Tagged in: coach

New York Giants lose top receiver Sterling Shepard to torn ACL

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in Monday night’s game versus the Dallas Cowboys, coach Brian Daboll stated Tuesday.

The injury will end his season and perhaps his time with the Giants. Shepard, the longest-tenured player on the team, is in the final year of a restructured deal he signed this offseason off a torn left Achilles.

“He’s a tremendous person. He’s worked so diligently to get back,” Daboll said. “Feel so terrible for him that he’s had that injury. Big part of our team. Going to miss him out on that field.”

The Giants plan to look internally for Kadarius Toney (hamstring), Wan’Dale Robinson (knee) and the struggling Kenny Golladay to fill the void. Shepard was serving as the team’s No. 1 receiver.

The noncontact injury happened in the final minutes of New York’s 23-16 loss to Dallas. It came on a seemingly innocuous play where Shepard was simply jogging near the right sideline when he crumbled to the ground. “I’m thinking the same thing as you watch it. He’s just slowing down,” Daboll said.

“It could have happened, I’m not saying it happened, but you see a couple plays before where he kind of turns when he’s running an in-cut and he’s extended. But he went out there on the next play and did something. Again, kind of looked like a freaky accident there.”

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This latest odd injury to Shepard only exacerbates the turf vs. grass debate.

“I know there have been a lot of studies. Not just here but probably in every stadium,” Daboll said on Tuesday. “I think, again, you look at Shep’s injury, he was jogging. I’m sure throughout the season and the offseason we’ll sit down and discuss those types of things.”

The turf at MetLife Stadium in particular has been the subject of some complaints in the past, including by the San Francisco 49ers after five players suffered game-ending lower-body injuries in the same game versus the New York Jets during the 2020 season. The knee injuries suffered by Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas were season-ending.

Most recently, the Baltimore Ravens weren’t happy after cornerback Kyle Fuller tore an ACL there in a game versus the Jets in Week 1.

“Everybody in this league should do everything they can to put the best surface out there. How much is invested in the players who go out there and play, and our league really is a player-driven league, and we want those guys to have the best of the best, especially surfaces to play on,” coach John Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh added about the MetLife field surface: “That turf was matted down, it was packed down, it was a little tight. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be. I don’t know, but that’s what I saw. It was a little tough.”

The Ravens will play again at MetLife Stadium this season in Week 6 when they face the Giants.

The injury had Shepard’s close friend and former teammate Odell Beckham Jr. expressing his disgust with stadiums using turf over grass.

“Billions made off this game I can’t understand why we can’t play on grass,” he tweeted, also offering prayers for Shepard.

Shepard was cleared to practice late this summer after tearing his left Achilles last December. He leads the Giants with 154 receiving yards through three matches. He has also played the most snaps (157) of all the team’s receivers.

The injury occurred on the Giants’ final offensive play Monday night. The result of the play was essentially a game-ending interception by Dallas’ Trevon Diggs. Shepard limped onto the cart and players from both teams came over to offer words of encouragement. The Giants (2-1) move forward now hoping to get either Toney or Robinson back this week. Both missed Monday night’s game due to injury.

Robinson, the Giants’ second-round pick in the 2022 draft out of Kentucky, was injured in the opener versus the Tennessee Titans. Toney, their first-round pick in 2021 out of Florida, recently aggravated the hamstring that plagued him this summer.

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Los Angeles Chargers LT Rashawn Slater (torn biceps) out for season, LB Joey Bosa (groin) week-to-week

Left tackle Rashawn Slater and edge rusher Joey Bosa are among the Los Angeles Chargers players who suffered significant injuries in a lopsided Week 3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Slater will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his left biceps tendon and Bosa will be sidelined indefinitely because of a groin injury, as per coach Brandon Staley.

“It’s going to be a tough loss for us,” Staley said about Slater, the Bolts’ 13th overall pick in 2021 who earned Pro Bowl recognition as a rookie last season. “We’re going to make sure over the next couple of days that we put good contingency plans in place.”

