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Rams LB Clay Matthews Expected to Play vs Steelers

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The Los Angeles Rams (5-3) have missed linebacker Clay Matthews for their last three games. A week ago, the Rams had their bye week. This Sunday they will travel to Pittsburgh (4-4) in a Week 9 non-conference battle.

Will Matthews be on the field against the Steelers?

“That’s the anticipation, yes,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said on Monday.

Matthews, the 11-year veteran, suffered a broken jaw in the Rams’ Week 5 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

In the five games that Matthews has played in this year, he has recorded six sacks and two forced fumbles. Matthews was also credited with 16 solo tacked

“I think, really, it’s just kind of getting him back into normal routine, seeing how he’s feeling,” McVay said of what he expects from Matthews leading up to Pittsburgh.

Matthews presence is even more vital against a young quarterback like the Steelers Mason Rudolph. Matthews is known for his ability to rush the quarterback and adding him to a defense with the likes of Aaron Donald and company, gives the Steelers just a little more to worry about.

The Rams are giving no signs stating that Matthews wouldn’t be lining up across from the Steelers offense, come Sunday.

“Everything’s checked out in a positive manner up to this point, so I think it’s just kind of progressing back to, ‘How comfortable do you feel putting a helmet on?’” McVay said. “It’s just kind of trusting that you’re nice and secure in that absence of some of that stuff that kind of kept it in place and helped it heal over the last couple weeks.”

The Rams defense ranks No. 8 in points allowed and  No. 10 in the NFL in total yards allowed.

 

NFL

Federal Judge Orders NFL, Class Counsel to Address Racial Concerns Brought by former Steelers in Concussion Settlement

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The federal judge who overseas the NFL’s concussion settlement program is sending class counsel Seeger Weiss and the league back to negotiations resolve to the racial concerns in the raised by former players.

Judge Anita Brody of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Steelers Kevin Henry and Najeh Davenport, telling the two sides to “address the concerns relating to the race-norming issue.”

Henry and Davenport have accused the league of discriminating against Black players who have filed dementia-related claims. The lawsuit alleged that the NFL used separate criteria for judging mental degradation in black and white athletes, making it more likely for white players to receive benefits.

Brody dismissed their lawsuit as “an improper attack on the Settlement Agreement,” but added that “the Court, however, remains concerned” about the reservations they raised. The NFL and Weiss will now appear before Magistrate Judge David Strawbridge to reach a new agreement on the concerns.

Davenport, played with the Steelers from 2006-08 and also spent time with the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts in a seven-year NFL career. Henry spent eight seasons in Pittsburgh from 1993-2000 after being drafted in the fourth round out of Mississippi State and played in Super Bowl XXX with the team.

The NFL originally settled with its former players in 2013 and agreed to pay out over $750 million to players that suffer neurological conditions from playing professional football. The settlement has been regarded as controversial overall, and there have been several attempts from players to re-litigate portions of it.

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Maia Chaka Becomes First Black Female Official in NFL History

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Maia Chaka has been added as an NFL’s game official for the 2021 season, making her the first Black female referee in league history.

Chaka previously served as an official at the college level in both the Pac-12 and Confederate USA.

Chaka was also selected to the NFL’s Officiating Development Program in 2014, which “identifies top collegiate officiating talent to expose them to some of the same experiences as NFL officials, working to determine if they have the ability to succeed as an NFL official.”

“I am honored to be selected as an NFL official,” Chaka said in a league statement. “But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”

When not officiating, Chaka is a health and physical education teacher from Virginia Beach. She graduated from Norfolk State University with a bachelor’s in education in 2006.

“Maia’s years of hard work, dedication and perseverance – including as part of the NFL Officiating Development Program – have earned her a position as an NFL official,” NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent Sr. said. “As we celebrate Women’s History Month, Maia is a trailblazer as the first Black female official and inspires us toward normalizing women on the football field.”

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Ryan Switzer Asks for Prayers for COVID-19 Positive Son

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Former Steelers receiver Ryan Switzer asked for prayers for his 9-month-old son Christian Saturday morning. Switzer’s son has been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19.

In Switzer’s tweet, he asked everyone to say a prayer for the little guy. Thousands of fans have interacted with the tweet, with many voicing their prayers and well wishes.

The 26-year-old receiver signed a 1-year deal with the Cleveland Browns in January after spending time on their practice squad last season. Switzer was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He then spent both 2018 and 2019 in Pittsburgh before being released by the Steelers before the 2020 season.

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