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#pounditSaturday, July 31, 2021

Football

Video: Lions go nuts as QB David Blough’s wife qualifies at Olympics

Lions David Blough wife Olympics

The Detroit Lions have their hands full preparing for the 2021 season under a new head coach, but several members of the team took the time on Friday night to focus all their attention on the Olympics. They did so to show support for a teammate’s wife.

After their third training camp practice, Lions players and coaches gathered in their film room to watch quarterback David Blough’s wife Melissa Gonzalez in the 400-meter hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics. Gonzalez qualified for the semifinals with a time of 55.32, which set a Colombian national record.

The Lions shared an awesome video on Saturday morning that showed Blough and other members of the team going nuts over Gonzalez’s accomplishment.

The Lions also put together a video on Friday wishing Gonzalez luck.

Blough, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Saturday, said he could not have asked for a better gift.

“It was about the best birthday present you could ever ask for in her just being there,” Blough said, via ESPN’s Eric Woodyard. “So, we’re so thankful.”

Gonzalez was born and raised in the United States but has dual citizenship because of her father, so she is representing Columbia in Tokyo. Blough and Gonzalez, a former Texas track star, attended Creekview High School in Carrollton, Texas, together.

Gonzalez will now try to reach the final of the 400-meter hurdles. We can only imagine how the Lions will react if she wins a gold medal.

Troy Polamalu tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of Hall of Fame induction

Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu’s ability to attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony is in question after the legendary safety tested positive for COVID-19.

Polamalu announced his positive test on social media, adding that he is working with the Hall of Fame and remains hopeful of taking part in the festivities in Canton.

In a statement, Hall of Fame president David Baker stated that he was committed to finding a way to honor Polamalu properly no matter what.

“We are disappointed for Troy right now and pray for his quick recovery with no complications,” Baker said, via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk. “We’ll work with him to make sure he’s honored as an enshrinee the way he should be — and that’s mindful of others in the Centennial Class, fans and everyone else in attendance. He had an incredible football career and will have an equally incredible career as a Hall of Famer.”

Polamalu is scheduled to be inducted on Aug. 7 with the rest of the 2020 Hall of Fame class, as their ceremony was pushed back a year due to the pandemic. The Class of 2021 will be enshrined one night later in a separate ceremony.

Bruce Arians totally trashed Buccaneers for practice effort Friday

Bruce Arians

There will be no complacency among the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they defend their Super Bowl title. Coach Bruce Arians appears set on making sure of that.

Arians unloaded on his team after Friday’s workout, telling the media that the team had been “sluggish” and he was “not pleased” with the effort or performance.

“It was just a horses–t practice,” Arians said, via Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m really not pleased; I thought we were really, really sluggish. We talked about it before we left (Wednesday) and took the day off (Thursday). I don’t know if our receivers caught a pass. Same thing defensively, we didn’t stop anything over third-and-9. … Hopefully, we’ll be better in pads (Saturday).”

It’s not common for a coach to go off on his team in public like that, especially less than a week into training camp. Part of Arians’ stance is likely because of the team’s status as reigning champions. It will only be harder to defend that title, as the team will have a target on its collective back now.

The good news for Arians? He has a quarterback who won’t tolerate mediocrity either.

Dak Prescott blames himself for his shoulder injury

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will be temporarily sidelined with a shoulder issue, but it doesn’t sound serious. In fact, Prescott thinks he himself is to blame for the injury.

Prescott blamed a lack of warmup for the shoulder soreness that popped up this week. He said that he made a long throw without being sufficiently warmed up, and believes that contributed to the issues.

Prescott will be shut down for a few days to get fully healthy. The good news is that nobody thinks the injury is a serious one.

Prescott is also still working his way back from the ankle injury he suffered last season. That may also be a factor when the Cowboys figure out how best to handle him during the preseason in light of that. The shoulder issue may be an accidental message to Prescott to not overdo it.

Ryan Tannehill says NFL essentially forced him to get vaccinated

Ryan Tannehill

The NFL has made life extremely difficult for players and staffers who choose not to get vaccinated, and Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill says that forced him into a decision he did not want to make.

Tannehill told reporters this week that he was originally not planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But when he found out how limited he would be under the NFL’s protocols for unvaccinated players, he decided to get the shot.

“I wouldn’t have gotten the vaccine if not for the protocols that they’re forcing on us,” Tannehill admitted. “I think it’s a personal decision for everyone. Everyone has to make the best decision for them and their families, but they try to force your hand and ultimately have forced a lot of hands (with) the protocols.”

The NFL is not technically requiring vaccinations, but those who chose not to get a COVID-19 shot will have to deal with serious limitations. One coach even quit his job after refusing to get vaccinated.

One agent said he fielded a call from a team that dropped its interest in a player upon learning that the player was unvaccinated. That shows you how many obstacles unvaccinated players will face this season, which is why Tannehill felt like he had no choice.

Carson Wentz to see foot specialist, may need surgery

Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz left practice on Thursday with a foot injury, and the Indianapolis Colts quarterback may need to undergo a minor surgical procedure.

The Colts are sending Wentz to be evaluated by foot specialist Robert Anderson, according to Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. It’s possible that Wentz could need a minor surgical procedure, but he is not expected to miss many games, if any.

