Happening Elsewhere: The Big Four-Leafed Clover

Happening Elsewhere: The Big Four-Leafed Clover

This one has been in the works for a while now, but sometime in the last 48 hours (I think) it went official: Shaquille O'Neal, billion-time All-Star and future-Hall of Famer is a member of the Boston Celtics. Shaq had sought a two-year deal for about the mid-level to play on a contender, but ultimately decided the latter portion was more important (or perhaps just more practical) than the first two. So a one-year deal for the vet minimum (about $1.5 mil--don't worry, I'm sure he can always find some loose change in the couch cushions if need be) to be Boston's (eventual) third-string center. Weird.

Can the Diesel still be a contributor on a good team? I feel like it's always useful to have a 600-pound behemoth of a center, who at the very least will continue to command a double team and put the fear of God into undersized guards brave enough to drive the lane against him well into his 60s. Yet the advanced stats showed pretty unequivocally that the Cavs were a better team last year with Shaq off the floor and on, and considering that his skill set never exactly screamed "System Guy," it's hard to know what to do with the guy when you can't just focus the entire offense around him anymore.

Regardless, the Celtics badly need big-man depth without Rasheed Wallace and (for at least half the year) Kendrick Perkins, and you never know when someone is gonna give recent signee Jermaine O'Neal too hard a look and send him back to the DL for a month or two. For the things that Shaq can provide them, the deal is really something of a steal for the C's--though of course, taking the back seat and playing his part was never a particular strong suit of Shaq Fu's, and you never knwo when things could backfire.

Still, I'm looking forward to watch the awkwardness of O'Neal riding the pine in the Green and White. I'm hoping Shaq embraces his fate in his twilight years and becomes the league's Ultimate 12th Man, whooping on the sidelines, waving towels, leading the cheers, etc. The Big Whatever's skill set on the court may be eroding, but give him semi-official Vice President in Charge of Partying and Funny Hats responsibilities, and the dude can still bring it with the best of 'em. The potential for greatness is there, certainly, in one form or the other.

Oh yeah, and yet another chance at a Kobe-Shaq finals. You know, a watched pot never boils, ABC. Quit trying to force it.

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

USA Today Images

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

The Eagles have brought back a familiar face to take Ron Brooks' roster spot.

On Monday, the team claimed defensive tackle Taylor Hart off waivers from San Francisco. Hart was just waived on Saturday by the 49ers, who claimed him after the Eagles waived him at final cuts.

So, Hart is coming back to Philly after a stint with Chip Kelly in San Francisco.

Hart, 25, played in one game for the 49ers this year. The Eagles are light at defensive tackle thanks to Bennie Logan's groin injury. While head coach Doug Pederson on Monday said Logan was getting better, the Eagles still brought in more depth by claiming Hart.

While still with the Eagles, Kelly had a hand in drafting Hart, an Oregon product, in the fifth round of 2014.

Hart worked hard this offseason to learn how to play in Jim Schwartz's aggressive 4-3 defense, which is very unlike the ones he had played in during college and in the NFL.

Brooks has been placed on IR after rupturing a quad tendon during Sunday's game against the Vikings. He'll have surgery this week.

In addition to adding Hart to the active roster, the Eagles also added cornerback Aaron Grymes to their practice squad.

Grymes, 25, was having an impressive training camp and preseason with the Eagles before injuring his right shoulder. He was waived shortly after that.

After coming out of the University of Idaho in 2013, Grymes didn't make an NFL team so he went to Canada. He ended up as a starter and All-Star on the Edmonton Eskimos and won a Grey Cup in 2015.

To make room for Grymes, the Eagles cut OL Matt Rotheram from the practice squad.