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#pounditFriday, August 12, 2022

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Did Zach Wilson avoid a major knee injury?

Zach Wilson on the practice field

May 7, 2021; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson during rookie minicamp. Mandatory Credit: New York Jets/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson went down during Friday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles with a non-contact knee injury. However, a potentially serious injury may have been avoided.

Near the end of the first quarter, Wilson came up limping after scrambling for a first down and cutting off of his right leg (see video here).

Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters after the game that the team will not know the full extent of Wilson’s injury until he gets an MRI on Saturday. But he did throw in some positive news for Jets fans.

According to multiple reports, Saleh said that initial testing on Wilson’s knee revealed that the 23-year-old’s ACL is still intact.

While watching video of the injury, former Chargers team doctor Dr. David Chao tweeted that it looked like Wilson tore his ACL. Further testing could still reveal a tear, which would likely end Wilson’s season.

ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported on Friday that Wilson may have suffered a PCL injury, which the Jets hope would entail a recovery period of just a few weeks. According to Russini, the team’s concern is that Wilson re-injured the sprained PCL that kept him off the field for a few weeks last season.

Wilson has a lot to prove on the field in his sophomore season. The former No. 2 overall pick finished with 2,334 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 13 games last season. A serious injury could significantly hamper Wilson’s growth in what could be a pivotal year for his development.

Padres GM rips Fernando Tatis Jr. over PED suspension

AJ Preller in the dugout

Jun 6, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller looks on from the dugout before the game against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Fernando Tatis Jr. was suspended on Friday for 80 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, and San Diego Padres GM A.J. Preller was notably frustrated with his shortstop.

The MLB commissioner’s office announced on Friday that Tatis would be suspended after testing positive for Clostebol, a banned anabolic steroid. The 23-year-old will start serving his suspension right away, meaning that he will not play for the remainder of the 2022 season and the beginning of the 2023 season.

Preller had a pretty brutal comment regarding Tatis’ immaturity while speaking to reporters Friday during the Padres’ game against the Washington Nationals.

“It’s very disappointing,” Preller said via Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “You have to learn from the situations. We were hoping that from the offseason to now that there would be some maturity, and obviously with the news today, it’s more of a pattern and it’s something that we’ve got to to dig a bit more into.”

The pattern that Preller referred to may include Tatis’ questionable response when talking about what led up to his offseason wrist injury. The injury required surgery and had kept Tatis from playing up to this point.

Tatis did issue a lengthy apology and explanation for his suspension in a statement through the Major League Baseball Players Association. But Preller was apparently only concerned with Tatis proving through actions that he has learned from his mistakes.

“I’m sure he’s very disappointed,” Preller said. “But at the end of the day, it’s one thing to say it. You’ve got to start showing by your actions.”

The Padres have invested $340 million in Tatis through the 2034 season, which could end up looking like a massive overpay if Tatis continues to miss significant amounts of time. Perhaps Preller’s comments will be a wakeup call for the young star.

Video: Packers player nailed on sideline by coach

Amari Rodgers on the ground

A Green Bay Packers player took a big hit in Friday’s preseason game, but it came from an unlikely source.

Amari Rodgers was returnining a kickoff late in the first quarter of the Packers’ preseason game at the San Francisco 49ers following a Trey Lance touchdown pass. Rodgers caught the kickoff around the 4-yard line and then took it to the far sideline. He even broke a tackle as he advanced 50 yards, taking the ball to the San Francisco 46.

Rodgers’ strong return had his team fired up. One of the team’s coaches on the sideline tried to share his enthusiasm with Rodgers and gave him a pump-up shove. Instead, he sent Rodgers to the ground.

Yeah, that coach (speculated by some to be Rashan Gary) got a little carried away. Still, you love to see people getting hyped up on the sideline over big plays.

Packers fans have to be thrilled with that play after last season’s special teams disaster.

Zach Wilson feared to have serious knee injury

Zach Wilson walking to the locker room

Zach Wilson on Friday went down with a dreaded non-contact knee injury. The injury has one former NFL team doctor fearing the worst.

