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The Pittsburgh Steelers are confident quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s surgically repaired right elbow will be ready to go in time for the 2020 regular season, so confident there are no plans to search for a proven veteran backup just in case. General manager Kevin Colbert said Thursday “all signs are good” regarding Roethlisberger’s rehab from an elbow injury that sidelined the two-time Super Bowl winner in the middle of Week 2 and forced him to miss the remainder of the 2019 season.

Browns’ Garrett again alleges racial slur

Newly reinstated Browns defensive end Myles Garrett again reiteratated that Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph directed a racial slur at him prior to the brawl that led to his suspension, Garrett said on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.’’ “He called me a ‘stupid N-word,’ ” Garrett told ESPN. Garrett was banned indefinitely by the NFL for ripping Rudolph’s helmet off and hitting him on the head with it during the Browns’ 21-7 victory Nov. 14. Garrett ended up missing the final six games of the season. He was reinstated by the league Wednesday.

Kaepernick says he’s writing a memoir

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, 32, who knelt during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality while he was with the San Francisco 49ers, announced he’s writing a memoir about what prompted his activism through his own publishing company, Kaepernick Publishing. Out of a job in the NFL the last three years, Kaepernick reached an undisclosed settlement with the NFL after he contended teams colluded to keep him out . . . The Tennessee Titans agreed to a one-year extension with tight end Anthony Firkser, an undrafted free agent out of Harvard who joined the Titans in 2018 after originally signing with the Jets in 2017. No financial terms were disclosed, but Firkser, who will turn 25 on Feb. 19, was set to become an exclusive rights free agent in March . . . The New York Jets signed tight end Daniel Brown, who had seven catches for 72 yards and 1 TD last season, to a one-year contract extension.

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Basketball

Clippers’ George criticizes refs, docked $35k

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The NBA fined Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers $35,000, two days after he was critical of the officiating after his team lost to the host Philadelphia 76ers, 110-103, and pointed out a disparity in fouls after the Clippers were called for eight more than the Sixers as “home-court cooking.” . . . Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, who felt overlooked when he didn’t make the original roster for Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Chicago, was tabbed as the replacement for injured Portland guard Damian Lillard.

. . . The Seattle Storm re-signed Breanna Stewart, the former UConn star and 2018 WNBA MVP and WNBA Finals MVP who led the Storm the franchise’s third WNBA title two years ago . . . The Atlanta Dream have added more size and experience to their front line by signing two-time WNBA All-Star Glory Johnson, 29, a 6-foot-3-inch forward who averaged 12 points and 7.7 rebounds in seven seasons with the Tulsa/Dallas franchise. On Monday, Atlanta acquired 6-foot-7 center Kalani Brown from the Los Angeles Sparks for guard Brittney Sykes and center Marie Gülich.

Miscellany

NU men halt skid, defeat UNC Wilmington

Jordan Roland scored 27 points as the Northeastern men’s basketball team beat UNC Wilmington, 71-63, at Matthews Arena. Maxime Boursiquot had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Huskies (12-13, 6-7 Colonial Athletic Conference), who halted their four-game losing streak. Bolden Brace added 11 points, a career-high 14 rebounds and six assists . . . Senior Emma Guy scored a winning layup at the buzzer to lift the Boston College women’s basketball team to a 56-55 come-from-behind victory over Notre Dame at Conte Forum. Taylor Soule led the Eagles (14-10 overall, 7-6 ACC) with 20 points and 10 rebounds for her seven double-double of the season. Senior Georgia Pineau added 13 points for BC, 11 in the second half . . . Cristiano Ronaldo scored on a late penalty to help Juventus salvage a 1-1 draw at 10-man AC Milan in the first leg of their Italian Cup semifinal . . . Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic and Ted-Jan Bloemen of Canada won individual gold medals on the first day of the ISU World Single Distances Speedskating Championships at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah . . . Samoa-born Jimmy Peau, who as “Jimmy Thunder” recorded one of the fastest knockouts in professional boxing in Flint, Mich., in 1997 with a first-punch victory over American Crawford Grimley, died. He was 54.

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. . . Petra Kvitova advanced to the quarterfinals at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy by beating Alison van Uytvanck, 7-6 (7-1), 1-6, 6-2. Kvitova saved a set point at 5-4 in the first set and then recovered after being broken in the first game of the decider. She then won six of the next seven games. Kvitova will next play either seventh-seeded Donna Vekic or Ekaterina Alexandrova . . . Defending champion Reilly Opelka earned his first win of the season, beating Yoshihito Nishioka, 6-4, 6-4, at the New York Open in Uniondale, N.Y., where the third-seeded Opelka won his first career title last year on Long Island. He will face Jason Jung, who upset No. 7 seed Cameron Norrie, 6-4, 6-4, to reach the quarterfinals for the second straight year . . .   German skiier Thomas Dressen won his second men’s World Cup downhill in two weeks, keeping his slim chance for the discipline title alive. The speed specialist nearly skied out halfway through his run but recovered and edged then-leader Beat Feuz by two-hundredths of a second at Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Austria. Feuz would have locked up the season downhill title for the third straight year if he won the race.

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