Harper Questions Continue | Daily sports newsletter

How will the Phillies do without their captain? It was a big question last season, which they answered by winning enough games during Harper’s absence due to a broken thumb to make the postseason for the first time in a decade. But simply put, Harper had returned by then, and without his stellar contributions, it would be doubtful the team would have made it to the World Series and led the favored Astros to six games.

However, all the time the thumb had to heal didn’t improve Harper’s elbow problem. Now the Phillies All-Star will have surgery next week.

While healing times vary, it’s virtually certain that Harper won’t be ready to play on opening day. How long it will take for him to fully heal is a big question, as is how the team will react without him this time.

— Andrea Canales, Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport, [email protected].

❓Were you a Phillies fan who thought it was all over for the team when Harper broke his thumb? If so, what moment convinced you otherwise? Send us an email for a chance to be mentioned in the newsletter.

Among several roster moves Wednesday, the Eagles signed veteran defensive tackle Linval Joseph and placed Dallas Goedert and Marlon Tuipulotu on injured reserve. Joseph is set to fill Tuipulotu’s role as a short-term replacement for Jordan Davis at the heart of the Eagles’ running defense.

“He’s a big guy,” Eagles defensive tackle Milton Williams said of Joseph, who has played 12 NFL seasons. “Only with a big one [man] Like him in the middle, he will definitely draw attention.”

Goedert suffered a shoulder injury in the loss to the Commanders. Tuipulotu’s injury was not disclosed.

Some negative numbers explain why the Eagles are no longer undefeated.

Next: The Eagles visit the Indianapolis Colts Sunday at 1 p.m. (CBS3).

The 76ers have big plans for downtown Philly. Hoping to build a new arena complex called 76 Place in Center City, they gave a tour of the area on Tuesday and shared their hopes for zoning by June.

“Once we have our zoning, we have a project,” said David Adelman, the billionaire chief executive officer of Campus Apartments and a developer who recently became a minority owner of the Sixers. Adelman and Sixers Chief Executive Officer Tad Brown shared her vision with members of the media, and The Inquirer’s Gina Mizell was there to record it all.

Next: The Sixers return to the court Friday (ESPN) to play the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 2021-22 Flyers went on losing streak after losing streak, highlighted by a 10-game slip early in the season that was followed by a franchise-record 13 games.

After a brilliant start to this season, the Flyers have suddenly lost four straight games and face a critical stretch if they are to get the train back on the tracks. If they don’t, as Giana Han writes, it could quickly lead to déjà vu.

Next: The Flyers travel to Boston to take on the first-place Bruins on Thursday (7 p.m. NBCSP).

fans of Teddy Lasso Those who were enthralled by the comedy, set in England, might be a bit conflicted by the World Cup group stage game pitting the United States men’s national team against England’s squad. The fictional character itself does not appear torn. He belongs to Team USA through and through, as evidenced by a series of congratulations to the players in the US squad.

Lasso hasn’t forgotten Medford Messi either, and where else should the letter to Brenden Aaronson be posted if not in Medford itself? Inquirer writer Jonathan Tannenwald took a look at the banner and also spoke to Brenden’s father, Rusty, about the player’s journey to the World Cup.

Already in World Cup fever? Ed Barkowitz has 50 World Cup things to know to start with.

Also, for those who have been wondering about the cost of watching next year’s Major League Soccer games, here’s the damage.

Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski says the team has the payroll flexibility to sign another high-paying free agent. That means free-agent shortstops Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson and Carlos Correa can expect a call from the Phillies.

The Phillies’ offseason message isn’t quite Doug Pederson’s “new normal,” writes Marcus Hayes, but it’s pretty close.

“We’re not looking really well,” said manager Rob Thomson on Wednesday. “We’re looking for great ones. That’s going to be the focus of what I’m talking about a lot with the players. We don’t just want to be good. We don’t really want to be good. We want to be great.”

Hayes writes: “OK. I buy.”

Also from Marcus Hayes: Nick Castellanos’ home run total fell from 34 to 13 this season. Rhys Hoskins had 12 errors at first base. But the Phillies say Castellanos just had a lot of distractions this year. And they say Hoskins has actually improved as an outfield player.

We asked you: Tough running backs await the Eagles. How can they patch the holes in their fast defense? Among your answers:

I have the solution. Play Nakobe Dean with strong security. – Andrew G

Sign Ndamukong Suh. He’s a real nose tackle so you have the option in 3-4 and 4-3 defense, when Davis comes back you can put both in the center gap and have fresh legs at the ends. We’re too soft in the middle. Now it’s time to give Dean a shot as a linebacker, too. — Randy J.

The inside D line is perhaps one of the easiest in the league without Davis. As such, the Eagles may need to shore up run defense with a mix of run blitzes and press covers on the wideouts. This way there are more defenders at the line of scrimmage. In other words, mix in a more aggressive style. – Reggie S

We’ve put together today’s newsletter with stories from Jonathan Tannenwald, Ed Barkowitz, Giana Han, Kristen Graham, Marcus Hayes, Mike Jensen, Scott Lauber, Gina Mizell, Josh Tolentino and EJ Smith.


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