Kelvin Benjamin out for season with torn ACL

Kelvin Benjamin has been diagnosed with a torn ACL after leaving practice Wednesday, the Carolina Panthers announced. He will miss the entire 2015 season.

The second-year wide receiver was carted off the practice field after going down in a joint practice with the Miami Dolphins. The injury appeared to come without contact while he was attempting to cut on a route against a Dolphins cornerback. He went down and immediately held his left knee. After practice, head coach Ron Rivera called the injury a knee sprain, but an MRI confirmed it was more serious than that.

Wide receiver has been a position of worry for the Panthers for a couple seasons and the team is now in bad shape without Benjamin in the lineup. Corey “Philly” Brown is slated to start for the Panthers after earning some starting time as an undrafted rookie in 2014, finishing the year with 21 receptions for 296 yards and two touchdowns.

Both sides spent a long day in court on Aug. 12 making their respective cases to Judge Berman. That’s been followed by intermittent settlement talks, including Brady and Goodell meeting for a few hours on Tuesday to no avail. The two sides have until Sep. 4 to make a deal. If they can’t agree to something by that date, Judge Berman will decide the case.

On Wednesday morning, Schefter also tweeted out a picture of the box containing an NFL game ball. The manufacturer notes on the packaging that air retention could be an issue and cautions the user to avoid inclement weather. It’s an important point to make. The science behind ball inflation and the impact of outside conditions has flummoxed Ted Wells and the NFL since the earliest days of the DeflateGate investigation, undercutting the validity of their case. Schefter reported the Brady news less than three hours after tweeting out that information about the game balls, interesting timing to say the least.

Ravens vs. Falcons 2015 live stream: Start time, TV schedule and how to watch online

In the final preseason game, will Ravens head coach John Harbaugh get testy with a sideline reporter again? It might depend on how his team plays Thursday night in a clash with the Atlanta Flacons. Even in a game where few starters play, Harbaugh will no doubt want a better performance out of his players than they managed last week in a brawl-filled 30-13 loss to Washington a week ago.

For several players, this will be their last chance to earn a spot on their team’s 53-man roster. Ravens linebacker Arthur Brown will try to impress the team that drafted him in 2013. He was considered a player primed for the chopping block, but has he gained the respect of Harbaugh and is now trying to earn playing time behind two established starters, Daryl Smith and C.J. Mosley.

We should see a lot less thinking and a lot more doing from him this year. Keep in mind that this joker is all of 6’8, close to 300 pounds and ran a fucking 4.6 flat at the Combine. Yeah, he weighed a little less back then, but he’s still fast as hell and quick off the ball. He also had 38 bench press reps of 225 back then, and from what I’ve seen on film, he damn sure hasn’t lost any strength.

The main thing that’s held Hunt back, other than injuries, is that he played with way too much hesitancy. Now that the training wheels are off, I expect him take advantage of his physical gifts and start kicking asses on a regular basis. Maybe he won’t be a double-digit sack guy, but five or more sacks is definitely not out of the question. He has the ability to do that and be a friggin monster against the run with his combination of size and strength. That would be one hell of a year for a backup defensive end.

Steelers brought back Vine star Cousin Terio to dance in locker room

He’s back and he’s still dancing.

Cousin Terio, the meme sensation from 2013, has popped back up onto the internet’s viewfinder by visiting the Pittsburgh Steeler’s locker room.

Now nine years old, the former Vine star and the one who gave us “Ooooo kill ‘em” is JuJuing on that beat for the NFL playoffs.

I guess he got over the whole being exploited thing.

Back in 2014, there was a dark period where Terio didn’t want to dance anymore, and then he disappeared into the darkness where all old memes go, joining ermahgerd girl and the gal who was in her mum’s car (vroom vroom).

Among the potential candidates to become a head coach in 2017 are New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. There are also rumors involving New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton possibly being traded, and the long shot that Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh could give the NFL another try.

Here’s a ranking of every available coaching job, which is a helpful companion piece when trying to match candidate with opening.

Stay here for news on every team’s hunt for a new head coach.

It’s 2017 and there are still free agents to sign

Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.

The Jets selected Burmistrov with the eighth overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft, when they were still the Atlanta Thrashers. The team rushed Burmistrov, an 18-year-old, into NHL ice time and he failed to produce. Jets fans now look at that decision as a mistake.

After two seasons of jumping from the NHL to the AHL, Burmistrov left the franchise for the KHL for two seasons. He returned last year and put up only 21 points in 81 games. This year, the 25-year-old Burmistrov has just two assists in 23 games, forcing the Jets to finally cut ties.

Burmistrov is the latest pickup by the Coyotes of a player no longer wanted by their NHL team. Since GM John Chayka took over in the summer, Arizona has acquired Lawson Crouse from the Panthers, Anthony DeAngelo from the Lightning, and Peter Holland from the Maple Leafs as they rebuild.

