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WR has 'heard' of Viagra use to gain edge on field

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WR has 'heard' of Viagra use to gain edge on field

CHICAGO (AP) The idea that NFL players might use Viagra to gain an edge on the field left Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs practically in tears - from laughing.

He wasn't the only one.

Players cracked jokes about it Thursday, a day after Bears star receiver Brandon Marshall said he had heard that some players were using Viagra and hoping it would give them an advantage during games. Punch lines aside, experts say it's unlikely the erectile-dysfunction drug would help.

``What would that do? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard,'' Minnesota Vikings long snapper Cullen Loeffler said.

Bears defensive back D.J. Moore wondered if Marshall was kidding and said: ``I've never heard of that.''

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Viagra is not a banned substance and declined further comment.

Marshall started it all Wednesday when asked about a growing number of suspensions tied to amphetamines, including the ADHD drug Adderall. He said he didn't know much about Adderall, but suggested Viagra could be viewed by players as a way to boost their energy.

``I know guys, it's such a competitive league, and guys try anything just to get that edge,'' he said. ``I've heard of guys using Viagra, seriously, because the blood, it's supposed to thin. . I don't know. Some crazy stuff. It's kind of scary with some of these chemicals that are in some of these things, so you have to be careful.''

But using Viagra for more touchdowns and tackles?

``I didn't even know people could do that,'' New York Giants tight end Martellus Bennett said. And his teammate Justin Tuck added: ``I can't imagine why people would take steroids, so I have no comment on Viagra. Besides, my wife would be very upset with me.''

Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday, a 15-year NFL veteran, said some of his teammates were talking about Marshall's Viagra remarks but he had never heard of such a thing himself.

``I don't understand what good it would do,'' he said.

Dr. Olivier Rabin, science director at the World Anti-Doping Agency in Montreal, said it is unlikely Viagra does anything to improve football performance in NFL players. He also said there is no evidence the drug might somehow mask the use of steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

Rabin noted that research in high altitudes found the drug helped improve oxygen flow in climbers with impaired lung function. That's because Viagra can dilate blood vessels, and vessels in the lung constrict in high altitudes.

Research involving cyclists at high altitudes found similar benefits, but Rabin said studies have shown the drug has no effect on athletic performance at sea level.

University of Miami researcher Kevin Jacobs has studied Viagra in simulated high-altitude environments and ``didn't find much benefit in young, healthy, active individuals.''

``No one has really tested it in football players doing exercise. Whatever benefit they think they're getting is probably more psychological than anything,'' said Jacobs, an associate professor in the kinesiology and sport sciences department.

Marshall said he doesn't take medication ``of any sort'' and noted that the NFL's drug policy is strict.

``Any time you take anything over the counter, if you don't approve it with your training room, you can get popped,'' he said. ``Some of it's fair, but some of it kind of puts you in a tough spot as a professional athlete. Because the only thing you'll see is getting busted for PEDs, but it could be something over the counter for a little sickness. You just have to be on top of your Ps and Qs.''

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AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner in Chicago and Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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What It Means: Wizards reportedly expected to make extension offer to Bradley Beal

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USA Today

What It Means: Wizards reportedly expected to make extension offer to Bradley Beal

Despite the litany of teams who would love to get their hands on Bradley Beal this offseason, Washington has so far remained committed to keeping Bradley Beal a Wizard.

And when he's eligible in July, they plan to offer him a three-year, $111 million extension, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.  

"He's eligible for a three-year, $111 million extension," Wojnarowski said during ESPN's televised mock draft special. "I'm told it's the team's intention to offer that up to him and try and move forward."

Keeping Beal long-term may wind being a smart move, as NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig wrote this week. The extension would lock Beal up for the next five years and secure him and John Wall -- once he's fully recovered from offseason Achilles surgery -- as the Wizards' backcourt for the foreseeable future. 

The offer may seem financially burdensome, considering the Wizards just signed John Wall to a massive supermax extension that starts this season. But although the Wizards are currently strapped for cash, there's hope on the horizon. Ian Mahinmi's $15.6 million deal and Dwight Howard's $5.4 million deal expire after the 2019-2020 season.

The Wizards could decline Jabari Parkers $20 million team option and let Bobby Portis walk in restricted free agency this offseason. If both those happen, the Wizards could open up cap space for Beal's extension.

Considering John Wall is out for likely the entire next season and the Wizards still don't have a GM, their best move might be to lock in what proven production they have.

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Rain knocks out another Phillies-Nationals game

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Rain knocks out another Phillies-Nationals game

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and Phillies are 2-for-2.

Tuesday night's game was postponed following a two-hour rain delay. Monday's game was postponed after a three-hour rain delay.

Tuesday's game will be made up as part of a split day-night doubleheader Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., bumping a four-game series to a five-game series. The Nationals and Phillies are scheduled to also play a split day-night doubleheader Wednesday.

The day was not without news. Nationals ace Max Scherzer broke his nose in batting practice when a ball bounced off his bat and struck him in the face. Scherzer was attempting to bunt at the time.

Scherzer's injury and the multiple postponements throw the Nationals' pitching plans into disarray. They're not sure if Scherzer will pitch as expected Wednesday. It appears Austin Voth, who was scratched from his Thursday start for Triple-A Fresno, will be available to pitch in one of the Wednesday games -- should they be played. More rain is expected Wednesday.

The Nationals will bump Patrick Corbin, who was slated to pitch again Tuesday, into a Wednesday spot. Wednesday's other starter is TBA. It could be Scherzer if he is ready. It could be Erick Fedde, and Voth could be used in the bullpen as the 26th man. That would provide Scherzer a chance to pitch Thursday and Strasburg on Friday against Atlanta. 

Or, Scherzer could be provided more time off. There's a lot to sort out once again thanks to the rain.

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