Staley stated he was unclear if Bosa would be placed on injured reserve. “He’ll probably be week-to-week,” Staley said. Wide receiver Jalen Guyton also will be sidelined for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament late in the fourth quarter.

“It’s a tough one, he was playing a good game,” Staley said of Guyton, a fourth-year pro who in a reserve role had two catches for 64 yards.

Storm Norton, who lost a training camp competition with Trey Pipkins III for the right tackle job, took over at left tackle when Slater left the game in the third quarter. Veteran linebacker Kyle Van Noy and edge rusher Chris Rumph II took over for Bosa.

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With the 38-10 loss to the Jaguars, the Chargers fell to 1-2, and now prepare for back-to-back road match at Houston and Cleveland.

Staley expressed confidence that despite losing multiple key players, several other starters who have been dealing with injury issues, including quarterback Justin Herbert, were holding steady, if not improving.

“Not setbacks at the game,” Staley stated of Herbert, who completed 25 of 45 passes for 297 yards and a touchdown, with an interception and lost sack fumble, while playing through fractured rib cartilage suffered 10 days earlier.

A day removed from leaving Herbert in the game late in the fourth quarter, down 20 points, Staley would not go so far as to say he regretted leaving the Pro Bowl quarterback in the game, but indicated that moving forward, a different decision would be made.

“It definitely was my decision to keep him out there,” Staley said, adding later, “If I had to do it again or if I have to do it again, I need to make sure that I communicate to Justin [that] in a tough circumstance like that when you’re behind, that you’ve already done enough. I look forward to that next time, but in that moment, I don’t regret how we went through that together.”

Herbert told reporters after the game he stayed in the game because he “just didn’t want to quit on the team.”

Staley said that Pro Bowl center Corey Linsley, who was inactive Sunday because of a knee issue, was improving and expressed optimism that he would return to practice, along with receiver Keenan Allen, who has been sidelined the last two games because of a hamstring injury.

And Staley provided some clarification in regard to the situation surrounding cornerback J.C. Jackson, their marquee offseason free agent acquisition. Jackson underwent ankle surgery last month and was sidelined for the season opener, but played 100% of the snaps in Week 2 before he was inactive again Sunday.

Staley said Jackson had “inflammation” inside his ankle, but that there was “nothing structural.” “Just making sure that he doesn’t go out there and have something else happen,” Staley said. “There was just some inflammation that we were taking a look at and again, just being cautious looking at the long term.”

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QB Justin Herbert day-to-day, ‘feeling more comfortable,’ says Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley

Six days removed from suffering a fracture to his rib cartilage, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is considered day-to-day ahead of a Week 3 matchup versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, coach Brandon Staley said Wednesday.

“He’s gotten a lot of rest since the last game,” Staley said. “He’s feeling more comfortable. I know that he was able to do some light throwing yesterday, some rotational work, but we’re just going to take it day by day and see where his comfort level is.”

Herbert did not throw any passes during the brief portion of practice open to reporters Wednesday. The third-year quarterback watched as backup quarterbacks Chase Daniel and Easton Stick took throwing reps.

Herbert did partake in handing balls off to running backs and was listed as a limited participant on the Chargers’ injury report.

Receiver Keenan Allen and tight end Donald Parham Jr., both of whom have been dealing with hamstring injuries, also returned to practice in a limited capacity. Staley stated whether Herbert plays Sunday will be a decision that begins with the quarterback.

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“It will start with him and then obviously him feeling good about what the medical team feels like is best, him weighing the options and then us making a good decision,” Staley said.

The Chargers doctor who is caring for Herbert’s injury is being sued for medical malpractice by former Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who is seeking at least $5 million after suffering a punctured lung while being treated for a rib injury in 2020, according to copies of the original lawsuit and subsequent filings related to the case obtained by ESPN.

