Morning Links:

Steve O Speak

Twins Morneau Hopes To Return This Season: While the Twins are still in first place with 20 games to go in their brand new park, it has been a rough year for their slugger Justin Morneau. He has missed the past two months due to concussion symptoms, after getting off to a torrid start this season. While the Twins have survived the loss, they would likely be in a few more games up on the White Sox had Morneau not missed so much time. It appears that Morneau may be returning to Target Field in the coming weeks, just in time to fend off a late push by the White Sox and for the start of the Playoffs. If the Twins want to go far this postseason they will need Morneau, back healthy in the middle of their lineup.

Bills Go With Spiller Atop Their Depth Chart: Now this move was pretty much expected since the Bills passed on much needed quarterbacks and offensive linemen to draft Spiller 9th overall in April’s draft, but was affirmed yesterday. Buffalo pretty much had to show Spiller as their number 1 tailback, after what they passed on to get him. Now there is no doubt that Spiller is a weapon, but it is a bit surprising that he is listed as their starter considering what Fred Jackson did last season. Jackson in split time ran for over 1,000 yards and added an additional 370 receiving yards, as well as over 1,100 return yards. Now Spiller will take some of those roles, but the Bills shouldn’t forget about Jackson. He proved himself to be a good runner last year, and he is worthy of 15-20 carries a game as well. In fairness to Spiller and the coaching staff, Jackson was banged up this preseason and isn’t 100% yet, but it will be interesting to see how they use him when he is.

Bulldogs Green to Miss Three More Games: Georgia’s top flight receiver A.J. Green missed last Saturday’s game due to NCAA rule violations, now the Bulldogs will be without him for another 3 weeks. The ban is a result of Green selling his bowl jersey to an ‘agent’ for $1,000. Green was also under further investigation for additional improper contact with agents, but that apparently is behind him. The loss of Green didn’t really affect Georgia week 1 against Louisiana-Lafayette, but could have major implications the rest of the way. Over the next three weeks Georgia faces (24) South Carolina, (14) Arkansas, and Mississippi State (two of which are on the road). Georgia could easily have 2 losses by the time Green comes back and that is before they face the toughest part of their schedule.

The suspension could also affect Green individually as well since his draft status could take a significant hit. While Green will play the majority of the year, and the bowl game (if Georgia qualifies) he is missing a good chunk of time against quality opponents. While he is projected to be the top receiver off the board and a potential top 5 pick by most draft pundits (if he declares early), he could lose ground to Julio Jones, Micheal Floyd and Jonathan Baldwin with this missed time. All three offer similar package’s to Green and have actually put up better numbers. Green needed a huge year to maintain that top of the draft status, and he could very well slide into the middle or even late into the first round. Some might say that it won’t affect him that much, but Dez Bryant this past season was suspended by the NCAA and fell to the end of the 1st round. And Bryant really didn’t have any competition at receiver. When Green comes back he has to be firing on all cylinders if he is to regain his spot atop the wide receivers draft board.

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