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Eagles’ Wentz says stress fracture is still healing

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PHILADELPHIA — Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is not yet fully recovered from the stress fracture in his back that cut short his 2018 season.

“It’s still getting there. It’s still getting there,” Wentz said Monday at the start of the team’s offseason training program, when asked if the bone is fully healed. “Some of this stuff just takes time, but that’s not really the main concern. It’s just kind of how I feel, and I feel pretty good with where I’m at.”

Wentz first appeared on the team’s injury report in October. The stress fracture was discovered in December through a scan. At the time, coach Doug Pederson said it was an injury that could take about three months to heal. It’s been four months since those comments.

Wentz, though, said he has been cleared for some football activity and hasn’t moved off his goal of taking part in OTAs when they begin in May.

“That’s the goal, but there really is no timetable, no rush, but I feel good with the progression I’ve been on,” he said. “Right now we’re kind of taking it week by week. I’m throwing some, I’m running some, and just kind of taking it week by week, and I feel good.”

Wentz missed the final three games of the 2018 season once the fracture was discovered. Coming off a torn ACL and LCL that sidelined him for the first two weeks, he completed 70 percent of his throws with 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 11 games.

“Obviously a knee injury rehab is aggressive and it’s not fun for anybody. A back injury is not fun either but it’s a different thing,” Wentz said. “I definitely feel better where I’m at [compared with last offseason] both physically and mentally, and I’m really excited. Feels like the first day of school today a little bit. It’s exciting.”

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Chiefs’ Hill – Working hard to be best person I can

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Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill, who will not face charges of child abuse, issued a statement Thursday saying he is “working hard to be the best person for my family and our community I can be.”

“I love and support my family above anything,” Hill said in the statement issued Thursday. “My son’s health and happiness is my number one priority. I want to thank the Kansas City Chiefs, my attorneys, my agent and my union for supporting me through this. My focus remains on working hard to be the best person for my family and our community I can be, and the best player to help our team win.”

The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that Hill and his fiancee, Crystal Espinal, will not be charged. District Attorney Stephen M. Howe said that although he believes a crime occurred, the evidence in the case doesn’t clearly establish who committed the crime.

According to police reports, officers in Overland Park, Kansas, were called to Hill’s home on March 14 to investigate an alleged battery in which a juvenile was a victim. Hill was not listed in the report, but Espinal was listed under “others involved.”

Although Hill referred to his son in his statement, neither the District Attorney’s Office nor police have identified the child referenced in the police reports.

Attorneys for Hill also released a statement Thursday, saying Hill has maintained he was “innocent of any crime” and that he has been cooperating with authorities.

“Contrary to some media reports, Tyreek cooperated with law enforcement, waived his Fifth Amendment rights, and answered questions from both law enforcement and DCF [Kansas Department of Children and Families],” Hill’s attorneys said in the release. “Unfortunately, due to laws related to confidentiality, as much as he would like to, he cannot comment regarding specific allegations.”

On Wednesday, Howe said officials were “deeply troubled” by the situation.

“[We] are concerned about the health and welfare of the child in question,” Howe said. “We believe a crime has occurred. However, the evidence in this case does not conclusively establish who committed this crime.”

Officers had previously been called to Hill’s address March 5 to investigate a report of child abuse or neglect. Hill’s name was listed on that report. According to Overland Park police, the case was closed three days later when prosecution was declined.

The Kansas Department of Children and Families has been investigating the alleged battery.

Hill is still subject to discipline by the NFL.

The Chiefs issued a comment late Wednesday acknowledging the district attorney’s decision but declining further comment, citing the ongoing investigation by the Department for Children and Families.

Hill, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, caught 87 passes last season and ranked fourth in the NFL in both receiving yardage (1,479) and touchdown receptions (12).

While at Oklahoma State, Hill was convicted of domestic assault and battery after punching and choking his girlfriend. He was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to undergo anger management classes. He was dismissed from OSU and finished his collegiate career at West Alabama.

He completed probation in 2018, and his conviction was dismissed.

ESPN’s Adam Teicher contributed to this report.

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Chiefs’ Hill will not face child abuse charges

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The Johnson County (Kansas) District Attorney’s office has declined to file charges against Kansas City Chiefs star wide receiver Tyreek Hill or his fiancée, it was announced Wednesday.

District Attorney Stephen M. Howe said that although he believes a crime occurred, the evidence in the case doesn’t clearly establish who committed the crime.

