4:45 LRN Sportscast January 3rd

The Saints are not required to release an injury report, because they do not have a game this week. But we know several players have been sitting out of practice this week. According to Nick Underhill of the Advocate, Alex Okafor, Cameron Jordan, Terron Armstead, Jermon Bushrod, Andrus Peat and Larry Warford have missed practice the last two days.

President Trump has signed legislation that will result in former Saints special teams standout Steve Gleason receiving the Congressional Gold Medal. Gleason’s work through the Team Gleason Foundation has helped provide A-L-S sufferers and others have access to speech-generating devices and other tools. Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy says the US Mint will design the medal and Gleason will be honored later this year.

According to Bet-online, the Saints are the favorites to win Super Bowl 53. They put New Orleans’ chances at 5 to 2. Kansas is at 9-to-2, followed by the Rams who are at 11-to-2. New England is 6 to 1.

La Tech needs to find a new defensive coordinator. Blake Baker has left the Bulldogs for the same job at Miami, where Manny Diaz was just named the head coach. Baker has been in Ruston since 2014 and this past season the Bulldogs finished 27th in the nation in total defense.

In college basketball…Louisiana Tech takes a seven-game winning streak into North Texas tonight. U-N-T is on an 11-game winning streak and they are 13-and-1 overall, their best start since 1952-53.

ULM has a winning record as the Warhawks begin Sun Belt play tonight by hosting Little Rock. And the Ragin Cajuns host Arkansas State. It’s UL-Lafayette’s first game without senior captain Malik Marquetti. The senior transfer from USC was averaging 15 points a game, before suffering a season-ending injury on Saturday.

Southland Conference play started last night, McNeese defeated Incarnate Word 88-77 as Roydell Brown had his seventh double-double. Nicholls dribbled past Northwestern State 78-72 as Gavin Peppers poured in a career-high 24 points and Southeastern Louisiana lost to Stephen F Austin 65-60, despite having a nine point lead in the first half.