Sports In Brief

Bengals sign TE Tyler Eifert to another 1-year deal

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals signed tight end Tyler Eifert to another one-year contract on Monday, hoping he can make it through a season without significant injury.

Eifert broke his right ankle in the fourth game last season, his third straight year with a major injury. He’s been limited to 14 games over the last three years because of injuries to his back, ankle. His last full season was 2015, when he set a club record for tight ends with 13 touchdown passes. Eifert was a first-round pick in 2013.

The Bengals also have re-signed tight end C.J. Uzomah to a three-year deal, but lost tight end Tyler Kroft to Buffalo in free agency.


Bengals release oft-suspended LB Vontaze Burfict

The Cincinnati Bengals released oft-suspended linebacker Vontaze Burfict on Monday.

Burfict’s career was marked more by his behavior than his tackling skills. In his seven years with the Bengals, he was suspended by the NFL to start each of the past three seasons, mostly for egregious hits that violated the league’s player safety rules.

His most notable performance might have been when Burfict and Adam “Pacman” Jones got 15-yard penalties in the 2015 playoffs that set up a Steelers field goal with 14 seconds left for an 18-16 win.

Undrafted out of Arizona State, Burfict played in 75 games with 73 starts. He made 684 tackles, had 8½ sacks, five interceptions, 33 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He made the 2013 Pro Bowl.

“As we continue to build our roster for the 2019 season, we felt it best to give both the team and Vontaze a fresh start,” new Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “Vontaze has been a good player here — the team appreciates that, and I know a lot of fans appreciate that — but our focus is on the future.”


Ohio introduces alum Jeff Boals of Stony Brook as coach

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio has introduced Jeff Boals as its basketball coach, hoping the Bobcats’ former captain can revive a team that went 14-17 this season.

He succeeds Saul Phillips, whose contract was not renewed. Phillips went 81-77 overall and 40-50 in the Mid-American Conference over five seasons.

Boals was hired Sunday and resigned after three years at Stony Brook. As a player, he helped lead Ohio to the NCAA Tournament in 1994. Boals worked as an assistant at the school before spending seven seasons as an Ohio State assistant. He also has been on the staffs of Marshall, Robert Morris and Akron.

Boals went 55-41 in three seasons at Stony Brook, going 24-8 this season and 12-4 in the America East Conference. The second-seeded Seawolves were upset in the first round of their tournament.

Boals inherits an experienced roster, which includes forward Ben Vander Plas, the MAC’s Freshman of the Year.


Packers re-sign veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers have re-signed veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis.

A 13-year veteran, Lewis played in all 16 games for the team last season, but had only three receptions for 39 yards. He was signed in 2018 to hep block in Green Bay’s running game, but the Packers ranked 22nd in the league on the ground.

He had far more impact in his first 12 pro seasons with the Jaguars after being drafted in the first round in 2006.

Lewis, 34, played in 170 games with 157 starts for Jacksonville and had 4,502 career receiving yards and 33 touchdowns. He started five postseason games for Jacksonville, making 10 receptions for 111 yards and a TD.


Tour de France organizers unveil opening stages of 2020 race

PARIS (AP) — Sprinters and climbers will have a chance to shine at the start of next year’s Tour de France.

Race organizers have unveiled the details of the first two stages of the 2020 edition of cycling’s showcase event, which will start in the Mediterranean city of Nice.

The 170-kilometer opening stage consists of three laps on a circuit designed around Nice with a finish on the Promenade des Anglais that should favor sprinters. The profile of the second stage, which also finishes in Nice, is radically different with three difficult climbs, the Col de la Colmiane, Col de Turini and Col d’Eze.

The Riviera city, which hosts the final stage of the Paris-Nice race each year, previously held the Grand Depart in 1981.

This year’s race will begin in Brussels to celebrate the 50th anniversary of five-time champion Eddy Merckx’s first win.