DETROIT LIONS (9-7)

New faces: Coach Matt Patricia Patrik Laine Jersey , RB LeGarrette Blount, RB Kerryon Johnson, TE Luke Willson, C Frank Ragnow, DT Sylvester Williams, LB Christian Jones, LB Devon Kennard.

Key losses: Coach Jim Caldwell, TE Eric Ebron, DT Haloti Ngata, LB Tahir Whitehead.

Strengths: Passing game. QB Matthew Stafford threw for 1 Authentic Ryan Kerrigan Jersey ,000-plus yards to WR Marvin Jones and WR Golden Tate last year and has pass-catching RB Theo Riddick. All-Pro CB Darius Slay among NFL’s best in coverage.

Weaknesses: Running game. Ranked last in rushing last year, second time in three seasons, and may struggle again on ground despite investments. Front seven on defense lacks playmakers.

Fantasy Players To Watch: Tate has averaged 93 receptions, 1,056 yards receiving and nearly five TDs over four seasons in Detroit. He may surpass those numbers entering last year of contract.

Vegas Says: Super Bowl 65-1. Over/under wins 7.5.

Expectations: First-year coach Patricia might not make average team better and third-year GM Bob Quinn might be questioned for record in draft and free agency. Franchise leaders will be patient with former Patriots defensive coordinator and executive, but fans fed up with pulling for team with one playoff victory since winning 1957 NFL title.

Emergency goaltender Scott Foster played the final 14 minutes after Chicago lost Anton Forsberg and Collin Delia to injuries, closing out the Blackhawks’ 6-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.

It was Foster’s first competitive action since 20 minutes in relief with Western Michigan University in the 2005-06 season.

Forsberg was expected to start, but he was scratched after the team said he got hurt during warmups. Delia, who was just recalled from the minors Wednesday, then stopped 25 of 27 shots in his NHL debut before he was helped off the ice in the third period due to a lower-body injury.

Enter Foster Womens Christian McCaffrey Jersey , a 36-year-old accountant. After a short warmup, the game resumed and Foster got a big cheer from the crowd of 21,839 when he denied Tyler Myers for his first save about a minute after he came in.

Backed by chants of ”Foster! Foster!” and more loud ovations down the stretch, he finished with seven stops against the playoff-bound Jets, winners of six in a row.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) – The average major league salary on opening day dropped slightly following an offseason of slashed contracts for many free agents and the decisions to start three highly paid players in the minor leagues, according to study by The Associated Press.

The $4.41 million average Thursday fell 0.9 percent from last year’s starting figure of $4.45 million, according to the AP’s calculations. It was only the second drop since the end of the 1994-95 strike, after a 2.7 decrease in 2004.

Two late-signing free agent pitchers were optioned to farm teams just ahead of Thursday’s openers to get more preparation time: Philadelphia’s Jake Arrieta and Baltimore’s Alex Cobb. If they had remained in the majors, the average would have been down just $1,380. And if Arizona outfielder Yasmany Tomas had also remained in the big leagues Ondrej Palat Jersey , the average would have been up 0.2 percent to $4.46 million.

Boston had a $224 million payroll and topped the major leagues for the first time since at least the 1980s. San Francisco was next at $207 million, followed by the Chicago Cubs ($182 million), Washington ($181 million), the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers ($179 million), the Los Angeles Angels ($170 million) and the New York Yankees in seventh at $167 million. The Yankees have their lowest payroll since 2003 and their lowest ranking since 1992.

PRO BASKETBALL

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid will need surgery on an orbital fracture of his left eye and he has a concussion.

There was no timetable Thursday on how long Embiid would be sidelined. The 76ers are set to play Friday in Atlanta and Sunday in Charlotte.

Embiid posted a photo on Instagram of him on the court and grabbing his face with the caption, ”I guess I gotta trust `The Process’ that I’ve been preaching… Unfortunate freak accident but I’ll be more than fine.”

Markelle Fultz was driving toward the basket Wednesday against the Knicks when he appeared to accidentally head-butt Embiid. The 7-footer immediately went to the floor. He remained on the floor for several minutes before he was assisted by Philadelphia’s trainer. Embiid sat up once before lying back down on the court. Eventually, he was helped off the court.

Fultz was not injured on the play. He posted a hands-clasped prayer emoji on Embiid’s photo.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) – Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas will need four months to recover from arthroscopic surgery on his right hip.

The Lakers announced Thomas’ prognosis after the surgery Thursday.

Thomas will be a free agent by the time he recovers from the procedure, but he has expressed interest in staying with the Lakers.

The two-time All-Star guard averaged 15.6 points and 5.0 assists in 17 games with Los Angeles, which acquired him from Cleveland in February.

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) – The man who organized the most popular Winter Olympics 24 years ago in the Norwegian ski resort of Lillehammer says it’s too soon to return in 2026.

But watch for Lillehammer in 2030.

Gerhard Heiberg tells The Associated Press he’s ”a little sad” that Norway can’t join the chase for 2026.

He adds ”I think 2026 would have been best for us” but acknowledges organizers and politicians had too little time to work out details.

Bidders have until Saturday to let the International Olympic Committee know of their interest. In October J.T. Miller Jersey , the IOC will trim the field to serious contenders and pick the host next year.

At least four serious bids are likely to be on the table: Calgary, Canada; Stockholm, Sweden; Sapporo, Japan; Sion, Switzerland. Interest might also come for Austria, Italy and Turkey.

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