Senior Bowl: Day 1 standouts who can rise in 2023 NFL Draft

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Plus, a post-practice interview with Princeton WR Andrei Iosivas.

Princeton wide receiver Andrei Iosivas (pronounced Yoshi-vas) is no stranger to change— going 4,961 miles away from your home will definitely force you to change some things about your life. However, Iosivas was ready for that moment then, and is ready for the moment he has this week as he practices at the 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl.

“It was always Stanford or the Ivy League,” Iosivas told reporters after Day One of Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, AL. “Coming out of high school, I always made sure I had a good GPA. I went to a Stanford camp and was offered a preferred walk-on scholarship, but then I toured the Ivy League and went to Princeton.”

The culture shock was huge in his first year, Iosivas said, but he knew he would adjust once he got to full speed.

And Iosivas at full speed is an amazing sight to see.

Iosivas doesn’t run, no—he glides. Stretching his legs out at 6’2 and striding past defenders, en route to 16 career touchdowns and 15.3 yards per catch for the Tigers, earning accolade after accolade, including First-team All-Ivy League. Iosivas is also a world class sprinter, setting the NCAA Indoor record in the 60 meter hurdles. When Iosivas goes pedal to the medal, he leaves DBs and opposing runners in the dust.

In Mobile, Iosivas aims to prove that he can hang with the bigger, more physical DBs from the Power Five level. “I think I did well today with the press coverage, but I have to focus a bit more on where my hands are and how low I am,” Iosivas said. “Coming from an Ivy League they always knock you for the competition, but I’m keeping up with it.”

Iosivas has blazed a trail already, from Honolulu, HI to Princeton, and now to Mobile. If he continues to practice well, he could zoom up draft boards come draft time.

Day One Practice Notes

National Team

  • Ohio State OT Dawand Jones is MASSIVE. He measured in today at 6’8, 375 pounds with a 89 4/8 inch wingspan, he’s less right tackle and more double wide RV. He performed really well in pass pro 1-on-1’s, shutting down an Isaiah Foskey long arm rep and a DJ Johnson pass rush move with ease. I want to see him tested against true speed guys but he’s off to a roaring start.
  • North Dakota State OL Cody Mauch is one of the more interesting guys in this Senior Bowl. He came to Fargo as a tight end, left as an offensive tackle, and is now playing guard in Mobile. He has shorter arms (measured in at 32 1/8 inches) and lighter at 305, put really handled strength well. He’s going to be a very interesting prospect for multiple teams.
  • Troy C Jake Andrews had a really solid day of practice, and stood out a lot. He came in with a lot less hype than the other center, Michigan’s Olu Oluwatimi, but today Andrews more than held his own. He was able to anchor really well against power, and also looked nice in the run game. He’s a guy I definitely have to go back and watch on film.
  • Bowling Green DT Karl Brooks was a MONSTER on Tuesday. At 6’3, 303 pounds, he played on the edge a lot for Bowling Green, but man he dominated inside all day. His burst and first step quickness was too much for most of the interior offensive linemen all day, and he was blowing up plays in both the run and passing game, If your team needs instant pass rush juice on the interior, Brooks is your guy.
  • Despite losing the rep to Jones, I think Foskey had a pretty good day. He knows what his pass rush plan is (long arm to death), and when it hits, it looks like this:

Foskey also forced a fumble in team drills and was active for most of the day. I want to see him use more counters to that long arm move that he has, but an overall solid first day of work.

  • Georgia Tech DL Keion White carries his weight really well. He measured in at 6’4, 280 pounds with a 33 inch wingspan, but you wouldn’t think he’s 280 with the way his weight is distributed. He’s very well built and made a lot of nice plays in team drills with his quickness and length.
  • Boise State safety JL Skinner looks less like a safety and more like an NBA shooting guard. He came in at 6’4, 211 pounds with 32 4/8 inch arms and is extremely high waisted. I worry about his ability to cover in man situations, but he looked very comfortable as an overhang defender today and covering underneath zones. His best fit is probably somewhere that’ll let him buzz down into the box after the snap, or in a zone heavy scheme that’ll let him play underneath.
  • Army EDGE Andre Carter received a lot of extra coaching today. Carter measured in today at 6’6 and 252 pounds, with a 34 inch wingspan, but he’s all arms and legs right now. His play strength was tested a lot today, and he got washed out in the run game and was beaten badly by Jones in pass rush reps today. He’s more of a project than ready-made contributor right now.
  • Stanford WR Elijah Higgins might benefit more from a switch to tight end or H-back in the NFL. He doesn’t have the change of direction skills to be a receiver, and really struggled to drop his hips.

