Sports In Brief


No. 1 Halep withdraws from final tune-up for US Open

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Top-ranked Simona Halep has withdrawn from the Connecticut Open, citing a sore right Achilles tendon.

The Romanian was scheduled to play Tuesday in New Haven, but says in a statement her Achilles is sore from “two weeks of many matches and I need to recover in time for the U.S. Open.”

Halep won the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Aug. 12 and advanced to the finals in Cincinnati, losing in three sets Sunday to Kiki Bertens at the Western & Southern Open.

The New Haven tournament also lost American CoCo Vandeweghe to injury. She withdrew Sunday with a sore right ankle while leading in the third set of her first-round match with Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia.

Fourth seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic lost Monday to Ekatereina Makarova of Russia 6-1, 6-3.

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Harbaugh: Patterson will start at QB for Michigan vs Irish

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — No. 14 Michigan will start quarterback Shea Patterson in the season opener at No. 12 Notre Dame.

Coach Jim Harbaugh made the announcement Monday. He had earlier said Patterson was simply one of four quarterbacks competing to take the first snap, along with Brandon Peters, Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton.

Most expected the decision to start the experienced Patterson, who appealed to the NCAA to play this season after transferring from Mississippi. He threw for 3,000-plus yards with 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions over 10 starts at Ole Miss.

Peters started four games last season with uneven results. McCaffrey, a redshirt freshman, and Milton, a true freshman, haven’t taken a snap in college.

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Maryland to wear helmet sticker to honor Jordan McNair

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Members of the Maryland football team will wear a helmet sticker with No. 79 to honor former teammate Jordan McNair, who collapsed during a practice session in May and subsequently died.

In an announcement Monday morning, the school said no player will wear his number for the next three years — the time during which he would have been eligible to play.

In addition, a moment of silence will be held during Texas and Temple games, and his locker will be encased in glass.

McNair was running laps on the practice field on May 29 when he was overcome by heat and exhaustion. After being treated at the team facility, he was taken to a hospital and died of heatstroke on June 13.

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Mike Tirico new host of “Football Night In America

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Tirico is adding to his many duties at NBC by taking over as studio host for “Football Night In America.”

Tirico, who also does play by play on Notre Dame games and a slew of other hosting assignments, replaces Dan Patrick. Tirico joins Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison on the Sunday night program that has been the most-watched studio show in sports since 2006.

For the past two seasons, Tirico co-hosted “Football Night In America” from the game site. That role will now be filled by Liam McHugh.

NBC’s first regular-season telecast actually will be on a Thursday when the schedule kicks off with Super Bowl champion Philadelphia hosting Atlanta on Sept. 6. The opening prime-time Sunday nighter is Chicago at Green Bay on Sept. 9.

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