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    Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins, tight end Nick Boyle and rookie defensive tackle Travis Jones will make their season debut in Sunday’s Week 3 matchup against the New England Patriots. Cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey (groin), Damarion “Pepe” Williams (ankle) and Marcus Peters (knee) as well as defensive back Brandon Stephens (quad) are active after being listed as questionable to play. Wide receiver Devin Duvernay cleared concussion protocol and will play against the Patriots. Jones, who suffered a knee injury in Baltimore’s preseason matchup against the Arizona Cardinals last month, will play after being a full participant in practice this week. Boyle will make his debut in Gillette Stadium, where he suffered a brutal knee injury two years ago. Dobbins hasn’t played since tearing his ACL, LCL and meniscus in his left knee, along with his hamstring, in last year’s preseason finale against the Washington Commanders. Dobbins practiced fully for the second straight week, but when coach John Harbaugh was asked about the running back’s availability, he said “You’ll know it when you see it.” Dobbins told reporters before Week 2′s matchup...
    Luis González was an early breakout star this season for the Giants, using his athleticism and professional approach at the plate to earn National League rookie of the month honors in May, but the 27-year-old outfielder struggled to regain that form since a chronic back issue interrupted his season in June. Now, those back issues will spell a premature end to González’s season. The Giants placed him on the 10-day injured list before Saturday’s game against the D-backs. Catcher/infielder Ford Proctor was called up to take his place on the roster and started at second base, becoming the franchise-record 65th player used this season. Manager Gabe Kapler told reporters in Phoenix that it was a difficult decision to shut down González and that, despite his sluggish second half, “he’s really earned the right to be out there.” González’s modest final numbers (.254/.323/.360, four homers, 17 doubles, a .683 OPS) obscure a more impressive debut. Before landing on the IL on June 21, González was leading the team with a .302 batting average, spraying the ball to all fields with plenty...
    Chicago Cubs left-hander Brandon Hughes admits he might have been a little thrown off in spring training had he known how this season would have played out. “But I’m here and I’m doing it,” Hughes told the Tribune. “The season has been crazy.” The 26-year-old reliever opened the year at Double-A Tennessee, a brief five-appearance stop before his dominance resulted in a Triple- A promotion. Jason Heyward’s move to the COVID-19 injured list in mid-May created an opportunity for Hughes, whose usage has evolved from low-leverage innings to save opportunities. “He’s been as solid as I’ve seen a rookie come up and be,” manager David Ross said. “Very consistent and is poised out on the mound. … What’s amazing is he hasn’t been pitching that long, so pretty impressive.” Hughes’ transition from outfielder to pitcher was complete by 2019, his first full season on the mound. Before that season, the lefty threw one-third of an inning at South Bend in 2018 and made seven appearances with a 7.11 ERA during his 2015 freshman season with Michigan State. Within four years...
    Getty New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson talking to some teammates ahead of an NFL game. The New York Jets have been led by Joe Flacco through the first two weeks of the season and that’ll continue on Sunday versus the Cincinnati Bengals. However, the 2022 debut of second-year quarterback Zach Wilson is expected during the Week 4 road trip against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The former BYU passer suffered a bone bruise and a meniscus tear during the preseason opener versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Gang Green’s key decision makers have been adamant throughout this process that they won’t let Wilson back onto the field until he’s “110 percent.”Zach Wilson Was Brutally Honest With Garrett WilsonThe Jets released a bonus episode of One Jets Drive (the team’s in-house docuseries) this week to dive deeper into their miraculous comeback versus the Cleveland Browns. During the latest episode, Zach was spotted talking to Garrett on the sideline after he scored his first touchdown and delivered a strong message: “They can’t guard you, bro.” #Jets QB Zach Wilson (@ZachWilson) telling WR Garrett...
    Getty Tennessee Titans cornerback Janoris Jenkins (#20). The Kansas City Chiefs’ young secondary has earned quite a bit of praise through the first two weeks of the NFL regular season. The unit earned national attention in Week 2 thanks to rookie corner Jaylen Watson intercepting Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert at the goal line and returning it 99 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the win for Kansas City. Chargers QB Justin Herbert is intercepted by rookie 7th round pick Jaylen Watson, who returns it for 99 yards and the TD. PAT is good. #Chiefs – 24#Chargers – 17#ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/uVn8tBO5ep — Devon Clements (@DevclemNFL) September 16, 2022 The Chiefs’ defense has earned a 73.2 coverage grade from PFF over the first two weeks, which ranks seventh overall in the NFL. However, the Chiefs’ secondary has benefited from injuries to their opponents, with Arizona Cardinals receiver Rondale Moore missing the Week 1 matchup along with Deandre Hopkins being suspended, and Chargers veteran Keenan Allen missing the Week 2 matchup. This is why, with the Chiefs...
    Getty Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky is facing criticism following the team's loss to the Patriots. Mitch Trubisky’s plan to use the Buffalo Bills as a jumping board back into a starting NFL job has come to fruition, but whether it remains a long-term success is being brought into question. Trubisky earned the starting job with the Pittsburgh Steelers after one season behind Josh Allen in Buffalo, but a pair of shaky performances left many calling on the Steelers to bench him in favor of rookie Kenny Pickett. While insiders believe that Trubisky’s job is safe for the moment, his chances of holding onto the starting job for the entirety of the season could be in doubt.Trubisky on the Hot SeatThe Steelers have been uneven through two games, beating the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in the season opener and losing to the New England Patriots in Week 2. Trubisky has been equally uneven, completing 59.2 percent of his passes for 362 total yards with two touchdowns and one interception. As Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports noted, Trubisky’s stats...
