Joe Burrow will be back, but it's on Bengals to protect quarterback's future

  • NFL American Football Bengals

    True to form, Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow didn't take long to let NFL fans know he will return from a torn ACL suffered during Sunday's game against Washington.

    Burrow was one step ahead of the social media reaction to his injury.

    The No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft showed promise this season that goes beyond the stat sheet. Burrow displayed all the intangibles — the toughness, swagger and leadership — that made him a Heisman Trophy winner and national champion at LSU. Despite a 2-7-1 record, the Bengals have a franchise quarterback to build around.

    It's now on the team to do the building.

    MORE: NFL, sports world react to Burrow's gruesome injury

    The Bengals have been down this path before with a No. 1 pick. In 2005, Carson Palmer led the NFL with 32 touchdown passes. Cincinnati finish夜网论坛ed 11-5 in his second season as a starter. Then the tenor of his career changed when the Steelers' Kimo Von Oelhoffen barreled into his knee during an AFC wild-card game on Jan. 8, 2006.

    Palmer suffered two torn knee ligaments and a dislocated kneecap. He played five more seasons with the Bengals but had a 2[......]

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    NFL power rankings: Bills, Packers unseat stumbling Steelers, Saints as top contenders for Week 15

  • NFL American Football Patriots Dolphins Titans Raiders Eagles Ravens Colts Vikings 49ers Washington Football Team Jaguars 夜网论坛 Lions Rams Co[......]

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    Super Bowl odds, spread, line: Buccaneers home underdogs for Super Bowl 55 vs. Chiefs

  • NFL American Football Chiefs Bills Packers Buccaneers

    The betting line, point spread and over/under for Super Bowl 55 all contain a history factor: For the first time, there will be an actual home team in the game.

    The Buccaneers punched their ticket to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., by beating the Packers in Sunday's NFC championship game. They'll host the AFC champion (and reigning Super Bowl champion) Chiefs on Feb. 7. They begin the two-week countdown to the game as 3.5-point underdogs, per DraftKings Sportsbook. 

    MORE: How much are Super Bowl tickets?

    That means Tampa Bay is also a moneyline underdog, albeit a narrow one at plus-140. Kansas City is a minus-175 moneyline favorite. Bettors would need to wager $100 on the Bucs to win straight up to make a $140 profit. Conversely, Chiefs backers will need initially to risk $175 to win $100. 

    With the game taking place in Florida, weather will be a minor factor (rain should be the lone variable), so the total i[......]

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    Panthers' Jaycee Horn will honor Kobe Bryant, his own draft slot with jersey choice

  • NFL Panthers American Football

    Jaycee Horn was the eighth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Panthers, and it looks like that number will follow him into his pro career.

    The rookie cornerback will take advantage of the NFL's new number rules — which allow him to wear any number 1-49 — choosing to become one of the first modern NFL defenders to wear a single-digit jersey.

    As he announced on Twitter, Horn will wear the No. 8 jersey during his rookie season. It appears that decision will not only be a nod to his draft selection, but also pay tribute to the late, great Kobe Bryant.

    MORE: How tough is the Panthers' schedule in 2021?

    Bryant wore the No. 8 jersey for the first 10 years of his career before switching to his high school number, 24, ahead of the 2006-07 Night net season. Under the old NFL uniform rules — which dictated cornerbacks can only wear jerseys numbered 20 through 49 — Horn would only have been able to wear No. 24.

    While that number was available, Horn opted for originality in rocking the single-digit look. That's what he did during his college days, donning the No. 1 jersey for South Carolina; wearing that number fo[......]

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    Charles Barkley surprised to see comments on Russell Wilson's 'blackness' gain attention

  • NBA

    NEW YORK — The NBA season is about to kick off, which means we’ll get another year of the thoughts and opinions of Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, one of the stars of TNT’s NBA program. We might, however, not get much more.

    Barkley and colleagues Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith spoke for about 90 minutes here at the Time Warner Center on Monday, and while they registered their thoughts on the NBA topics of the day, it was — of course — Barkley’s wider view that was most noteworthy.

    MORE: Mookie Blaylock sentenced to 15 years | Players then and now | Impact rookies

    First, Barkley expressed some surprise that his comments about Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his relative “blackness” — some teammates reportedly (and anonymously) said that Wilson was not “black enough” — caught attention.

    “It’s a dirty secret in the black community — unless you’re a thug or got a criminal record, or you’re just a jackass, some black people think you are not black enough,” Barkley said. “It’s a dirty little secret in our community. I want black kids to know we can be strong and intelligent. We shouldn’t tell kids, if you’re doing good in school, you’re acting white. If you speak intelligently, you’re acting white. That’s bulls---. It’s one reason we as a group are struggling, black people are struggling. We don’t have great respect for each other.

    “I have talked about it in my last book — one of the problems[......]

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    Sixers offseason: No, the rebuilding is not finished yet

  • NBA

    As the NBA’s playoff races wind down, those teams who have long abandoned postseason hopes have only the future to look forward to. In the coming weeks, SN’s Sean Deveney will look at the state of those teams and how their offseasons will shape up.

    MORE: Iverson wants in on Sixers' front office | Lakers' offseason presents Kobe question

    Assets

    It took a few months, but we finally are seeing rookie big man Nerlens Noel at his best. In March, the 20-year-old posted terrific numbers, with 14.3 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 2.4 steals in 17 games. The 76ers hope to see that same development from center Joel Embiid next, as he took the same route as Noel in sitting out of his first season with an injury. That’s a pretty good pair of assets to start with.

