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The Wolf Sports Newsletter: August 14, 2023

The Wolf Sports Newsletter is a weekly newsletter giving an efficient update on the recent happenings in the world of sports. In an era where X is a primary news source for many sports fans, you can think of The Wolf Sports Newsletter as a cheat sheet delivering key information every Monday. The focus is on football, but big news from other sectors of sports will also be included to keep you in the loop with all the action to start the week.


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The first full week of the NFL preseason continues to prepare us for kickoff in less than a month.


Damar Hamlin returns to the field


🫶 Bills safety Damar Hamlin played in a game for the first time since suffering cardiac arrest on the field in Week 17 of last season.


Hamlin’s situation in January 2023 was one of the scariest in sports history, and his return to 100% just several months later has become one of the great sports comebacks and stories in history.


Bills head coach Sean McDermott called the return “remarkable,” and Hamlin said it was “super fun” to play again. He was involved in a couple of tackles, and he looks set to contribute to a championship-hopeful Buffalo squad this season.


Preseason Highlights

⭐️ Two potential breakout second-year wide receivers highlighted the action, with George Pickens of the Steelers and Jahan Dotson of the Commanders each catching long touchdowns on Friday night.




🐦‍⬛ The Ravens have extended their insane preseason winning streak to 24 games after squeezing out a 20-19 win against the Eagles. They almost seem to strategize to win the games, saving Tyler Huntley for the second half of the comeback win. 🤔



⚜️ Derek Carr (6/8, 70 yards, one touchdown) looked extremely sharp in his team debut with an opening touchdown drive versus the Chiefs that included Michael Thomas on the field and an active Alvin Kamara.



💪 Undrafted rookie running backs step up: Packers running back Emanuel Wilson went off for 111 yards and two touchdowns on six carries 14 years after his dad passed away. Chargers rookie Elijah Dotson broke two long touchdown runs in the fourth quarter to end a win with six carries for 92 yards and two touchdowns.




🤯 Play of the preseason? Jaguars rookie Nathan Rourke somehow got out of a potential sack and threw a laser touchdown while going down.



👦 Also, we had some debuts for rookie high-profile quarterbacks:


  • Texans’ C.J. Stroud: 2/4, 14 yards, one interception; two carries 6 yards
  • Colts’ Anthony Richardson: 7/12, 67 yards, one interception; two carries, seven yards
  • Panthers’ Bryce Young: 4/6, 21 yards
  • Titans’ Will Levis: 9/14, 85 yards, one interception; one carry, 6 yards
  • Rams’ Stetson Bennett: 17/29, 191 yards, one touchdown; two carries, two yards


Going past the numbers, Stroud’s interception was bad but he didn’t get much playing time. Richardson tried to force it on his early pick, but the athleticism and promising quick release and arm strength was evident—and the Colts offense looks intriguing with the zone-reads. The Jets beat up Young a bit in limited action, but the No. 1 pick kept bouncing right back up. Levis’ interception came on a desperation type of throw at the end of the game. And as Rams head coach Sean McVay said, Bennett showed some of the skills that has the team excited about him.


😏 And Bill Belichick seems happy with undrafted versatile rookie quarterback Malik Cunningham.



Chiefs set to be healthy for season opener

👌 The defending Super Bowl champions sound like they will definitely have Kadarius Toney (knee) and Isiah Pacheco (shoulder) when they face the Lions on September 7.


🥇 In more Chiefs news, Patrick Mahomes was named No. 1 in the NFL Top 100 for 2023.



NFL Top 100 Players for 2023

The full NFL Top 100 as voted on by the players (while keeping in mind the process is very inexact):


  1. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
  2. Vikings WR Justin Jefferson
  3. Eagles QB Jalen Hurts
  4. 49ers DE Nick Bosa
  5. Chiefs TE Travis Kelce
  6. Bengals QB Joe Burrow
  7. Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill
  8. Bills QB Josh Allen
  9. Cowboys LB Micah Parsons
  10. Chiefs DL Chris Jones


A bit awkward…

🤷‍♂️ Commanders head coach Ron Rivera told the media that some players have come to him to question new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy’s approach.



The next day, Rivera basically apologized and said he told Bieniemy he put his foot in his mouth, adding, “I think what I said wasn’t as clear as I needed to be.”


  • The big issue here is that Rivera felt the need to talk about this publicly with the media, which could hint at some tension with the new OC.
  • The pairing seemed odd when Bieniemy left the Chiefs, but he’s been handed the keys to Washington’s offense.
  • Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy’s stance on this makes sense, as it was well documented what Bieniemy’s style was before he was hired.



Henry Ruggs sentenced

Former first-round pick Henry Ruggs was sentenced to 3-10 years in prison for his fatal November 2021 DUI crash in Nevada.


  • Ruggs’ drunken crash killed a young woman Tina Tintor and her dog Max.
  • He was going 156 miles per hour in the early-morning crash.
  • Ruggs says, “I sincerely apologize,” and he obviously sounds truly remorseful, adding the he has no excuse for his actions. He plans to spread the word about the dangers of driving fast and driving drunk after his time in prison.
  • It’s an incredibly sad and frustrating situation, but hopefully others can learn from Ruggs.
  • Tintor’s mother, Mirjana Komazec, had a very graceful statement that read in part: “We pray that Henry Ruggs is blessed with the opportunity to be able watch his beautiful daughter grow into the amazing woman she can be.”

More NFL news

🧸 The Lions have signed veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.


😥 Cardinals running back Marlon Mack unfortunately suffered another torn Achilles.


Other Sports Updates


🎲 ESPN found a strategic partner and is getting into the sports betting game, coming to an agreement with Penn Entertainment to launch ESPN Bet.


  • ESPN gets $2 billion, including $1.5 billion in cash over ten years in the deal.
  • Penn previously had a deal with Barstool Sports, and they sold it back to founder Dave Portnoy for nothing (though Barstool is not allowed to do sports betting deals, and Penn would get 50% of any future sale of Barstool—but Portnoy says he is “never” selling again) to do the new ESPN deal.
  • Barstool Sportsbook will basically become ESPN Bet this fall.


😯 In just his second start with the team and his first home start, Michael Lorenzen threw a no-hitter for the Phillies.


🏆 Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals to help Al-Nassr win the Arab Club Championship Cup final for his first title with the team.


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