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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Stories by Grey Papke:

Rob Pelinka denies Magic Johnson’s ‘saddening’ allegations

Rob Pelinka

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka took a diplomatic tone when responding to Magic Johnson’s accusations of “betrayal.”

Johnson accused Pelinka of backstabbing him, but Pelinka called the comments “saddening and disheartening.” The GM added that he has talked to Johnson recently and hopes to talk to him again to discuss the “untrue” accusations.

There were reports that Johnson wanted to fire Pelinka, so it’s safe to say the relationship between the two men is difficult. It remains to be seen whether Johnson is even interested in having any further discussion.

Report: Carson Wentz to have no limitations during OTAs

Carson Wentz

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz looks to be without limitation as team OTAs get underway.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Wentz is not expected to have any physical limitations during on-field drills. While the Eagles will take care not to push their quarterback too quickly, it appears that it will be out of an abundance of caution rather than any actual physical issues.

Wentz suffered a stress fracture in his back last season, but he was always expected to be cleared for offseason work. At this point, it’s safe to assume he’ll be under center when the regular season kicks off in September.

Ben Roethlisberger sorry for going ‘too far’ with Antonio Brown criticism

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger thinks he could have done some things differently during the final season of his doomed relationship with Antonio Brown.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback apologized for going “too far” with some of his criticism of Brown, particularly after a November game against Denver when Roethliberger publicly criticized the receiver’s route running.

Roethlisberger’s leadership style is frequently public and sometimes confrontational, and that clearly grated on Brown. After the season ended, the wide receiver went scorched earth on Roethlisberger before his eventual trade to Oakland. Nobody should be holding their breath for Brown to accept Roethlisberger’s apology at this point.

Freddie Kitchens figures he confused Kareem Hunt by attending his baptism

Freddie Kitchens Browns

Cleveland Browns GM John Dorsey and coach Freddie Kitchens showed solidarity toward running back Kareem Hunt by attending his baptism over the weekend, and Kitchens figures it was to his confusion.

The Browns coach offered up a funny quote about what he assumes Hunt’s reaction would have been — one of befuddlement.

Clearly, it was meant as a surprise. It’s also another sign of the Browns’ commitment to Hunt. The team has given him a second chance after his suspension and release from Kansas City, and the team’s braintrust are clearly willing to publicly show that they’re with him — even unexpectedly so.

Reuben Foster suffers serious-looking leg injury in workouts

Reuben Foster

Washington Redskins linebacker Reuben Foster suffered what looks to be a major leg injury during offseason workouts.

Foster went down during Monday’s OTA and had to be carted off the field. Reports indicated that he needed an air cast on his leg, and was heard sobbing as he was carted off.

Foster has yet to play in a regular season game for Washington, and the team was widely criticized for picking him up. If this injury turns out to be as serious as it initially looks, it could be even longer before he suits up for the Redskins in a regular season game, but it’s too soon to know on the severity of things right now.

Magic Johnson mocked for calling Nick Young ‘Shaggy P’

Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson’s wide-ranging interview on ESPN’s First Take Monday morning had a lot of strange and memorable moments, but one appears to have caught the internet’s imagination.

In discussing some of the moves he made as the Los Angeles Lakers’ team president, Johnson referenced the departure of Nick Young, widely known for his “Swaggy P” nickname. Not quite widely enough, however, as Johnson referenced him a bit differently.

Naturally, the internet went right in on that.

Let’s just say something like this isn’t going to do much to convince people that Rob Pelinka’s supposed “backstabbing” was unjust or unwarranted.

Brooks Koepka was not surprised by ‘DJ’ chants in final round

Brooks Koepka

It’s fair to say that Brooks Koepka was not the crowd favorite down the stretch at the PGA Championship as he struggled through his final round, opening the door for a Dustin Johnson comeback.

Koepka shot four straight bogeys from holes 11-14, making what had previously looked like a procession quite tense, with Johnson closing the gap on him. That got the crowd at Bethpage Black into it on Johnson’s side, and Koepka was serenaded with “DJ” chants down the stretch.

Koepka ultimately won despite shooting +4 on Sunday, and didn’t seem terribly offended by the crowd’s response to his struggles.

If Koepka was as laser-focused all day as he was when he denied his girlfriend on a kiss attempt, then the chants probably didn’t register much with him. It certainly didn’t bother him enough to cost him the championship, as he managed to close things out by a two-stroke margin.

George Springer considered day-to-day with back stiffness

George Springer has been one of baseball’s hottest hitters, but the Houston Astros outfielder could be sidelined for a day or two.

Springer left Sunday’s loss against the Boston Red Sox with lower back stiffness, prompting some worry about his health going forward. However, manager A.J. Hinch stated that Springer was only day-to-day and will be held out of Monday’s game.

Springer is hitting .313 this season. His 17 home runs lead the American League, and he trails only Christian Yelich for league-wide supremacy in that department.