When asked Wednesday if there was any trepidation about Herbert’s treatment given the recent history of quarterback care, Staley said the care of players is of utmost importance.

“Any player that goes through something like this, that’s your biggest responsibility as a coach is to take care of your players, “Staley said.

“So I think we have full alignment with Justin and his family, his agents, and then the medical professionals, and that’s what we’re going to try to do is have alignment that way and just kind of trust the process and hopefully get him well soon.”

Herbert suffered the injury in last Thursday’s 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

With 5 minutes, 9 seconds left in the game, Chiefs defensive end Mike Danna hit Herbert, leaving the quarterback lying on the field for an extended period.

Herbert returned after missing only one play and was immediately hit again, as he was crushed between Chiefs pass-rushers Frank Clark and George Karlaftis. Herbert, however, remained in the game. In two games, Herbert has passed for 613 yards and six touchdowns, with an interception.

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Spain basketball tops France for fourth EuroBasket gold medal in past six tries

For Spain, almost all of the names on the national team’s roster have changed in recent years.

The expectations didn’t. And neither did the results.

Juancho Hernangomez scored 27 points, his brother Willy Hernangomez added 14 and earned tournament MVP honors, and Spain topped France 88-76 on Sunday to win the EuroBasket gold medal.

It was Spain’s fourth European championship in its past six tries, all those golds coming under coach Sergio Scariolo.

“It’s easy to say that we are extremely happy,” Scariolo said. “We got into this championship in eighth place in the power ranking, and we managed to climb, step by step. … It’s been amazing now to see we are above all those great teams.”

Lorenzo Brown scored 14 points and had 11 assists for Spain, while Jaime Fernandez scored 13.

Evan Fournier led France — which also dropped the gold-medal game at the Tokyo Olympics to the U.S. last summer — with 23 points, while Thomas Heurtel scored 16 and Guerschon Yabusele added 13.

Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves was held to only six points on just two shots from the field for France.

“Spain played better from start to finish,” said Fournier, who plays with the New York Knicks. “They had a clear game plan, and we did not execute ours well enough. … We never really had control of the game. They just played better, man, period.”

This was supposed to be a rebuilding summer for Spain.

Pau and Marc Gasol, the longtime leaders of the program, retired from international play following a quarterfinal loss to the U.S. at the Tokyo Games. Sergio Gonzalez also decided last summer was the right time to walk away, after 16 years with the national team. Sergio Llull and Ricky Rubio, two more of the team’s veterans, couldn’t play because of injuries.

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The winning tradition continued anyway.

Spain is now the reigning Basketball World Cup (won in China in 2019) and EuroBasket champion. It has also medaled in 10 of its past 11 EuroBasket appearances.

“It’s hard to explain with words how I feel,” said Willy Hernangomez, who plays in the NBA for New Orleans. “I’m feeling extremely proud of my teammates, of my coaching staff, of all the Spanish federation from the top to the bottom. We much deserve this gold medal.”

But this young crew also had the exuberance of youth: As Scariolo and Willy Hernangomez were trying to hold a postgame news conference, the rest of Spain’s roster crashed the session, armed with water bottles, and soaked the MVP and their coach.

“That’s the dark side of having a young team,” Scariolo said, as he happily dabbed at his face with a towel. “I don’t see Pau Gasol throwing water around.”

For France, it was another medal — and another instance of coming up a bit short of the shiniest medal. France’s last major crown came in winning EuroBasket in 2013. Since then, the French have obtained two bronzes at the World Cup (2014, 2019), a bronze at EuroBasket (2015), silver at the Tokyo Olympics and now silver again.

The difference was clear: Spain held a massive 35-7 edge in points off turnovers.

“Today, obviously, we have lost the gold,” France coach Vincent Collet said. “They executed their plan perfect.”