American Team

  • Houston WR Tank Dell has got capital J JUICE. He has such amazing change of direction and stop-start skills and was able to beat almost everyone he faced in 1-on-1’s today. He’s small (measured in at 5’8, 163 pounds), but if you’re looking for a slot receiver with some explosiveness and ability to get open in any situation, Dell is one of my guys in this draft to keep an eye on.
  • SMU WR Rashee Rice is a guy that I had my eye on coming in, but today he didn’t stand out too much. He was beating defenders, but then the ball would sail way over his head. Rice definitely showed the ability to make tough catches over the middle and the ability to be a big YAC guy at the NFL level. Think Brandon Aiyuk, physically (I’m not saying he’s going to be like Aiyuk, I’m saying the play styles are similar).
  • The DBs for the American team are very physical. They’re unafraid to get in opposing WRs faces and jam them to cause problems. Kansas State DB Julius Brents was very impressive today, using his length to disrupt routes, yet not being overly grabby. He picked off a pass in 1-on-1’s today that was really nice to see. Miami DB Tyrique Stevenson also had a pretty good day. He got popped with a couple of holding flags, but physically tested receivers all day. The battles between he and WR Jonathan Mingo were fun.
  • Iowa State EDGE Will McDonald IV intrigues me. In a EDGE class that’s lacking guys with true bend, McDonald showed some really nice movement skills today. He flashed an inside spin move in pass rush 1-on-1’s, was able to bend the corner, and even beat Tennessee RT Darnell Wright on the first rep of team drills today. He also flashed in 7 on 7, breaking up a pass and looking comfortable dropping into coverage. He’s a very slender 241, but I think there’s a role for him at the NFL level.
  • Tulane RB Tyjae Spears has a nice second gear. He showed good burst today in practice (although there was no tackling today), and took a screen pass for a big gain. He’s got the ability to turn a 3 yard gain into a 30-yard one at any moment, and that’ll be valuable for an NFL franchise.
  • Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is the head coach of the American team, and I think he did a great job of easing the minds of the players at the end of practice. The American team held a series of six 1-on-1s, 2 EDGE rushers vs left/right tackle, DT vs OG, RB vs LB, WR vs DB and TE vs Safety. Losing side had to do 15 push-ups. Defense won the day, but instilling that kind of competition lets the players play a bit more loose, and let’s them have more fun. That’s what we’re all here for right?

Day 1 Vibe Check

  • Mobile is a beautiful city, but man the fog is TERRIFYING. Driving over a bridge thinking you’re heading into Narnia is a scary sight.
  • South Alabama’s campus is nothing like a Group of Five campus I’ve been at. It’s spacious, but not way too spacious, the basketball gym is HUGE, and the football stadium is really nice. Props to them.
  • The fog in the morning is deceptive, because the moment you think it’s chilly, you remember you’re in Alabama and the sun hits you with the force of 1,000 gods.
  • Cook Out sweet tea is nectar from the gods.

Super Bowl Prediction: Will the Eagles or Chiefs win the Lombardi Trophy?

Syndication: Arizona Republic
Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Super Bowl matchup is set with the Eagles and Chiefs ready to face off. In this week’s Reacts survey, we want to know who you think will win.

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in the weekly emailed surveys.

Super Bowl LVII is set, with the top teams from both the NFC and AFC holding serve. The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs will face off in a little over a week in Arizona.

Between now and then there will be roughly a million different storylines that will feel like they have a huge impact on the game. But for the most part, it’s just a bunch of talk. With the exception of players getting a bit more healthy between now and then, not much else will change.

The Eagles have more or less dominated their two opponents so far. They boat-raced the Giants two weeks ago and put away the 49ers in the second half, leaving almost nothing in doubt. The biggest question left to be answered is how the Eagles will handle a postseason game that isn’t a blowout in the fourth quarter.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, have had to fight through both of their playoff games. Kansas City held off a comeback effort from the Jacksonville Jaguars in a game that saw Patrick Mahomes suffer an ankle injury. Then in the AFC Championship Game it took everything the star quarterback had to squeak out a win over the Bengals on a last-second kick. The Chiefs have had to run the gauntlet, leaving fans to wonder how much they have left in the tank.

