The NFL for the first time is prohibiting certain helmets from being worn by players. In notifying the 32 teams on Monday, the league has sought to have players stop using 10 helmet varieties. Some, particularly those manufactured by Rawlings, no longer are being made and don’t have support from the company. Others were found to be inferior to many of the 34 helmets the NFL and the players’ union examined. Previously, NFL players could choose any helmet as long as it passed certification standards. Six of the substandard helmets are prohibited immediately, while the other four may be worn by players who used them in 2017 but not by new players. The 10 helmets are Rawlings’ Impulse and Impulse+, Quantum and Tachyon; SG Varsity and SG 2.0; Schutt Vengeance Z10 (model 204100), Air XP (model 789002) and Air XP Pro (model 789102); and Riddell VSR-4 (model R41133). About 200 players, including the Patriots’ Tom Brady, used those helmets last season . . . The Broncos released running back C.J. Anderson, clearing a combined $9 million off the books over the next two seasons for Denver . . . Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will make $790,000 next season after signing as an exclusive rights free agent. Gordon played five games last season following an NFL suspension and a lengthy rehab stint . . . The Vikings re-signed linebacker Eric Kendricks.
Mitchell may sit out
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has a left foot contusion, and his status is uncertain for Game 2 of Utah’s Western Conference playoff series against the Thunder on Tuesday. Mitchell was injured in the third quarter of Game 1 Sunday, and he played sporadically the rest of the game . . . Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr. is leaving for the NBA Draft after one season in college. Carter was part of a 1-2 punch in the low post with fellow freshman Marvin Bagley III, who also will enter the draft . . . Former Duke coach Vic Bubas, 91, who led the Blue Devils to three Final Fours in 10 seasons, died in Durham, N.C. Bubas went 213-67 at Duke from 1959-69 and won the first of his four ACC titles in his first season . . . Hal Greer, 81, a Hall of Fame guard and the Philadelphia 76ers’ career leading scorer, died on Saturday night in Arizona after a brief illness. Obituary, B7 . . . Former University of Tennessee star Daedra Charles-Furlow, 49, known as Daedra Charles during her playing career, died in Wayne County, Mich., on Saturday. She played on Tennessee’s 1989 and 1991 national title teams and also was on the US Olympic team that won the bronze medal in 1992.
Surgery for Rays star
Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier has a torn ligament in his right thumb that requires surgery and he could be sidelined for 2-3 months. Kiermaier was injured sliding head-first into second base on Sunday during a 10-4 loss to the Phillies. This will be the third straight season the two-time Gold Glove winner will miss significant time because of injury . . . Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison will be out six weeks with a broken bone in his left hand. Harrison fractured his pinkie finger Sunday when he was hit with a pitch by Miami’s Jose Urena.
Busch takes Bristol
Kyle Busch stood on the hood of his No. 18 Toyota shaking his fists as the snow began falling around him. It was that kind of a long weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Busch won the rain-delayed NASCAR race on the half-mile track on a raw Monday for his second straight Cup Series victory. He also won last weekend at Texas. Busch passed Kyle Larson with five laps remaining following a restart with 22 laps left. Larson finished second, while Jimmie Johnson was third. . . . Figure skater Patrick Chan, who won his long-awaited Olympic gold as part of the team event at the PyeongChang Olympics, is retiring after more than a decade on the world stage. Chan, 27, steps away from professional competition as the most decorated figure skater in Canadian history. Along with team gold in February he won a pair of silver medals at the Sochi Games, captured three world titles, and was the national champion a record 10 times.