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The Wolf Sports Newsletter: August 28, 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 NFL preseason is in the books, and kickoff with Lions-Chiefs is less than two weeks away. As we head into the busiest weekend of fantasy football drafts, check out Fantasy Consigliere to access our premium features, including cheat sheets in six scoring formats.


“I’m back 😈😏”


☠️ After holding out during training camp, the NFL’s reigning rushing champion Josh Jacobs has returned to the Raiders on a revised one-year contract.



  • Jacobs’ upgraded one-year deal includes a signing bonus and can earn him up to $12 million this season, according to NFL Network.
  • While it comes later than Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who agreed to a revised deal with his team before the start of training camp, Jacobs ultimately took a similar path to his fellow franchise-tagged running back.
  • It’ll be interesting to watch Jacobs’ workload this season after he racked up 393 touches in 2022.


Jonathan Taylor uncertainty


🤷‍♂️ There’s still one superstar player with major uncertainty as the season approaches: Colts All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor, the leading rusher from a couple of seasons ago.


  • According to ESPN’s Stephen Holder, Indy has given Taylor a deadline of tomorrow to find a trade partner after he was previously granted permission to seek a trade.
  • There are reportedly several teams that have inquired about Taylor, with two teams (including the Dolphins) making an offer.
  • The situation between Taylor and the Colts seems unsalvageable, but we’ll see if the franchise is willing to deal one of the NFL’s top players—at just 24 years old—if potential trade partners don’t make a good enough offer.
  • Complicating matters are Taylor’s contract situation (he might want to be the top-paid back in the league) and health (he’s currently on the PUP list with an ankle issue dating back to last year), but we personally believe he is worth the first-round asking price if it’s an expected late-first pick for a team like the Eagles.


Ryan Jensen done for the year


😞 Buccaneers star center Ryan Jensen (knee) is being placed on injured reserve, ending his season.


  • Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht made the announcement during yesterday’s preseason win over the Ravens (the second straight preseason loss for Baltimore after their record 24-game winning streak, which we’ll get too later).
  • Last summer, Jensen injured his knee and declined surgery, instead hoping to return for a postseason run in what turned out to be Tom Brady’s final NFL season.
  • Jensen did make it back for the postseason, a Wild Card Round loss to the Cowboys, but unfortunately he’s had complications with the knee.
  • Jensen’s year is done, and sadly it sounds like his career may be as well because the injury is so bad.
  • The Pro Bowl center is a heart-of-the-team type of player, so this is a brutal loss for Tampa Bay


Lance lands in Dallas


⭐️ The 49ers traded Trey Lance, the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 draft, to the Cowboys for a fourth-round pick.


  • San Francisco traded three first-round picks to move up to the third pick and select Lance in 2021, but things never worked out for a small-school quarterback that hasn’t been able to play much football in recent years due to COVID (he played one game in his final season at North Dakota State) and injury (he broke his ankle in Week 2 last year).
  • For the Cowboys, they get a high-upside player to develop behind Dak Prescott.
  • It’s obviously the Brock Purdy show with the Niners, and the former “Mr. Irrelevant” looked extremely comfortable operating Kyle Shanahan’s offense this preseason.
  • Shanahan said that he feels like he “let Trey down.”



The streak is over!


🐦‍⬛ The record 24-game preseason winning streak for the Ravens was snapped by Jake Fromm and the Commanders on Monday night to conclude the second week of preseason action.



  • The Ravens were sending a bunch of zero blitzes while trying to prevent a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter, but Fromm stood in there and made outstanding throws to help Washington get into position for the game-winning kick by Joey Sly.
  • It was an awesome game that felt like a regular season contest, which was cool to watch in the preseason.
  • Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said after the loss that he’s “proud” of the team’s winning streak (as he should be), and added: “Tell me that was meaningless out there what you just saw. If you like football, is that a meaningless football game? I can’t respect anybody that says that.”


Preseason finale highlights


👀 The Steelers concluded an exceptional preseason with two more touchdowns (one by Najee Harris and one by Jaylen Warren), capping a stretch of five drives and five touchdowns for the first-team offense during exhibition action.


Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin also had another classic quote about playing starters in the preseason, saying that “it’s difficult to box without sparring.”



✈️ Aaron Rodgers had a strong Jets preseason debut, ending his second drive with a touchdown to reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson.



📝 Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott called plays during the final preseason game, and Will Grier (29/35, 305 yards, four total touchdowns) had an outstanding showing while auditioning for the other 31 teams.




Giants add Isaiah Simmons


🧱 The Giants have continued to beef up their roster, somehow acquiring former top-ten pick Isaiah Simmons from the Cardinals for a seventh-rounder.


  • Coming out of Clemson in 2020, Simmons was an exceptionally versatile defender that many thought of as the top player in the draft.
  • The position-less ability of Simmons might have hurt him in trying to find a fit in Arizona, but he’s a high-upside addition for Wink Martindale’s defense in New York.
  • Despite just joining the roster, Simmons already played linebacker in the preseason game against the Jets, quickly recording a pressure on Aaron Rodgers.
  • Remember, the Cardinals organization also had trouble developing former first-round pick Haason Reddick, who has gone on to become a superstar pass rusher for the Eagles.


More NFL news


🚨 NFL cutdown day: All 32 teams must trim their rosters to 53 players by tomorrow at 4:00 PM ET.


👏 Wide receiver Corey Davis has called it a career, retiring from the NFL at 28 years old. The former fifth overall pick of the Titans also played two seasons with the Jets. His career ends with 273 receptions for 3,879 yards and 17 touchdowns.



🩼 Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy suffered a serious hamstring injury during practice, and he’s expected to miss time this season. Also, Panthers wide receiver D.J. Chark suffered a hamstring injury and is uncertain for Week 1.


😳 Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa responded to comments by former Steelers safety and current ESPN analyst Ryan Clark, who questioned Tua’s weight and conditioning.



Other Sports Updates


☘️ Notre Dame kicked off the 2023 college football season with a dominant 42-3 victory against Navy in Dublin, Ireland. Transfer quarterback Sam Hartman threw four touchdowns in his team debut.



😕 Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani has a torn ligament in his elbow and will not pitch again this season. He’s set to undergo his second Tommy John surgery, and he’s going to be a free agent this winter.


🥇 The great Simone Biles won a record eighth U.S. gymnastics title.


⚾️ California won the Little League World Series on a walk-off home run by Louis Lappe.



💨 Reds rookie Elly De La Cruz became the quickest player in MLB history to reach ten home runs and 20 stolen bases in a career (64 games).



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