According to police reports, officers in Overland Park, Kansas, were called to Hill’s home on March 14 to investigate an alleged battery in which a juvenile was a victim. Hill was not listed in the report. Hill’s fiancée, Crystal Espinal, was listed under “others involved.”

The Kansas Department of Children and Families has been investigating the alleged battery.

“This office has reviewed all the evidence compiled by these agencies and has declined to file charges against Tyreek Hill and Crystal Espinal,” Howe said during a news conference Wednesday. “We are deeply troubled by this situation and are concerned about the health and welfare of the child in question. We believe a crime has occurred. However, the evidence in this case does not conclusively establish who committed this crime.”

Officers had previously been called to Hill’s address March 5 to investigate a report of child abuse or neglect. Hill’s name was listed on that report. According to Overland Park police, the case was closed three days later when prosecution was declined.

Howe said Hill’s status as a star NFL player had no bearing on his decision and that he has not spoken with the Chiefs organization, which was aware that the investigation was taking place. Hill is still subject to discipline by the NFL.

The Chiefs issued a comment late Wednesday acknowledging the district attorney’s decision but declining further comment, citing the ongoing investigation by the Department for Children and Families.

Hill participated alongside teammates during the Chiefs’ voluntary offseason conditioning program April 14.

“We’re full steam ahead,” coach Andy Reid said about the two-time All-Pro receiver at that time. “I’m not here to judge. I’m here to coach.”

Hill, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, caught 87 passes last season and ranked fourth in the NFL in both receiving yardage (1,479) and touchdown receptions (12).

While at Oklahoma State, Hill was convicted of domestic assault and battery after punching and choking his girlfriend. He was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to undergo anger management classes. He was dismissed from OSU and finished his collegiate career at West Alabama.

He completed probation in 2018, and his conviction was dismissed.

ESPN’s Adam Teicher contributed to this report.

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Inside the 2019 NFL draft class

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Two hundred fifty-four names will be called on the stage in Nashville, Tennessee, over the course of three days this week. And many of those 2019 NFL draft class prospects come with fascinating backgrounds, pro connections and interests.

A relative of a jazz music legend (No. 24)? A film buff-turned-linebacker (No. 35)? A boxing champion’s son (No. 15)? Mike Bibby’s nephew (No. 48)? How about a track and field record-holder (No.12)?

Let’s get to know some of the players who could be drafted Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Note: Jim Carr of ESPN’s Universal News Group, TJ Berka of ESPN’s NFL team and ESPN Stats & Information all provided background research for this story.


1. Kentucky’s Benny Snell Jr. was born to play running back. His father, Ben Snell, played in the XFL — and actually was the one who came up with the famous “He Hate Me” nickname — and his uncle played in the NFL for the Jets.

2. Offensive tackle Kaleb McGary has had three heart procedures.

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Kaleb McGary is a tall, well-built right tackle prospect out of Washington who is a very good run-blocker and moves defenders off the ball when he keeps his pads down.

3. Rashan Gary, the super-athletic defensive end out of Michigan, already created his own sports agency, Rashan Gary Sports. The agency represents Gary and Bowling Green defensive back Montre Gregory.

4. Kentucky cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. was originally supposed to play at Ohio State, but an ACT score he needed to count to be academically eligible had his last name spelled J-O-H-N-N-S-O-N, which negated the score. He ended up in junior college for three years before ultimately playing for the Wildcats. Lonnie said it was a computer mishap.

5. West Virginia QB Will Grier is not the most famous member of his family, at least by social media standards. Nash Grier, now 21, has 9.9 million followers on Instagram and 7 million on Twitter, and 18-year-old Hayes Grier was on “Dancing With The Stars” and now has his own internet show called “Top Grier.”

6. Way before linebacker Devin Bush was tackling running backs at Michigan, his father, Devin Bush Sr., won the national championship in 1993 at Florida State, was a first-round draft pick in 1995 for the Atlanta Falcons and later won Super Bowl XXXIV with the St. Louis Rams.

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Devin Bush is a linebacker from Michigan who was named the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2018.

7. Josh Jacobs and Damien Harris could become the sixth and seventh Alabama running backs selected in the first or second rounds in the Nick Saban era, joining Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry.

8. JJ Arcega-Whiteside, a highly regarded receiver at Stanford, was born in Zaragoza, Spain, and his parents were professional basketball players in Europe.

