Joe Burrow not sure if he’ll wear knee brace during games again

The Bengals QB isn’t sure if he’ll wear the brace he had all of last season that protected his rehabbed knee.

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Some encouraging news out of Cincinnati Bengals camp this week: Joe Burrow’s knee is business as usual, and he’s comfortable enough to practice without the brace — and unsure if he’ll wear it during games in 2022.

Burrow worked out last week without a brace on his left knee, the knee he injured and had been rehabbing last offseason, as the Bengals began Phase 2 of their offseason program, mostly involving positional drills with no offense vs defense.

“I feel great. Obviously this is my first offseason in the NFL so I’ve been able to take advantage of that as far as my body and my throwing and my mind and all of that,” Burrow said. (H/T Geoff Hobson) “Obviously, I’ve been grinding, but it’s also been relaxing not having to worry about if I’m going to be ready for the season. I can just focus on getting my body right, making sure I’m healthy and then relaxing.”

“It’s fun. I don’t really like wearing that thing, so it’s good to have it off,” said Burrow, who doesn’t know if he’ll wear it in games. “I don’t anticipate wearing it, but maybe get to game day and I might feel a little more comfortable having it on.”

Its a good sign that Burrow is already starting to feel comfortable enough without the brace, though some fans might like the idea of him wearing it during games just for safety purposes. Obviously things can change as we get closer to the season and Burrow starts taking more hits from defenses. Nonetheless, him feeling good at this stage is a tremendous positive for the Bengals.

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Al Horford opens up on how he ended up in protocols ahead of Game 1 vs. the Miami Heat

‘I … felt like I needed to get tested,’ he explained postgame, potentially preventing infecting his teammates.

The Boston Celtics needed Al Horford in a big way for Game 2 of their East finals series against the Miami Heat, and the Florida product delivered, helping buttress Boston on both ends on the way to a 127-102 blowout that evened the series at 1-1. But it nearly didn’t happen, with Horford clearing the league’s health and safety protocols just hours before tipoff on Thursday.

Considerable confusion surrounded what exactly had happened to put the Boston big man in the protocols to begin with, given the Celtics’ policy of keeping such matters close to the vest and news of several members of the team’s traveling party testing positive breaking about the same time.

After Boston’s victory over Miami, Horford opened up about the cause of his entry into the protocols, sharing how he decided to do the responsible thing and get tested upon feeling out of sorts.

Al Horford upgraded to available for Celtics against Miami Heat in Game 2

Horford has been a key part of the team’s success this season.

The Boston Celtics relayed they will have veteran big man Al Horford available to play against the Miami Heat in Game 2 of their 2022 NBA Eastern Conference finals series Thursday night. Presumably, the University of Florida product has cleared the league’s health and safety protocols with the requisite two negative tests in a 24-hour period, with multiple sources reporting that the Boston big man was waiting on test results to clear him to exit the protocol.

This development considerably expands Boston’s frontcourt rotation and augments the team considerably on both ends of the court, Horford quietly being a major cog in what was the No. 1 defense in the league’s 2021-22 regular season and an efficient source of shooting for the Celtics in the 2022 NBA Playoffs’ earlier rounds.

With reserve guard Derrick White Boston-bound for the birth of his first child, the Celtics will remain a little thin in the backcourt until they know whether veteran point guard Marcus Smart will be available to return from a sprained foot sustained in Game 7 of the last round.

The Flower Mound native is trending in the right direction with his status being upgraded to probable for Game 2, but remains a game-time decision per head coach Ime Udoka.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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Celtics injury update: Al Horford upgraded to questionable vs. Heat in Game 2; Marcus Smart probable

Al Horford may be able to clear the league’s health and safety protocol before tipoff Thursday night if all goes well with testing, per reports.

The Boston Celtics have upgraded big man Al Horford to questionable from doubtful for the team’s Game 2 contest against the Miami Heat on Thursday night, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski adding that the “Celtics have continued testing Al Horford with the hope that he can exit health and safety protocols prior to Game 2.”

Teammate Marcus Smart is currently listed as probable with a sprained foot sustained in Game 7 against the Milwaukee Bucks in Boston’s second-round series against the 2021 NBA champions but remains a game-time decision.

Stay tuned for more details on this developing story.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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Derrick White to miss Game 2 vs. Heat, likely flying back to Boston for birth of first child

White’s wife is expected to give birth soon to their first child.

The Boston Celtics announced Thursday that guard Derrick White would not be available for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. White is presumably flying back to Boston for the birth of his first child, which he discussed as an imminent event earlier this week. White and his wife were married back in September of 2021.

White played 29 minutes in Boston’s Game 1 loss to the Miami Heat. With Marcus Smart sidelined by injury, White’s defense and ball-handling were especially important for the Celtics. At the time of this writing, Smart is listed as probable to return from his sprained foot and can replace White in the backcourt. Al Horford, meanwhile, remains doubtful as he navigates the COVID health and safety protocols.

We wish all the best for the White family. Hopefully, he is able to return to action as the series shifts back to Boston on Saturday.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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Boston Celtics at Miami Heat: 2022 NBA playoffs Game 2 Eastern Conference finals (5/19)

Everything you need to know about Thursday’s Game 2 matchup between Boston and Miami.

The Boston Celtics will play the Miami Heat in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series on the road this Thursday night, as the team looks to avoid falling into a 0-2 series deficit for the second time in the 2022 NBA Playoffs. The Heat, in turn, will look to capitalize on the Celtics’ recent injuries and their Game 1 win by defending their home court.

