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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Stories by Steve DelVecchio:

Cam Newton’s throwing shoulder reportedly ‘feels fine’

Cam Newton tie

Cam Newton is not expected to play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, but that does not mean Carolina Panthers fans need to hit the panic button.

While ESPN’s Dianna Russini said the Panthers decided to hold Newton out after evaluating his shoulder, it sounds like the decision is more precautionary. Tom Pellisero of NFL Network reports that Newton has been throwing more and more each day, and the quarterback’s shoulder “feels fine.”

Newton played through the shoulder injury for a good portion of the 2016 season, so any soreness he is experiencing is a concern. However, that is likely just part of the recovery process after he underwent surgery. The Panthers are not going to take any risks in the preseason.

There has been talk that the Panthers want Newton to change his style of play so he can avoid injuries, but he does not sound open to making any big adjustments.

Derek Jeter, wife Hannah Davis welcome baby girl Bella Raine

Derek Jeter and his wife Hannah Davis have welcomed their first child into the world.

The Players’ Tribune, a media outlet founded by Jeter, confirmed on Friday that Davis gave birth to Bella Raine Jeter on Thursday.

Davis announced that she was pregnant in an article she wrote for The Players’ Tribune back in February, and she said at the time that Jeter had already picked out a name for the little girl. She also mentioned that she had not yet agreed to the name, so it will be interesting to see if the name Bella was Jeter’s choice.

Jeter, 43, and Davis, 27, have been together since 2011 and were married last year. Between welcoming a baby and Jeter’s exciting new business venture, retirement from baseball has been anything but boring for the New York Yankees legend.

Kevin Durant fires back after being called out by Britt McHenry

Kevin Durant Warriors

Britt McHenry does not agree with Kevin Durant’s decision to skip the Golden State Warriors’ upcoming trip to the White House, but Durant clearly doesn’t care what the former ESPN reporter has to say.

Earlier this week, Durant revealed that he will not visit the White Houst with his team because he doesn’t “respect who’s in office right now.” On Friday, McHenry tweeted that she believes celebrity athletes like Durant should be using their status to meet with leaders like Donald Trump to discuss differences.

Durant, who has never been one to shy away from criticism on social media, fired back at McHenry.

McHenry is a proud conservative, and she has become more outspoken since she was laid off by ESPN. She even hinted that she believes some of her political opinions contributed to ESPN’s decision to let her go.

Since leaving ESPN, McHenry has embraced creating controversy. While she said her infamous rant against a parking lot attendant going viral had serious effects on her mental and physical health, she recently admitted she enjoys using her popularity (or lack thereof) to spark debates.

Floyd Mayweather ‘partying the entire week’ before Conor McGregor fight

Floyd Mayweather money

Floyd Mayweather Jr has one of the most important fights of his career coming up in a week, but that is not going to stop him from aggressively promoting his new strip club.

On Thursday night, Mayweather invited fans to join him at his club Girl Collection, where he says he will be hanging out and “partying” every night until the Monday after his bout with Conor McGregor.

Mayweather is obviously confident he can beat McGregor, and showcasing that is all part of his image. We highly doubt he’s going to be drinking heavily and waking up with a hangover every morning for the next week. Getting people to his club is the goal, and capitalizing on the hype of the fight is just smart business.

With some of the numbers we have already seen thrown around, it’s clear the Mayweather-McGregor fight has the potential to be the biggest pay-per-view event of all time.

H/T Busted Coverage

Reporter expects Chad Henne to start for Jaguars in Week 1

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone confirmed after Thursday night’s preseason game that the quarterback competition is wide open, but one reporter who covers the team believes Marrone has made up his mind.

The Blake Bortles era could already be over.

Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union expects Chad Henne to get the start in Week 1. Bortles has had a terrible offseason and continued that trend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night, and O’Halloran suspects that performance backed up a decision Marrone has already made.

By opening up the quarterback competition between Blake Bortles and Chad Henne, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone is essentially closing it … and giving it to Henne. This regime isn’t about the future, it’s about which players they feel give them the best chance to win in Houston on Sept. 10. They’ll take Check-down Chad over a quarterback whose confidence looks shattered.