In this week’s SB Nation Reacts survey, we want to know who you think is going to earn the victory. Cast your vote now and be on the lookout for results later in the week.

Travis and Jason Kelce set to make history meeting in Super Bowl LVII 

Los Angeles Rams v Kansas City Chiefs
Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images

The Chiefs’ Travis Kelce and Eagles’ Jason Kelce will become the first sibling players to face each other in a Super Bowl.

On Sunday afternoon, we were treated to commercials for a movie featuring two brothers, one in red clothing and the other in green, and were promised a release date of April 7. It turns out we do not have to wait that long to witness an epic brother matchup that rivals anything Hollywood can script.

Feb. 12 will see Super Bowl LVII played in Glendale, Arizona, and when the proverbial toe meets the ball we’ll be treated to two brothers facing off against one another in the biggest of big games the professional football has to offer.

With the Philadelphia Eagles winning the NFC Championship and the Kansas City Chiefs taking the AFC title we are assured of a clash between a superior version of Mario and Luigi in Jason Kelce and Travis Kelce. Yep, Super Bowl LVII is going to be the Kelce Bros. Bowl.

The Kelce Bros. may moonlight as podcast hosts but they are also both very good football players who both already have a Super Bowl title each … which surely makes for fun conversations at the family dinner, headed by Momma Kelce of course. She is in for quite an exciting two weeks.

As noted, this is indeed the first time that two brothers will face off in the Super Bowl, but doing so as players. There have been some smaller circumstances where this occurred before, however, and we all remember the Harbaugh Bowl where head coach brothers John and Jim faced off in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII. That matchup was a decade ago and we still don’t know how Beyonce took the lights out. If you don’t recall, John’s Ravens beat Jim’s 49ers in that game.

For what it is worth, each Kelce plays on offense for his respective team so it is not like we will truly get to see them match up “against” one another, but there will likely of course be some gamesmanship played between the two and their teammates regarding any potential advantage that can be obtained. There’ll no doubt be some championship-worthy trash-talking between the two bros, as well. Beyond what they know about one another, they both have a fair amount of knowledge on Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, seeing as how he is both of their “football father” having been the head coach of the team that drafted each of them when they were brought into the NFL.

Bring on the Kelce Bowl. We all deserve it.

Travis Kelce called Cincinnati mayor a ‘jabroni’ after viral social media video

Travis Kelce invoked The Rock when he addressed the Cincinnati mayor after the AFC Championship Game.

Aftab Pureval, the mayor of Cincinnati, sent the trash talk for the Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs AFC Championship Game into overdrive with a viral video that upset several players on KC. In the video, Pureval refers to Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium as “Burrowhead Stadium” and says star QB Joe Burrow had a take a paternity test to see if he’s Patrick Mahomes father. You knew this video was going to come up again if the Bengals lost — and guess what, that’s exactly what happened.

The Chiefs beat the Bengals, 23-20, on Harrison Butker’s 45-yard field goal to advance to Super Bowl LVII where they will face the Philadelphia Eagles. Superstar tight end Travis Kelce couldn’t to talk some smack back to the mayor of KC. With the AFC Championship trophy in hand, Kelce imitated The Rock’s famous saying from pro wrestling 20 years ago: “know your call and shut your mouth, jabroni.”

Watch the video here:

Kelce also interrupted a Patrick Mahomes interview to yell “Burrowhead, my ass” after the game:

If you haven’t seen Pureval’s video yet, do yourself a favor and check it out.

What a power move by the mayor, but maybe next time don’t give the opponent some bulletin board material.

The refs missed obvious foul on LeBron James that would have changed Lakers-Celtics

How do you miss this call?

The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have the most storied rivalry in the NBA, but these days the teams are at opposite ends of the standings. The Celtics are coming off an NBA Finals appearance and currently have the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Lakers are just hoping to make the play-in tournament in the West, and right now own the third-worst record in the conference. The two teams played on Saturday night and gave us a more exciting game than anyone could have anticipated.