Wilson’s New York Jets were facing the Philadelphia Eagles in a preseason game on Friday. Late in the first quarter, Wilson was scrambling and tried to cut by pushing off his right side. He seemed to have hurt his knee trying to make the quick cut and ended up diving forward.

Wilson came up limping and headed to the locker room for an examination.

Dr. David Chao, a former Chargers team doctor, offered his opinion regarding the injury. Chao said that based on viewing the video, it looked like Wilson suffered a torn ACL.

There is no confirmation from other reporters nor the team regarding the extension of Wilson’s injury. But that is Chao’s opinion.

Wilson is entering his second NFL season. The former No. 2 overall pick struggled as a rookie, throwing for 9 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 13 games. The Jets were hoping he would take a big step forward this season, but beginning the preseason with a knee injury is a bad start.

Fernando Tatis Jr. offers explanation for 80-game PED suspension

Fernando Tatis Jr. looking away.

Apr 19, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) looks on after the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Fernando Tatis Jr. on Friday issued a statement in response to his suspension without pay for 80 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

The MLB commissioner’s office announced on Friday that Tatis would be suspended after he tested positive for Clostebol, a banned anabolic steroid.

In a statement through the Major League Baseball Players Association, Tatis shared that he unknowingly used a ringworm medication that contained the steroid.

“I have been informed by Major League Baseball that a test sample I submitted returned a positive result for Clostebol, a banned substance,” Tatis said in the statement. “It turns out that I inadvertently took a medication to treat ringworm that contained Closteblol. I should have used the resources available to me in order to ensure that no banned substances were in what I took. I failed to do so.

“I am completely devastated. There is nowhere else in the world I would rather be than on the field competing with my teammates.”

Tatis also apologized to the entire San Diego Padres organization and MLB, noting that he would “never do anything to cheat or disrespect” the game that he loves. The Padres in a statement expressed their shock and disappointment upon learning of Tatis’ suspension.

The 23-year-old will start serving his suspension immediately, meaning that he will not play for the remainder of the 2022 regular season or postseason. In addition, Tatis will miss games during the start of the 2023 season and will not be able to play for the Dominican Republic during next year’s World Baseball Classic.

Tatis had not played this season after having surgery in March for a wrist fracture he suffered during the offseason. He had recently begun a rehab assignment with the Padres’ Double-A affiliate in hopes of returning to the majors before the playoffs.

The Padres undoubtedly could have used Tatis back in the lineup for their postseason push. Entering Friday, San Diego was 63-51 and just one game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers for the final National League Wild Card spot.

Patrick Beverley calls out ESPN over slight

Patrick Beverley warming up

Apr 3, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley (22) warms up before the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Beverley is probably about to post somebody up in the ESPN graphics department.

The Utah Jazz guard called out ESPN over a perceived slight on Friday. The network aired a graphic of 12 notable players who can become free agents in 2023, naming six as NBA All-Star caliber and the other six as starter caliber. Nowhere to be found though was the ex-All-Defensive Teamer Beverley.

“Forgot my name,” wrote Beverley in response. “Damn [y’all be] hating.”

The 34-year-old Beverley will be playing next year on a $13 million contract before hitting free agency. He is still a starting-caliber NBA player (having made 54 starts for Minnesota last season) and probably feels he deserved inclusion over the likes of Kyle Kuzma and Bojan Bogdanovic.

Beverley likely won’t do too much else to antagonize the Worldwide Leader however. After all, ESPN just had Beverley on for some memorable viral moments as a guest analyst earlier this year.

Kyle Shanahan reveals why 49ers chose Trey Lance over Mac Jones

Kyle Shanahan with a headset

Sep 23, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan watches play on the sidelines during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The San Fransisco 49ers selected Trey Lance with the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the decision apparently came down to one reason.

During an appearance on Monday’s edition of the “I Am Athlete” podcast, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed that the team’s choice for the third overall pick in 2021 was between Lance and Mac Jones.