    Getty Christian Watson, #9, was one of several new names added to the Packers' injury report for Week 3. The Green Bay Packers are nursing a few wide receiver injuries ahead of their Week 3 road matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Packers added wide receivers Sammy Watkins and Christian Watson to the injury report with new hamstring injuries on September 21 after limiting both of them in Wednesday’s first practice of the week. They also practiced without veteran slot receiver Randall Cobb, who was absent due to an illness. Watkins is coming off a strong performance against the Chicago Bears in Week 2 after an understated start to his Packers career in the season opener. He finished with three receptions for 93 yards, including a massive 55-yard catch in the fourth quarter that helped solidify their 27-10 victory over the Bears. He also leads the Packers in receiving yards (111) and is tied for their most catches (six) through the first two games. As for Watson, he hasn’t put up the same numbers as Watkins with...
    Ayo Dosunmu is one of a handful of second-year players who appears ready to build on a strong rookie season, heading for a big second year. Last year’s NBA rookie class was a revelation, with a three-way race for Rookie of the Year that went right down to the wire and a deep crop of successful contributors who are just scratching the surface. Among that group, perhaps no one was a bigger surprise than Ayo Dosunmu of the Chicago Bulls. Taken with the No. 38 pick, Dosunmu played the sixth-most minutes of any rookie and recorded as many assists as Scottie Barnes, more points than Josh Giddey, more steals than Davion Mitchell and shot a better percentage from beyond the arc than Bones Hyland, Corey Kispert or Chris Duarte. At Bleacher Report, Jonathan Wasserman detailed some of the concerns about Dosunmu and what parts of his NCAA success might or might not translate to the NBA, and why he fell to the second round. “How well will he be able to separate? Dosunmu’s lack of explosiveness could make it difficult...
    After the Chicago Bears threw the ball only 11 times in a 27-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 2, readers want to know if the coaches doubt quarterback Justin Fields’ ability in the passing game — as well as questions about Kyler Gordon’s rookie struggles and whether Week 3 against the Houston Texans is a “must-win.” Brad Biggs answers those questions and more in his weekly mailbag. Aaron Rodgers seemed to target receivers matched up against rookie Kyler Gordon. He was also ineffective in run support. What was his performance grading in the game? How long will this coaching staff be patient with a rookie CB that needs development? — Ryan Y., Libertyville There were a handful of questions about Gordon, the second-round pick from Washington, this week and that wasn’t surprising because he had a rough go Sunday night at Lambeau Field. Gordon also made some nice plays in the game and no one asked about some of the better snaps he had, such as the pass breakup in the corner of the end zone when...
    Teams tend to fit neatly into boxes in the NBA. There are the haves and the have nots. There are franchises actively trying to lose and there are franchises deep into the luxury tax because their championship windows require full commitment. This isn’t the NFL. Not every team has a chance. Even the Jets won Sunday. With that in mind, we present The Daily News’ NBA Power Rankings in category form: CONTENDERS BOSTON CELTICS KEY ADDITIONS: Malcolm Brogdon, Danilo Gallinari KEY LOSSES: Daniel Theis. They were so close last season and should only get better with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in the meat of their respective primes. Two concerns: 1) they’ve already lost Gallinari for the season because of an ACL tear and 2) we’re skeptical about relying further on 36-year-old Al Horford, who averaged over 35 minutes in the playoffs. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS KEY ADDITIONS: Donte DiVincenzo, JaMychal Green KEY LOSSES: Gary Payton II, Otto Porter The defending champions are running it back with the same squad but a year older, which is concerning for a core that...
    Scott Taetsch/Getty Images Pittsburgh Steelers helmet On Tuesday the Pittsburgh Steelers signed wide receiver Jaquarii Roberson to the practice squad, bringing him back a week after releasing him to make room for linebacker Ryan Anderson. Roberson — 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds — originally joined the team’s practice squad on Sept. 7. He’s an undrafted rookie free agent who first entered the NFL with the Cowboys, but was waived during the preseason when Dallas cut its roster to 80 players. Business ‘Was Booming’ for Jaquarii Roberson at Wake ForestAnd while Roberson has yet to prove himself worthy of a regular-season role in the NFL, he was stellar during his four seasons at Wake Forest. “Production was booming for Roberson in the ACC,” wrote Kyle Youmans after the 24-year-old joined the Cowboys in May, utilizing a word that former Steelers receiver Antonio Brown has frequently invoked when describing his prowess on and off the field. Roberson appeared in a total of 40 games for the Demon Deacons and caught a total of 146 passes for 2,158 yards and 17...
    Getty Josh Hart of the Portland Trail Blazers dribbles as Julius Randle and RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks defend. When it comes to the New York Knicks, all fans and media pundits alike can seem to think about is what the team’s next course of action may be now that they’ve officially lost out on this summer’s Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though some believe that focusing on the club’s current core foundation heading into 2022-23 should be prioritized, the most popular pivot idea seems to be for the Knicks to look towards embarking on another pursuit via the trade market and, to many, the ideal scenario would be to see a deal take place that has power forward Julius Randle heading outbound. Since his stellar All-NBA campaign back in 2020-21, the big man’s reputation has taken a bit of a nose dive due to his lackluster production last season coupled with his lofty new $117 million payday. As a result, this offseason rumblings have surfaced noting that the Knicks’ front office has looked...
    Dominique Robinson was bummed after the 2019 MAC championship game. The Miami (Ohio) RedHawks won the game, upsetting Central Michigan, but playing time was becoming increasingly inconsistent for the junior wide receiver. He figured it was time to ask about switching positions. After all, pretty much every position coach in the program had asked him multiple times to come join their room. Robinson was going to wait until after the season, but the RedHawks landed in the LendingTree Bowl on Jan. 6, a full month later, so he texted coach Chuck Martin and wide receivers coach Israel Woolfork and asked for a meeting. I really want to try playing defensive end. Robinson sensed instant relief on the face of Martin when he made the request. He hadn’t told the coaches what he wanted to talk about and figured they might wonder if he was fixing to transfer. “I said, ‘I was thinking H-back but I love the idea of defensive end,’ ” Martin recalled. “We had told him all along, you can basically go wherever you want.” The group decided...
    Getty Aaron Rodgers didn't have much to say about Amari Rodgers' chances of getting to shine for the Packers offense. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t seem to think too much about second-year wide receiver Amari Rodgers and his outlook for the Green Bay Packers’ offense. Rodgers was forced to lean on a number of his young receiver in Week 1’s season-opening loss to the Minnesota Vikings without veteran Allen Lazard in the lineup, including rookie Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs along with Juwann Winfree. But one name that was noticeably absent from the lineup was Amari Rodgers, who did not play a single offensive snap despite being the Packers’ primary punt and kick returner. Now, part of the problem is Rodgers plays primarily in the slot where veteran Randall Cobb gets the majority of his reps, but he is a young receiver they traded up to get in the third round of the 2021 NFL draft who showed improvements in the preseason. He is also someone the Packers indicated could get some reps out of the backfield as a jet...
    Ravens rookie defensive tackle Travis Jones returned to practice for the first time in three weeks Wednesday. Jones, a third-round draft pick who impressed in training camp, injured his knee in the team’s second preseason game and missed the Ravens’ season-opening win Sunday over the New York Jets. Three starters were missing at practice Wednesday: fullback Patrick Ricard, defensive lineman Calais Campbell and outside linebacker Justin Houston. Coach John Harbaugh is scheduled to meet with reporters on Wednesday afternoon. In Miami Gardens, Florida, the Dolphins were missing starting left tackle Terron Armstead and starting right tackle Austin Jackson at practice Wednesday. Jackson left Sunday’s 20-7 win over the New England Patriots with an ankle injury in the second quarter and did not return. Armstead left the game briefly with an undisclosed lower-body injury but returned. Dolphins tight end Cethan Carter, running back Salvon Ahmed and outside linebacker Melvin Ingram were also missing at practice. Carter is in concussion protocol, while Ahmed was inactive for the opener with a heel injury. Extra points The Ravens have placed offensive tackle Ja’Wuan...
    SANTA CLARA — All it took was one game to prove the 49ers are not weatherproof nor the second coming of the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Sunday’s season-opening loss to Chicago made the fan base ahem, flood my weekly mailbag: Who you got at RB1 with Elijah Mitchell being sidelined? (@arist_v) This is obviously the 49ers’ (and fantasy football owners’) most pressing question, with Elijah Mitchell out until November because of his knee sprain. The answer is not obvious, so we’ll extrapolate. Beyond Trey Lance’s and Deebo Samuel’s moonlighting gigs as rushers, this year’s options abound: Ty Davis-Price: The 49ers had high hopes in drafting him in the third round out of LSU, and his bigger body (6-foot-1, 219 pounds) can power through defenses. He didn’t suit up for Sunday’s opener, however, because he’s raw in terms of learning all-around duties, especially in the pass game as a receiver and blocker. Jeff Wilson Jr.: Experience is his best asset, and his physicality first surfaced in 2018 against the Seahawks. He averaged just 2.4 yards per carry (nine rushes, 22 yards) on...
    Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez is having an incredible start to his MLB career and is making history with some of the most elite players. Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez, nicknamed “J-Rod,” is having one of the best possible starts to his MLB career. He’s already established himself as a huge asset in Seattle, and he’s joining elite company as the fourth AL player 21 or under to hit 25+ homers in his first MLB season. Julio Rodríguez is the 4th AL player age 21-or-younger to hit 25+ home runs in his first MLB season, joining Joe DiMaggio (1936), Ted Williams (1939) & Eddie Murray (1977). — Alex Mayer (@alexmayer34) September 13, 2022 Rodriguez joins Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Eddie Murray. Rodriguez is also considered a leader in Seattle, despite being completely new to the majors.Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez emerged as a leader in his first seasonAccording to Daniel Kramer of MLB.com, the young rookie has been a leader to his teammates in the dugout. Rodriguez reportedly approached teammate Paul Sewald, described as “disheartened [with his] head...
    Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is starting the season off rough with nearly as many INTs in the first half as his rookie year. Cincinnati Bengals star quarterback Joe Burrow is starting the 2022 season a bit rough. In just the first half of the game, he produced nearly as many INTs as his rookie year. Burrow had three interceptions in the first half of the season opener. 4 turnovers by Joe Burrow in the 1st half. Just threw another INT — Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 11, 2022 He also fumbled the ball, making four total turnovers. In his first season, he had five interceptions total. That was over the span of ten games. In just 30 minutes this season, he nearly achieved the same output. He’s appearing to be struggling following a Super Bowl season. Though it’s too early in the season to tell whether or not he’ll re-produce his former success, it doesn’t seem promising.Bengals star QB Joe Burrow doesn’t seem to be on a good track this seasonBurrow helped lead the Bengals to the Super Bowl...
    CHICAGO — Running back Elijah Mitchell’s season opener ended prematurely because of a knee injury. Mitchell was ruled out in the second quarter, after gaining 41 yards on six carries and helping the 49ers build a 7-0 lead over the Chicago Bears. As for how serious of an injury it is, that’s to be announced. Mitchell was evaluated in the 49ers’ sideline medical tent and remained on the bench before walking with his teammates to the locker room at halftime. How Mitchell got hurt was not immediately known, but it appeared he may have been rolled into by Bears linebacker Nicolas Morrow after Mitchell helped block on Deebo Samuel’s touchdown run. The 49ers turned to Samuel, quarterback Trey Lance and veteran rusher Jeff Wilson Jr. for their ensuing rushing attack. Undrafted rookie Jordan Mason was the only other running back in uniform and he didn’t take an offensive snap in the first half. Ty Davis-Price, a third-round draft pick this year, was among the seven players inactived before the game. Mitchell gained 16 yards on his opening run of the...
    The last time Trey Lance broke training camp as the unquestioned No. 1 quarterback he opened the season against the Bears. Their defense was, ahem, barely a match for Lance, who accounted for four touchdowns while also running for 143 yards in a 39-28 victory. Nearly two years later, history beckons as the 49ers’ Lance is again the undisputed starter expected to do damage against the Bears to begin the season. Lance, though, should encounter a much stiffer challenge in Chicago Sunday than he did against the Central Arkansas Bears back in North Dakota State’s 2020 season-opening win — even if Chicago’s roster is ranked 32nd of 32 NFL teams, according to Pro Football Focus. As Lance prepares to make just his third NFL start, and his first since unseating Jimmy Garoppolo in the off-season, let’s take a closer look at what his first test as San Francisco’s franchise quarterback entails. Tale of the (missing) tape The first thing we realize is both Lance and the Bears defense have been on equal footing while preparing for Sunday’s game – neither...
    SANTA CLARA — In part because of the trade last season to draft Trey Lance, the 49ers didn’t have a draft pick until the second round in 2021. Yet there’s a good chance that 49ers rookies will have more of an immediate impact than they did a year ago. Three players — guard Spencer Burford, nickel back Samuel Womack III and defensive end Drake Jackson — are expected to play prominent roles. Since coach Kyle Shanahan is tight-lipped on matters of playing time, it remains to be seen which other rookies will have a chance to make an impact Sunday when the 49er visit the Chicago Bears in their regular-season opener. A year ago, when the 49ers opened with a 41-33 road win over the Detroit Lions, rookie sixth-round pick Elijah Mitchell had 104 yards on 19 carries, fifth-round corner Deommodore Lenoir started and played 90 snaps and Lance played four snaps in a cameo role behind starter Jimmy Garoppolo. Lance even opened the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Trent Sherfield in the first quarter. A look at...
    The Jets already had two significant injuries (Zach Wilson and Mekhi Becton) before they played a single game. Now Gang Green can potentially add Duane Brown’s name to that list. Brown will miss Sunday’s game due to a shoulder injury he suffered earlier this week. He did not practice with the team this week and it’s a possibility the Jets could place him on injured reserve. An IR stint means Brown would be sidelined for at least four games. “We are still gathering information as it pertains to the rest of the evening,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “We should get some more and we will decide what will happen next week and the following weeks after.” With Brown out possibly an extended period of time, George Fant will move back to left tackle where he played most of last season. Rookie fourth-round draft pick Max Mitchell will now play at right tackle. This has been an eventful month plus for Fant as he was slated to start at left tackle as the Jets moved Becton to the right side....
    Getty Lester Quinones looks to make a play in a Golden State Warriors Summer League game. The Golden State Warriors will be holding an open competition for their final roster spots, and one insider believes they could have a dark horse candidate — undrafted rookie Lester Quinones. The former University of Memphis star signed a two-way contract with the Warriors in July, giving him a ticket to training camp and what San Francisco Chronicle writer C.J. Holmes believes will be the chance to prove his reputation as one of the best pure shooters in this year’s draft class.Warriors Rookie Fighting for Roster SpotIn a training camp preview, Holmes called Quinones a potential “hidden gem” and noted that he had a strong showing at the Chase Center’s California Classic this summer. Quinones averaged 9.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in three games. Quinones was a deep threat at Memphis, shooting 39.4% from 3-point range over his last two seasons. Welcome to #DubNation The team has signed guard Lester Quiñones to a two-way contract. pic.twitter.com/EIDniZmzkw — Golden State Warriors (@warriors)...
    Getty The Seattle Seahawks could be without one of their star playmakers for Week 1. The Seattle Seahawks have some exciting new faces on their offense, including a few rookies from the 2022 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, at least one of those new offensive playmakers is unlikely to play in the Week 1 opener against the Denver Broncos. The team released its first injury report of the 2022 season following Thursday’s practice ahead of the Monday Night Football showdown. The four players who didn’t participate in practice were long snapper Tyler Ott, cornerback Artie Burns, linebacker Alton Robinson, and rookie running back Kenneth Walker III. According to NFL insider Jordan Schultz, the rookie running back is highly unlikely to play in Seattle’s revenge game against Russell Wilson as he continues to cover from hernia surgery. That’s a big disappointment for Seahawks fans who were looking forward to seeing him, but it will also give running back Rashaad Penny an opportunity to prove himself as a true workhorse back. #Seahawks rookie RB Kenneth Walker III is highly likely to miss MNF vs...
    Getty James Cook #28 of the Buffalo Bills takes part in a drill on August 05, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. Anticipation is running high as the Buffalo Bills take on the Los Angeles Rams for the NFL’s season opener on Thursday, September 8, as this game sets the stage for what fans and analysts can expect from the reigning Super Champions and from the team most favored to win the title this year. One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the Bills’ offense, according to The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia, is how the team will choose to deploy running back James Cook, the team’s second-round pick from the 2022 NFL Draft. As it stands, the rookie sits third on the depth chart behind Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, but that could be on purpose. “The Bills didn’t show their hand with Cook, only mixing him in with some carries throughout the preseason. Even with those chances, Cook looked unmistakably talented, with a smooth, gliding running style. The Bills likely intentionally kept his pass-catching prowess from their offensive game...
    Getty Ravens DB Kyle Hamilton in a preseason game on August 21, 2022. The Baltimore Ravens drafted a whopping 11 players in this year’s draft and all but one made the final 53-man roster but thanks to undrafted linebacker Josh Ross, 11 still made the cut. If this year’s crop performs above expectation, the team could go further than they have in a decade since their last Superbowl run in 2012. With that in mind, here are some bold predictions for first-year pros on the active roster and some optimistic outcomes for the handful on the practice squad DB Kyle Hamilton The former member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish who was selected No. 14 overall wasn’t listed as a starter on the Week 1 depth chart and he may not register a single start all season barring an injury to either Chuck Clark or Marcus Williams. However, he will still see the field early and often as the Ravens will likely lead the league in deploying multiple safeties. Hamilton will be utilized in a multitude of ways...
    Aaron Rodgers likely needed his rookie receivers to be factors anyway, but that’s even truer heading into the Packers’ Week 1 game with recent injury news. As if the Green Bay Packers needed another bother or worry regarding the wide receiver room for the 2022 season, the status of their top potential pass-catcher this year is in doubt heading into the team’s Week 1 matchup on the road against the rival Minnesota Vikings. Allen Lazard was pegged by most as the receiver most likely to step into the No. 1 role for Green Bay this season after the departure of Davante Adams. However, Lazard was apparently stepped on in practice at some point in the past week and has now been held out of practices as a result of that, putting his status for Sunday’s season-opener in a bit of jeopardy. If Lazard can’t go in Week 1, there are veteran options like newcomer Sammy Watkins and longtime Aaron Rodgers cohort Randall Cobb. But the truth of the matter is that Rodgers will need the rookie wide receivers on the...
    Hayden Wesneski scoped out his go-to visual at Wrigley Field hours before his major-league debut. He has developed a routine for the in-game moments he needs to take a breath and collect himself when, as he put it, things go a little sideways. During his stellar performance Tuesday night, Wesneski looked at his chosen spot — the top of the left-field foul pole — when he wanted to regroup. “OK, let’s get locked back in and go from there.” Those situations seemed rare for the 24-year-old right-hander, who tossed five shutout innings in relief of left-hander Wade Miley. Wesneski limited the Cincinnati Reds to two hits, struck out eight and walked one to earn the win in the Chicago Cubs’ 9-3 victory. His performance prompted a smiling Miley — who allowed three runs (two earned) in four innings in his first start off the injured list — to enter the media room for his postgame interview and wonder: “Why do you want to talk to me? Did you see what that kid just did? I was just the opener.” In...
    Getty Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. addressed his future with the team ahead of a contract year. Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. enters the final year of his rookie contract without an extension in the works. The 2019 second-round pick out of Alabama flashed promise his rookie season, notching a franchise record 36 catches by a rookie tight end. He was the presumptive replacement for Kyle Rudolph after the Vikings released the veteran tight end after 10 seasons. Smith was dubbed a breakout candidate the past two seasons as the new starting tight end in Minnesota. But after suffering a season-ending torn meniscus injury before the start of the 2021 season, Smith has fallen from grace after not seeing the playing field in 20 months. The new regime under first-year Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has yet to award a second contract to any Vikings player on a rookie deal, with the 2019 draft class offering that opportunity next offseason. However, it appears Smith will have to prove his worth this season after addressing his future with the...
    If a successful NFL draft class produces a couple of starters on cheap contracts, the Ravens’ 2022 group is already ahead of schedule. Two rookies, center Tyler Linderbaum and punter Jordan Stout, are expected to start in Week 1, and two more, safety Kyle Hamilton and tight end Isaiah Likely, could get starter-level snaps. Expectations for the class were high well before Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta turned one first-round pick into two on the draft’s opening night. The buzz grew after he took outside linebacker David Ojabo, a first-round talent, in the second round and defensive tackle Travis Jones, a top-50 prospect, in the third round. An impressive preseason only confirmed the group’s talent. And now? “It remains to be seen, I would say, but I really do think that they’ll contribute a lot,” coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday. “It’s a lot of guys in the class, and we still have some guys to come back [from injury]. … There’s still pieces to that thing that aren’t even out there. But, again, I expect a lot from those guys...
    Getty Julian Champagnie averaged 19.2 points per game for St. John's last season. Lost in the shuffle of a busy offseason for the Philadelphia 76ers was the decision to sign Julian Champagnie. The undrafted rookie out of St. John’s University inked a two-way contract and suited up for summer league games in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Champagnie, a 6-foot-8 wing player, saw action in seven contests including a 97-77 loss to Toronto, a game best remembered for the way Julian jawed with his twin brother Justin. That was the first time they had ever faced each other in a professional basketball game. Playing in the summer league was a tad bittersweet for Julian, though. He had expected to hear his name called out at the NBA draft after earning first-team All-Big East honors for consecutive seasons at St. John’s. His 19.2 points per game ranked second in the Big East and 35th in the country for the 2021-22 season. The Sixers had been showing interest leading up to the draft, then they traded the 23rd overall...
    Getty Thaddeus Moss #81 celebrates alongside teammates Saahdiq Charles #77 and Jamal Pettigrew #80 of the LSU Tigers during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Green Bay Packers could be turning to a big-bodied rookie for more depth at tight end as they prepare for their 2022 season opener. According to Heavy NFL insider Matt Lombardo, the Packers hosted former LSU tight end Jamal Pettigrew for a roster workout on September 1, potentially considering the 6-foot-7, 254-pound rookie for a role on their practice squad. The team does currently have one spot open on the practice squad and has no tight ends on the 16-man roster. TE Jamal Pettigrew worked out for #Packers today, per sources. — Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoNFL) September 1, 2022 Pettigrew, 24, was primarily a blocking tight end during his time at LSU and spent his final year of eligibility as a graduate transfer at McNeese State, catching 18 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. He signed with the Los Angeles...
    Getty Josh McDaniels on the Las Vegas Raiders sideline. The Las Vegas Raiders have put a lot of faith in Derek Carr this offseason. Jarrett Stidham is the only other quarterback on the active roster and he’s never started a regular season game. The team must believe in Carr’s ability to not get hurt throughout the course of the season. Nick Mullens was the most experienced backup in training camp but he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings. Undrafted rookie Chase Garbers stuck around for all of training camp and played a lot of preseason snaps but was waived as part of the Raiders’ final roster cuts. Luckily, he cleared waivers and Las Vegas is bringing him back on the practice squad, per Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. Raiders signed Chase Garbers to practice squad, per a league source — Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) August 31, 2022 Garbers spent five years at California and started 33 games. He’s got plenty of experience for a rookie. He’s limited physically but you have to be smart to play football at...
    Getty The Vikings traded veteran guard Jesse Davis to the Steelers for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2025. The Minnesota Vikings‘ hopes for a rookie lineman to claim a starting spot were realized in the preseason — which sent off a veteran addition from the offseason. The Vikings traded former Miami Dolphins guard Jesse Davis to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a conditional 2025 seventh-round pick, per a team release. Davis’ departure comes after he lost a competition for the starting right guard spot to second-round rookie Ed Ingram out of LSU. Former Indianapolis Colts guard Chris Reed, acquired in the offseason, will be the primary backup to both the left and right guard spots on the offensive front. With Ingram’s emergence, the Vikings’ starting offensive line is made entirely of first- or second-round draft picks by Minnesota. The latest Vikings news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Vikings newsletter here! Join Heavy on Vikings! Vikings O-Line Earns Best Ranking In 5 Years Courtesy of VikingsEd Ingram becoming the latest addition to the...
    The Chicago Bears set their initial 53-man roster Tuesday afternoon, making a wave of cuts and remaining open-minded to continuing to mold the team in the days and weeks ahead. The roster undoubtedly will undergo a series of changes before the season opener Sept. 11 against the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field. The Bears have until 11 a.m. Wednesday to make waiver claims on players released by the other 31 teams. At that point, they also will begin to assemble their 16-player practice squad. In the meantime, here’s a position-by-position breakdown of how the roster came together Tuesday. (*-rookie) Quarterbacks (2) Justin Fields, Trevor Siemian Waiving QB3 Nathan Peterman was an obvious move, but the Bears figure to bring him back on the practice squad Wednesday, giving Fields another veteran set of eyes and ears in the quarterbacks room. The Bears are riding the momentum Fields generated in Saturday’s three-touchdown outburst in the preseason finale in Cleveland. Running backs (4) David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert, Khari Blasingame, Trestan Ebner* Of all the positions, this might be the most stable heading...
    Getty Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers tries to block Thomas Bryant #13. Generally, the summer is considered downtime for basketball fans. The Finals conclude, then a brief-yet-exhilarating draft (especially for Process-Era Philadelphia 76ers fans), followed by the opening bell of free agency. But both are flashes in the pan compared to the all-out frenzy of the season. This summer has been a little different. Players across the league have shown out in various summer pro-am competitions. Some, like the well-established Drew League, even saw a Sixer win and be crowned Finals MVP. Others, like Jamal Crawford’s The CrawsOver, attracted a star-studded lineup that included Jayson Tatum and LeBron James. Still, others get in some runs in pick-up games. Often closed doors, these matches are ways for players to connect with one another in the offseason. It’s also where more than one trade rumor sprouts up. But it can also be a forum for hungry young rookies to flash their game against established stars. Windhorst: Chet ‘Blocked Embiid Several Times’ESPN Insider Brian Windhorst reported that, over the summer,...
    Getty Zack Moss runs the ball in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Buffalo Bills could be exploring the trade market for running back Zack Moss, a new report indicates. After a sophomore season marked by injury and some inconsistent play, Moss returned to training camp at full health and back to his rookie form. He played with Buffalo’s first-team offense through most of training camp, signaling that the coaching staff still has plenty of faith in him despite a dropoff in his second year. But a crowded backfield could have Moss on the trade block, Pro Football Network’s Mike Kaye reported. The latest Bills news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bills newsletter here! Join Heavy on Bills! Moss Could Be Odd Back OutAfter a strong rookie season in 2020 where he rushed for 481 yards with four touchdowns and a 4.3-yard-per-carry average, Moss broke his ankle in the playoffs and suffered the effects for much of his sophomore campaign. His production dropped last season, a year in which he rushed for...
    Getty Head coach Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers walks onto the field during warmups before a preseason game against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field on August 19, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) The Green Bay Packers selected three players in top 34 picks of 2022 NFL Draft, one of whom may not be what he seems — at least not right away. Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report on Thursday, August 25, predicted that rookie wide receiver Christian Watson will be among the “biggest flops” of the upcoming regular season. Many may expect rookie second-round pick Christian Watson to be [the Packers’] new No. 1 receiver. He’s big (6’5″, 208 lbs), fast (4.36-second 40-yard dash) and was highly coveted by Green Bay. However, Watson isn’t poised to be “the guy” as a rookie. After waiting years for the Packers to draft a receiver highly, fans finally got Watson. But while the North Dakota State product may be a valuable contributor, he’s not going to be the star rookie fans have...
    Rhyne Howard was a bright spot for the Atlanta Dream this season and has been recognized as the WNBA Rookie of the Year. The Atlanta Dream took a major step forward this season. First-year coach, Tanisha Wright helped lead the team to 14 wins, an improvement of six wins over the previous season and their best win percentage in four seasons. At the heart of that improvement was rookie guard Rhyne Howard, who led the team in minutes played, points, steals and 3-pointers made. The 6-foot-2 guard also finished second on the team in blocks and third in total rebounds. Howard’s energizing play was a bright light for the Dream, who have navigated locker room challenges and a high-profile ownership change over the past few years. The Dream haven’t made the playoffs since 2018 but were in the hunt for a postseason berth until the final days of the regular season. Her contributions caught plenty of attention and she’s been chosen as the 2022 WNBA Rookie of the Year. BREAKING: Rhyne Howard is your @WNBA Rookie of the Year ???? pic.twitter.com/bEYB3n6JLR —...
    Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez is on fire this season. He’s accomplishing things even Mike Trout couldn’t accomplish. Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez is quickly proving he deserves to be in the majors. According to Alex Mayer, Rodriguez has passed some of Mike Trout’s accomplishments. Mayer wrote, “Julio Rodríguez is the fastest player (107 career G) in American League HISTORY to reach 20+ home runs & 20+ stolen bases, surpassing Mike Trout (112 G).” Julio Rodríguez is the fastest player (107 career G) in American League HISTORY to reach 20+ home runs & 20+ stolen bases, surpassing Mike Trout (112 G). — Alex Mayer (@alexmayer34) August 24, 2022 Rodriguez is living up to his expected potential. This season, he’s hitting .271/.328/.475 for an OPS of .803. His potential showed early in the minors, which helped him move quickly up the farm system. He started in the rookie league in 2018, then played Single-A and High-A in 2019. In 2021, he played High-A and Double-A. He made his majors debut this season. He’s already hit 20 home runs in the...
    Getty New York Jets rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson during training camp. The New York Jets for the first time in a long time have a lot of talented wide receivers. With this level of star power and depth, the fans are giddy at the potential. Some of that ended up coming to fruition during a joint practice against the New York Giants on Thursday, August 25. ALL the latest Jets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Jets newsletter here! Join Heavy on Jets! Put on an Absolute Show Play VideoVideo related to jets rookie ‘made it look easy’ vs. giants with spectacular showing2022-08-25T17:13:10-04:00 Garrett Wilson was the No. 10 overall pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft and he looked every part of it during training camp on Thursday. The official Jets Twitter account tweeted out a series of highlight reel catches that showed off his yards after the catch ability and his sticky hands: [email protected]_V goin’ to work pic.twitter.com/DJ51x4704c — New York Jets (@nyjets) August 25, 2022 Although one...
    OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER rookie Chet Holmgren has suffered a serious injury that will keep him out for the season. The former Gonzaga Bulldogs star, 20, was picked second overall in the 2022 NBA Draft. 3Chet Holmgren has suffered a serious knee injuryCredit: Getty Images 3The injury was sustained in a pro-am game as Holmgren defended against LeBron JamesCredit: AP 3Holmgren was taken No2 in the draft and signed a two-year deal with the ThunderCredit: Getty Images - Getty Standing at 7ft tall, Holmgren is regarded as a potential generational talent. But some believe he fell behind No1 pick Paolo Banchero in the draft due to his proneness to injury. He suffered torn ligaments in his foot while playing a Pro-Am game in Seattle. The Athletic's Shams Charania said on Twitter on Wednesday: "Exams show Chet Holmgren has potential torn ligaments in his foot, sources said. Read More on The US SunFAMILY RIDDLE Worrying signs in mystery of mom who vanished with toddler after Walmart tripCOOLING COSTS I’m a money-saving mom – four ways to lower high summer energy bills "A...
    Getty Images Jared Goff of the Detroit Lions talks with head coach Dan Campbell. Rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams hasn’t seen the field for the Detroit Lions in practice, and is yet to put on his new uniform. That hasn’t stopped folks from pondering what he might do on the field this year. Williams was one of the most electric players in college football last season, and as he transitions to the NFL, the expectation is he can carry those traits over eventually. But how soon will that happen? There hasn’t been a lot of projections for his season, but a new one was revealed from NFL.com and Daniel Jeremiah. According to a piece by by Jeremiah, Williams could be expected to have a modest output this season. Within the piece, Jeremiah offers a positive and a negative for rookie offensive weapons. In terms of the positive, Jeremiah describes a situation where Williams rests up, gets healthy and shows why he was a top pick this past April. “Williams takes his time to return to full health after...
