Friday’s Sports in Brief
METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Dez Bryant’s tenure with the Saints may have been short-lived.
In just his second practice with New Orleans, the newly acquired wide receiver indicated in social media posts Friday that he has had a significant setback.
The team’s injury report listed Bryant as questionable for Sunday’s game in Cincinnati with an ankle injury, but a person familiar with the situation said the team is still awaiting the results of a doctor’s examination of Bryant.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced any details of Bryant’s medical exam.
Bryant has indicated on social media that the injury will be challenging to overcome, writing on his verified Twitter account, “Things was just starting to heat up for me ... I won’t question the man upstairs ... this is the ultimate test.. thank you everyone for the prayers.”
The 30-year-old signed with the Saints on Wednesday following a workout in New Orleans a day earlier .
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The NFL has fined Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard $10,026 for celebrating his end-zone interception on the Dallas Cowboys star logo at midfield.
Byard said Friday the fine was actually worth it as the interception helped change momentum by denying the Cowboys a possible touchdown. The Titans outscored the Cowboys 28-7 after the interception en route to a 28-14 victory Monday night.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Twins star Joe Mauer is retiring after 15 seasons.
The Twins released a retirement statement Friday from Mauer that will run Sunday in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Mauer, who missed significant time this season with a concussion, says in the ad that his decision “came down to my health and my family.”
“Thank you, Minnesota Twins, and thank you, fans, for making my career as special and memorable as it was,” Mauer writes. “Because of you I can leave the game I love with a full and grateful heart.”
Mauer is 35 and his eight-year, $184 million contract expired after last season.
In his 15 major league seasons, Mauer appeared in six All-Star games, won three Gold Gloves, three batting titles and racked up 2,123 hits, all with his hometown Twins.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chase Utley has been released by the Los Angeles Dodgers so he can officially retire after 16 years in the major leagues.
The veteran second baseman said in July he would retire at season’s end in order to be a full-time dad to his two young sons. He turns 40 next month.
Utley played his first 13-plus seasons with Philadelphia, where he was a key member of the 2008 World Series championship team. He helped the Phillies win five straight NL East titles from 2007-11.
The six-time All-Star was traded to the Dodgers in 2015, where he was a valued clubhouse presence while his on-field role was reduced to part-time.
Utley hit .275 with 259 home runs and 1,885 hits in his career. He also was hit by pitches 204 times.
NEW YORK (AP) — J.P. Ricciardi is leaving the New York Mets after eight seasons.
The Mets announced his decision Friday, a day after the end of the annual general managers’ meetings and 11 days after hiring Brodie Van Wagenen to succeed Sandy Alderson as general manager.
Ricciardi was hired as a special assistant to Alderson in November 2010 and had been part of the trio running the team’s baseball operations after Alderson took a leave in July following a recurrence of cancer. Assistant general manager John Ricco and special assistant Omar Minaya remain with the team, at least for now.
NEW YORK (AP) — Pittsburgh pitcher Cristian Charle and San Diego pitcher Heriberto Sosa have been each been suspended for the first 72 games of next season under baseball’s minor league drug program following positive tests for the performance-enhancing substance Stanozolol.
The commissioner’s office also announced Friday that Oakland pitcher Oscar Tovar has been suspended 50 games after a positive test for the banned stimulant Phentermine.
Charle, an 18-year-old right-hander, is on the roster of the Dominican Summer League Pirates 2 and Sosa, a 20-year-old right-hander, is on the Dominican Summer League Padres. Tovar, a 20-year-old right-hander, is with Vermont of the Class A New York-Penn League.
WNBA rookie of the year A’ja Wilson has returned home Friday night from playing in China because of a minor right knee injury sustained in a game.
Wilson signed with the Shanxi Flame and was leading the Chinese League in scoring averaging 37.3 points a game.
She will rehab the injury in South Carolina and will hopefully return to her Chinese club for the second part of the season.
Wilson was the No. 1 pick of the Las Vegas Aces in last season’s WNBA draft. She averaged 20.7 points and 8.0 rebounds for the Aces.
MIAMI (AP) — Miami Hurricanes forward Dewan Hernandez is sitting out the start of the season as the school and the NCAA review his eligibility in the wake of a federal investigation into college basketball corruption.
The school announced shortly before the tipoff of the team’s opener Friday against Lehigh that Hernandez would not play, but offered no details on the decision.
Last month, a federal jury in New York found three men guilty of fraud charges for channeling secret payment to the families of top-tier recruits to influence their choices of schools, apparel companies and agents. The verdicts placed the blame on the men for exposing the universities to NCAA sanctions, essentially portraying the schools as victims.
PROVO, Utah (AP) — The BYU men’s basketball program was placed on probation for two years and must vacate 47 wins under sanctions imposed Friday by the NCAA in an improper-benefits case involving guard Nick Emery.
The NCAA said the player received more than $12,000 in benefits from four boosters, including travel to concerts and an amusement park and the use of a new car. The NCAA also accepted the university’s self-imposed penalties of reducing one scholarship, disassociation of one of its boosters and a $5,000 fine.
BYU said in a statement that the university, the coaching staff and the athletic department had no knowledge of the infractions and that they disagreed with vacating wins