Wentz has six weeks to get healthy before the start of the regular season. The Colts will likely play it safe with him until then, but it is an obvious concern that he is in his first season with the team. Wentz is trying to prove he is still capable of winning games as an NFL starter. He needs all the reps he can get.

Wentz arrived in Indy via a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason. He has been reunited Frank Reich, who served as the offensive coordinator with the Eagles when Wentz was an MVP candidate. Wentz recently explained why the trade has reignited his passion for football. The Colts are hoping he can avoid surgery and return sooner rather than later.

Carson Wentz out indefinitely with foot injury

Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz sat out practice with the Indianapolis Colts on Friday due to a foot injury, and it is unclear when the quarterback will be able to return.

Wentz will undergo further testing on his foot and be held out indefinitely, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Mike Wells. Second-year quarterback Jacob Eason took first-team reps on Friday with rookie Sam Ehlinger serving as his backup.

The Colts could be simply playing it safe with Wentz, but it is never a good sign when your starting quarterback is out indefinitely during training camp. Wentz needs all the reps he can get this offseason as he tries to prove he can get his career back on track. Any time he misses could be a major issue heading into the season.

Wentz arrived in Indy via a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason. He has been reunited Frank Reich, who served as the offensive coordinator with the Eagles when Wentz was an MVP candidate. Wentz recently explained why the trade has reignited his passion for football.

Here is why Packers are all but certain to trade Aaron Rodgers after 2021

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers finally agreed to a reworked contract on Thursday that technically ties the star quarterback to the team through the 2022 season. However, it has been widely reported that Rodgers will play only one more season in Green Bay. The structure of his new contract all but guarantees that.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network shared many of the details of Rodgers’ new deal. The contract saves Green Bay nearly $10 million in salary cap space this season, but Rodgers now carries a mammoth cap hit of $46 million in 2022. Packers salary cap guru Ken Ingalls provided a good breakdown of the new deal:

As you can see, it is all but a guarantee that the Packers will not want to keep Rodgers at his current 2022 cap hit. According to Over the Cap, Green Bay is now roughly $50 million over the salary cap for 2022. They’re going to absorb a sizable dead cap hit even if they trade Rodgers, but they certainly cannot keep him given the financial constraints that would go along with it.

Rodgers offered a surprisingly candid explanation this week for his issues with the Packers, which you can read here. It’s clear nothing has really been resolved, which is why anything other than a divorce next offseason would be a shock.

Girlfriend Camille Kostek reveals Rob Gronkowski’s favorite SI model

Rob Gronkowski Camille Kostek

Camille Kostek is once again featured in this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, but the former New England Patriots cheerleader isn’t even her own boyfriend’s favorite model. That honor apparently belongs to rookie Tanaye White.

During a recent appearance on SiriusXM’s “This is Happening with Mark Zito and Ryan Sampson,” Kostek revealed that White is her boyfriend Rob Gronkowski’s favorite SI model. The reason? White hit it off with Gronk’s dog.

“Rob was there to come and pick me up from the shoot and he brought the dog,” Kostek explained, as transcribed by Stephanie Nolasco of FOX News. “And so of course he brought the dog out onto the beach at the shoot and Tanaye was there and she was like babysitting a little bit. … So he told me that that’s his favorite model because she’s so great with Ralphie. So Rob loves Tanaye.”

For what it’s worth, there is no jealousy. Kostek said she has gotten to know White and is more excited to see her photos than she is any other model’s this year.

Kostek and Gronkowski have been dating for several years now, so the relationship is obviously serious. After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl, Kostek revealed the slick way in which Gronk first introduced himself to her.

If nothing else, fans now know the way to Gronk’s heart — just be nice to his dog.

The Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski Tampa party continues! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Johnny Manziel made big blunder at Texas State Open golf tournament

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel said earlier this year that he wants to work toward becoming a professional golfer, and his quest is not off to the best start. The former Heisman Trophy winner struggled at a tournament in his home state of Texas this week with everything from his iron game to the dress code.

Manziel accepted a sponsor exemption to the Texas State Open at The Cascades Golf & Country Club in Tyler this week. With his father Paul caddying, Manziel finished dead last of 156 golfers. He shot a 79 in Round 1 and a 75 in Round 2. You have to wonder if his rough play in the first round had anything to do with him not being able to warm up.

As Golf Channel’s Max Schreiber noted, Manziel initially did not know he had to wear pants for the tournament. He arrived in shorts and had to quickly change. Manziel strolled up to the first tee without hitting any balls on the driving range.

Manziel told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that it was “great being on the home track” even though he didn’t shoot as well as he hoped he would.

“I had it going for a while and just struggled on the front nine and didn’t play the way I wanted to,” the former Texas A&M star said. “It’s a good first experience for me and had to start somewhere and this is a great place to do it back home.”

Manziel said during an appearance on the “Green Light with Chris Long” podcast back in February that he has set a specific goal for when he wants to become a professional golfer. The 28-year-old still has plenty of time, but he’s going to have to drastically improve his game. It would also help if he familiarized himself with the dress code ahead of time.