Juancho Hernangomez was 6-for-6 from 3-point range in a six-minute span of the second quarter, helping Spain extend what was a 23-14 lead into a 45-26 edge with just about three minutes left in the half.

It was perhaps a mildly unlikely source for a 3-point barrage. He had made a total of 12 3s in his eight previous games in this year’s EuroBasket tournament, and his high in any NBA game is six.

“We needed him today and he was there for us,” Willy Hernangomez said.

An 11-0 run helped France cut what had been a 21-point deficit to just 47-37 at the half — and the momentum carried into the third quarter.

Yabusele’s jumper with 6:52 left in the third got France within 49-46, and everything seemed to be shifting.

But Spain held on. Juancho Hernangomez’s seventh 3-pointer with 7:29 left made it a 71-61 game, and the outcome wasn’t in doubt again. “I cannot be happier as a basketball coach,” Scariolo said.

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Tom Brady expected to play Saturday in Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ preseason finale

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is expected to play in Saturday’s third and final preseason match match the Indianapolis Colts.

Coach Todd Bowles did not say it outright, but when asked Thursday if Brady will play, he responded, “Everyone who is healthy will play.”

Brady, who returned this week from an 11-day absence to tend to “personal issues,” is healthy and practiced in full Thursday, as well as Monday and Tuesday, with a veteran day on Wednesday. He took his usual number of reps and looked strong and focused.

It will mark the first time Brady has played this preseason, the first time he’s lined up with wide receiver Julio Jones in a game and the first time he’ll stand behind a remade interior offensive line featuring second-year center Robert Hainsey and rookie left guard Luke Goedeke in live action.

“It’s important for game continuity,” Bowles said of seeing Brady with the starters. “We have some new guys on the O-line. We have some new guys at receiver. So other than having practiced together, we need to see ’em in a game with certain situations and just the flow of it. No matter how long it is, we just need to see it.”

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Bowles stated he’s not concerned about Brady’s level of conditioning after such a prolonged absence, nor is he concerned that Brady didn’t have enough time to build up chemistry with Jones, wide receiver Russell Gage or tight end Kyle Rudolph.

“He missed 11 days, but he wasn’t playing in the first two [games],” Bowles said. “He’s fine with everything. We know his condition and it’s fine. He’s getting back with the guys. He’s throwing the ball and we’re good. I think it was built up before we left.

“It’s just having everybody intact, practicing at the same time. You know, his days would’ve fallen the same day Julio was off and obviously Mike [Evans] being injured — we didn’t have a full slate there either, but they got to see a lot of things from the side and got to talk a lot. And I think the chemistry’s good.”

The starting left guard position remains unclear, but Bowles said Goedeke, who is competing with Nick Leverett for the job, will get the start.

Goedeke struggled last week versus the Tennessee Titans with two holding calls, and he surrendered a sack.

The fifth, sixth and possibly seventh — if the Bucs choose to keep seven — wide receiver positions after Evans, Jones, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage are also up for grabs, with Tyler Johnson, Jaelon Darden, Scotty Miller, Breshad Perriman, Deven Thompkins and Jerreth Sterns all competing for those remaining spots.

As for Brady, whose mid-training-camp break was unprecedented in the NFL for any uninjured player, let alone a seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Bowles said he wouldn’t have given him the time off if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.

“If it wasn’t a situation, that we hadn’t talked about it, and it wasn’t important, I wouldn’t have done it,” Bowles said.

“I have that kind of relationship as well do the coaches with a lot of the players and they all have private things that they come to us with. It just came to light more than the others. And we won’t sway away from that. We don’t give nobody breaks just to take breaks.”

When healthy, Brady has participated in at least one preseason game every year since he was drafted in 2000. The only preseason he did not take part in was in 2008 when he was a member of the New England Patriots and was dealing with foot and ankle injuries.

Godwin, who has been practicing with the team for three weeks and started 11-on-11 work for the first time since suffering a torn ACL in Week 15, is not expected to play, although the coaching staff has been encouraged by his progress.

