This Week in U.S. Sports: Controversy surrounds Redskins, College Football Playoff almost set
The Washington Redskins enter Week 13 of the NFL season embroiled in controversy after making a high-profile waiver claim.
Meanwhile, the world of college football is three games away from knowing which four teams will contest the playoff for the National Championship.
In the NBA the first notable trade of the season is done, with the post-LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers parting ways with another asset.
Here is what's happening this week in U.S. Sports.
1. Redskins claim LB Reuben Foster on waivers days after domestic violence arrest
On Sunday the NFL world awoke to the news that San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested at the team hotel in Tampa, Florida on domestic violence charges on Saturday.
San Francisco released Foster prior to their loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly because of the linebacker's poor pattern of judgement. Foster was arrested in April on a domestic violence charge as well. That charge was dropped after the accuser recanted her statement.
Just two days after the 49ers cut Foster, the Redskins claimed him on waivers. They released a statement saying he would not play until the legal process played out. Foster was put on the commissioner's exempt list the same day.
"We want to let the process play out and see what happens and get to the bottom of it," Washington head coach Jay Gruden told reporters. "There's no guarantee he's ever going to play here, to be honest with you. He's got a lot of work to do — personally, with the team, with the NFL, with himself — before he even thinks about playing football again.”
A statement from the Washington Redskins Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams: pic.twitter.com/zdxA8hmWtb— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) November 27, 2018
2. A crucial week in college football
A lot happened in the College Football Rankings on Tuesday, but absolutely nothing was decided.
The top three teams remained the same as Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame took those spots, but there was key movement elsewhere that will have a dramatic effect on who gets to play for the National Championship.
Georgia moved up to number four following Michigan's 62-39 loss to Ohio State, Oklahoma improved to fifth after a win over West Virginia, and Ohio State jumped to sixth.
This means several things: if Georgia beat Alabama in the SEC Championship game they will likely earn a playoff berth along with Crimson Tide. But if Georgia lose and Oklahoma win the Big 12 Championship then the Sooners will likely be in depending on the nature of their victory. Ohio State will have a very tough time jumping Oklahoma as they play a Northwestern team ranked lower than the Texas team the Sooners will face for the Big 12 title.
It all comes down to Saturday and so much can still happen but, with Georgia facing one of the best teams of the last decade in Alabama, the deck appears stacked in favour of Oklahoma clinching the final spot in the playoff.
3. Jazz acquire Kyle Korver from Cavaliers
A lot of teams were interested in sharpshooting forward Kyle Korver of the Cavaliers.
Cleveland clearly are not going to compete for a title this season and Korver wanted out because of that. He will now take his talents to the Utah after the Jazz struck a deal for his services.
Utah will send future second-round picks and guard Alec Burks back to Cleveland in return for Korver, who is shooting 46.5 per cent from three-point range this season.
His arrival addresses a desperate need for the Jazz, who are second-last in the NBA in shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
4. Auston Matthews goes off in return
The Toronto Maple Leafs were dealt a blow at the end of October when they learned they were losing 21-year-old center Auston Matthews for a month with a shoulder injury. Fortunately for Toronto, they did a lot more than just keep their head above water in his absence and sit second in the NHL's Atlantic Division.
But Matthews did not want people to forget how good he is, and made a statement upon his return against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.
The 2016 first overall pick scored two goals and added an assist in a 5-3 win over San Jose. His start could hardly have been more impressive, as he registered his opening goal and his assist in the first period against a Sharks penalty kill that led the NHL coming into the matchup.
Matthews is back and he did not miss a beat.
5. Mariners still talking trades
Seattle might not be blowing it up, but the Mariners are certainly making moves.
After trading ace James Paxton to the New York Yankees last week, the Mariners' front office has fixed its sights upon another notable deal, this time featuring their highest-paid player and last season's top closer in the American League.
According to multiple reports, the Mariners are trying to trade Robinson Cano — who still has five years remaining on his 10-year, $240 million contract — along with closer Edwin Diaz.
The suitor appears to be the New York Mets, who may include Rookie of the Year candidate Jeff McNeil in the deal. Nothing is done yet, but this would be another trade that would likely not sit well with Mariners fans.