Patriots

Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein avoids injury designation, will likely play in Super Bowl

Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein avoids injury designation, will likely play in Super Bowl

The Rams are in the Super Bowl, thanks in no small part to the booming leg of their kicker, Greg Zuerlein, who nailed a 57-yarder in overtime to send the team to Atlanta. 

However, Zuerlein missed every practice this week due to a strained left foot and donned a walking boot after the NFC Championship Game in New Orleans. Fortunately for Zuerlein, he kicks with his right foot, so the injury seemed to be more of a setback than a serious threat to his availability. 

Zuerlein was listed as a non-participant on Friday, but has avoided an injury designation, and seems prepared to play. 

Belichick raved earlier this week about Zuerlein and his fellow special teamer, punter Johnny Hekker, in an unsurprising show of admiration for the stage of the game that Belichick clearly appreciates.

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"As I said, they’re all weapons. Zuerlein’s a weapon, Hekker’s a weapon", said Belichick of the Rams' kicking duo. 

Zuerlein's availability for Super Bowl 53 seemed to never be in doubt within the Rams organization, but his lack of injury designation all but confirms that he'll be ready to go, barring an unforeseen setback. 

Zuerlein made 27 field goals in 11 games in the regular season and showed off his range on the final play of the NFC Championship Game. 

After running back Todd Gurley told reporters, again, that his knee was completely healthy, the Rams appear to have all their weapons at their disposal for what should be an epic showdown with the Patriots. 

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Patriots legend Richard Seymour opens up about poker career

Patriots legend Richard Seymour opens up about poker career

When athletes retire from the sport they've played their whole lives, it's natural for them to miss the competition. That feeling is no different for former Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour.

The Hall-of-Fame hopeful, though, has chosen a unique way to get the competitive juices flowing. On July 11, he finished an impressive 131st at the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, taking home $59,295. 

"Once you’re done playing football you still have a competitive drive,” Seymour told Yahoo! Sports. “Poker is an outlet for me where I have a competitive drive, you have to be very cerebral. It requires a lot like it did for me in football – I have to be patient, I have to know how to pick my spots, pay attention to guys’ tendencies. It was just a natural progression after leaving sports at a high level.”

Seymour, according to Yahoo! Sports, learned how to play poker from his father and picked it up at a competitive level shortly after he retired from the NFL in 2012. In last week's WSOP, he peaked at $3.6 million. Seymour said he's used his Super Bowl ring as a chip holder to intimidate competitors at the poker table. He also said he takes advantage of his status as a football legend, often bluffing when opponents assume he'll be an aggressive player. 

“Some guys play me differently because they say, ‘If I knock Richard Seymour out it’s a cool story to tell my buddies’,” he said. “Which I don’t mind that, it just depends on how I’m feeling that day...“My temperament fits poker well; I’m naturally kind of reserved, I’m not super emotional one way or another, so if bad things happen, which they’re going to in poker, it’s about how do you respond?”

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Patriots involved in 3 of top-10 most-watched sporting events of 2019

Patriots involved in 3 of top-10 most-watched sporting events of 2019

Hate them or love them, America has watched the Patriots more than any other team — in any sport — in 2019.

According to sportsmediawatch.com, all 10 of the most-watched sporting events of 2019 were NFL games. No World Series, Stanley Cup Final or NBA Finals games made the list. Of the 10 highest-rated events, three of them included the Patriots. 

Unsurprisingly, the Super Bowl matchup between the Pats and Los Angeles Rams topped the list with more than 100 million viewers including online streams (in parentheses). Both New England's AFC Championship game against the Chiefs and its Division Round contest with the Chargers also cracked the top-10. 

The television ratings suggest that the NFL is still head-and-shoulders above other leagues in popularity, and the Patriots are leading the charge. 

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