9. The Bosa family can join the Manning family as the only families in NFL history with a father and two sons who were first-round picks. Ohio State DE Nick Bosa is the younger brother of the Los Angeles ChargersJoey Bosa. Their father, John Bosa, and uncle, Eric Kumerow, were defensive ends for the Miami Dolphins in the 1980s.

10. Old Dominion has never had a player drafted, but it should have two this year. Oshane Ximines is a highly regarded pass-rusher, and Travis Fulgham is a late-round receiver.

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Oshane Ximines is a defensive end from Old Dominion who was first-team Conference USA in 2018.

11. Michigan RB Karan Higdon spent last summer working as an intern for BlitzPrep, a company that helps former pro football players transition to new careers.

12. Parris Campbell‘s speed is well known since the Ohio State wide receiver dazzled with a 4.31 time in the 40-yard dash at the combine. But he is also the state of Ohio’s high school indoor track 60-yard-dash record-holder (6.85 seconds).

13. Interested in quarterbacks with NFL ties? The uncle of Boise State’s Brett Rypien is former Washington quarterback Mark Rypien, the MVP of Super Bowl XXVI, and Vanderbilt QB Kyle Shurmur‘s father, Pat, is the coach of the New York Giants.

14. USC outside linebacker Porter Gustin consumes more than 10,000 calories a day, carrying a small blender with him all day and blending most of his meals into shakes. He does 300 pushups and 300 situps each night and drinks more than two gallons of water per day.

15. Elijah Holyfield is a son of former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield. Elijah was a boxer himself until he was 13 years old.

16. A two-time state champion wrestler, Temple cornerback Rock Ya-Sin got his nickname from his wrestling coach. His real first name is Abdurrahman.

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Rock Ya-Sin was a first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection at corner back as a senior at Temple.

17. When drafted, Penn State RB Miles Sanders will become the 14th player from Woodland Hills High School in Pittsburgh to play in the NFL. Jason Taylor and Rob Gronkowski are also on the list.

18. Ole Miss slot receiver A.J. Brown was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 19th round of the 2016 MLB draft. He signed with the Padres but has yet to play in a minor league game.

19. San Jose State tight end Josh Oliver‘s uncle, Clancy Oliver, was an NFL defensive back, and his second cousin might be remembered by baseball fans; Darren Oliver was a relief pitcher for 20 MLB seasons.

20. Between his sophomore and junior seasons at Stanford, linebacker Bobby Okereke interned in the office of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

21. Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry and Washington corner Byron Murphy are good friends, meeting when they were freshmen in high school. They played together during their sophomore high school season, and Harry actually lived with Murphy for a few months during that year.

22. Before Mark Fields was making plays as a corner for Clemson, his father — also named Mark — was the 1994 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year at Washington State, a first-round NFL draft pick and two-time Pro Bowler.

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Mark Fields is a cornerback out of Clemson who helped the Tigers win two national championships during his career.

23. Wide receiver Greg Dortch missed the last month of his 2017 season at Wake Forest after he punctured his small intestine diving onto a pylon. Before he went to the hospital for surgery, he scored two more touchdowns in that game.

24. Most people probably assumed Boston College defensive end Wyatt Ray would have been a musician rather than NFL player; he is a grandson of jazz musician Nat King Cole and nephew of singer Natalie Cole.

25. Buffalo wide receiver Anthony Johnson joins plenty of talented family members in the NFL. Houston Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph and former Buffalo Bills safety Jonathan Meeks are his cousins.

26. Devin White owns seven horses. Ricky Bobby was his first, but the LSU linebacker’s favorite is Daisy Mae.

27. This draft class has a Michael Jackson (corner out of University of Miami) and a Joe Jackson (DE also from Miami). There’s also a Michael Jordan (Ohio State guard) and Lil’Jordan Humphrey (Texas WR named after M.J.). And that Josh Allen high on draft boards isn’t the Buffalo Bills QB; it’s the playmaking edge rusher from Kentucky. Oh, and there are two David Longs: West Virginia linebacker David Long Jr. and Michigan corner David Long.

28. Remember the 13-year-old seventh-grade QB who got national attention by committing to USC in 2010? It was David Sills V. But when USC and then West Virginia wanted him to change positions, he became a wide receiver for the Mountaineers.

