Vontaze Burfict carted off after illegal crackback block by Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster

For the second time in Monday night’s bitter rivalry between the Steelers and Bengals, a star defensive linebacker was carted off the field after suffering an injury.

Thompson, who has been out since Nov. 1 with a strained left calf, will play against the Hawks barring any setback from how his body responds from Monday’s training.

Thompson began the season on the bench and stated his goal of winning the Sixth Man of the Year award. Lue quickly shifted gears, bringing Thompson back to the starting center position for five of the eight games he’s played because of Kevin Love’s struggles at the 5.

“We’re playing good basketball right now, having a good flow and a good rhythm, and Tristan understands that,” Lue said. “We’re just going to keep it the same way for right now.”

The Cavs went 16-3 in Thompson’s absence — including wins in 13 of their past 14 games.

The coach said one area in which the team has felt comfortable going “overboard” when it comes to Fultz’s development is managing his diet.

“Like, really paying attention to educating him on the sleep and the food and the hydration, all that type of stuff,” Brown said. “It’s a holistic program, and it’s not like everybody is confused on how to treat this time. We’ve had lots of practice at it, and I think that he’ll come out better for it, in a twisted way, for the time that we’ve been able to give him when he just can’t play NBA basketball.”

Jones has returned 24 kicks for 789 yards for an average of 32.9 yards, which ranks fourth best in the FBS this season.

He is third nationally with three all-purpose plays of 90 or more yards.

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