Thursday’s Sports in Brief
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lance Armstrong reached a $5 million settlement with the federal government in a whistleblower lawsuit that could have sought $100 million in damages from the cyclist who was stripped of his record seven Tour de France victories after admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs throughout much of his career.
The deal came as the two sides prepared for a trial that was scheduled to start May 7 in Washington. Armstrong’s former U.S. Postal Service teammate Floyd Landis filed the original lawsuit in 2010 and is eligible for up to 25 percent of the settlement along with attorney fees paid by Armstrong.
Seeking millions it spent sponsoring Armstrong’s powerhouse teams, the government joined the lawsuit against Armstrong in 2013 after his televised confession to Oprah Winfrey to using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs and methods. Armstrong had already retired, but the confession shattered the legacy of one of the most popular sports figures in the world.
In a statement to The Associated Press, Armstrong said he’s happy to have “made peace with the Postal Service.”
NEW YORK (AP) — Super Bowl champion Philadelphia will host Atlanta to kick off the 2018 NFL season on Thursday night, Sept. 6.
Green Bay hosts Chicago in the first Sunday night matchup on Sept. 9, while the Monday nighters on opening weekend feature the New York Jets at Detroit, followed by the Los Angeles Rams at Oakland.
The Eagles also will play at England’s home of soccer when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8 at Wembley Stadium.
That’s one of four international games. The other match at Wembley will be the previous week with the Los Angeles Chargers hosting the Tennessee Titans. Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium, also in London, will be the site for a Raiders home game on Oct. 14 against Seattle.
For the third straight year, the NFL will stage a game in Mexico City: the Rams will host Kansas City in a Week 11 Monday night game.
Thanksgiving will provide a feast of divisional games. The traditional doubleheader in Detroit and Dallas has the Lions playing the Bears, followed by the Redskins at the Cowboys. At night, it will be Atlanta visiting New Orleans.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Defensive end Dwight Freeney will retire as a member of the Indianapolis Colts on Monday.
Freeney was a seven-time Pro Bowler, a three-time first-team All-Pro selection and played in three Super Bowls. He won his only title with the Colts following the 2006 season.
The speed rusher was best known for his trademark spin, a move defensive coaches chided and offensive linemen feared.
Freeney was Indy’s first-round draft pick in 2002 and stayed through 2012. He is second in Colts’ history with 107½ sacks, trailing only Robert Mathis. He also played with San Diego, Arizona, Atlanta, Seattle and Detroit and is tied for No. 17 in league history with 125½ sacks.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants terminated the contract of veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
General manager Dave Gettleman confirmed the move during his pre-draft news conference. He says the 34-year-old Marshall failed his physical. Marshall was scheduled to make $5 million this season.
After signing a two-year, $12 million contract as a free agent a little more than a year ago, Marshall played in five games last season. He was hurt against the Los Angeles Chargers in early October and had season-ending surgery to stabilize his ankle.
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Reds fired Bryan Price after their 3-15 start, the first managerial change in the major leagues this season.
Price was in his fifth season leading the rebuilding team, which has relied on rookies more than any other team in the majors during his tenure. The Reds have lost at least 94 games in each of the last three seasons while finishing last in the NL Central.
Bench coach Jim Riggleman will manage the team on an interim basis. The move came during an off-day in St. Louis. The Reds are coming off back-to-back shutout losses in Milwaukee, the first time they were blanked in consecutive games since 2015.
Price was given the job of leading the Reds during a massive overhaul. They were 279-387 under Price, who got the job when Dusty Baker was fired after the 2013 season for failing to get beyond the first round of the playoffs.
The Reds suffered significant injuries during spring training and got off to their worst start since the Great Depression while drawing small crowds at Great American Ball Park.