oppositions top threat is becoming commonplace for Talib. Julio Jones was near the top of the league in every major category when Talib held him to a season-low six catches. He caught just three of his first 10 for 22 yards. The following week, Talibs talents helped limit Cincinnatis A.J. Green to five catches for 61 yards. Green now leads the league in yards and ranks second in receptions. And still to come was his premier performance, spearheading an effort to shut down New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham, who tops all receivers with 10 touchdowns but was held without a catch against New England for the first time in a span of 46 games. Belichick went so far as to compare Talib to former Patriots cornerback Ty Law. "Maybe Ty would be similar in that he was a good corner and you could put him on a lot of players and not maybe feel like you need to give him a lot of help," he said. "I think Talib is a guy that we have a lot of confidence in and probably would treat his matchups a little bit differently than weve treated some other ones in the past." Mario Gomez Jersey. You can watch coverage on TSN, TSN2 and CTV beginning today at 3pm et/Noon pt. 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Smith, who raised eyebrows at the CFL combine in March with his ability on both sides of the ball, confirmed in a statement he tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol prior to auditioning for league officials. Its the same substance Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive for at the 88 Seoul Summer Games, which resulted in him being stripped of the 100-metre gold medal and suspended. "I accept full responsibility for the result of Stanozolol metabolite in my test," Smith said in the release. "I can assure you it was not my intention to use a banned substance or to try to beat the system. "I did not properly research the contents of supplements I obtained online and I will accept the consequences of my actions." Smith added he has asked that his B sample be tested and is awaiting those results. Prior to releasing his statement, Smith sent emails to all nine CFL teams informing them of the positive test and formally apologizing. "I have the deepest respect for the CFL, the CIS and Concordia University and am thankful for the opportunities they offer young people like myself," Smith said. "I have brought undue negative attention to these organizations and for this I am truly sorry. "I will have no further comments to offer publicly." The six-foot-two, 305-pound Smith, a Toronto native, was ranked fourth among the CFL scouting bureaus final top-15 prospects for Tuesday nights draft, heady stuff considering Smith wasnt rated on either the fall or winter lists. A big reason for Smiths meteoric rise was his performance at the combine, where he impressed as both an offensive and defensive lineman. That versatility had Smith being mentioned as a bona fide first-round prospect -- and possibly going first overall to the expansion Ottawa Redblacks -- in the 14 draft. On the first day of testing, Smith benched 225 pounds 28 times, had a 27.5-inch vertical jump and eight feet three inches in the broad jump. The next day, prior to the one-on-one drills, Smith posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.808 seconds, 7.56 seconds in the three-cone drill and 4.62 seconds in the shutttle.dddddddddddd If Smiths B sample also tests positive, his college football career would be over. Smith still has two years of CIS eligibility remaining but as a first-time drug offender hed receive a two-year ban. But the positive test wont hamper his ability to play in the CFL as a rookie. Under the leagues drug policy, Smith will be deemed a first-time offender. He will automatically be subjected to mandatory testing and an assessment, followed by counselling. A second offence will trigger a three-game suspension. The agreement also calls for a one-year ban for a third offence and a lifetime suspension for a fourth positive test. "Its very disappointing that this player tested positive for a banned substance," Michael Copeland, the CFLs president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. "If he is drafted and signed by one of our teams, and the positive test is confirmed, he will immediately be subject to mandatory testing as governed by our drug policy. "While we never want to see a player test positive for a banned substance, it does demonstrate the benefit and effectiveness of testing prospects as they prepare for the CFL combine and draft." The CFLs drug policy is part of the leagues collective bargaining agreement with the CFL Players Association. The two sides are currently negotiating a new deal with the current one scheduled to expire May 31. The question remains, however, what impact the positive test will have on Smiths draft stock Tuesday night. Toronto Argonauts GM Jim Barker said for some teams, the news will impact their overall assessment of the former Concordia star. But Barker wouldnt say whether his opinions of Smith have changed as a result of his miscue. "It really depends on the team," said Barker, who has the sixth overall selection Tuesday. "The kid had no idea what he was taking contained a banned substance, all he thought he was doing was taking a supplement to try and make himself better. "Teams will take things different ways. To say whether its going to hurt his draft stock is speculation. It goes into the pool of knowledge that we have on every player. Its going to be viewed both ways by people. It adds intrigue to the draft, good, bad or indifferent." Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '