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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Stories by Larry Brown:

Report: Odell Beckham Jr. could miss Week 1 with ankle injury

Odell Beckham hurt

The ankle injury Odell Beckham Jr. sustained during Monday night’s preseason game against the Cleveland Browns could keep the wide receiver out at the start of the regular season, according to a report.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jordan Raanan report that Beckham could miss a week or two of the regular season because of his sprained ankle.

Beckham hurt his leg after being tackled from behind following a reception on Monday night. He was able to walk off the field and into the locker room where he was examined. X-rays were negative, and an MRI confirmed a sprained ankle.

The fourth-year receiver will miss the team’s final two preseason games, but his status for the team’s season-opener on Sept. 10 against Dallas appears to be in question.

In response to the injury, Beckham, who is already dissatisfied with his contract, may take out a massive insurance policy.

Le’Veon Bell says he will return to Steelers on Sept. 1

Le'Veon Bell

One Twitter user’s fantasy football inquiry to Le’Veon Bell led to a newsworthy response on Tuesday night.

A Twitter user claiming to be a first time fantasy football participant sent a tweet to Bell asking the Steelers running back when he would be reporting to Pittsburgh.

The tweet was a shot in the dark, but Bell actually responded. He said he would return on Sept. 1.

If Bell is planning on returning to the team in September, you have to wonder what he accomplished by not reporting other than missing some of training camp. The 25-year-old is set to play under the exclusive franchise tag for the season. By not signing his tag, he was able to miss camp without being fined. But as the Steelers’ GM said, Bell was only hurting himself by skipping out on camp.

Pittsburgh opens up the season on Sept. 10 at Cleveland.

ESPN moves announcer named Robert Lee off Virginia game

ESPN

ESPN is going out of its way to try and avoid controversies related to the highly sensitive matter that occurred in Charlottesville two weeks ago. Accordingly, they switched the assignment for a play-by-play announcer because of his name.

ESPN confirmed on Tuesday night that they moved an announcer named Robert Lee off the Virginia-William & Mary football game on Sept. 2.

“We collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name. In that moment it felt right to all parties. It’s a shame that this is even a topic of conversation and we regret that who calls play by play for a football game has become an issue,” ESPN said in a statement shared with Larry Brown Sports.

LBS has been told that Lee will now broadcast the game between Pitt and Youngstown State on the same network.

On Aug. 11-12, a Unite the Right rally took place at the University of Virginia. The rally resulted in the death of three people — including two state troopers — and made headlines throughout the country for its controversial nature. Many of the rally participants were seen waving Nazi symbolism. The rally began over outrage from people upset about a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee being removed.

This is the second time in a week that ESPN has exercised great caution over a potential controversy. They also apologized for running a fantasy football auction that some felt resembled a slave auction.

Lee, a Syracuse grad and Albany resident, has been a sportscaster for over 20 years. According to his website, he has called Big South, AAC and Ohio Valley Conference games for ESPNU, as well as several college football games on ESPN3.

The story was first reported by Outkick the Coverage.

Jon Jones stripped of title after testing positive for steroids

Jon Jones

The hits keep on coming for Jon Jones.

Less than a month after defeating Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, Jones tested positive for the steroid Turinabol, TMZ Sports reports. They say Jones has been stripped of his title, which will go back to Cormier, though Dana White says he hasn’t formally been stripped yet.

Jones is also facing a four-year ban for his second positive test.

This is just the latest turn in a long line of disappointments from Jones.

The mega-talented UFC light heavyweight was stripped of his title in 2015 after being arrested on hit-and-run charges. Also that year he failed a drug test after testing positive for cocaine. He also received a one-year ban after testing positive for two banned substances before his initially-scheduled fight with Cormier in 2016. Jones blamed a male enhancement medication on the positive test. Jones also had legal trouble in 2012 after being arrested for DUI.

Jones is 23-1, with the lone loss coming after a disqualification for elbows. He was widely considered to be among the greatest fighters in MMA, but his legacy is now tarnished not only by his controversies, but especially by his second failed PED test.

ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst sends funny tweet after breaking Irving-Thomas news

Brian Windhorst

Basketball truly never stops. Brian Windhorst knows that as well as anyone.

The ESPN reporter broke some news on Tuesday when he shared a report via Twitter about the Celtics and Cavaliers being on the verge of a Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade. Here’s the tweet he sent:

Windhorst wasn’t the first reporter to break the news, but nonetheless he was in the thick of things. And if you can imagine it, he actually shared the news while on a trip in Rome.

Windhorst sent this great tweet about it:

You have to respect Windhorst’s hustle from abroad, especially when you consider the family cost of reporting the news!

Emmanuel Sanders involved in car accident on way to team facility

Emmanuel Sanders was involved in a car accident on his way to the team facility Tuesday morning, according to a report.

9 News in Denver says the Broncos wide receiver was driving in the center median in Parker, Colo. early Tuesday morning on his way to the team’s facility. Another vehicle, also backed up in traffic, swerved into the center median and supposedly swiped Sanders.

Though both cars were damaged, nobody was hurt, per 9 News.

Sanders reportedly told police he was late to work, which may explain why he tried using the center median.

Sanders complained of a headache afterwards but otherwise was uninjured.

The 30-year-old has produced three straight 1,000-yard seasons for Denver and is under contract through 2019.

Old Isaiah Thomas tweet about LeBron goes viral following trade

Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas may have a little clarifying to do when he first sees new teammate LeBron James.

Thomas was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday in a blockbuster deal. Thomas is on an expiring contract and recovering from a hip injury, so the Celtics traded him, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the 2018 Brooklyn Nets draft pick to the Cavs for Kyrie Irving.

After the trade happened, some people dug up this tweet Thomas sent about LeBron back in 2010:

Thomas sent this after the Cavaliers lost to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semis. Later that summer, James announced he was joining the Miami Heat, where he won two championships in four seasons. Thomas was just a college athlete at Washington at the time he sent the tweet, so James will probably overlook it. But that could make for a funny conversation, similar to what happened between Tony Romo and Dak Prescott.

Dwyane Wade reacts to Cavs-Celtics trade news

Dwyane Wade Bulls

Let’s just say that Dwyane Wade was keeping his eyes on the biggest trade news of the day.

After reports said the Cavs and Celtics were discussing a Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas trade, Wade sent the following tweet including the eyeballs emoji:

Wade is on vacation out of the country, so there is little doubt he was pretty surprised to hear of the blockbuster trade while he was gone. But what puts an interesting twist on this is that Wade has been mentioned as a potential player who could end up with the Cavaliers. With a buyout from Chicago imminent, Wade will be looking for a new home. The Cavs could be enticing.

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