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New York Giants lose promising WR Collin Johnson to torn Achilles

The New York Giants lost wide receiver Collin Johnson for the season Wednesday on the same day that veteran Sterling Shepard returned to the practice field.

Johnson tore his Achilles tendon during Wednesday’s practice, per the team. The big receiver (6-foot-6, 220 pounds) out of the University of Texas had been receiving first-team reps in recent weeks at practice with Kadarius Toney and Shepard among those on the sideline.

Coach Brian Daboll had noted earlier in the week that Johnson and fellow wide receiver David Sills were making a strong impression. Johnson started Sunday’s preseason victory over the Cincinnati Bengals and had three receptions for 41 yards; Sills had five catches for 56 yards, with most of the damage coming with the first-string offense.

“Collin Johnson, David Sills, they’ve stepped their game up,” Daboll said. “And they’re right in the mix, not just to make a team but to play.”

The Giants’ opener is in 18 days in Tennessee. Toney (right leg), C.J. Board (ribs) and Darius Slayton are also dealing with minor injuries.

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Shepard, meanwhile, was making his way back from a torn Achilles suffered last December. He returned to practice for the first time Wednesday since the injury.

“It felt great, man,” said Shepard, who snuck in some reps during live drills and even caught a 20-yard pass from backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor. “Just being back on the field, it’s a blessing. Especially when you go through an injury like that and you’ve been on the sidelines for so long watching those guys get after it. You have to take every day and cherish them because you never know when you’re going to have to sit out that long.”

It had been eight months and five days since Shepard tore his Achilles.

He is the longest-tenured Giant and has 349 catches for 3,884 yards and 21 touchdowns in his career, all in New York.

Shepard’s return made it appear as if the Giants were actually getting healthier at the position. Toney, Board and Slayton participated in the early portions of Wednesday’s practice.

But Toney was seen grabbing at the back of his leg during the workout, and Johnson and Marcus Kemp (hamstring) suffered significant injuries. Both Johnson and Kemp landed on injured reserve later in the day.

The Giants claimed wide receivers Bailey Gaither and Jaylon Moore on Wednesday to fill the voids. They cut tight end Jordan Akins to make room on the roster.

Johnson, 24, has 29 catches for 377 yards in 26 career matches with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Giants. He made his mark with the Giants last year as a blocker.

But this summer it appeared he had taken his game to the next level. He was making plays consistently throughout training camp, earning him the trust of starting quarterback Daniel Jones and some first-team reps. Johnson even had 10 catches for 123 receiving yards in the first two preseason matches this season.

With Toney still banged up and Shepard coming back from a serious injury, it looked possible that Johnson could have started — or at least played a substantial role — Week 1 versus the Tennessee Titans. Instead his season came to a premature end.

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Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant meet, agree to ‘move forward’ together after star’s trade demands

Kevin Durant is staying in Brooklyn, according to a statement from Nets general manager Sean Marks.

“[Coach] Steve Nash and I, together with [governors] Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, met with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles yesterday,” Marks said in a statement. “We have agreed to move forward with our partnership. We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn.”

Durant originally asked for a trade on June 30 and reiterated that desire in a meeting with Joe Tsai in London earlier this month, sources confirmed to ESPN. During that meeting, Durant wanted Tsai to choose between him and the brain trust of Nash and Marks.

Instead, Nash and Marks will retain their jobs, while Durant will stay in Brooklyn, New York, as the four-year, $198 million extension he signed last offseason kicks in this season.

The Nets have spent the better part of the offseason dealing with upheaval from stars Durant and Kyrie Irving.

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Irving, who played in 29 games last season after choosing to not get the COVID-19 vaccine, created a list of teams he would have liked the Nets to consider working with on a sign-and-trade deal. However, no viable trade materialized and Irving opted into the final year of his contract.