29. Irv Smith Sr. (Notre Dame) was the No. 20 draft pick by the New Orleans Saints in 1993. His son, Irv Smith Jr., could also be a Day 1 selection and would be the third Alabama tight end drafted in the first round (Ozzie Newsome and O.J. Howard).

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Irv Smith Jr. is a tight end out of Alabama who caught seven touchdowns for the Crimson Tide during his final season.

30. What makes Auburn corner Jamel Dean‘s 4.30 40 time (fastest among all CBs this year and second-fastest overall) even more impressive? He tore his right ACL, the meniscus in his right knee and his left ACL over his high school and college football careers.

31. Offensive tackle Maurice Simba of Concordia was separated from his parents for 15 years after they left the Democratic Republic of the Congo for Montreal when he was 3 years old. He was raised by his grandparents before being reunited with his parents in 2012.

32. During the 2017 offseason, USC inside linebacker Cameron Smith worked on a vineyard that specializes in pinot noir.

33. UNC offensive tackle William Sweet created a compression sleeve to reduce swelling after one has ACL surgery and is attempting to patent it.

34. Georgia receiver Riley Ridley played against his older brother, Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons, in the 2018 College Football Playoff championship game. Now they might play against each other in the NFL.

35. Before he was playing inside linebacker for the University of Washington, Ben Burr-Kirven and his brother, Carter, grew up shooting movies and writing scripts together. Film remains a big part of Ben’s life.

36. It remains to be seen who will pass-protect for Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray in the NFL. But in high school, it was a pair of offensive linemen who are also in this draft class: Ole Miss’ Greg Little and Oklahoma’s Bobby Evans.

37. West Virginia linebacker David Long Jr. is a son of David Long Sr., a former pro heavyweight boxer. The elder Long went 12-5-2 and once fought Deontay Wilder.

38. Dakota Allen, a linebacker with Texas Tech, will be the first player drafted from Netflix’s “Last Chance U.”

39. Before Chase Hansen played outside linebacker for Utah, he went on a two-year Mormon mission to Australia, going door to door with a pro rugby player.

40. Alabama linebacker Christian Miller‘s dad, Corey, played linebacker at South Carolina and was a sixth-round pick of the New York Giants in 1991.

41. Hall of Fame cornerback Herb Adderley won five titles with the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys from 1961 to 1972 and is Delaware safety Nasir Adderley‘s twice-removed first cousin. Herb learned that the Packers picked him No. 12 overall in the 1961 NFL draft by telegram.

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Nasir Adderley is a versatile defensive back from Delaware with a strong blend of balance, fluidity and better closing burst than his 40 time would suggest.

42. Wonder why Chauncey Gardner changed his name to Chauncey Gardner-Johnson? Although Brian Johnson is technically his stepfather, the Florida defensive back said Brian is like a father to him. So on New Year’s Eve 2017, he tweeted the name change as a tribute, and soon after made it official.

43. Miami safeties Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine grew up in the same Richmond Heights neighborhood and played football together for the Richmond Giants, Killian High and the Hurricanes. They even roomed together.

44. Eastern Michigan defensive end Maxx Crosby‘s older brother, Myles, is a Ford model who briefly played defensive back at SMU.

45. Michigan State safety Khari Willis was rushed to the hospital when he was a toddler after he developed a fever and became unconscious. Doctors determined Willis had an adenovirus that can be fatal. It took three days, but Willis regained consciousness.

46. Three Washburn players have been drafted (Cary Williams, Trey Lewis and Troy Stedman) but none before the sixth round. Cornerback Corey Ballentine hopes to be the first.

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Byron Murphy is a defensive back from Washington who earned first-team All-Pac-12 and second-team AP All-America accolades.

47. Iman Marshall, a corner out of USC, played for former NFL linebacker Antonio Pierce at Long Beach Poly. The school also produced JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jurrell Casey, Jayon Brown and DeSean Jackson.

48. Washington corner Byron Murphy was a standout high school basketball player, but that shouldn’t be a surprise — his uncle is Mike Bibby, a former NBA point guard.

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Jamel Dean is a tall, long and well-built corner from Auburn with outstanding speed and long arms to bat the ball down at the last second.

49. When he was 15 years old, Azeez Al-Shaair (ILB at Florida Atlantic) saved his two younger brothers and niece from a kitchen blaze that burned his grandmother’s house down.

50. BYU defensive end Corbin Kaufusi‘s mother, Michelle, became the first female mayor of Provo, Utah, in January 2018.



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