The NFL continues to show teams that there will be serious consequences for not following COVID-19 protocols, and the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots are the latest to face disciplinary action.
The Saints were fined $500,000 and had to forfeit a seventh-round draft pick for violating mask protocols, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. New England has been fined $350,000 for similar violations.
The Saints’ latest punishment stems from their locker room celebration following their Week 9 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not all members of the team were wearing masks during the celebration. New Orleans was also found to have conducted a meeting without masks.
New England’s fine stemmed from the way Cam Newton’s positive COVID-19 test was handled in Week 4.
The Saints were punished more harshly because they are considered repeat offenders. Sean Payton was fined $100,000 and the organization was fined $250,000 earlier in the season after the coach failed to following face-covering protocols.
Multiple teams have now been fined for COVID-19 protocols. The Las Vegas Raiders faced a similar penalty to the Saints, and the NFL is clearly committed to enforcing the rules.
Carson Wentz has consistently been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL this season, and the Philadelphia Eagles are finally planning to give someone else a chance to take snaps in their Week 12 game.
Rookie second-round pick Jalen Hurts has taken first-team reps in practice this week and will get some snaps in place of Wentz in Monday night’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. Hurts has been on the field for some plays this season, but never without Wentz.
Hurts is not expected to play an entire series, but head coach Doug Pederson has implemented a handful of plays for the former Alabama star after a good week of practice.
Hurts has 12 carries for 56 yards and has caught one pass this season. He has also completed both of his pass attempts for 27 yards, though Wentz was on the field for both of those.
Wentz has thrown 14 interceptions this season, which is the most in the NFL. His passer rating of 73.3 is third-worst in the NFL ahead of only Drew Lock and Sam Darnold. There have been numerous calls for the Eagles to bench Wentz, but there is one main reason they have yet to do that and may not this year.
Saturday night’s Triller fight card at Staples Center in Los Angeles headlined by Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. was a roaring success, even if the main event had a bogus outcome.
Tyson and Jones Jr. fought an 8-round exhibition match with a smaller ring, smaller gloves, and shorter round duration than is standard for non-exhibitions. Iron Mike, 54, hadn’t fought since 2005 prior to facing Jones Jr., but he looked good given his age.
Tyson came out swinging and showed off good speed on his punches and his typical ability to strike from close range. He dominated the entire fight and clearly won it. Comparatively, Jones Jr. barely was throwing punches and didn’t appear to land anything of consequence. Despite that, the fight went the distance and was ruled a draw by the three judges.
Chad Dawson scored it 76-76, Christy Martin had it 79-73 Tyson, and Vinny Pazienza scored it 80-76 for Jones.
“Yeah, but I’m good with a draw,” Tyson said afterwards. Iron Mike was pleased because he entertained the fans.
Jones Jr. accepted the result but cracked a joke.
“I wear drawers, but I don’t do draws,” he said.
They talked about fighting a rematch.
“We gotta do this again. Everybody loves Mike. It’s tough taking punches from Mike,” Jones said afterwards.
The entire event was a success because the fans loved it. First, the fight before the main event had the kind of outcome social media was made for. Former NBA player Nate Robinson was knocked out cold by Jake Paul and then got mocked on social media. Play-by-play announcer Mauro Ranallo was excellent, and Snoop Dogg stole the show with some funny lines as part of his commentary during the fight.
If they’re considering putting together another similar card, you can bet the fans will want to see it. The entire event delivered, even if the “draw” ruling did not.
Steph Curry had a savage reaction to his former teammate Nate Robinson getting knocked out on Saturday night.
Curry sent a tweet of encouragement to Robinson prior to the ex-NBA player’s pro boxing debut against Jake Paul at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. later that evening.
Robinson wrote back to Curry by saying he would “shock the world bro.”
Well, Robinson got knocked out cold by Paul in the second round of their fight (video here).
Following the knockout loss, Curry acknowledged that Robinson did shock the world, just not in the way the former NBA player was hoping to.
Robinson and Curry were teammates on the Golden State Warriors in 2011-2012. Let’s say that things are going better for Curry than for Robinson these days.
Photo: Cyrus Saatsaz/Wikimedia via CC-BY-SA 4.0
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant blasted the NFL on Saturday for making the team play amid some tough circumstances.
The Broncos learned on Saturday that all four of their quarterbacks were ruled out for the team’s Week 12 game on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Quarterback Jeff Driskel tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, and the other three quarterbacks were determined to be high-risk contacts.
The Broncos will turn to practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hintonat quarterback, and presumably running back Royce Freeman behind him. Fant questioned the NFL for making them play amid such circumstances.
Fant then cracked a joke asking if former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was available.
The team can’t simply sign a quarterback to play because players need to go through COVID testing protocols in order to join a team.
While this is a bad spot for the Broncos, the role they put themselves in played a factor in this. The team’s other quarterbacks may have been cleared to play in the game had they been following protocol by wearing a mask in Driskel’s presence on Wednesday. Additionally, the Broncos and other teams can prevent such a disastrous situation with better preparation, such as keeping one emergency quarterback in quarantine.
Don’t be surprised if some teams start doing this/the league begins to mandate this to avoid another Broncos situation.
Photo: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia via cc-by 4.0
Jake Paul got the best of Nate Robinson during their boxing match on Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.
Paul knocked Robinson out cold in the second round of their fight. First he caught Robinson with a huge uppercut and then put Robinson away with a right hand.
The fight was immediately waved off and given to Paul as a knockout victory. Paul also scored a knockdown in the first round.
Paul is interested in fighting Conor McGregor and Dillon Dannis next.
This was Robinson’s first ever boxing fight. The 36-year-old was a two-sport star in college at Washington and enjoyed an NBA career from 2005-2015. He even tried to get into the NFL a few years back.
Johnny Manziel’s NFL career has long passed, and the former quarterback admits he has some regrets over the way things went down.
Johnny Football was taken No. 22 overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft. He started two games that season and lost both of them. He went 2-4 the following season and passed for 1,500 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. The biggest issue with Manziel was that fame and attitude got the best of him. He just didn’t work hard or care about his NFL career, so it’s no surprise it ended after just two years.
Manziel also had substance abuse issues and entered rehab. He had a serious domestic incident with his girlfriend at the time. And then you had the infamous Las Vegas incident. It was all too much for the Browns and he was not worth the baggage.
Manziel appeared on the YNK Podcast and reflected on how bad of a teammate he was in the NFL.
“Looking back on it now, I would say I absolutely, 100% lost their respect … I would say we wasted a draft pick to go get this guy who doesn’t give a f—. And that’s my only thing in life that I haven’t been able to look back and like fully have closure on … it’s probably one of the only things that I haven’t looked back on and been able to be like super, super okay with what happened,” Manziel said.
Manziel feels badly about wasting some years of the career for his teammates at the time by not trying harder.
“I regret not going and being closer with these guys and being distant into the other life that I was living. And it’s nuts. And to sit back and look at it now, it’s a shameful thing and something that I have to look back, and at the end of the day, I can only say ‘Yo’ to those guys,” Manziel said.
It’s nice that Manziel can reflect maturely about things now. It’s too bad he didn’t see it at the time when so many of us did and knew what he was wasting.
Manziel also tried to play in the CFL, Spring League, and AAF. He’s 27 now and has sadly admitted his playing career is over. It’s such a shame, because he was so fun to watch in college.