Courtesy of PNC

Hot Button: Luck retires … Rory wins FedEx Cup … Gordon good to go

If you're new, Hot Button is a round-the-clock feature that covers anything and everything across the scope of sports, albeit with a constant tilt toward what might most interest Pittsburgh sports fans.

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JOSH GORDON READY

Sunday, 8:52 p.m.: After joining the Patriots at practice in full pads today, Josh Gordon removedhas officially been from the injury list -- the next step after he was conditionally reinstated by the NFL on Aug. 16. He is also eligible to play the team's Thursday preseason finale, all of which puts him on track to be a Tom Brady target when the Steelers travel north for the opener against the Patriots. -- Sunday

RORY WINS FEDEX CUP

Sunday, 8:41 p.m.: Rory McIlroy won the Tour Championship Sunday, clinching a FedEx Cup title -- McIlroy's second -- in the process. McIlroy pocketed $15 million with the Cup win and bolstered his 2018-19 season winnings to a ... uh ... modest $24.3 million, setting a new record for a year's total. -- Sunday

LIGHTNING INJURES PGA FANS

Saturday, 10:01 p.m.: Six PGA Tour fans were injured when lightning struck a tree at the Tour Championship. Play was stopped due to inclement weather when lightning struck a tree near the 16th hole. Debris from the strike injured four people while two others were injured from the impact, including a local business owner who was knocked out of his golf cart by the impact. -- Sunday

TEXANS FEAR ACL FOR MILLER

Saturday, 9:51 p.m.: Texans' Lamar Miller went down with a tackle to the knee, was carted off the field, and now the Texans fear he tore his ACL in the third week of preseason action. The Texans traded for Duke Johnson from the Browns early in the month, but the two were expected to play often simultaneously. -- Sunday

LUCK RETIRES 

Saturday, 9:34 p.m.: Yep. It's exactly as the headline indicates. Andrew Luck is retiring from the NFL, per Adam Schefter:

Unreal. Luck, 29, has completed exactly 2,000 passes in his six-year NFL career, going for 23,671 yards in the process. Last season, he completed 430 passes for 4,493 yards and 39 touchdowns against 15 interceptions, a strong season by any metric. That said, Luck has dealt with shoulder and abdomen injuries — as well as concussions — throughout his career, and, according to Schefter, he's had enough. For now, he'll become a "what could have been" story in football lore. -- Hunter 

CARRICK'S SUPPORT

Saturday, 2:15 p.m.: Devils defenseman Connor Carrick took to Twitter in search of ways to further support women's hockey. -- Taylor

KANG SNAG 

Friday, 8:04 p.m.: So Jung Ho Kang might not be headed to Milwaukee after all.

Not that there was a ton of hype on this move, but that'd serve as a disappointing finish to an already disappointing year for Kang. -- Hunter 

SUBBAN GETS ENGAGED

Friday, 3:25 p.m.: P.K. Subban and former Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn are engaged. The NHL shared this video of Subban talking about the first time he met Vonn:

For the first four months, Subban and Vonn did was talk while she was on tour skiing in Europe. “We spoke on the phone every day,” Subban said. “Then, on Christmas Day, I went home to see my family, and after brunch, I hopped on a plane to Denver, and then drove three hours to get to Vail in a snowstorm to see her.” -- Taylor

KUZNETSOV SUSPENDED BY IIHF

Friday, 12 p.m.: Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has been banned from international competitions for four years after testing positive for cocaine use during the World Championship this spring. We have a full file on that here. -- Taylor

WINNIPEG, ALBERTA?

Thursday, 11:40 p.m.: OK, this one's personal: The Raiders landed in Winnipeg earlier today for their NFL preseason game with the Packers, and Oakland punter A.J. Cole was among several players who paid respect by sporting some Canada-loving gear:

One problem: Cole's T, apparently some cheapie bought off Amazon, identifies Winnipeg as being in Alberta. Which is only two provinces away. And that brought this beautiful rebuke from the CFL's resident Blue Bombers:

After the Raiders won, Cole was a great sport about all the social media teasing he was taking from Manitobans:

And the hometown hockey team, naturally, had to chime in:

A well-dressed lad, if I do say so myself. -- DK

NEWTON INJURED VS. PATS

Thursday, 11:18 p.m.: Cam Newton was seen leaving tonight's preseason bout between the Panthers and Patriots in a walking boot, as you'll see below. He was injured on this play during the game, was treated and didn't return:

And then he was seen wearing a boot on that left foot when leaving the stadium. We'll have to wait on a timeline, but this could be a chance for West Virginia standout Will Grier to get a more meaningful turn behind the wheel of the Panthers' offense.  -- Sunday

MLB AVOIDING VENEZUELA

Thursday, 9:40 p.m.: The MLB banned its players (and affiliated players) from playing in the 75-year-old Venezuela winter league this season in order to comply with Donald Trump's embargo against the country.

Many Venezuelan-born minor league players relied on the five-figure salaries from the league to supplement their low salaries from the regular season.

