big story: alex smith hangs up the cleats
Veteran quarterback and inspiring success story Alex Smith announced his retirement today. After a devastating leg injury in 2018 threatened not only his football career but his overall health, Smith returned to the field last season with the Washington Football Team. Smith also spent time with the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
This is the correct decision for Smith by a mile. While I can't overlook his inspiration and the aspiration to return to what he loves doing to prove himself right, I also can't be alone in saying that I covered my eyes whenever someone came near him on the field. We all knew he was one injury away from never walking again.
That being said, Smith is an intelligent football player, is relatable, and has the knowledge to go into a new field -- coaching, perhaps? The Jacksonville Jaguars would be a top spot for that to occur, with Urban Meyer running the show over there.
You can see Smith's full announcement, which was posted on Instagram, here.
small story: bengals unveil new uniforms
If you're into this sort of thing (I am not) the Cincinnati Bengals unveiled their new uniforms today. Honestly they don't look that different to me, but if I had to pick one, I'm going with those all-whites. Clean.
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big story - Ja'marr chase and kyle pitts shine on pro day
Players are continuing to impress at their Pro Days -- yesterday it was Mac Jones and Justin Fields, today it's Ja'Marr Chase and Kyle Pitts.
LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase is due to become the first at his position to be taken in this year's NFL Draft, and he helped his cause with a 4.38-second 40 time and a 41-inch vertical jump at his Pro Day. Chase is a player that can pretty much fit onto any of the 32 NFL teams currently, but a team towards the beginning of the draft should snatch him up quickly. A reunion with college teammate Joe Burrow in Cincinnati, perhaps?
Florida tight end Kyle Pitts looks to be holding onto the reins when it comes to his position, also impressing at his Pro Bowl today, showing off incredible speed for someone who is 6'5'' and 245 pounds. Again, I feel extremely un-athletic. Pitts clocked in at 4.44 seconds for his 40-yard dash.
small story - offseason program to begin virtually
2020's offseason was entirely remote for the first time, and 2021's offseason was up in the air for a while as the country continues to throw its hands up and wonder when this pandemic will be over. NFL's offseason programs are expected to begin like last season - virtually. However, the league does not expect offseason work to remain remote all offseason. Meaning we should expect teams back in-person sooner rather than later.
Teams are also said to be relaxing protocols for those players and team staff who have been fully vaccinated.
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darius slay will not play for eagles this week
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay will not play this week due to a concussion and did not make the trip to Arizona. CB Avonte Maddox is also out, which is not what you want to hear when going against Arizona Cardinals star quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Already sounding like t's gonna be a long ass day for Philly on Sunday.
michael thomas heading to ir
New Orleans Saints' top weapon Michael Thomas is heading to injured reserve for the remainder of the regular season. New injured reserve rules require all players to miss at least three weeks, meaning Thomas is eligible to return in the postseason. Thomas has had an ankle injury that has lingered all season, with a quad injury mixed him, which has resulted in an under-achieving season for his standards.
ryan finley will start for bengals on monday night
Despite getting their guy in quarterback Joe Burrow in the draft, it has been, well... a bleak season for the Cincinnati Bengals. QB Ryan Finley will start for the team on Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers after an injured Brandon Allen has been "just not ready to play," according to head coach Zac Taylor. It's gonna be a bloodbath; Steelers by 100.
marcus peters fined for spitting at jarvis landry
He swore up and down he didn't do it, but Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters was fined a whopping $12,500 for spitting on Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry during last Monday night's game. Head coach John Harbaugh also said he didn't do it in his direction, even though a video clearly shows he did. Landry also called Peters a "coward," adding to the drama. He did it, and the NFL obviously agrees with me there.
The Cincinnati Bengals aren't off to a good start, even with their rookie quarterback Joe Burrow playing well. One of the things that can get them rolling, getting wide receiver AJ Green more involved, is at the top of the list.
Green did not play last season, and not only is he getting back into the swing of things, but he's also adjusting to a team that he's not used to playing in. (An Andy Dalton-led one.) Green acknowledged to reporters on Thursday that he knows he has some work to do to get back up to par.
This is something Green could have gotten a head start on had there been a preseason. The plus side? Green is a seasoned vet and will be able to pick up these things faster than most, and Burrow seems to know what he's doing so far.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end CJ Uzomah was carted to the locker room in Thursday night's game and was deemed out for the game's remainder. The team fears he has torn his Achilles, and an MRI today will likely confirm the news.
Uzomah is expected to miss the rest of the season, which doesn't bode well for Cincinnati. Uzomah caught starting quarterback Joe Burrow's first touchdown last night before leaving with the injury.
The Bengals' main concern should be their offensive line, or Burrow is going to be the next one to be out for the season.
The Cleveland Browns put their kicker Austin Seibert on waivers on Monday, and today (Tuesday), he was picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals. The two teams play each other on Thursday night. What are the chances?
Current Bengals kicker, Randy Bullock, missed the kick that would have allowed the team to go into overtime on Sunday. He then magically came up with a calf injury. Seibert will likely be the back-up plan if Bullock cannot go Thursday.
Cody Parkey is the current kicker for the Browns.
The Cincinnati Bengals lost their first game of the 2020 season in embarrassing fashion, as kicker Randy Bullock was injured on the kick that he missed to send said game into overtime. With further tests done, the calf injury is said to be "nothing serious."
Looked kinda suspect to me, but the Bengals are on a short week this week. If they don't think he can go, they're going to have to find someone else.
After losing cornerback Trae Waynes earlier this week, the Cincinnati Bengals may have lost another defensive player for the season. Defensive tackle Renell Wren has a 'significant' quad injury, which could likely mean a trip to injured reserve, and another big blow to the team.
Wren played in the majority of Bengals games last season, but only started two of them.