The Nets could still trade him as an expiring contract (although Irving would have no formal voice in a potential landing spot) and have until June 30 of next year to work out an extension before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

With Irving and Durant still with the team, the Nets will look to improve upon last year’s first-round playoff exit and hope Ben Simmons will be a part of that.

Simmons was traded to Brooklyn in a deal that sent James Harden to Philadelphia, but he has not yet made his Nets debut. Simmons underwent a microdiscectomy procedure in May to address pain located in a herniated disk in his lower back, but he is expected to be healthy for training camp.

According to Caesars Sportsbook, the Nets’ odds to gain the NBA championship moved from 18-1 to 9-1 after the Nets announced Durant will stay.

The 9-1 odds push Brooklyn ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers for fourth-best odds to win the title behind the Celtics (+450), Warriors (+650), Suns (+800), Clippers (+800) and Bucks (+800).

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New York Jets coach Robert Saleh not ready to rule out Zach Wilson for Week 1 after QB’s knee surgery

A third-round pick out of LSU in 2020, Lewis was a returning starter on an offensive line that added left tackle Charles Cross in the draft with the ninth overall pick as well as center Austin Blythe in free agency. Seattle also drafted Abe Lucas in the third round to compete at right tackle.

Lewis had drawn a strong review from coach Pete Carroll earlier this summer. He was preparing for his third season as a starter and his second at left guard after playing right guard as a rookie.

Phil Haynes replaced Lewis on Thursday night. Carroll had said earlier in training camp that Haynes was having a strong enough summer to “push” veteran Gabe Jackson on the right side, and that Haynes gave the team what Carroll considered three starting-caliber guards.

Wilson flew back from Los Angeles on Wednesday night and was back at the team facility by Thursday morning. He’s “already walking” and looking forward to initiating his rehab, according to Saleh.

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The calendar is working against Wilson, who tore his meniscus and suffered a bone bruise last Friday night in a preseason game versus the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Jets open the season in 24 days against the Baltimore Ravens.

The initial timetable was two to four weeks, and there was no additional damage discovered in the arthroscopy, sources said.

But the Jets are planning to be careful with their second-year quarterback, who got three weeks of practice last season before returning to the lineup after spraining his PCL in the same knee — and that was a non-surgical injury.

“We’re going to do right by him in terms of making sure he’s 100% healthy,” Saleh said.

Even though Wilson avoided a season-ending injury, the time lost will be a setback. He will miss preseason matches versus the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants, plus joint practices against those teams.

Wilson, 23, the No. 2 overall pick in 2021, is an inexperienced quarterback who needs as many practice reps as possible. He struggled last season, losing 10 of 13 starts and throwing only nine touchdown passes with 11 interceptions.

“If you want to get good at football, you have to play football. You have to practice football,” offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said.

“That can’t happen for him, obviously. So he’s going to go and he’s going to attack it the best way he knows how. He went through this last year, unfortunately. He knows what to do, what to watch, what to say and what to do in the meetings. He’s going to make the most of the situation, just like we all will.

“The show goes on, right?”

In Flacco, 37, the Jets have a 14-year veteran and Super Bowl XLVII MVP for the Ravens. But Flacco has struggled in recent years, having lost 14 of his past 16 starts. Next on the depth chart is Mike White (three career starts).

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Simona Halep wins tournament title in Toronto for third time, outlasting Beatriz Haddad Maia

Simona Halep collected the National Bank Open on Sunday for the third time, defeating Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

Halep, from Romania, also collected the title in 2016 and 2018 when it was called the Rogers Cup. It’s the 24th title of Halep’s career and first since switching to Patrick Mouratoglou as her coach.

The 26-year-old Haddad Maia, who is from Brazil, has never won a tennis tournament at this level before but has rocketed up the WTA Tour’s standings this year.

She upset three seeded players at the National Bank Open: 13th-seeded Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., world No. 1 Iga Swiatek and 14th-seeded Karolina Pliskova in succession.

