The Sports Report: Justin Herbert can’t complete comeback

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws during a 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.
(Ed Zurga / Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Austin Knoblauch, filling in for Houston Mitchell, who’s probably busy trying to convince one of his friends to give him their Apple TV+ password. Let’s get right to the news.

From Jeff Miller: He was sacked twice and hit at least six other times, according to the NFL’s official statistics.

One of the hits, with about five minutes remaining Thursday night, left Justin Herbert in significant discomfort and holding his midsection.

The rest of the Chargers — and all their fans — were figuratively doing the same thing.

The Pro Bowl quarterback missed only one play and returned for a last-gasp push, one that resulted in a late touchdown but a failed comeback as the Chargers lost 27-24 to Kansas City.

“You’re not going to see a quarterback at any level of football play tougher and do more for their team and will their team to give them a chance than him,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. “Nobody can do what he can do. Nobody.”


Herbert suffered a rib injury, according to the Chargers, and underwent initial tests at Arrowhead Stadium. The team had no update upon departing for the return trip to Southern California.

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Trailing 27-17, Herbert led the Chargers to a touchdown with 1:11 remaining despite moving gingerly and holding his left arm in position to protect his ribs. He left the field upon the game’s conclusion in obvious pain.

“He showed us a lot of guts,” Staley said. “He showed us what he does every day, that we’re never out of the fight. He brought us back and gave us a chance.”

From Sam Farmer: Former Wendy’s worker grills Chargers with 99-yard pick six in Chiefs’ win


From his home in Culiacán, Mexico, Carlos Urías, right, watches his son, Julio, pitch for the Dodgers.
From his home in Culiacán, Mexico, Carlos Urías, right, watches his son, Julio, pitch for the Dodgers against the Marlins in Miami on Aug. 28. Julio’s mother, Juana Isabel Acosta, and grandfather, Julián Urías, also look on intently.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

From Jorge Castillo: Carlos Urías has a routine before watching every one of his son’s starts: He plugs in a Virgen de Guadalupe light fixture hanging in the hallway just off the living room and prays.

La Virgen was bright on a recent Sunday morning, colorfully illuminating the dim white space. A few minutes after 10, before Julio Urías took the mound 2,000 miles away in Miami, Carlos approached her. He took off his Dodgers cap, whispered some words and gave the sign of the cross.


“God has been good,” he said. “I have a lot to be thankful for up there.”

Julio César Urías hasn’t spent a summer here in a decade. Not since the boy with the bad left eye and gifted left arm signed with the Dodgers to continue a life already with more bright moments and dark days than most of his peers will ever experience.

The 26-year-old left-hander is a former hotshot prospect who made his big league debut as a teenager, struggled to find his footing with the Dodgers, underwent major shoulder surgery, served a 20-game suspension after being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, and returned to fulfill the outsized on-field expectations that originally awaited him.

He’s the ace on a team with the best record in the majors and World Series-or-bust ethos, starring in Los Angeles as the most beloved Mexican Dodger since Fernando Valenzuela.

From Jack Harris: Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw ... then who? Dodgers have time to figure it out


USC wide receiver Jordan Addison breaks away from Rice defensive back Sean Fresch.
USC wide receiver Jordan Addison breaks away from Rice defensive back Sean Fresch to score a touchdown during the Trojans’ season opener on Sept. 3. Addison’s experience at cornerback in high school helped him develop a robust football IQ.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

From Ryan Kartje: It took just one step for Jordan Addison to know he had the upper hand.

The signs were there in the moments before the USC wideout’s dazzling 75-yard score last week, if you knew where to find them. First, there was the single deep Stanford safety, expected to deter USC quarterback Caleb Williams from chucking it downfield to the best deep-ball receiver in college football. Addison knew there was no need to worry; the safety would surely creep up to cover the underneath route in the slot, leaving plenty of open grass behind him.

The most crucial tell came from the cornerback across from Addison. The Trojans’ top receiver saw he was lined up on his outside shoulder, preparing for man coverage. So Addison obliged his preference, taking off toward his inside shoulder, before bursting into hyper drive on a deep post. There was no stopping him by that point.

