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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Football

Ravens CB Jimmy Smith suspended four games for conduct violation

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith has been suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Smith was involved in a custody battle with the mother of his child, which led to some nasty allegations. She accused him of a “history of substance abuse” and getting “physically violent” towards her. Smith denied the allegations and has not been charged based on them. But the Ravens say they found evidence of “threatening and emotionally abusive behaviors” by Smith towards the woman.

Smith is recovering from a torn Achilles’ tendon suffered in December. He was suspended four games last year for a PED violation and will now be suspended four games this year.

The 30-year-old has been one of the better cornerbacks in the league since being drafted in 2011. He entered the league with some off-field problems, including citations for assault and underage drinking. He was charged in 2014 for failure to obey a police officer, but that was dropped.

Steelers WR Eli Rogers suspended one game for violation

Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Eli Rogers has been suspended one game for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.

Rogers will be eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games, but things change after the roster is finalized on Sept. 1. According to a statement by Pittsburgh’s GM, Rogers “will be allowed to continue his rehabilitation and attend meetings at team’s headquarters, but he will not be permitted to practice with the team during his suspension or attend the Week 1 game.”

Rogers is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the playoffs. He had just 18 catches for 149 yards and a touchdown last season. As a rookie in 2016, he had a much larger role in the offense and hauled in 48 balls for 594 yards and three touchdowns.

Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster remain the team’s two biggest wide receiver targets.

Josh Gordon seemingly has good chance to play Week 1

Josh Gordon

Josh Gordon has yet to resume practicing in full with the Cleveland Browns, but head coach Hue Jackson said that he anticipates the star receiver being back on the field with the team “very soon.” With three weeks to go until the start of the regular season, it does not seem out of the question that Gordon will be available in Week 1.

While Gordon has been ruled out of Cleveland’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, Jackson told reporters Tuesday that Gordon has been in “outstanding” shape and hinted that he could make an appearance in the team’s preseason finale.

“If there’s a chance against Detroit at the end, it’d be great,” Jackson said, per Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland. “If not, my real goal is can we get him up and running by the time we play Pittsburgh. I think that is really important.”

The fact that Jackson is not ruling out Gordon making an appearance in a preseason game is noteworthy. If he felt Gordon was nowhere near being in game shape, he probably wouldn’t sound so optimistic.

The Browns hosted Dez Bryant for a visit during Gordon’s absence, but Jackson has insisted the team’s interest in the free agent wide receiver has nothing to do with Gordon’s status. It’s still unclear if there was a specific event that inspired Gordon to take some time off, though there has been plenty of speculation. His status is never a given, but the Browns know they are better with Gordon on the field.

Baker Mayfield does hilarious impression of Browns GM John Dorsey

John Dorsey

Baker Mayfield has only been with the Cleveland Browns for about four months, but that is obviously enough time for him to perfect an impression of one of his bosses.

The Browns released a video on Tuesday of Mayfield doing his best impersonation of general manager John Dorsey, and it would be fair to say he knocked it out of the park. Enjoy:

Dorsey pretty much wears the same outfit every day, and it consists of a white sweatshirt like the one Mayfield was wearing and some awesome dad shoes that the team had custom made for him. Here’s a better look at the Air Dorsey-Monarchs:

Mayfield and Dorsey appear to have a great relationship, which makes sense given how enamored the GM was with the former Oklahoma star leading up to the NFL Draft. Browns fans can only hope Mayfield pick things up on the field as quickly as he picked up Dorsey’s mannerisms.

Reports: Casey Hayward hurts hamstring at end of practice

Casey Hayward

Casey Hayward has given the Los Angeles Chargers a scare.

Hayward hurt his hamstring near the end of practice on Tuesday, according to multiple reporters. They say he pulled up after covering Mike Williams and went into the team’s medical tent.

Hayward, 28, has 11 interceptions over the last two seasons and made second-team All-Pro both years. He forms an excellent cornerback trio along with Trevor Williams and Desmond King.

The Chargers open the season on Sept. 9 against the Chiefs.

Richie Incognito arrested after allegedly threatening employees at funeral home

Richie Incognito

Richie Incognito has had a number of issues in his personal life over the past several months, and the free agent offensive lineman was once again arrested on Monday.

TMZ reports that Incognito was taken into custody after he allegedly lost his temper and began threatening employees of a funeral home in Scottsdale, Arizona. The 35-year-old was at the funeral home making arrangements following the death of his father, who passed away over the weekend.

According to the report, police were called to the scene to deal with an “out of control” Incognito, who allegedly told people he had guns in his car and threatened to use them. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk was told by a source that Incognito made a gun gesture toward one of the employees. The source also said that police found weapons in Incognito’s truck and confiscated them.

Incognito revealed on Twitter Sunday morning that his father had died.

Incognito essentially forced the Buffalo Bills to release him this offseason, and he has expressed a desire to play in 2018. However, teams have stayed away in the wake of him being arrested over an altercation with a man at a gym back in May. Incognito reportedly told police after that incident that he believes he is being tracked by government officials. He was later sent for an involuntary psychiatric evaluation.

Incognito, of course, was at the center of the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal a few years back. That situation found its way back into the news earlier this offseason when Martin was arrested for threatening Incognito and others in a disturbing social media post. A previous report from TMZ claimed Incognito’s friends have been concerned about his mental health and want him to get help.

Report: Jets in no rush to trade Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater has boosted his trade value with a strong showing in the preseason, but the New York Jets may prefer to hang onto him unless a team blows them away with an offer.

Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports reported on Tuesday that the Jets have made it known to teams that Bridgewater is available, but they have no problem keeping the 25-year-old quarterback if their asking price isn’t met.

While all indications have been that the Jets want rookie Sam Darnold to be their Week 1 starter, Bridgewater has been impressive during the preseason. The former first-round pick has completed 17-of-23 passes for 212 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. The Jets also have veteran backup Josh McCown, but QB depth can be extremely important when starting a rookie.

Bridgewater has reportedly generated interest from at least two teams, but most teams aren’t looking for a starting quarterback this close to the season. Unless there’s a significant injury, teams interested in Bridgewater likely view him as a backup. That may keep the price they’re willing to pay too low to entice the Jets.

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