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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Football

Emmanuel Sanders hoping to be ready for Week 1

Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders suffered a torn Achilles late last season, but he is hoping to be fully cleared in time for Week 1.

Sanders admitted on Tuesday that he will “definitely not” be a full participant when training camp begins on Thursday, and he said the team will instead work him back into the mix gradually.

A torn Achilles is one of the most difficult injuries to come back from, so being ready for Week 1 would be a huge testament to the hard work Sanders has put in this offseason. The 32-year-old, who is still expected to be an important part of Denver’s offense with new quarterback Joe Flacco, caught 71 passes for 868 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games last season.

There was some talk earlier in the offseason about the Broncos potentially asking Sanders to take a pay cut from the $10.25 million he is scheduled to make in 2019, but they did not do that. That may be a positive sign for how his rehab is coming.

Police open investigation into Ezekiel Elliott’s security guard altercation

Ezekiel Elliott

The security guard who was allegedly assaulted by Ezekiel Elliott at a concert in Las Vegas back in May is pressing charges, and police have opened an investigation into the incident.

A representative for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police told TMZ that Kyle Johnson contacted the department informing them he was the victim of battery from Elliott. The incident is currently under investigation.

Johnson, 19, was knocked to the ground during a dispute at the Electric Daisy Carnival on May 19. Video footage appeared to show Elliott making contact with Johnson and causing him to fall into a metal barrier. Elliott was detained but not arrested after Johnson initially said he did not want to press charges. Johnson later said he only wanted an apology from the star running back.

Elliott did issue an apology on social media after a disciplinary hearing with Roger Goodell earlier this month, but apparently that was not good enough. Elliott’s legal team claims Johnson is trying to extort the Dallas Cowboys star.

Tedy Bruschi still moving to bigger role at ESPN despite latest stroke

Tedy Bruschi suffered his second stroke earlier this month, but all of the updates we have heard about his health over the last two weeks have been positive. On Tuesday, ESPN provided another.

Bruschi, who has made regular appearances on “NFL Live” and other programs for the past several years, is moving to a bigger role with ESPN. The network has announced its plans for 2019 NFL pregame shows, and Bruschi is joining “Sunday NFL Countdown.” He will replace Charles Woodson.

That is obviously a great sign, as it indicates it will be business as usual for Bruschi when the 2019 season gets underway — and likely sooner. The former New England Patriots linebacker has been a huge advocate for stroke awareness since he suffered his first back in 2005, and he said he was able to get the help he needed this time by immediately identifying the signs. We’re glad to hear he is recovering well.

Chargers WR Keenan Allen complains about his Madden rating

Keenan Allen

The player ratings for the video game “Madden NFL 20” were released on Monday, and let’s just say several athletes were not pleased with their markings.

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen was among those protesting his rating. Take a look at this video where he cites everything wrong with the numbers he received:

All that is leading Allen to boycott the video game.

Allen has put up two pretty excellent seasons for the Chargers in a row. He had 97 catches for 1,196 yards and six touchdowns last season. The year before he had 102 catches for 1,393 yards and six touchdowns. Maybe he’s not getting the Madden respect he feels he deserves, but fans know how good he is.

RB Alex Collins recently suffered broken leg

Free agent running back Alex Collins remains unsigned even with training camps beginning around the NFL in the next few weeks. A recent injury will only delay him from finding a new home.

Collins shared on Instagram Monday that he recently suffered a broken leg.

“This past year has been a challenging one for me, but has also allowed me to look within and grow as a person. God has a plan for all of us and right now that includes me using what I’ve learned through every experience and pressing forward to the road ahead,” he wrote.

“Two weeks ago I broke a bone in my leg and I underwent successful surgery. I refuse to be discouraged. Instead, I have faith and am optimistic about the process. I believe that all that has happened is making me physically and emotionally stronger, and is necessary for me to succeed in life.

“I have already begun the healing and rehab process, and I fully trust God’s plan for me. I look forward to getting back to playing football and doing what I love most. Thank you for everyone who has supported me. I’ll be back Irish dancing soon.”

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says Collins had interest from teams and was expected to play this year, but the injury is an obvious setback.

Collins played for the Ravens the past two seasons but was waived by Baltimore following a car crash near the team facility in March.

After rushing for 973 yards in 2017, Collins had just 411 yards on 3.6 yards per carry last season. He has scored 15 career touchdowns.

Tom Brady trolls fan who is critical of his Madden speed rating

Tom Brady

Don’t question Tom Brady’s Madden rating unless you’re prepared to hear from the man himself.

The New England Patriots quarterback was given a 96 overall rating in Madden NFL 20, it was announced Monday. That raised the ire of one fan, whose argument against that rating was primarily based on Brady’s lack of speed. It even ended with the infamous fan boast that even he could outrun Brady if given the chance.

Brady picked that precise moment to weigh in himself, with a very simple retort.

Later, Brady posted a hilarious follow-up that he joked was definitely not photoshopped.

Matt took things in stride after Brady’s reply.

Perhaps the most amusing part? Brady recently clocked in with a faster 40 time than the one he posted at the NFL Combine 19 years ago. The man is a physical freak. Matt probably shouldn’t underestimate him.

Alex Smith has leg brace removed eight months after injury

Alex Smith

Alex Smith took a step toward recovering from his catastrophic leg injury with the removal of a brace on Monday.

Smith’s wife posted a picture to Instagram of the Washington Redskins quarterback holding up his complex leg brace, adding in a caption that it was a “big milestone” in his recovery.

The next step in Smith’s rehab is unclear. He has previously said that he is essentially having to relearn how to use his leg to run and move, which is a major obstacle for an NFL quarterback.

Smith suffered the gruesome leg injury last Nov. 18. He is hopeful of playing again, though almost certainly not in 2019, and his coach sounds optimistic that he will. He has a long way to go, though, and no guarantees.