Wilcox (thumb) rehabbing, set to see doctors Tuesday


Wilcox (thumb) rehabbing, set to see doctors Tuesday

BOSTON Chris Wilcox was probably in grade school the last time he tried to pick up a basketball and couldn't palm it.

But that's exactly what he's dealing with now as he tries to recover from a right thumb injury suffered during a spill against Chicago on Dec. 18.

Wilcox got a bit of good news recently when he learned that the injury won't require surgery and that a more definitive timeline for his return will likely be made when he visits with doctors on Tuesday.

"I thought I just jammed it (against Chicago), so I just taped it up and stuff," Wilcox said.

But he soon discovered that the injury was more serious, as it limited him from doing some of the most basic things - like palm a basketball.

"I went to grab the ball, and I couldn't even palm it," Wilcox said. "I couldn't grab it or nothing; it was killing me."

He soon consulted with team doctors who informed him that he would have to take some time off and let the injury heal.

Since the injury, Wilcox has been working out while wearing a protective sleeve around the thumb area.

Although it was initially believed he would be out until the end of January, the prognosis on his return may change depending on how things go when he meets with doctors next week.

Wilcox has had an injury-plagued career since signing with the Celtics last season, so this is indeed par for the course for him. He also had season-ending heart surgery last spring.

This injury, much like previous ones, came at a time when the 10-year veteran was starting to find his niche with this team. He was Kevin Garnett's primary backup in addition to being one of Rajon Rondo's favorite players to pass the ball to in transition for easy dunks.

This season, Wilcox is averaging 4.7 points per game along with 2.3 rebounds. He's also leading the Celtics with 20 dunks.

And like most of his injuries, this one also falls into the fluky-but-true category.

"You don't really know how much you need your thumb," Wilcox said. "If it had been like any other finger, you could just tape it together. But you can't really tape your thumb or nothing."

Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air a and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he allowed Brown to catch five of nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his jway from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up nine catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

Click here for the complete story