    Admit it, you didn’t know who he was either. When left-handed pitcher Nate Fisher entered the game for the Mets in the fifth inning of Sunday’s win in Philadelphia, even some of the people on the field were a bit unfamiliar. “I didn’t know who this guy was when he came into the game,” said Mark Canha, Sunday’s offensive hero who undersold the Fisher story by calling it “pretty cool.” “He did a hell of a job for us today.” Fisher was a commercial lending analyst for First National Bank of Omaha in June 2021 before the Mariners took a flier on him, getting him out of the finance world and providing one more shot at achieving his MLB dream. Fisher appeared in 21 games for the Mariners organization at various levels of their minor league system, then was scooped up by the Mets for 2022. His first day in the majors had to wait until he threw 24 more minor league games for the Mets, 12 at Double-A and 12 at Triple-A. As one of the more memorable figures...
    Getty Head coach Kevin Stefanski of the Cleveland Browns looks to the scoreboard during the fourth quarter of a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 21, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Eagles defeated the Browns 21-20. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) The Cleveland Browns may be staring down the barrel of yet another injury to a contributing player, as one of their prominent rookies left the field late in the fourth quarter of a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey departed the sideline for the Browns’ locker room just shy of the two-minute warning on Sunday, August 21. As of early Sunday evening, the precise injury Winfrey suffered remained unknown, as did his current health status. A fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Winfrey is slated behind starting right defensive tackle Taven Bryan on Cleveland’s depth chart, per ESPN. If healthy, he is expected to play a major rotational role in the middle of a line that struggled mightily last season and appears again to be the biggest...
    Matt Corral suffered a Lisfranc injury during the Carolina Panthers’ latest preseason game. It looks to be season over for Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Matt Corral already. The former Ole Miss football star quarterback sustained a Lisfranc injury in his foot during Carolina’s second preseason game at the New England Patriots on Friday night. His head coach Matt Rhule believes this injury is a significant one, as it will almost certainly be season over for the rookie. Corral was battling to back up Baker Mayfield with Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker this year. While this stinks for Corral, it makes the backup battle between Darnold and Walker even spicier. Matt Corral has a Lisfranc injury. That’s likely a season-ender. — Joe Person (@josephperson) August 20, 2022 Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Matt Corral likely out for the season No doubt about it, this is brutal for Corral. He was seen as one of the four best quarterback prospects entering the 2022 NFL Draft. While he fell to Carolina, Corral still has the potential to be the best signal-caller in his draft class....
    Getty Second-year left tackle Christian Darrisaw is garnering a Hall of Fame comparison from the Vikings. Future Hall of Fame left tackle Trent Williams of the San Francisco 49ers sees a lot of himself in second-year Minnesota Vikings left tackle Christian Darrisaw. The fourth overall pick in the 2010 draft, Williams has earned nine consecutive Pro Bowl nods since 2012, a run the Vikings are hoping Darrisaw, selected 21st in the 2021 draft, can emulate. Williams was put in contact with Darrisaw earlier this year by the Vikings under first-year general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, who started his career as an executive with the 49ers. While they kept correspondence throughout the year, the two tackles met during joining practices. And Williams likened himself to Darrisaw, making a bold statement that Vikings tackle could very well be on a path to becoming a perennial Pro Bowler. The latest Vikings news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Vikings newsletter here! Join Heavy on Vikings! Darrisaw Idolizes Williams, Who ‘Sees a Lot of Himself’ in Vikings LTIn an August...
    Romeo Doubs has been the toast of Packers training camp but he keeps showing signs in the preseason that he’s ready to break out as a rookie. Anyone who has been even remotely keeping track of the Green Bay Packers training camp or preseason knows the name Romeo Doubs. Though the former Nevada Wolf Pack star was taken two rounds after the team’s second-round selection, Christian Watson, it’s been Doubs who, aside from Aaron Rodgers’ disappointed father moment with the media, has been consistently drawing rave reviews. And it’s had many people thinking that the rookie could be a huge factor in an offense in need of pass-catchers to step up. In the Packers’ first game of the preseason, Doubs came down with a touchdown that continued the hype train rolling. So how do you follow up the hype?Packers: Romeo Doubs keeps looking the part of a breakout starWell, Doubs found a way. In Friday night’s second preseason contest of the year for Green Bay, the Packers offense had found its way into the red zone against the Saints. That’s...
    Getty Zack Moss runs the ball in a Buffalo Bills game against the New York Jets. Coming into this offseason, running back Zack Moss was seen as a question mark on the Buffalo Bills roster. But after a season where he struggled with injury and inconsistency, Moss is now seen as a lock to make the 53-man roster and take on a more significant role than last year. Moss has looked impressive through training camp and the team’s first preseason game, earning praise from Bills coaches. The latest Bills news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bills newsletter here! Join Heavy on Bills! Moss ReboundsAfter a strong rookie campaign, Moss had difficulty following it up in his sophomore campaign. He suffered a broken ankle during the previous playoffs that lingered into the start of the 2021 season, leading to Moss being inactive in Week 1. He ended the season with 345 yards on a 3.6-yard-per-carry average, leaving uncertainty over whether he would make the roster this season. That uncertainty grew more when the Bills drafted...
    Getty Saquon Barkley is considered a bounce-back candidate Expectations are sky high for New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley as he heads into his fifth professional season. Barkley burst onto the scene when the Giants added him with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. During his rookie season, Barkley surpassed 2,000 yards from scrimmage, the most of his career. He also recorded 15 total touchdowns, which is also still a career-high. The Giants incorporated Barkley heavily within the passing game in his first year. He brought in 91 total receptions for 721 yards and four touchdowns. In the three seasons since his rookie year, Barkley has been plagued by injury. He has played in just 28 games over this stretch and has yet to be healthy for a full regular season. Throughout these 28 games, Barkley has recorded 1,630 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. He has also brought in 99 receptions for 761 receiving yards, and four touchdowns. The totals that Barkley has reached over the previous three seasons barely surpass his overall...