If you happen to be looking for a way to watch the action live on cable television or an online streaming service, keep reading while we get you up to speed on everything you need to know about the game.

Let’s begin with who ought to be available to play.

Celtics Lab 112: How can Boston respond to getting smacked by the Miami Heat in Game 2?

And while we’re at it, what do we know about the state of several key players’ health?

The Boston Celtics started off their Eastern Conference finals series against the Miami Heat with an excellent first half, only to get punched hard in the mouth in the game’s third quarter by the Heat’s increased physicality.

The team crumpled like a wet cardboard box until they found their legs too late in the fourth quarter to mount a successful comeback, squandering an opportunity to steal a win on the road with Miami point guard Kyle Lowry unavailable. What can the Celtics do in Game 2 to adjust, if anything? How is the health of Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Robert Williams III? Could a COVID outbreak do more damage to the team’s roster at nearly the worst possible time?

In this episode of the CLNS Media “Celtics Lab” podcast, hosts Cameron Tabatabaie and Justin Quinn try and predict what might be coming down the pike in this series in terms of both health and potential adjustments.

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The Celtics get a shot at redemption on Friday with a potential return to action for Smart to boot — but does this team have enough to win in Miami? Listen to hear our perspective on what we expect to see.

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This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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Celtics injury update: Marcus Smart reportedly eyeing Game 2 return; Al Horford later; Timelord not hurt

Can Boston stay healthy enough to beat the Heat?

The Boston Celtics may get a little help on the injury front if recent reporting from Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes pans out on the optimistic timeline mentioned for point guard Marcus Smart pans out. While Haynes doubts that big man Al Horford will return in time for Game 2 against the Miami Heat in the East finals, there is hope the Flower Mound native could, “dependent on how his foot responds to treatment over the next 36 hours.”

During Game 1 against the Heat on Tuesday, center Robert Williams III appeared to aggravate the same knee a collision with Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo caused Timelord to miss much of the prior round of the Celtics’ playoffs — the same knee Williams had operated on near the end of the regular season for a meniscal tear. But speaking after the team practiced on Thursday, Williams revealed he’d merely cramped up.

“Basic fatigue, treatment-wise,” explained the Texas A&M product of his apparent injury. “Other than that, I’m straight ready to roll. It’s always a next man up mentality; we’ve been going through that all year.”

With Haynes’ reporting that Horford is unlikely to return before at least Game 3, Williams’ health moving forward is a critical part of Boston’s depth in the frontcourt.

Having Daniel Theis and Grant Williams provides at least some degree of cushion against a total disaster healthwise, but the remaining frontcourt players on Boston’s roster would not likely be up to the task of playing against a team like the Heat save in shorter bursts.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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Several members of Celtics traveling party reportedly tested positive for COVID recently

Coach Ime Udoka’s absence is at least for now considered a non-COVID illness while the team awaits Al Horford’s exit from the protocols.

The Boston Celtics have reportedly been dealing with positive COVID test results among their traveling party “over the last week” according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, which may be tied to veteran big man Al Horford’s entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols. As Windhorst notes on a recent episode of “Get Up!,” it will be Horford’s third such stint this year but also does not necessarily mean he has tested positive given close contact with any of the unnamed members of the traveling party might also trigger his entry.

Reading between lines drawn by the team’s policy to not comment on such matters, it seems probable Horford tested positive. The skepticism on Horford’s ability to return in time for Game 2 of their East finals vs. the Miami Heat in recent reporting from Yahoo’s Chris Haynes — who notes that there is an unlikely but “minuscule path in which the veteran big man could fulfill the necessary steps for clearance” — suggests the Florida product needs to produce the two negative tests required by the league in a 24-hour period to return to play.

Horford, who has publicly stated he is vaccinated, and perhaps also head coach Ime Udoka, who missed Thursday’s media availability session with a (at least for now) non-COVID illness, points to the importance of health in today’s NBA in ways which transcend historic concerns if nothing else.

In a city with surging local COVID infections, adopting a more stringent approach to precautionary practices may well prove critical to the team’s postseason ambitions.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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See it: Giants’ Saquon Barkley healthy good in OTA drills

New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley, who has dealt with multiple injuries in recent years, looks healthy and explosive at OTAs.

There were rumors of a potential offseason trade involving New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, but nothing ever materialized. Instead, the Giants hung onto the 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year and he will now play a prominent role offensively.

That could be a good or bad thing depending on which Barkley shows up.

Barkley displayed game-breaking talent as a rookie, but things have fallen off since then. He’s struggled to stay healthy, enduring serious ankle injuries and a torn ACL, while looking mighty tentative when he is on the field.

But Barkley is tired of hearing about all of that. He isn’t interest in the “BS” anymore and intends to make 2022 one of his best.

“I’m just tired of whatever is written about me, the BS that’s said about me or this team,” Barkley told reporters in April. “I want to go out there and prove to this organization that the player they drafted is still there, I can still do special things with the ball in my hands, and I can help this team.

“One thing I’ve learned is the story that’s going to be told is people are going to shape it the way they want it to be told. I feel like there’s a lot of things that are left out.”

The good news? Barkley appears both healthy and explosive early on in OTAs. And while we’ve only seem glimpses, there is no denying that he looks like the player of old.

Barkley, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, will be a major factor in the Giants’ potential success (or failure) this season. He’ll serve as an offensive focal point and backfield outlet for quarterback Daniel Jones.

And if he’s able to stay healthy, it’s a solid bet Barkley rekindles some of his early career success behind a vastly improved offensive line.

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