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As the minutes wound down on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium and Bengals fans looked for the exits, the band of Bears fans that remained began waving navy-and-orange blankets and chanting, “Let’s go Bears!” Yea! Bears fans travel with their team.

Afterward, in the locker room, Bears players joked and laughed and threw out words such as “rewarding” and “relief.”

Sure, the 33-7 victory over the Bengals brought the Bears’ record this season to a measly 4-9. And yes, it came against a hobbled, five-win team.

But the Bears went 49 days between victories — and two years and 25 days since last topping the 30-point mark in a game — so they and their fans were starved for celebration.

“I don’t think it was just Mitch (Trubisky); I think we all needed it,” tight end Adam Shaheen said. “We’ve been struggling, lost a couple of close ones. This was a great win we needed. And it was against a good team.

“When everything was clicking, everybody was getting opportunities. When you’re rolling, it helps out everybody.”

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Although Dwyane Wade was not part of the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ run of three straight NBA Finals appearances, he’s here for the run at a fourth. And he’s observed some familiar struggles.
Wade referenced the 2013-14 Miami Heat team — the last of the Big Three coalitions — when discussing the current Cavs’ plight. Where that might scare some northeast Ohioans given that team’s fate, he provided some contrast as well.

“That last year in Miami when we went to the Finals, I don’t know how we made it,” Wade said Thursday, via ESPN. “As a team, we were kind of like this. It was worse, because it wasn’t new guys; it was guys who had been around each other four years in a row. Your jokes weren’t funny anymore to other guys, when you walked in it wasn’t a big smile any more. Guys were just over you. It’s like being in a bad marriage.”
LeBron James and Wade led the Heat to their fourth straight Finals appearance, but the San Antonio Spurs dominated the top-heavy team on what turned out to be its last legs. James left for Cleveland a month later, taking his unprecedented finals-qualifying talents (excepting the 1960s Boston Celtics in an eight-team NBA for much of that span) to his hometown and using a collection of new teammates as sidekicks.
Several sidekicks remain from all three finals teams — like Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert — but the Cavs are breaking in plenty of new players this season. And they’ve lost four in a row to plummet to 3-5. Only two East teams are worse.


The Cavs are not averse to drama during the James-2.0 stretch, but they are entering some oddly key regular-season games in November. James’ final Heat team started 4-3 before reeling off 10 straight wins. Wade didn’t guarantee that, but the 35-year-old guard believes the Cavs are better than what they’ve shown.
“With the new guys here, you’ve got guys that have never been [to the Finals], guys who are hungry,” Wade said. “Obviously, Isaiah (Thomas) is one of them, who’s out. [And there’s] Derrick (Rose) and guys who have never been. Hopefully we can eventually pull from that and everybody wants to see the other guys succeed and get to that pinnacle they got to.
“… We have to continue to understand that we’re going to get out of this together and this is going to be a distant memory at one point, but right now we’re in it. We have to figure it out, and I think we will.”


Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was denied a request for a preliminary injunction by U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla, meaning he will have to serve the six game suspension. At least, for now.


According to ESPN, after hearing arguments from the NFL and NFLPA yesterday afternoon, Judge Failla stayed the decision for 24 hours to afford parties the opportunity to consider appellate options. In other words, Zeke and the NFLPA have the option of appealing the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, in the next 24 hours and could seek a stay that would allow him to continue playing while the appeal process plays out.
In her ruling, according to ESPN, Judge Failla said, “the NFLPA has failed to demonstrate a substantial question warranting the extraordinary remedy of injunctive relief or a balance of hardships that decidedly weighs in its favor.”


Although Elliott was never charged in the domestic violence case, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for six games following a year-long investigation into the accusations made by his former girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson. The league determined that he violated the NFL’s conduct policy, which warranted a mandatory six-game suspension. 
If the suspension stands, and at this point we’re not comfortable assuming anything, the Cowboys figure to lean on veteran running backs Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden. The Cowboys will host the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9 this Sunday.


Dallas’ upcoming schedule includes Week 10 at the Atlanta Falcons, Week 11 home vs the Philadelphia Eagles, Week 12 home vs the Los Angeles Chargers, Week 13 home vs the Washington Redskins, and Week 14 on the road against the New York Giants.
Zeke would be eligible to return for the Cowboys’ Week 15 matchup against the Raiders in Oakland.

The Philadelphia Eagles have added another weapon to their offensive arsenal, trading for Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi, the team announced on Tuesday morning.According to Armando Salguero, the Eagles are sending a fourth-round pick for the running back, who had three games of 200 yards rushing or more during the 2016 season. Ajayi was a fifth-round pick in 2015.


Why the Eagles made this trade:

The Eagles have suffered some injures at the position this season. They lost both Darren Sproles and Donnell Pumphrey to IR. Sproles with a torn ACL and broken arm, and Pumphrey with a torn hamstring.

The team’s workload at the position has come from LeGarrett Blount, who has had a fine season. He’s got 100 carries for 467 yards, but he’s proven he’s most effective as a short-yardage back and red zone threat. Adding another weapon in Ajayi eases up the load on Blount.

The Eagles have already been one of the most thrilling teams in the NFL through the first eight weeks of the season. Bolstering their backfield with another weapon right now seems like a win-now move, and it’s hard to blame them for making it. They’re the most impressive team this season.

Why the Dolphins made this trade:

The Dolphins are coming off of an embarrassing 40-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night. Ajayi had 13 carries that evening for just 23 yards, and hasn’t been quite as sharp as he was last season.

After a 1,272 yard season and eight touchdowns in 2016, Ajayi’s seen his yards per attempt drop from 4.9 to 3.4. He’s eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark just twice this season. Once on opening day against the Chargers, and against the Falcons in Week 6.

The Dolphins’ offense has been rough this season, and clearly they feel Ajayi doesn’t fit into what they’re doing moving forward.

Attempting to win back support after a sexist comment this week, the always fashion-conscious Carolina quarterback Cam Newton made a noteworthy clothing choice on the Panthers’ team flight to Detroit today.


Newton wore a hat pin showing the woman from the World War II “We Can Do It!” poster celebrating women working in factories to aid the war effort. (The woman in the poster is often referred to as Rosie the Riveter, although Rosie the Riveter was a separate cultural icon of World War II who only became conflated with the “We Can Do It!” poster decades later.) The “We Can Do It!” woman has become a symbol of feminism and women’s empowerment.

After mocking a female reporter’s question this week and losing a sponsor as a result, Newton is attempting to rehabilitate his image. He previously issued a video apology.

The Panthers made a point of tweeting an image of Newton boarding the team flight, with the hat pin clearly visible