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Bill Belichick tight-lipped as Jimmy Garoppolo returns to practice

Pats QB Jimmy Garoppolo was hurt on this hit by Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso, right. (Stew Milne / Associated Press)
Pats QB Jimmy Garoppolo was hurt on this hit by Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso, right. (Stew Milne / Associated Press)
Associated Press

NFL: Bill Belichick isn’t ready to rule out injured quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for Thursday night’s game against the Texans.

The Patriots coach also isn’t interested in sharing any contingency plans he might have.

Garoppolo was a limited participant in practice Tuesday as he continues to recover from the right shoulder injury he sustained late the first half of New England’s win over the Dolphins last week . The third-year quarterback sat out Monday’s practice.

The Patriots have yet to add another quarterback to the roster, increasing the possibility that rookie Jacoby Brissett could make his first career start against Houston (2-0) if Garoppolo can’t go. In that situation, receiver Julian Edelman would be the emergency option.

It didn’t stop an onslaught of Garoppolo-related health questions on Tuesday. It drove Belichick to the point of agitation as he was pressed about Garoppolo’s status.

“He has been looked at. He has been treated, like every other player,” Belichick said. “I’m a football coach. I’m not a doctor.”

Cutler, Bears banged up: The struggling Chicago Bears might have to get by without quarterback Jay Cutler.

Coach John Fox said Cutler has a sprained right thumb that does not appear to require surgery and would not rule him out for this weekend’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. If he is not ready, Brian Hoyer will start.

“It’s hard for me to give timelines,” Fox said on Tuesday. “We’ll evaluate tomorrow. We’ve got practice tomorrow, we’re on a short week already. If Jay’s ready to do it, fine. If not, we’ll go with Brian Hoyer.” Cutler topped a long list of players injured in Monday’s 29-14 loss to Philadelphia.

Cutler topped a long list of players injured in Monday’s 29-14 loss to Philadelphia.

The defense was hit hard, with linebacker Danny Trevathan scheduled for surgery Wednesday morning on a sprained thumb. The Bears were awaiting the results of an MRI on linebacker Lamarr Houston, who suffered a left knee injury that Fox said “appears to be significant.” Nose tackle Eddie Goldman (sprained ankle) left the field on a cart.

Bills’ McCoy faces lawsuit: Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy was sued Tuesday over a Philadelphia nightclub brawl that left two off-duty police officers injured.

The civil suit claims McCoy beat and kicked one officer while he was on the ground and punched another officer in the eye. The suit was filed in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and seeks money damages from McCoy, two other men and the nightclub.

McCoy’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, declined comment. McCoy’s attorney has said he was only trying to break up a fight between the officers and his friends over a $350 bottle of Champagne. Police have said the Feb. 7 fight broke out over a misunderstanding about who had bought the bottle.

District Attorney Seth Williams announced in April that no charges would be filed in connection with the brawl, saying he couldn’t prove who started it.

Kaepernick receiving death threats: Colin Kaepernick says he has received death threats through social media and other avenues since he began to protest during the national anthem last month.

Kaepernick said Tuesday he has not alerted San Francisco 49ers team security about the threats and understood that could happen once he began his protest over racial oppression and police brutality in the United States. “To me, if something like that were going to happen, you’ve proved my point,” he said.

Kaepernick’s protest during the anthem became public last month when he sat during the anthem before a preseason game against Green Bay and later explained his reasoning. He has since kneeled before the Niners’ past three games.

Kaepernick has been joined by several other NFL players, U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe and scores of high school and college players who have picked up the cause.

It has not received universal support, however, and he said he was the target of racial slurs and other insults before last Sunday’s game at Carolina.

“There’s a lot of racism in this country disguised as patriotism and people want to take everything back to the flag but that’s not what we’re talking about,” he said. “We’re talking about racial discrimination, inequalities and injustices that happen across the nation.”

Pats, Steelers top power rankings: Despite missing key players, the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers are off to fast starts so far this season. Pittsburgh and New England have something else in common: They also share the top spot in the latest AP Pro32 poll released on Tuesday.

The Patriots received five first-place votes and the Steelers earned three and both have 368 points from balloting by media members who regularly cover the NFL. Each of the traditional powers also faces another unbeaten team this week.

The Patriots begin the NFL’s Week 3 schedule when they host the Houston Texans on Thursday night. The Steelers face Carson Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, and the surprising Eagles on Sunday in Philly.

U.S. eliminated from World Cup of Hockey

HOCKEY: The United States has been eliminated from contention at the World Cup of Hockey after a 4-2 loss to Canada in Toronto that featured a clinical, dominant performance by the tournament favorite.

The U.S. couldn’t keep up with Canada’s talent, depth or speed in a game it needed to win to stay alive. Canada and Team Europe clinched spots in the semifinals, while the Americans are left to analyze what went wrong on the international stage yet again.

Matt Duchene scored twice and Corey Perry and Patrice Bergeron each had a goal for Canada, which got 34 saves from Carey Price. U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 30 shots, keeping the game from becoming even more of a blowout.

Ryan McDonagh and T.J Oshie scored for the U.S., which ended Price’s shutout streak at 228:41.

U.S. general manager Dean Lombardi said in June that his goal was to build a team that could beat Canada. This loss dropped the U.S. to 1-5 against the world’s top hockey power in best-on-best competition going back to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

The Americans still have one round-robin game left, Thursday against the similarly lame-duck Czech Republic.

Lundqvist leads Sweden: Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves and Anton Stralman scored his first goal of the World Cup of Hockey, helping Sweden beat Finland 2-0 in Toronto.

Lundqvist, who missed Sweden’s first game of the tournament due to an illness, struggled in pre-tournament competition, posting a 4.49 goals-against average and a .778 save percentage in two appearances. The 34-year-old was pulled from last Wednesday’s game against Team Europe after allowing five goals on 22 shots in a 6-2 loss.

With the win, Sweden has a firm hold on the top seed in Group B while Finland is facing long odds for advancing to the semifinals.

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