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Anquan Boldin shares poignant inspiration for justice reform

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Anquan Boldin shares poignant inspiration for social justice

Players Coalition co-founder Anquan Boldin shared a poignant personal tragedy in the signature public service spot of the NFL’s Inspire Change platform during Sunday’s conference championship games.

In the spot that will run through Super Bowl Sunday, Boldin shares his inspiration to launch social justice work: the 2015 shooting death of his cousin Corey Jones, 31, at the hands of a plainclothes police officer after his car had broken down on Interstate 95 in Florida.

A jury in West Palm Beach last year found ex-police officer Nouman Raja guilty of armed manslaughter and attempted first-degree murder in the death of Jones.

Prosecutors said Raja never identified himself to the stranded motorist as a police officer when he arrived in an unmarked white van with tinted windows and approached him while wearing plainclothes and a baseball cap.

Raja was on duty doing burglary surveillance when he shot Jones several times in the encounter caught on audio.

“There are just some things that are bigger than football and I felt like starting the Players Coalition and affecting change in this country was one of those things,” Boldin says in the 60-second spot that debuted during the AFC championship game between the Titans and Chiefs.

“Had it not been for the work that we do, Corey’s death would have been in vain,” Boldin says in the PSA, concluding, “The best way to inspire change is to be it.”

The league launched the initiative, which emphasizes education and economic development, community and police relations and criminal justice reform, in 2019 in connection with its 32 teams and the Players Coalition, a group of current and former players that works for social justice.

The league and the players had established a working relationship in October 2017 following player demonstrations for social justice during the national anthem.

“We are aware of the challenges we’ve faced over the last few years. The issues that NFL players brought to the forefront do not only impact players. These are American issues that affect us all,“ said Anna Isaacson, the NFL’s senior vice president of social responsibility.

“The NFL is fortunate to have an incredible platform and with this platform, we have the opportunity to help create positive change and work toward social justice for all of our communities. We’re amplifying and supporting the work that players have started — this is what Inspire Change exists to do.”

The NFL has been running player PSAs during the playoffs and earlier this month awarded $3 million in grants to grassroots organizations, bringing to $25 million it has awarded to social justice groups since the campaign’s launch.

Isaacson called Boldin’s PSA a “signature spot we hope will really bring clarity to what social justice is and how committed NFL players are to these issues.

“This is a personal and family tragedy, but the spot is really about what came from that tragedy and that’s all this great work on social justice.“

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San Francisco 49ers lose TE Jordan Reed, CB Emmanuel Moseley vs. New York Giants

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Add two more key players to the San Francisco 49ers‘ ever-expanding list of injuries.

Tight end Jordan Reed (knee, ankle) and cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (concussion) suffered injuries in the first half of the team’s game against the New York Giants on Sunday. The team ruled Reed and Moseley out for the rest of the game at halftime.

Reed suffered an apparent left leg and ankle injury with 1:13 left in the first when he attempted to drag his feet in the back of the end zone on a throw from quarterback Nick Mullens. Reed was unable to make the catch and immediately grabbed for his left leg as he tumbled to the ground. Reed’s departure left Ross Dwelley and Charlie Woerner as the Niners’ only healthy remaining tight ends.

Moseley’s injury happened on the first play of the second quarter as he and safety Jaquiski Tartt converged on Giants quarterback Daniel Jones after a 19-yard run. Tartt and Moseley collided with Moseley taking the worst of it. Dontae Johnson replaced Moseley.

The loss of Reed and Moseley only added to San Francisco’s lengthy list of injury issues. Defensive end Dee Ford (back), quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), linebacker Dre Greenlaw (quadriceps), tight end George Kittle (knee) and running back Raheem Mostert (knee) were all pregame inactives after suffering injuries last week against the Jets, a game also played at MetLife Stadium.

The Niners are also without running back Tevin Coleman (knee), receiver Richie James Jr. (hamstring), receiver Deebo Samuel (foot) and cornerback Richard Sherman (calf), all of whom are on injured reserve but expected to return in the coming weeks.

Defensive end Nick Bosa, defensive tackle Solomon Thomas and wideout Jalen Hurd are all out for the season with torn anterior cruciate ligaments.

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NFL Week 3 arrivals – Best entrances, outfits, cleats and more

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Week 3 of the 2020 NFL season is here. The tributes to Kobe Bryant continue in Philly, while the long-awaited Watt brothers family reunion in Pittsburgh produced some fun candid shots. And other players around the league continue to impress with their fashion choices on the way into the stadium.

Here’s our roundup of the best pregame threads, entrances, scenes from the field and more.

The Week 3 NFL schedule features some exquisite matchups, capped off with a monster on Monday Night Football, as the Kansas City Chiefs square off with the Baltimore Ravens. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the keys to every game, a bold prediction for each matchup and final score picks. Check out ESPN’s NFL Week 3 game guide.

More: Sunday’s fantasy football inactives: Who’s in and who’s out?


Best arrival looks

Philadelphia Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson pays tribute to the Black Mamba with his pregame look:

Myles Garrett and Baker Mayfield are stylin’ and profilin’ before their game against Washington:

Look good, play good. Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard and Houston Texans linebacker Jacob Martin rock two of the best shirts we’ve seen this season:

Denim never goes out of style, as Los Angeles Rams defensive back John Johnson III knows:


Best brotherly reunion

For J.J., T.J. and Derek Watt, Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Houston Texans game is all about family:


Best pregame cleats

Carolina Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater represents Neighborhood of Hope Dealer on his cleats.

Cam Newton never disappoints with his sartorial splendor, and his Week 3 pregame cleats are no exception:


Best cardboard cutouts in the stands

With limited fans at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium, there certainly is “ample parking day or night”:


Best pregame drills

Eagles assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley gets his players ready for the Bengals:

Look out!


Best new addition to the Giants’ locker room

With Saquon Barkley sidelined, Big Blue has boosted its backfield with Devonta Freeman:


Best of the rest



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Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones inactive due to hamstring injury

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Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is inactive for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears while recovering from a hamstring injury.

Jones injured his left hamstring before the season then strained it again during last week’s 40-39 loss at Dallas. He did not practice all week leading up to the Bears game, but Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Jones would be a game-time decision.

With Jones out of the lineup, the Falcons will look to Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage as the primary receivers with tight end Hayden Hurst another top option for quarterback Matt Ryan. Christian Blake is likely to see more snaps at receiver with Jones out.

Through two games, Jones is the Falcons’ third-leading receiver with 11 catches for 181 yards and no touchdowns. He is one catch away from surpassing Roddy White as the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions (they are tied at 808).

Jones missed one game last season because of a shoulder injury that kept him out of a Thanksgiving matchup with the rival New Orleans Saints.

The Falcons and Jones have a little more time to prepare for Week 4 with an ESPN Monday Night Football matchup at Green Bay.

The Falcons also are without three key members of the secondary with rookie corner A.J. Terrell placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and cornerback Kendall Sheffield (foot) and safety Ricardo Allen (elbow) ruled out with injuries. Additionally, defensive end Takk McKinley (groin), starting linebacker Foye Oluokun (hamstring), starting right tackle Kaleb McGary (MCL) and defensive tackle Deadrin Senat are all inactive.

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