The Celtics beat the Lakers, 125-121, in an overtime thriller that came down the wire and had plenty of controversy at the end. The Celtics tied the game with four seconds left in regulation when Jaylen Brown finished an and-one through Patrick Beverley and made the foul shot. The Lakers had one last chance and put the ball in the hands of LeBron James. James drove to the basket and missed a layup as time expired, but it sure looked like he got fouled. The refs never blew the whistle.

The NBA has already determined they got the call wrong. Watch the video of the play here:

Here’s a closer look at the play that makes it obvious James was fouled:

LeBron couldn’t believe that he didn’t get the call:

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham also couldn’t believe LeBron didn’t get the call:

Anthony Davis is probably going to get fined for his comments on the last play of regulation:

Patrick Beverley even brought a camera out to the floor to show the refs video of the play. This is an absolutely incredible moment:

The Celtics improve to 36-15 on the season. The Lakers are now 23-27 overall. James continues to play at a remarkably high level — he finished with 41 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists on 15-of-30 shooting from the floor — but the Lakers just don’t have enough supporting talent as Anthony Davis slowly works his way back from injury.

The Lakers are no stranger to having a call go against them late this season:

The league admitted they got the call wrong after the game:

The Last Two Minute Report isn’t going to make the Lakers feel any better tomorrow. James should have been going to the line for game-winning free throws.

Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid are beefing over crotch chops and tweets

KD didn’t like Joel Embiid’s crotch chops against the Nets.

The NBA knew exactly what they were doing when they scheduled the Brooklyn Nets at the Philadelphia 76ers during “Rivalry Week.” This was all about Ben Simmons returning to Philly after his infamous struggles in the 2021 NBA Playoffs led to a trade request, a decision to sit out games, and eventually a move to Brooklyn that returned James Harden to the Sixers.

The rivalry between Simmons and Philly fans is a bit ugly, but as the 76ers pulled out a 137-133 win over the Nets on Wednesday night, a new rivalry might have emerged between two MVP candidates. Kevin Durant really did not like Joel Embiid summoning the power of legendary pro wrestling stable D-Generation-X and doing multiple crotch chops to celebrate a bucket against Brooklyn.

The play happened in the third quarter when Embiid completed an and-one. He immediately went into the crotch times — three times. Watch the play here:

Kevin Durant — who has been out for weeks with an MCL sprain — thought Embiid’s celebration was in poor taste. Durant immediately tweeted that Embiid’s celebration was “trash.”

Embiid responded on Twitter, because of course he did. Embiid quoted Durant’s tweet and responded with the hashtag #suckit — a reference to DX’s catchphrase from ‘90s pro wrestling — and sent a an edited video of himself doing crotch chops over DX’s theme song and entrance video.

This is a lot.

It looks like we have a real rivalry between two of the NBA’s most online superstars during “Rivalry Week.” With the NBA All-Star draft set to be a live event before the game this year, I’m wondering if Durant — who is likely to be a captain — will decide not to choose Embiid for his team.

A Sixers-Nets playoff series would be so fun. Fingers crossed.

Meet the 2023 NBA All-Star Game starters

Los Angeles Lakers v Portland Trail Blazers
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Here are the 2023 NBA All-Star Game starters.

The starters for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game have been announced. The starters were determined by three different voting bodies: the fan vote made up 50 percent, a media vote determined 25 percent, and a coaches vote took up 25 percent. Now we know who is starting the All-Star Game on Sun, Feb 19 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The NBA did away with the East vs. West format of the All-Star Game years ago. Now there’s an All-Star draft, that for the first time will happen live the day of the game. Imagine one of the better players in the NBA having the indignity of being chosen last. It’s going to happen this year.

Five players from the Eastern Conference and five players from the Western Conference are still locked in as starters. Three front court players and two guard are starting for each conference. This is why Embiid was not named a starter in the East. With the four best players in the East — Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, and Jayson Tatum — each being labeled as front court players, one of them was always going to come off the bench. It’s a silly rule.