A year ago, Haddad Maia was ranked 183rd in the world, but entered this week’s tournament No. 24 and will crack the top 20 next week.

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Halep fell behind Haddad Maia 3-0 in the opening set and started yelling at herself.

Some Brazilian fans — many of them in yellow national soccer kit — started chanting “Bee-ah! Bee-ah!” to cheer on Haddad-Maia but they were soon drowned out by Romanian fans’ calls of “See-moh-nah! See-moh-nah!”

The chanting seemed to rouse Halep. A deep forehand return on set point that was just out of the reach of Haddad Maia’s extended racket sealed six consecutive games for Halep as she came back to take the first set.

Haddad Maia seemed to shake off that stunning comeback to start the second set, quickly winning the first two games and fending off Halep on two more for a 4-0 lead.

Although Halep won a game back to slow Haddad Maia slightly and make it 4-1, the younger Brazilian immediately reclaimed that momentum to make it 5-1.

Halep claimed another game before Haddad Maia could serve for the second set. Haddad Maia jumped out to a 40-15 advantage and then her serve handcuffed Halep to attain the set and force a decisive third and final set.

For the first time in the match, Halep opened a set with a game winner and took a 2-0 lead when Haddad Maia’s return of her forehand went long. Later, an overhand smash at the net by Halep completed her own unblemished game for a 5-2 lead.

Haddad Maia stayed in the match, winning another game. She made it 5-3 when her high backhanded volley dropped in for a point. Holding a 40-15 advantage in the ninth game of the third set, Halep clinched her first title in Toronto when Haddad Maia put her return into the net.

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Joe Burrow makes training camp debut for Cincinnati Bengals, participates in several drills

For the first time in training camp, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow practiced. Nearly three weeks after he had his appendix removed, Burrow donned his orange No. 9 jersey and participated in several drills throughout Sunday’s practice.

All of his work in team drills came in a 7-on-7 period that was more strenuous than coach Zac Taylor expected.

“We talked about doing two reps in 7-on-7,” Taylor said after practice. “And then he took 10. That’s how it goes sometimes.”

Previously, Burrow’s most notable work during practice occurred last Monday when he did some light tosses during an impromptu walkthrough.

On Sunday, Burrow decided to extend his limits.

Burrow took the entirety of the reps during that 7-on-7 drill. That also eased the workload on the rest of the team’s quarterbacks following Brandon Allen’s concussion in last Friday’s preseason game versus the Arizona Cardinals.

Burrow’s most notable passes were two long completions — one to veteran receiver Trenton Irwin and the other to rookie Kwamie Lassiter II. Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who watched the bulk of Burrow’s throws during that 7-on-7 period, said having the team’s star quarterback took what the defense was willing to allow as the quarterback brought positive energy to practice.

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“It’s funny because every pass he threw today, I was calling it out before he threw it,” Chase, who also played with Burrow at LSU, said. “I think I still know him perfectly fine.”

The third-year quarterback wasn’t the only key player to make significant progress Sunday.

Wide receiver Tee Higgins participated in team drills for the first time. Rookie Cordell Volson also took over as the team’s starting left guard with Jackson Carman out.

Cincinnati is looking to replicate last season’s success that featured a Super Bowl run that Burrow spearheaded. The top overall pick in the 2020 draft completed 70.4% of his passes for 4,611 yards, 34 touchdowns and 14 interceptions as the Bengals played for the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in 33 years.

The Bengals have been hesitant to release any firm timetables for Burrow’s practice acclimation following the appendectomy July 26. Taylor said he was uncertain on when Burrow will return to full participation.

But he was with his teammates Sunday. It was the first time that Burrow, new tight end Hayden Hurst and all the returning players from last year’s Super Bowl run practiced together since organized team activities.

Said Higgins: “As soon as we got in the huddle I said, ‘Uh oh. We’re back.'”

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