The Minnesota Vikings have traded pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens.
What We Know:
- The deal will send Ngakoue to Baltimore and a 2021 third-round pick and 2022 conditional fifth-round pick to Minnesota, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
- Ngakoue will spend the Ravens’ bye week going through COVID-19 testing. He should be available for their Week 8 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Baltimore already has the league’s best defense, only allowing 17.3 points per game, and they are now adding a former Pro-Bowl selection. The Ravens are 5-1 and second in the AFC North, right behind the Steelers.
- The Ravens previously tried to trade for Ngakoue in recent months and tried to acquire Jadeveon Clowney before the season started. The Ravens still have their franchise tag in Matthew Judon to pair with Ngakoue. Ngakoue has already been traded once this season when Jacksonville sent him to Minnesota.
- Through six games in Minnesota, Ngakoue had five sacks, two forced fumbles, seven quarterback hits and 12 tackles, five of which resulted in losses. The Vikings unfortunately couldn’t capitalize on his production and started 1-5.
Ngakoue is reportedly excited to be heading to Baltimore. He grew up in Bowie, Maryland and played college ball at the University of Maryland.
Lewis Hamilton Crowned GQ’s Game Changer of The Year
Formula One racing star Lewis Hamilton has been named GQ’s Game Changer of the Year. The sporting hero will be honored at the annual GQ Men of The Year Awards ceremony, which is going virtual for the first time this year (20) amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
What We Know:
- As of Dec 1st, the seven-time F1 champion has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix. The Mercedes team released a statement on Tuesday, November 24th that Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time. The last time he was tested was on Sunday, November 29, at the Bahrain International Circuit.
- In a recent interview with GQ, Hamilton spoke about his experiences with racism when he was younger. “I started experiencing racism when I was five, and people looked upon it so lightly when someone would throw out these words, the bullying, and the beatings and the intimidation.”
- The 35-year-old sportsman has vowed to continue to stand up for others, and big causes after racing stars were effectively banned from wearing T-shirts with political statements after he decided to raise awareness of the Breanna Taylor case during the Tuscan Grand Prix.
- In the January/February 2021 issue of GQ, he added: “If I believe it is important enough, I will. I will do it again…Every weekend that I arrive, we have the spotlight on us, and every weekend there is an opportunity to raise awareness. We don’t live in a time when everything is OK.
The GQ Men of the Year Awards 2020 took place on November 26th at 8 pm GMT.
Kemba Walker To Miss Start Of Season With Knee Injury
The Boston Celtics will be without their All-Star point guard for the first weeks of the 2020-2021 season.
What We Know:
- Walker consulted with several specialists in October about a lingering knee injury. It was decided that he would take a stem cell injection to the knee and be put on a 12-week strengthening program that would take him into January.
- Per the Celtics’ injury report, Walker will be out at least through the first week of January and he will be re-evaluated at that time. The team expects him to be back to on-court activities soon and will provide further updates in January.
- Walker has been dealing with his left knee since the 2020 All-Star Weekend in February. He only played four games between the All-Star break and the season postponement. Walker was still feeling pain and discomfort in the knee when the season restarted in July.
- Walker started off the restart on a minutes restriction and the restriction was lifted during the playoffs. Walker averaged a respectable 19.6 points and 5 assists per game in the bubble, but he still didn’t look quite right on the court.
- Head coach Brad Stevens said at the time that Walker was still not 100 percent and it would be some time before he was “full speed”. During media availability on Tuesday, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said the team felt good about Walker’s recovery and strengthening plan, but that they had perhaps brought him back too early after the initial injury.
The Celtics struggled with depth during the 2019-2020 season and it doesn’t help that they lost Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter this offseason. They’ll miss Walker at the beginning of the season, but the most important thing is having him completely healthy.
NFL Fines Saints And Patriots For Covid-19 Violations
The New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints have been ordered to pay major fines for Covid-19 protocol violations.
What We Know:
- The NFL fined the Saints $500,000 after the team posted a video on social media showing unmasked players celebrating their Week 9 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In addition to the fine, the NFL is also taking away a seventh-round draft pick for the violation.
- The steep fine and loss of draft pick stemmed from the Saints having multiple Covid-19 violations and warnings. The team was fined $350,000 back in September after head coach Sean Payton was seen without a face mask during a game. Payton tested positive for coronavirus in March. Payton responded to the fine by saying “It’s something we’re just going to have to remind ourselves to do.”
- The Patriots were also fined $350,000 for violations related to the positive tests of several of their players. Patriots QB Cam Newton tested positive for coronavirus in early October. Although he did not play in their October 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, 20 teammates and staff members who had been in contact with him flew out for the game. Just after the game, CB Stephon Gilmore also tested positive.
- The NFL is also investigating the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos for Covid-19 violations. The two were supposed to play on Thanksgiving Day, but the game was postponed after 19 members from the Ravens tested positive, including QB Lamar Jackson.
- Broncos QB Jeff Driskel also tested positive for coronavirus before Thanksgiving and the team apparently had a meeting with all of their quarterbacks without masks just after Driskel contracted the virus. The other players in the meeting allegedly took off their tracking devices which are meant to help with contact tracing.
- The whole debacle led to the Broncos entering their Sunday night game against the Saints without a quarterback. They had to play wide receiver Kendall Hinton at QB to avoid a forfeit and lost 31-3. Broncos head coach Vic Fangio was also fined earlier this season for not wearing a face mask.
Dr. Allen Sills, chief medical officer for the NFL, expects the situation to get harder because of how rapidly the virus is spreading across the country.
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