“I made sure I kept him outside and had the whole left side of the field to work,” Addison said. “Caleb put up a good ball, hit me in stride and the rest is history.”

USC’s starting quarterback and its top receiver could be on their way to making history this season if their connection continues to develop. While Williams finds himself near the top of the early Heisman Trophy race, Addison’s four receiving touchdowns through two games at USC have him on pace to blow past the season school record of 16 shared by Dwayne Jarrett (2005) and Mike Williams (2003). Addison topped that season total last year, scoring 17 times for Pittsburgh on his way to winning the Biletnikoff Award presented to the nation’s top receiver.

Most of those scores looked a lot like that deep shot at Stanford. Ten of Addison’s touchdowns last season came from at least 20 yards out and 28% of his targets came at that distance.


UCLA women’s soccer’s player Madelyn Desiano controls the ball during a match.
(Scott Chandler / UCLA Athletics)

From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: Out with the knee brace, in with the shin guards. Madelyn Desiano is finally equipped to lead UCLA’s defensive renaissance.

UCLA is the top-ranked team in the country for the first time since 2017 thanks, in part, to first-year head coach Margueritte Aozasa’s defense-first philosophy based on discipline, fitness and hard work. The engine is Desiano, a fifth-year senior defender who knows hard work better than most. The San Clemente native has overcome two ACL injuries and three knee surgeries to become one of only two field players to start every game for the Bruins (6-0) this season.

Playing without the bulky knee brace around her left leg for the first time since she sat out the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Desiano ran nearly nine miles per game in UCLA’s milestone victories at Duke and North Carolina on Sept. 1 and 4, respectively, which vaulted the Bruins to the top ranking. The heavy workload, even in heat and humidity, didn’t damper Desiano’s celebration as she sought out goalie Lauren Brzykcy, who had 13 saves on the weekend. The pair of grad students who have played together since they were 8 years old rejoiced.

“This is why we stayed,” Desiano said of the message in the moment.


Suns owner Robert Sarver sits courtside during a game in 2019.
The NBA suspended Suns owner Robert Sarver, shown in 2019, for one season and fined him $10 million for unsavory behavior directed at women and people of color.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

From Dan Woike: Adam Silver said the NBA “addressed it” — the “it” being the behavior of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver. And the addressing it? Well, it was just a half-measure, the NBA leaving it to its players and business partners to finish the job.

If the league wants to be rid of him — and it’s pretty clear it should — it’s leaving the dirty work to everyone else, including the fans.

The NBA suspended Sarver for one season and fined him $10 million Tuesday for a litany of unsavory behavior directed at women and people of color. Over an 18-year span, he used the N-word at least five times despite being admonished. He demeaned pregnant employees, crossed all kinds of lines with sexual comments and forwarded pornographic jokes in emails.

The NBA’s nearly 12,000-word report stretches over 43 pages painting Sarver at best as some kind of early-season version of Michael Scott from “The Office” ignorant of societal norms and, at worst as another Donald Sterling, someone regularly engaging in racism and misogyny.

Neither is a good representative for the NBA.

Players sounded off, including LeBron James in a series of tweets:

“Read through the Sarver stories a few times now. I gotta be honest…. Our league definitely got this wrong. I don’t need to explain why. Y’all read the stories and decide for yourself. I said it before and I’m gonna say it again, there is no place in this league for that kind of behavior. I love this league and I deeply respect our leadership. But this isn’t right. There is no place for misogyny, sexism, and racism in any work place. Don’t matter if you own the team or play for the team. We hold our league up as an example of our values and this aint it.”


Canelo Álvarez, left, and Gennadiy Golovkin pose during a news conference.
Canelo Álvarez, left, and Gennadiy Golovkin, second from right, pose during a news conference on Thursday in Las Vegas. The two are scheduled to fight in a super middleweight title bout Saturday in Las Vegas.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

From Jorge Castillo: The horde snaked through MGM Grand on Wednesday in matching white hats.

“MEX” was spelled out on the crown in green, white and red. Canelo Álvarez’s personal logo was on one side. A motto was stitched in red on the other: “Legacy is Earned.”

