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#pounditSunday, June 26, 2022


DeAndre Hopkins reveals what triggered failed PED test

DeAndre Hopkins without a helmet

Oct 24, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) against the Houston Texans at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Hopkins will miss the first six games of the 2022 NFL season after he violated the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Hopkins has maintained that he did not knowingly take a banned substance, and he says there is proof of that.

Hopkins spoke with reporters about his suspension before JaVale McGee’s charity softball game in Phoenix on Wednesday. He revealed that the substance he tested positive for is called ostarine. Hopkins says there was so little of it in his body that it proves something he took was contaminated with the banned substance.

“It wasn’t on me. I’m pretty much a naturopathic person. What it was is it’s called ostarine,” Hopkins said, via Jake Anderson of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “There was 0.1 percent found in my system. If you know what that is, you know it’s contamination — not something directly taken.

“I don’t take any supplements, I’ve never taken supplements. I barely take vitamins. So for something like that to happen to me, obviously I was shocked but my team and I, we’re still trying to figure out what’s going on.”

That is consistent with what Hopkins’ brand manager said after the suspension was announced in May. He said everyone who works with Hopkins was stunned by the failed PED test.

Hopkins, 30, had a rough season last year. He battled injuries and caught 42 passes for 572 yards and eight touchdowns in 10 games. Hopkins had missed just one game in his entire career prior to that.

Report reveals how unlikely Orlando Magic’s pick of Paolo Banchero was

Paolo Banchero holds a ball

Nov 12, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Paolo Banchero (5) looks to pass during the second half against the Army Black Knights at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic pulled a bait-and-switch at the top of the NBA Draft, and they apparently showed a serious level of commitment to the ruse.

Shams Charania of The Athetic reports that the Magic did not have a formal workout or meeting with top prospect Paolo Banchero during the predraft process (though he did informally meet with them at the Draft Combine). Nevertheless, the Magic went on to pick Banchero No. 1 overall.

The former Duke star Banchero indeed sounded pretty stunned during his post-announcement interview with ESPN that he went with the top pick.

“I don’t even know what to say,” said Banchero. “I can’t believe what just happened, honestly. I never would’ve thought that this would happen. I wanted to be in the NBA, but I didn’t know I would be here. I really, honestly didn’t. This is unbelievable, and I can’t speak right now.”

Even earlier in the day on Thursday, it was being reported that the Magic were leaning towards a different player with the top overall pick. But an enormous overnight betting odds shift in favor of Banchero going No. 1 proved in hindsight to be a sign that something was up.

The 19-year-old Banchero now joins an ascendant Orlando team where he should get a chance to start right away next to fellow ex-Duke star Wendell Carter Jr. in the frontcourt. At least Banchero had the foresight of showing up to the NBA Draft dressed like a No. 1 overall pick.

Arch Manning made 1 big change before announcing commitment

Arch Manning running

Quarterback Arch Manning 16 runs the ball as Newman takes on Lafayette Christian Academy in the LHSAA Div III semi finals. Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. Arch Manning Lca Vs Newman Football

Arch Manning announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, and the way he shared the news signaled a big change for him.

Manning announced on Twitter that he will play for the Longhorns in 2023. The tweet was his first ever and remained his only as of Friday morning.

That is fairly significant, as Manning had stayed off of social media prior to that. His family wanted him to focus more on school and sports and avoid the distractions that come along with platforms like Twitter.

Part of the reason Manning probably stayed off of Twitter was to avoid being recruited there, both by programs and fans. He may not have wanted to listen to rabid college football fans trying to influence his decision. Though, Manning’s high school coach made it seem like Texas was winning the Manning sweepstakes either way.

Peyton Manning, one of Arch’s uncles, joined Instagram this year but still is not on Twitter. Arch may be trying to emulate the great Manning quarterbacks who came before him, so we would not expect him to be very active on social media.

Peyton Manning shares advice for nephew Arch after Texas commitment

Peyton Manning in a suit

Dec 15, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Former Denver Broncos player Peyton Manning before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Arch Manning announced this week that he has committed to the University of Texas, but he will not arrive on campus until 2023. In the meantime, one of his uncles is urging him to focus on finishing what he started.

Peyton Manning was asked on Friday at the Manning Passing Academy if he has any advice for Arch and other top recruits. He spoke about not letting the future become a distraction.

“I just encouraged him to kind of concentrate on the task at hand — be a senior, finish out your eduction, get your high school diploma and try to have the best senior year you can,” Peyton said. “There’s no doubt it can become a distraction if you let it, but it’s not fair to your teammates and coaches if you’re not all-in and focused on the team. I think the fact that he made this decision in June was smart.”

Both Peyton and his brother Eli, Arch’s other uncle, mentioned how recruiting was much different when they were coming out of high school. Social media did not exist, and the process started much later. They say that is why it is so important for players like Arch to make sure they don’t get too far ahead of themselves.

Arch already made one big change in his life before committing to Texas. The good news is he could not possibly have a more experienced group of quarterbacks in his inner circle. He will have plenty of help navigating the rest of his high school career and beyond.

Browns’ plan revealed if Deshaun Watson is suspended

Deshaun Watson on the practice field

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs a play during minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The future of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson remains very much uncertain. And the same can be said for his fellow quarterback, Baker Mayfield.

That leaves the Browns in an unexpected position. They were certain their quarterback woes would come to an end with the acquisition of Watson, but it’s only ended up muddying the waters further. And as the NFL deliberates on a potential suspension for Watson, Cleveland is busy creating contingency plans.

Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reports that the Browns will plug Jacoby Brissett in as their starter should Watson be suspended.

Brissett has emerged as the fallback option due to the team’s deteriorated relationship with Mayfield, who skipped minicamp and openly wants to be moved.

“I have no regrets of my time in Cleveland, of what I tried to give to that place,” Mayfield told the “Ya Never Know” podcast in April. “The respect thing is all going to be a personal opinion. I feel disrespected, 100%. I was told one thing, and they completely did another.

“That’s what I’m in the middle of right now. And you know what, I got my taste of it because I’ve had four different head coaches in four years. 2021 was miserable — bunch of different coordinators. I’m just looking for stabilization right now.”

The 29-year-old Brissett was a third-round pick of the New England Patriots in the 2016 NFL draft. He was traded to the Colts in 2017 and spent four seasons in Indianapolis before donning a Miami Dolphins uniform last year.

In 60 career games (37 starts), Brissett has completed 60.2% of his passes for 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He’s also rushed the ball 178 times for 653 yards and 13 additional touchdowns.

Report: Deshaun Watson facing huge suspension from NFL

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Reports have indicated that the NFL is seeking a significant suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. A new report has indicated just how long that suspension might be.

The NFL is pushing for an indefinite suspension for Watson, lasting a minimum of one season, according to Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal. The league is expected to hand down discipline soon, perhaps as soon as the week of July 4.

Watson will not accept such a suspension without a fight. The report states that both he and the NFLPA are preparing to “vigorously fight” against that sort of suspension.

The league believes it has “damning” evidence against Watson stemming from 24 civil lawsuits and other accusers. The NFL is specifically focused on five cases that it feels have particularly strong evidence. The league wants to hand down essentially the stiffest possible ban, and wish to make it indefinite in case further revelations surface. However, the baseline of one year is the minimum the league is reportedly prepared to accept.

Watson and the NFL had been in talks over a discipline settlement, but those talks fell apart over the length of a suspension. If the league won’t take less than a one-year suspension, those discussions probably did not get far.