The starters were announced ahead of Thursday’s games. Here’s the starters for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game:

Eastern Conference starters for 2023 NBA All-Star Game

  • Donovan Mitchell, G, Cleveland Cavaliers: Mitchell was the only obvious pick to start the All-Star Game in the backcourt for the East. The guard has had a phenomenal debut campaign for the Cavs after getting traded from the Jazz for a massive haul of asset just before the season started. He’s averaging a career-high 28.3 points per game on easily the best scoring efficiency of his career with 62 true shooting. He’s even played better on the defensive end so far. The Cavs have legitimate NBA Finals aspirations this year, and they should only be better in the future with the 26-year-old Mitchell as their engine.
  • Kyrie Irving, G, Brooklyn Nets: Irving season began with a team suspension for sharing antisemitic propaganda on social media. Since he’s returned to the court, he’s maintained his status as one of the best backcourt scorers in basketball. Irving is averaging 26.8 points per game and continues to dazzle as both a ball handler and long distance shooter.
  • Kevin Durant, F, Brooklyn Nets: Durant was already an all-time great player before this season, but he’s somehow turned in one of the best years of his career at 34 years old. KD rescued Brooklyn out of so much early season turmoil by simply being one of the best offensive players alive and making a huge impact defensively. KD is averaging 29.7 points per game on absurd 67 percent true shooting, but hasn’t played since Jan. 8 with an MCL sprain. We had him No. 2 in our recent MVP poll. He’s really been that good.
  • Jayson Tatum, F, Boston Celtics: Tatum is the best player on the best team in the NBA. Coming off a six-game loss in the NBA Finals, Tatum has responded by by putting up the best scoring numbers of his career — 31 points per game on 61.1 percent true shooting. He continues to be a key cog in a Celtics defense that can be as good as any in the league when it locks in. He’s also cut back his turnover percentage this year.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee Bucks (captain): It may not always be pretty, but Giannis continues to be arguably the best player in the world. With co-star Khris Middleton in-and-out of the lineup all season, Antetokounmpo is shooting more than ever and isn’t scoring as efficiency. It’s incredible that averaging 31 points, 12 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game on 58.8 percent true shooting (his lowest since his second year) counts as a ‘down’ year for Giannis, but that’s where we’re at.

Western Conference starters for 2023 NBA All-Star Game

  • Luka Doncic, G, Dallas Mavericks: Doncic is doing it all for the Mavericks this year — and he has no choice after losing his best teammate, Jalen Brunson, to the Knicks in free agency over the offseason. Still only 23 years old, Doncic is leading the NBA in scoring (33.8 points per game) while also being top-five in assists. He’s putting up one of the highest usage rates in league history right now, and has Dallas in the thick of the playoff race despite an uninspiring roster around him.
  • Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors: Curry turned 35 years old this season, but he remains as amazing as ever. Curry is coming off one of the most brilliant runs of his career in leading the Golden State Warriors to their fourth championship last season while earning the first Finals MVP nod of his career. It’s scary to think that he was even better this season before a shoulder injury took him out of the lineup for a month. Golden State has gotten off to a mediocre start for their championship defense and is just trying to avoid the play-in tournament, but Curry has continued to be phenomenal despite younger and worse teammates around him.
  • LeBron James, F, Los Angeles Lakers (captain): Have you heard LeBron James is in season No. 20? Have you heard he’s about to break the NBA’s all-time scoring record? Not bad for a pass-first forward, I guess. LeBron is having another awesome individual season even if he’s no longer the best player in the NBA. His numbers — 29.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 7 assists — are as great as ever. The Lakers are still below .500, but if they can get in the play-in tournament they know LeBron will make them a tough out regardless of the matchup.
  • Zion Williamson, F, New Orleans Pelicans: Williamson hasn’t played since Jan. 2 because of a hamstring injury, but when he was on the court he was one of the best players in the NBA, and the Pelicans were one of the best teams in the NBA. Williamson is a high-volume scorer (26 points per game) who does almost all of his damage at the rim. It’s remarkable how effective Williamson in despite being mostly a one-level scorer, but he’s so fast and so strong that no one can really stop him when he puts his head down. It will be so fun to watch Zion catch alley-oops and and throw down big dunks if he’s healthy enough to play.
  • Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets: It’s time to accept that Nikola Jokic might be the best player alive. The back-to-back MVP winner is having an arguably even better season this year while leading the Denver Nuggets to the best record in the West. Jokic is averaging 25.1 points, 9.9 assists, and 11 rebounds per game on 70 percent true shooting. He’s taking fewer shots this year, but he still scores as efficiently as any superstar of this generation when he decides he wants to get a bucket. He remains one of the best passers of all-time, and his playmaking feels as impactful as ever this year. No NBA player has won three straight MVPs since Larry Bird, but Jokic feels like the front-runner right now to win again.