    The Sixers traded away point guard Michael Carter-Williams in February, but they came away with the Lakers’ pick in the deal, which they’ll get either this year, if it is outside the Top 5, or next if it is outside the Top 3 that year. There is the potential, then, for the Sixers to have two picks in the Top 6 this year, plus a pick from the Miami Heat and possibly another from Oklahoma City (if it falls outside the Top 18). There is not much worth watching on the Sixers' current roster, but with Noel, Embiid, four potential first-round picks and Dario Saric, one of last year’s lottery picks who is playing in Europe, Philadelphia has a plan in place.

    Sources[......]

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    LeBron James addresses Michael Brelo verdict, asks for Cleveland calm

  • NBA

    The Cleveland Cavaliers sit on the doorstep of the NBA Finals, up 2-0 on the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference finals. For a city that hasn't seen a major sports championship since 1964, this is huge. 

    But something much bigger, something far beyond sports is happening in Cleveland, and LeBron James is speaking out.

    MORE: Baltimore riots reveal need for more youth rec centers

    On Saturday morning, a judge found Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo not guilty of voluntary manslaughter after his, and his colleagues', actions resulted in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams following a high speed chase in 2012. According to the Associated Press, 13 officers fired 137 shots at Russell and Williams that evening. They were unarmed, and as has become almost a given in these stories in recent months, they were black. Brelo, according to prosecutors, waited until the vehicle had stopped, stood on the hood and fired 15 bullets through the windshield.

    The Cavaliers play host to the Hawks at 8:30 p.m. ET Sunday. TV coverage: TNT.

    In the wake of a growing number of high profile cases of black people dying beneath the bullets or brutality of policeman — 12-year-old, Cleveland kid Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, take your pick — the verdict has left Cleveland's black citizens hurting.

    Protests have remained peaceful as Clevelanders held mock funerals, formed a line across a major highway and gathe[......]

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    Stephen Curry expects to play Game 4 against Rockets

  • NBA null Basketball null

    Warriors guard Stephen Curry expects to return to action Sunday for Game 4 against the Rockets after missing Games 2 and 3 with a sprained right ankle.

    Curry told reporters Friday that he wanted to play in Thursday's 97-96 loss but Warriors coach夜网论坛 Steve Kerr said it wasn't worth the risk. 

    MORE: Best NBA playoff photos

    "It was their call," Curry said Friday, via ESPN. "If I would have got the green light I definitely would have played and felt confident there. Hopefully that leads to even more confidence come Sunday."

    It sounds like Curry isn't letting anyone tell him no for Game 4. He even said he would be "very" surprised if anyone tried to sit him for Sunday's contest.

    But Curry said he's still struggling during full-speed drills and he's not quite pain-free. Curry also said his explosion and change of direction is "awful."

    "I'm sure coach and the athletic training staff are on similar wavelengths of being more on the cautions side, obviously," Curry said. "I've been pretty honest about just how I feel, making sure I don't do anything to damage my ankle even further, put myself in a bad position. ... We want to get a prop[......]

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    Russell Westbrook says he definitely wasn't trolling Kevin Durant on Christmas

  • NBA

    Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant likely won't be meeting up for a happy reunion any time soon, but even Westbrook wouldn't troll his former teammate on Christmas Day.

    You know the story by now. Durant becomes a free agent. Durant leaves the Thunder for the Warriors after Golden State eliminated OKC in the 2016 NBA playoffs. Westbrook signs an extension with the Thunder, then turns the 2016-17 season into his own personal triple-double tour of destruction. That tour has included some shots thrown in Durant's direction.

    MORE: Cavs actually trolled the Warriors, unlike Russ

    It looked as though Westbrook may have used the Warriors' latest loss to throw another dart at Durant's squad before the Thunder's game against the Timberwolves. Westbrook did his usual warm-up routine, which always ends with a shot from the corner a夜网论坛nd a sprint to the locker room.

    But listen closely all the way to the end.

    It sounds like Westbrook says "Thank you Kyrie!" That's Kyrie Irving, the guy who hit the game-winning shot to lift the Cavs to a 109-108 victory over the Warriors on Sunday afternoon. And who plays for the Warriors again? Kevin Durant does!

    MORE: Breaking down 3 huge calls that hurt Warriors vs. Cavs

    But Westbrook says that's not the case. He clarified he was re[......]

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    NBA: Stephen Curry appreciates LeBron James support

  • NBA null null Basketball null 夜网论坛

    Stephen Curry expressed his gratitude for the support of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade after he led the Warriors past the Rockets and into the Western Conference Finals.

    Warriors star Curry was held scoreless in the opening two quarters of Game 6 Friday against the Rockets in Houston but produced a sensational second half, racking up 33 points to inspire the defending NBA champions – who were without injured Kevin Durant – to a 118-113 victory and a 4-2 series win.

    That haul represented Curry's best since the opening game of the playoffs – and summarily silenced any doubters.

    And Lakers star James, who faced Curry in each of the past four NBA Finals during his time with the Cavaliers, voiced his backing of his fellow three-time champion, as did retired Miami Heat legend Wade.

    James posted on Twitter: "NEVER underestimate the heart of a Champion!!!!"

    Wade added on his account: "Y'all better stop disrespecting @StephenCurry30 just because he's a team first guy and is willing to sacrifice in moments doesn't mean he's not still a bea[......]

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