Bortles completed 8 of 13 passes for just 65 yards in the preseason game, and his stat line could have been much worse as he missed open receivers and forced passes into traffic. Henne — 6 of 10 for 44 yards — didn’t exactly light it up, but he sustained a solid drive and had Allen Robinson and Keelan Cole drop what should have been touchdowns.

At one point, Bortles missed a wide open Robinson on a throw that should have been a huge gain.

There have been some rumblings about the Jaguars bringing in Colin Kaepernick, but that does not seem likely. If Henne is, in fact, named the Week 1 starter, it would not be a surprise if Bortles is released. The Jags picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract for next season, but it is only guaranteed for injury.

Report: New Marlins owners will fire president David Samson

The Miami Marlins are in the process of being sold, and the new ownership group is reportedly planning to make firing one of the team’s top executives its first priority.

According to ESPN’s Dan Le Batard, prospective new owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman have informed Major League Baseball that they do not intend to retain Marlins president David Samson if and when their bid to buy the franchise is approved.

Samson has served as Marlins president since 2002, and the 49-year-old said last week that he would “love” to remain in Miami to work under Jeter and Sherman.

“I have been here since 2002,” he said. “I love it here. I would love to stay here. … If Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter would like me to serve, then it’s something I would certainly talk about.”

It’s no surprise Samson is not going to be granted his wish. He has made numerous controversial remarks over the years about both players and the Marlins’ fanbase. Samson helped the team secure public money to build its new stadium in 2012, and he reportedly made some arrogant comments about fans at that time.

Assuming the sale goes through, Jeter will likely take over Miami’s baseball operations department.

Patriots rookie Derek Rivers reportedly out for season with knee injury

Former Youngstown State defensive end Derek Rivers was expected to make a significant impact in his rookie season with the New England Patriots, but he may have to wait another year.

According to Mike Reiss and Field Yates of, the Patriots fear Rivers could miss the entire 2017 season after he suffered a knee injury during training camp. Rivers left practice on Wednesday after getting hurt during a kick coverage drill.

While the exact injury is unknown, Rivers flew back to Boston on Thursday for testing rather than traveling to Houston with his teammates for their preseason game against the Texans. The tests reportedly revealed that he may have suffered a significant injury.

The Patriots selected Rivers with the 83rd overall pick (their first in the 2017 draft), and he was expected to be part of their rotation at defensive end this season. With Rob Ninkovich having surprisingly retired at the start of training camp, Rivers had the opportunity to take on a big role.

John Elway fine with anthem protests if they don’t distract from winning

If Denver Broncos players plan to protest the national anthem during the 2017 season, they will not be met with opposition from John Elway. Unless, of course, their protests generate too much attention in the media.

When it comes to anthem protests, you could say Elway is a bit of a fence sitter. While he said Thursday that he understands players have a right to take part in political demonstrations, he doesn’t want any distractions.

“They have the right to display whatever they wish to display,” Elway said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. “I think one thing that where we stand and I kind of stand with the Broncos is that, ‘You know what? That’s OK. We’ll respect that and whatever you want to do is fine with us. But the bottom line is that can’t get in the way of our main goal, and that is to compete for world championships.’

“So I just don’t want that pulling away from our team, and sometimes that can pull away because obviously it gets a lot of attention and so, therefore, the only thing I would so to our players is make sure it’s not hurting your teammates. If the questions and everything, if the tenor changes everything that’s going on in these interviews and now you’re not talking about our next opponent but you’re talking about what’s going on in the world, that’s not the best thing for our football team.”

You could argue that Elway’s feelings on the subject are the exact reason why Colin Kaepernick remains a free agent. Even if teams aren’t bothered by his polarizing political views, most of them don’t want to be peppered with questions about it and have their backup quarterback creating a media frenzy.

Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall was one player who took a knee during the national anthem last year, and Elway praised him for the way he handled himself.

“And I think obviously Brandon made a point last year, but he carried it forward. He didn’t just make a stand on the field before the games,” Elway explained. “He actually went out in the community and did something and talked to different people and went and talked to law enforcement. I was proud of Brandon and the fact that not only did he show his support for what it was last year, but also he went out and did something in the community about it.”

Marshall’s decision proved to be costly in a number of ways, but ultimately it did not create a locker room distraction.

Elway’s thoughts on anthem protests weren’t quite as strong as those we have heard from some head coaches, but the overall message is quite similar.

H/T Pro Football Talk

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