Raiders will play the Texans in Wild Card round of 2017 NFL playoffs

For the first time since 2002, the Raiders are heading to the postseason.

The Raiders narrowly missed their first division championship in over a decade with a loss to the Broncos on Sunday and a Chiefs win. However, they did manage to clinch a spot in the playoffs with a No. 5 seed and will face the Houston Texans.

Brady has been brilliant since coming off his four-game suspension, and he didn’t have much trouble with the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Brady threw for 276 yards and three touchdowns on 25-of-33 passing, leading the Patriots to an easy win and clinching the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

The Patriots will be heavy favorites to reach the Super Bowl again, and Brady is a huge reason why. He’ll certainly garner plenty of MVP votes when the regular season wraps up.

While Detroit has made the playoffs seven times since winning the NFC North in 1993 — the last division crown for the Lions — the last postseason victory for the team was in Jan. 1992, when the Lions advanced to the NFC Championship. Does the team have what it takes to buck that trend and make some noise in the postseason in 2016? That depends on how well Stafford performs.

If the Lions want to have success in the postseason, they must establish a rushing attack to take some of the pressure off Stafford. On defense, Detroit has to limit big plays and create turnovers.

It’ll have a chance to bolster its playoff standing Sunday night against the Packers. The game will decide the NFC North champion and leave the other team with the No. 6 seed.

Most impressive about LaVine is his improvement as a shooter

When Zach LaVine was drafted 13th overall in 2014 after one season at UCLA, everybody who had seen him play knew he could jump. At the time, though, the bouncy athlete seemed years away from rounding into form as an NBA player. His jump shot was shaky at best and his role on the court was largely undefined, being a rangy 6-foot-5 player who didn’t perfectly fit the description of a point guard or shooting guard.

Today, the pick looks like a brilliant move and a gamble that paid off. LaVine is averaging 37.5 minutes per game in his third NBA season and is a high-riser not just on the court but also in the fantasy rankings.

Most impressive about LaVine is his improvement as a shooter. He is making 2.9 3s per game this season and shooting 41.4 percent from behind the arc and a career-high 47.5 percent from the field.

This week’s edition of the fantasy basketball Insider cheat sheet looks at the success of backcourt teammates James Harden and Eric Gordon and looks closer at Alex Len’s future in Phoenix.

“This guy right here is just so unbelievably mentally and physically gifted that he’s had a blueprint that he believes in,” Irving says of James. “And he runs a team and believes in a team and leads a team the right way, and all I’ve done is just taken myself back, removed myself emotionally and learned from him and try to get as close as I can.

“Because for as long as he’s playing this game, I’m going to continue to get better. So, that’s where the next point in my career is. Just I become more of a student of the game. I have a true appreciation for what he’s done as well as what our team is doing. So I don’t want to ever take it for granted.”

The Kyrie 3 will make its NBA debut on Christmas Day as Irving and the Cavaliers face the Warriors.

Nor should Irving have reason to. Since James left Miami to come back to the Cavs, Irving’s still had plenty of Alpha moments — from becoming one of just 10 current players with a signature shoe with a U.S.-based brand, according to Nick DePaula of The Vertical, to becoming just the fourth player ever (along with James, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen) to win an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year.

Kirk Cousins rebounds from bad game, Redskins remain alive

The Washington Redskins had no shot at the postseason if quarterback Kirk Cousins threw the ball the way he did Monday night. But the thing to know about Cousins is that when he’s doubted, he comes through. Or when he struggles, he knows how to recover.

He had just as many touchdown passes in the first half as he did incompletions. He was 19-of-22 for 268 yards. He threw one ball away on purpose, Davante Adams dropped one and Ty Montgomery couldn’t handle another.

Man, Ravens-Steelers never disappoints. Best rivalry in the game.

And the Steelers just slayed a Ravens dragon that has been breathing fire in their backyard for years — clinching the AFC North and the No. 3 seed in the process.

“I have to get the ball in — I have to get the ball in,” Brown said of Roethlisberger trusting him on a delayed cut toward the middle. Brown caught the ball at the 1 and fought for the final yard.

“I know I’m going to take some contact,” Brown said, “and I knew after that I was going to be able to get the ball in.”

The Steelers’ fourth quarter was better than any script could deliver. As receiver Antonio Brown stretched over the goal line for a 4-yard touchdown, with Ravens safety Eric Weddle draped across his chest, the Steelers capped a fourth quarter that produced 240 yards of offense and three touchdowns.

When he found Richard Rodgers for a 13-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, he became just the second quarterback with four passing touchdowns and a rushing score in a game this season (Drew Brees was the other).