The rest of the NBA All-Stars will be announced on Feb. 2 when the league’s head coaches determine the reserves. There will be seven reserves in each conference: two guards, three frontcourt players, and two “wild cards” who can play any position. NBA commish Adam Silver will make the call on any injury replacements for the game.

Aaron Rodgers trade rumors are happening again after Jets hire Nathaniel Hackett

Nathaniel Hackett is being used as Aaron Rodgers bait … again

Hey y’all, remember when the Broncos were considered favorites to land Aaron Rodgers because Nathaniel Hackett became the head coach in Denver?

Remember the photoshops?

Remember the random Aaron Rodgers quotes about Hackett?

Yeah, so that actually never happened. Denver traded for Russell Wilson and Rodgers re-upped with the Packers ahead of last season. The Broncos went through one of the most dysfunctional, offensively inept seasons the NFL has seen (people were tracking Wilson’s passing TDs as a comparison to the amount of bathrooms he had in his house!). Hackett was the subject of multiple questions about the offense and clock management, to the point where he hired a clock management guy who ended up replacing him when he was eventually fired.

Oh yeah, and the Broncos’ top five first round pick due to the tire fire that was the 2022 season actually belongs to the Seahawks because of the Wilson trade.

So, if a team is looking for a new offensive coordinator, naturally the choice is Hackett, right?

Well if you’re the New York Jets then absolutely.

The Jets are hiring Nathaniel Hackett and citing his results with offensive powerhouses like the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills pre-Josh Allen, and his work in Green Bay, where he didn’t call plays.

Yeah, that work that he did in Jacksonville and Buffalo?

Not exactly a glowing review.

We all know why this is happening. This is all for the right to maybe get Aaron Rodgers to come play for your team. Rodgers seems like he’s on the outs with the Packers, especially with the way the season ended, but you can’t count out Rodgers returning to Green Bay. Hackett seems to be cool with Aaron Rodgers, so maybe THIS time it’ll work for this franchise, right?

The photoshops are already out there:

Everyone is connecting the dots:

That means it has to happen, right?

This is going to be a wild NFL offseason, and the speculation is just getting started.

Gio Reyna is blocking out the noise for Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga
Photo by Edith Geuppert – GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

The talented midfielder notched successive match winners for Dortmund

It is no secret that United States Men’s Soccer is in turmoil.

After being knocked out of the World Cup in Qatar, tension over the status of Gio Reyna on the team boiled over into allegations of blackmail. As noted earlier this month, USMNT head coach. Gregg Berhalter opened up about a domestic violence incident from his college days, where he kicked his now-wife Rosalind: “In the fall of 1991, I met my soulmate. I had just turned 18 and was a freshman in college when I met Rosalind. One night, while out drinking at a local bar, Rosalind and I had a heated argument that continued outside. It became physical and I kicked her in the legs.”

In bringing this incident to light, Berhalter stated that he was doing so because, in his words, “[d]uring the World Cup, an individual contacted U.S. Soccer, saying they had information about me that would “take me down” — an apparent effort to leverage something very personal from long ago to bring about the end of my relationship with U.S. Soccer.”

The other involved parties? Gio Reyna parent’s, Danielle and Claudio Reyna.

The relationship between the families dates back decades — Danielle and Rosalind were college roommates, while Claudio and Berhalter played together in high school and on the USMNT — but has now fractured, threatening both their friendships and potentially the USMNT.

In the middle of this is Gio Reyna, the young and talented midfielder. As the USMNT tries to move forward, turning its collective attention to hosting the 2026 World Cup, Reyna is still logging time for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

And he seems to be putting all the noise behind him.

In Sunday’s match against Augsburg, Reyna came on as a late substitute in a match that was level. It did not take long for him to change that:

Reyna’s delicate first touch, and thunderous strike, put Dortmund ahead in the closing minutes, and his side held on for the victory.

Then came Wednesday, in stoppage time against Mainz:

Two matches. Two winners from Reyna.

After the goal against Augsburg, Reyna wheeled away in celebration, and then put his hands over his ears, as if he was physically blocking out the noise. As he did, the commentator stated “… and that is how to answer the critics.”

The USMNT might be dealing with an internal soap opera at the moment. But the young player in the middle is quietly going about his business … and going about it very well.