Shanahan also revealed that Lance’s potential was the main reason why he drafted Lance over Jones.

“Mac had so much good stuff on tape the way he played, and Trey I loved what he put on tape,” Shanahan said. “The more you dive into it, the more I got to find out some stuff about [Lance], the more I believed in what I didn’t see and what I believe we will see.”

Compared to Lance, Jones was the more accomplished quarterback coming out of college. Jones threw for 6,126 yards and 56 touchdowns to seven interceptions in 30 games at Alabama. Lance had 2,947 yards and 30 touchdowns to one interception in 19 games at North Dakota State.

With Lance set to start for the 49ers this season after playing in just six games in 2021, Shanahan will finally get a chance to see if Lance can fulfill that potential.

Fernando Tatis Jr. suspended 80 games after positive PED test

Fernando Tatis Jr. running

Feb 28, 2020; Peoria, Arizona, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr against the Chicago Cubs during a spring training game at Peoria Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Fernando Tatis Jr’s nightmare 2022 continues.

The MLB commissioner’s office announced on Friday that the San Diego Padres star has been suspended without pay for 80 games after a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs. The drug Tatis tested positive for is Clostebol, a banned anabolic steroid. His suspension will begin immediately.

The Padres released a statement on Tatis’ suspension, saying that they were “surprised and extremely disappointed” by the news.

Tatis, 23, had yet to play this season after undergoing surgery in March for a wrist fracture. He was nearing a return to action, but the suspension renders him ineligible for the remainder of the regular season plus the postseason. Tatis’ ban will also carry over into the start of the 2023 campaign.

The Padres signed Tatis to a 14-year, $340 million contract extension before the 2021 season (which locks him up through 2034). Considering that Tatis’ wrist injury arose under questionable circumstances as well, that contract is already starting to look like a monumental mistake for San Diego.

Falcons 1st-round pick leaves preseason game with apparent knee injury

Drake London looking away.

Jun 9, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London (5) on the field during OTA at Falcons Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons rookie wide receiver Drake London left Friday’s preseason game against the Detroit Lions with a knee injury.

The Falcons announced on Twitter that London, who sustained the injury during the first quarter, would not return to the game.

Luckily for Falcons fans, The Athletic’s Josh Kendall reported that the injury may not be too serious. According to Kendall, team trainers were looking at London’s knee after he snagged his first professional catch. He also said that the 21-year-old was probably not going to play too much longer regardless of the injury.

Here is video of London’s 24-yard catch on a pass from quarterback Marcus Mariota. London caught the ball in stride near the Atlanta 33-yard line, and was eventually tackled out of bounds around the 45-yard line.

London was the eighth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and the first receiver selected.

The Falcons do not want to lose London for a significant amount of time, especially with Calvin Ridley suspended for the season for betting on NFL games.

In 2021, London had 88 receptions for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games for USC. He was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. In three college seasons, London had 160 catches for 2,153 yards and 15 touchdowns.

NBA executives pushing for 1 change to combat tampering?

Adam Silver speaking

Jun 2, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver talks to media before game one of the 2022 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA may finally be taking action to address their tampering problem beyond just fining Magic Johnson.

The Deseret News’ Sarah Todd wrote this week that several NBA executives she recently spoke to expressed support for moving the start of free agency to before the draft so as to fight tampering. Todd also talked with multiple staffers and executives from the league office, who said they are open to changes as well, preferring a system that is not so blatantly ignored.

The NBA obviously has a rampant leaguewide issue with tampering. Deals are often reported seconds after free agency officially starts, even complex sign-and-trade transactions. Some teams were docked second-round picks last summer for tampering, and now another team could be facing an even steeper penalty this year.

As it stands right now, the draft takes place several days before the start of free agency. Thus, teams drafting off need are doing so based on incomplete information, namely, who will be staying, who will be going, and who will be arriving as a free agent. That creates an incentive to tamper, something that having the draft after the start of free agency might eliminate.

There will never be a solution that eradicates tampering altogether. But by removing one major motive to do so, the NBA may help rein in the problem.