The messaging from Álvarez and his team was precise. Álvarez, a world champion boxer in four weight classes, cares about his legacy, about how he will be remembered among Mexican boxing legends. In his estimation, a win over Gennadiy Golovkin in their trilogy’s finale at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, will further solidify his legacy as one of the sport’s all-time greats.

“This fight is important for my legacy,” Álvarez said. “I need to win this fight very convincingly.”

For others, the bout, no matter the result, has already tarnished it.

It has been four years since Álvarez and Golovkin last fought. Álvarez won a majority-decision in 2018, giving Golovkin his first career defeat, as the aggressor. The strategy was in stark contrast to his more passive approach a year earlier in the first meeting, which ended in a controversial draw.

The consensus in the boxing world is Golovkin was robbed of a win in the first encounter, Álvarez squeaked out a victory in the second and Álvarez waited far too long to give Golovkin a chance for redemption.


1885 — The America’s Cup is successfully defended by U.S. yacht Puritan as it beats Britain’s Genesta in two heats.

1926 — Henri Cochet ends Bill Tilden’s six-year reign as the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association champion as he beats Tilden in the quarterfinals.

1927 — Rene Lacoste wins the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association championship, beating Bill Tilden in three sets.

1951 — Betsy Rawls wins the U.S. Women’s Open golf title by edging Louise Suggs.

1955 — The formation of the United States Auto Club is completed and will oversee four major categories of auto races.

1973 — O.J. Simpson rushes for 250 yards to lead the Buffalo Bills to a 31-13 victory over the New England Patriots.

1989 — No. 1 Notre Dame beats No. 2 Michigan 24-19 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Fighting Irish wide receiver Raghib Ismail steals the show by returning kickoffs 88 and 92 yards for touchdowns. It’s the second time Ismail has two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the same game, accomplishing the feat against Rice in 1988.

1993 — Dave Winfield of the Minnesota Twins becomes the 19th player in major league history to get 3,000 hits, with a single off Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley.

1996 — Paul Molitor gets his 3,000th career hit, becoming the 21st major leaguer to reach the mark and the first to do it with a triple.

2000 — Zippy Chippy, a 9-year-old gelding, finishes third in the eighth race at the Three-County Fair in Northampton, Mass., extending his record as the losingest horse in American thoroughbred history to 88 races.

2001 — Jason Bohn shoots a 13-under 58 at Huron Oaks Country Club to win the Canadian Tour’s Bayer Championship by two strokes and go one below the best round ever shot in PGA Tour-sanctioned competition.

2007 — Jim Thome is the 23rd player — and third this season — to reach 500 home runs. The slugger hits a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth inning off reliever Dustin Moseley to give the Chicago White Sox a 9-7 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

2007 — Bengals QB Carson Palmer passes for six TDs and the Browns’ Derek Anderson has five in Cleveland’s 51-45 win over Cincinnati, making it just the third time in NFL history that two QBs threw five TD passes apiece in the same game.

2010 — The Seattle Storm complete their undefeated march through the postseason, beating the Atlanta Dream 87-84 for a three-game sweep in the WNBA finals.

2012 — Eli Manning hits 31 of 51 passes for 510 yards — the second-best passing day in team history — with three touchdown passes and three interceptions as the New York Giants rally for a 41-34 win over Tampa Bay.

2017 — In front of the largest crowd to attend a stand-alone MLS match, Josef Martinez gets his second hat trick in a row and his third of the season to help Atlanta United hold on for a 3-3 draw against Orlando City. Atlanta United sets the record with 70,425 on hand at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

2018 — Scott Dixon has a steady drive to win his fifth IndyCar championship with ease. Dixon, needing an uneventful finale at Sonoma Raceway, finishes second behind winner Ryan Hunter-Reay. His fifth title moves him into second in IndyCar history, two behind A.J. Foyt.

2018 — Patrick Mahomes is 23 for 28 for 326 yards and six touchdown passes in Kansas City’s 42-37 win over Pittsburgh. His 10 touchdown passes through two weeks are the most by a quarterback through two games in NFL history.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams made a spectacular, one-handed touchdown catch against the Chiefs that could be a candidate for TD grab of the season. Check it out here.

Until next time...

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