Home NFL Latest sports news: NFL to expand playoffs; Michael Jordan documentary release date moved to April; Could Reds – The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Latest sports news: NFL to expand playoffs; Michael Jordan documentary release date moved to April; Could Reds – The Philadelphia Inquirer

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NFL expanding playoffs to 14 teams

The NFL playoffs are about to look different.

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No. 2 seeds will no longer receive byes and wild-card weekend will feature six games with the addition of a seventh team in each conference, starting this season.

Moneywise, this is a boom. An extra game means more money for the players, but the chances of a seventh seed ever making a long run are slim. This spot will likely become the equivalent of the 15 and 16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament and the seven and eight seeds in the NBA.

Last season both no. 6 seeds advanced to the divisional round for the second consecutive season. That’s the first time that has happened since the format was installed in 1990. Before the Titans upset the Ravens this season, a six seed hadn’t reached the conference championship since 2010.

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The Packers in 2010 and the 2005 Steelers are the only six seeds to win the Super Bowl. Those numbers don’t bode well for a seventh team, but we all like a good Cinderella story.

Michael Jordan documentary release date moved to April

ESPN heard the world’s cry.

Michael Jordan’s ‘The Last Dance’ 30 for 30 documentary series has been to an April 19 release date. The documentary was originally scheduled for June.

The 10-part series will focus on Michael Jordan’s last season with the Bulls.

“We’ve heard the calls from fans asking us to move up the release date for this series, and we’re happy to announce that we’ve been able to accelerate the production schedule to do just that,” ESPN said in a statement. “This project celebrates one of the greatest players and dynasties ever, and we hope it can serve as a unifying entertainment experience to fill the role that sports often play in our lives, telling a story that will captivate everyone, not just sports fans.”

ESPN will air two new episodes over a five-week period, starting April 19. The following weeks will include playbacks of the two previous episodes before premiering two more.

Redskins considering trading back for a linebacker

For so long, mock drafts have penciled Ohio State defensive end Chase Young as the No. 2 pick to the Redskins in the 2020 NFL Draft. It would be the perfect homecoming for the Maryland native, but not so fast, according to one report.

NFL Insider Jason La Canfora said the Redskins are “in love” with Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons. This would shake the draft substantially, because a trade partner would more than likely move up for a quarterback.

Simmons is the prototypical player to guard elite tight ends, slot receivers, and running backs. He was arguably the biggest combine winner after running a 4.39 40-yard dash at 238 pounds. The NFL East features players like Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert and Saquon Barkley, so the idea doesn’t sound too far-fetched.

U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials on hold

The U.S. Wrestling Olympic Team Trials were scheduled for April 4-5, but the event has been postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19. The new dates were also in reaction to the International Olympic Committee’s decision to move the Tokyo Olympics to 2021.

Ticket information will be updated once new dates are chosen. A refund must be requested before June 1. The trials are likely to be held at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Chinese government restricting pro sports

China had the rest of the world waiting on its move with professional sports. The Chinese Basketball Association boldly planned to continue its season soon despite COVID-19 concerns, but that doesn’t look like it’ll be possible.

The Chinese government is restricting the resumption of pro sports.

Earlier in March, American players had received a memo from CBA teams to return to China. The league was planning to resume as soon as April 2, according to a statement released by the CBA. About 40 American players are on the 22 CBA teams. The league threatened players with possible lifetime bans, if they didn’t return. NBA Hall of Famer Yao Ming is the chairman of the CBA.

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