Patrick Mahomes injury tracker: Tracking Chiefs QB’s status for AFC Championship Game

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Mahomes reportedly suffered a high ankle sprain against Jacksonville

The Kansas City Chiefs advanced to their fifth-straight AFC Championship Game on Saturday, dispatching the Jacksonville Jaguars by a final score of 27-20.

However, they received quite the injury scare in the process.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered a leg injury in the first half of the game, and did not return to the contest until after halftime. Mahomes initially stayed in the game, but was visibly hampered by the injury, struggling to even execute handoffs in the backfield. The QB was then sent to the locker room, and Chad Henne replaced him for the rest of the first half.

Wednesday updates:

With the Chiefs returning to the practice field on Wednesday, Kansas City head coach Andy Reid met with the media and provided an update on the QB. According to Reid, Mahomes was a participant in the team’s morning walkthrough, and is will practice on Wednesday afternoon:

Mahomes himself provided an update, indicating that he has been consistently receiving treatment since Saturday:

Mahomes elaborate further during his media session:

I felt better than I thought I was going to be after the game. Moving on it during the game definitely hurt, but after the game I was able to rest it and kind of iced it up and do different stuff like that. I felt I was in a little bit better position, and obviously the next morning felt a little bit better and continue to be better throughout the week. So, we’ll see how it will feel today at practice and I’ll get a better feel for y’all and I think will be able to answer a little bit better tomorrow.

He also talked about the similarities — and differences — between this injury and his previous high ankle sprain, as well as diving into quarterback mechanics:

It’s very similar, just a different ankle. Especially when you’re playing the quarterback position, you’re playing and throwing off different stuff. So, the last one, it was the leg that I landed on so I had to find a way to throw where I could land and keep it in the right spot, and this time I’ll find ways to be able to push off and be able to still make throws the right way. Definitely similar in a sense but obviously different limitations and stuff that I have to work through.

Pete Sweeney of Arrowhead Pride captured this footage of Mahomes during the media portion of Wednesday’s practice:

Monday updates:

Reid addressed the media on Monday, and indicated that the high ankle sprain Mahomes suffered on Saturday is not as severe as the one he experienced back in 2019. Reid also noted that Mahomes has never played without practicing, opening the door to Mahomes playing this week without seeing the practice field:

Previous updates:

In an update Sunday morning, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Mahomes underwent an MRI of his ankle, which confirmed earlier reporting that the quarterback suffered a high ankle sprain. According to Schefter, Mahomes “plans to play” next weekend in the AFC Championship Game.

The injury came on this hit from Jacksonville pass rusher Arden Key:

Mahomes returned to the game for the second half, and threw a touchdown while using only one leg, and helped the Chiefs close out their victory over the Jaguars.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported on Saturday night that x-rays taken of Mahomes’ right leg were negative, but the quarterback likely suffered a high ankle sprain.

After the victory, Reid praised his quarterback’s toughness:

“He’s a tough kid. So, he wanted to be in there. He wanted to be competing. It’s a tribute to him and his competitiveness. However, you got to make sure he’s physically OK where he can protect himself. If he can’t then he can’t play, and we have to go to the next guy. But he’s a tough nut. I tell you, he’s competitive. He’s very, very competitive.”

The QB spoke with Melissa Stark after the game as well:

“I did want to go and they kind of gave me the ultimatum of I wasn’t going back in unless I went in [to be examined]. They’re trying to take care of me, and we’ve got a lot of great people here. It will take a lot to keep me out of a football game.”

Mahomes also spoke after the game about the injury, making the point that his experience, and ability, in making off-platform throws likely helped him after the injury:

Given what both the quarterback and his head coach said after the game, it is almost impossible to think that Mahomes will not be out there for the the AFC Championship Game. The bigger story to monitor, however, will be how the injury impacts Mahomes next week, and beyond. The QB suffered a minor high ankle sprain back in 2019 and did not miss any time, but other quarterbacks who were dealt this injury have not been as lucky.

For example, Mac Jones of the New England Patriots suffered a “pretty severe” high ankle sprain earlier this season and missed three games for New England. Baker Mayfield suffered a high ankle sprain against the San Francisco 49ers this season, and missed three games for the Carolina Panthers.

How Mahomes progresses, and how functional he is next weekend, will be a huge story over the coming days.

This post will be updated as further information on Mahomes is provided.