MLB teams are still expected to be able to sign players out of Venezuela, but some expect that the Venezuelan government could ban its amateur players from signing with MLB teams as a result of the embargo. -- Taylor

PATRIOTS DB BUSTED

Thursday, 12:11 p.m.: This is not ideal for Patrick Chung. Chung, a three-time Super Bowl-winning safety with the Patriots, was recently indicted for felony cocaine possession in New Hampshire:

If convicted, he faces a three-and-a-half-to-seven-year sentence, as cocaine possession is a Class B felony. Per the Laconia Daily Sun, Chung will be arraigned in Belknap Superior Court on Aug. 28.  -- Hunter 

VERLANDER DENIES REPORTER

Thursday, 12:00 p.m.: Justin Verlander threw a complete game last night, allowing two home runs in the Astros' 2-1 loss to the Tigers. Verlander's complete game loss isn't the story, though. Per his request, Verlander had Detroit Free Press reporter Anthony Fenech barred from the locker room during his interview. After he finished, Fenech was allowed into the room, approached Verlander, but did not have his questions answered. Verlander took to Twitter to post a response to the Free Press story. -- Sunday

CARDINALS CUT WHITE 

Wednesday, 6:36 p.m.: Welp. Kevin White just can't hang in the NFL, it seems. White, the No. 7 overall pick in 2015 out out West Virginia University, has been cut by the Cardinals.

In three seasons (all with the Bears), White started five games, catching 25 passes for 285 yards and zero touchdowns. Call me crazy, but you probably want your top-10 pick to perform a little better than that. -- Hunter 

BRASSARD TO ISLANDERS

Wednesday, 4:50 p.m.: Derick Brassard is an Islander. -- Taylor

RANGERS HIRE GLASS

Wednesday, 3:45 p.m.: The Rangers hired Tanner Glass and Tuomo Ruutu as Assistant Directors of Player Development. Glass will work with prospects in North America, while Ruutu will work with prospects in Europe. -- Taylor

MLB BANS SEX PILLS?

Wednesday, 1:42 p.m.: According to a report by Jeff Passan, the MLB has sent a memo to players warning that the over the counter sexual enhancement pills -- the kind you can pick up while paying for your gas and seem to always have pictures of bumblebees for some reason -- may contain substances that show up on PED tests. -- Sunday


BRAXTON TO BROWNS

Wednesday, 1:29 p.m.: The Browns have announced the signing of Braxton Miller in a move to undoubtedly solidify Baker Mayfield's position that winning in college is the best reason to have a player on your roster. Jokes aside ... dude was insane at Ohio State. If he / Browns can figure out a way to transition any of his elusiveness he showed at quarterback to anywhere else on the field, he could help. He wasn't able to make that jump with either year in Houston.  -- Sunday

XFL TEAMS

Wednesday, 12:40 p.m.: The XFL revealed the eight team names and logos for its second inaugural season. -- Taylor

RAY LEWIS DANCES

Wednesday, 12:35 p.m.: The cast for season 28 of Dancing With the Stars was announced this morning, and Ray Lewis will compete, as well as The Supremes’ Mary Wilson, Queer Eye's Karamo Brown, The Bachelorette‘s Hannah Brown, supermodel Christie Brinkley, country singer Lauren Alaina, actor James Van Der Beek, The Office's Kate Flannery, singer Ally Brooke, former NBA player Lamar Odom, actor Kel Mitchell and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer. -- Taylor

FLY, CARLI, FLY

Tuesday, 5:48 p.m.: Carli Lloyd was a guest at Eagles practice today, and the USWNT star did not disappoint. Lloyd stepped back with the help of kicker Jake Elliott holding, ran up and booted a 55-yard strike between the uprights. Just in case Chris Boswell needs some relief kicking this season as well. -- Sunday

BAKER BAKES, BAKER UNBAKES

Tuesday, 3:25 p.m.: Talk about a deconstructed dish. Baker Mayfield told all in a GQ interview, including his thoughts on the Giants drafting Daniel Jones. "I can not believe the Giants took Daniel Jones," he said in the interview. "Blows my mind."

Since GQ posted the story, Baker has walked back his comments -- claiming they were taken out of context by the reporter. He posted on Instagram to vent his frustrations: -- Sunday

COCO'S STORY

Tuesday, 2:49 p.m.: Remember Coco Gauff? The 15-year-old sensation who blew minds at Wimbledon? ESPN's The Undefeated, quickly becoming one of my favorite reading destinations, published a nice longform piece on how she got to be where she is at 15. Spoiler alert: It's a multigenerational story. -- Sunday

AB ON ... HELMET OFF

Tuesday, 2:13 p.m.: It appears as though Antonio Brown walked off the field when it was time to put the helmets on for today's Raiders practice ... but he came right back to stretch with the team. The difference? Everyone else had helmets on and stretched as a team. AB had his off, and worked alone. That concluded the media's availability out there. -- Sunday

CANES GO DIAGONAL

Tuesday, 10:20 a.m.: The Hurricanes revealed their new road jerseys on Tuesday, and they're pretty sweet. -- Taylor

 

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